Written by Maureen Kane
In 1984, I was 23 years young, a kid really…I was single and looking for something better to do with my life rather than be a career grocery store cashier. One day, a close friend of mine mentioned his family owned a pet cemetery and they needed an office girl. “What do you think?” he said. My first reaction was, “WHAT!? A what?” After a few minutes of processing what he said, I figured why not? I’ll be getting a paycheck, some office experience, and it would definitely make for some interesting conversations.
From the moment I walked into Pet Heaven Memorial Park I was fascinated. Who knew something like this existed and people actually made a living out of it? It was a family run business, I was welcomed with open arms, and I quickly found myself wanting to learn everything I could about this very unique place. I learned how to help grieving families make final arrangements for their pet and became the shoulder they could cry on when they needed it most. It didn’t take me long t
o realize I found my niche. This wasn’t just a place to get a paycheck, it was a place I wanted to make my home. This was a position I wanted to make into career.
The more time I spent at the cemetery, the more I realized I actually NEEDED this. I needed to help families on their very worst day because I was making a difference. I felt rewarded every time someone said, “Thank you for helping me”. From the 50 year old man who tried climbing in his cats grave, to the pet mama that has reserved 37 gravesites for future pets, I’ve been there to listen and support them every step of the way. The stories I’ve heard about these beloved pets and their lives are endless.
Here I am, 34 years later, and I am blessed. I lucked out when my friend told me about his family’s business. I get to go to work every day and know I have made and will continue making a difference. I’m proud of myself for all of the work I’ve done. I’ve gone from “Office Girl” to Location Manager.
Every day I walk the grounds of Pet Heaven and I am filled with gratitude. I’m thankful for all of the veterinary partners, mentors, and pet parents who have allowed me to be a part of their journey and helped me on my own.