The night of July 31 we lost a beloved family pet. Having already decided that we were going to have her cremated, we called Paradise Pet Cemetery and Crematory and left a message, explaining that our precious dog had just died.
In less than five minutes, the owner of Paradise Pet Cemetery and Crematory, Richard Lord, called us back and advised us to bring her to him although it was nearly 10 p.m. and a storm was brewing. Mr. Lord understood that we were a grieving family who had just lost a companion of over 12 years and was very sympathetic, allowing us to have all the time we needed to say goodbye.
My main concern at that time was that I would indeed get the "cremains" of my pet back. Mr. Lord assured us that we would and also stated that he took his business very seriously. A couple of days later, we returned to pick up the cremated remains.
Mr. Lord, once again, expressed his sympathy for our loss. We felt that the whole situation was handled with the dignity that was so important to us as a family who treats their dogs as family members.
I do not know the ins and outs of this business and what effect a crematory at Columbia County Animal Control will eventually have on Mr. Lord, but I do know that, in cases such as this, compassion and tender care is the most important thing. We received both of those from Mr. Lord, and I would use his services again in the future.
I am not sure that the same level of sympathy would be given at a county-run business or that they would be willing to provide the service as quickly and as efficiently as Mr. Lord - or that a family could be given the assurance that the remains given back to them were indeed those of their pet. I would encourage anyone who loves a pet to talk to Mr. Lord if cremation services are needed.
Lynn Irwin Stewart, Augusta
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