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“I wanted you to know how great it is to be involved with PLPA. I have learned so much and feel like our families are getting more out of our services than before. Thank you.”

— Alex Lensing, Faithful Companions, Iowa City, IA

Mission Statement

The Pet Loss Professionals Alliance is committed to being an educational resource to its members. The membership, including pet loss suppliers and pet death care facility operators, will be dedicated to the respectful and dignified treatment of those pets entrusted to us. We will do this through the creation of programs to profitably meet the changing needs of the pet death care industry and our process partners in the areas of cemeteries, crematories and pet loss facilities, as well as the creation of standards to willfully meet our customers expectations.

The PLPA’s commitment to its membership is to assist in:

  • Fostering positive consumer relationships by promoting high ethical standards
  • Encouraging our members to promote the dignified and respectful care of the pet bodies
  • Promoting cemeteries, crematories and memorial centers as respectful resting areas and as a place of lasting tribute to the memories of our beloved pets
  • Providing services, products and educational opportunities with an emphasis on those resources that members cannot as effectively provide for themselves.
  • Being proactive in leadership on legislative, regulatory and legal issues
  • Creating mutually beneficial relationships with state, regional, international and allied associations
  • Providing members the opportunity for growth and recognition through participation in the ICCFA

Obligations of Membership in PLPA

Members of the PLPA recognize that we have special obligations to the pets, families and other businesses that we serve. As guardians of pets in death, we pledge:

  • To care for the remains of those entrusted to us with dignity, respect and professional skill, whether at a clinic, funeral home, crematory or cemetery
  • To honor the wishes of the family and to serve all families with respect, understanding and confidentiality
  • To protect and preserve all interment sites and relevant historical data entrusted to us
  • To be guided by the spirit and letter of all applicable laws and regulations set by governing bodies with jurisdiction over our activities in the ownership, management and operation of a funeral home, crematory, cemetery or related endeavor
  • To be an educational resource and guide in standards relating to final pet death care options for our client families as well as our process partners

THE FOURTH DAY
BY MARTIN SCOT KOSINS

If you ever love an animal, there are three days in your life you will always remember….

The first is a day, blessed with happiness, when you bring home your young new friend. You may have spent weeks deciding on a breed. You may have asked numerous opinions of many vets, or done long research in finding a breeder. Or, perhaps in a fleeting moment, you may have just chosen that silly looking mutt in a shelter-simple because something in its eyes reached your heart.

But when you bring that chosen pet home, and watch it explore, and claim its special place in your hall or front room-and when you feel it brush against you for the first time-it instills a feeling of pure love you will carry with you through the many years to come.

The second day will occur eight or nine or ten years later. It will be a day like any other. Routine and unexceptional. But, for a surprising instant, you will look at your longtime friend and see age where you once saw youth. You will see slow deliberate steps where you once saw energy. And you will see sleep when you once saw activity. So you will begin to adjust your friend’s diet-and you may add a pill or two to her food. And you may feel a growing fear deep within yourself, which bodes of a coming emptiness. And you will feel this uneasy feeling, on and off, until the third day finally arrives.

And on this day-if your friend and God have not decided for you, then you will be faced with making a decision of your own-on behalf of your lifelong friend, and with the guidance of your own deepest Spirit. But whichever way your friend eventually leaves you-you will feel as lone as a single star in the dark night.

If you are wise, you will let the tears flow as freely and as often as they must. And if you are typical, you will find that not many in your circle of family or friends will be able to understand your grief, or comfort you.

But if you are true to the love of the pet you cherished through the many joy-filled years, you may find that a soul-a bit smaller in size than your own-seems to walk with you, at times, during the lonely days to come.

And at moments when you least expect anything out of the ordinary to happen, you may feel something brush against your leg-very very lightly.

And looking down at the place where your dear, perhaps dearest, friend used to lay-you will remember those three significant days. The memory will most likely to be painful, and leave an ache in your heart-As time passes the ache will come and go as if it has a life of its own.

You will both reject it and embrace it, and it may confuse you. If you reject it, it will depress you. If you embrace it, it will deepen you. Either way, it will still be an ache.

But there will be, I assure you, a fourth day when-along with the memory of your pet-and piercing through the heaviness in your heart-there will come a realization that belongs only to you. It will be as unique and strong as our relationship with each animal we have loved, and lost. This realization takes the form of a Living Love-like the heavenly scent of a rose that remains after the petals have wilted, this Love will remain and grow-and be there for us to remember. It is a love we have earned. It is the legacy our pets leave us when they go. And it is a gift we may keep with us as long as we live. It is a Love which is ours alone. And until we ourselves leave, perhaps to join our Beloved Pets-it is a Love we will always possess.

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