Hello Pups and Kittens, first of all let me wish EVERYONE a very Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for my family (4 and 2 legged), this podcast, and all of you who listen each week to our stories. On this Thanksgiving week I am going to have the u;timate discussion. The conversation no one wants to have. We're going to discuss bereavement.
Our Guest: Lori Davidson, B.S., Author
Co-FounderWhile Remy’s inspiration for Cherished Ones’ first product was her lab – Lori’s was her baby boy kitty - “Snookie”. After losing two 16 year old Bichons within months of each other she rescued a cat from a local shelter. Snookie’s affectionate nature reinforced her desire to help all rescue animals find loving homes. Lori brings to Cherished Ones 25+ years of sales experience, the last few spent as a business development consultant focused on elder law, plus ten years in education (instructing ESL, Health Science, Homebound, Adult Ed and Alternative Ed). She also co-authored Chicken Nachos, a book on emotional and verbal abuse. Having exposure to elder issues, children's causes and domestic abuse has deepened her desire to honor those we love daily. Business experience aside, Lori believes raising two (cherished) daughters on her own provided the real life skill-set necessary to create and operate a successful business from the ground up.
Lori struggled after losing two 16 year old Bichons within months of each other. It took a while before she felt ready to open her heart to another baby. Christmas season of 2008 found her shopping at a local pet store, looking for gifts for her grand-kitties. On a whim she walked past the cat holding area for the local animal shelter. There he was, looking at her through the bars of his crate. Lori knew better, but held him anyway. Having second thoughts about the responsibility she and a friend headed to lunch. All Lori could think about during lunch was that cute little face and after a quick lunch she and Snookie were heading home. Lori marvels at how quickly her little man took over the cottage. As with most cats, he enjoys waking her early so he can be fed. Snookie does this by tapping Lori’s face gently and saying, “Mom.” When Snookie wants to be let outside he runs to the door and meows, “Out.” If it is inclement weather Lori will tell him, “Tomorrow.” Much to her surprise Snookie will mimic “tomorrow.” Not one of her friends believed this until they heard him for themselves. Lori refers to Snookie as her dog-cat, as he even comes when he is called. (Of course in reality this means he runs top speed until he’s within sight, then he saunters the last few steps so he won’t give the impression that he cares. He is a cat after all!) And as Lori’s daughters point out, “Snookie is the son mom never had.” Lori feels blessed to share her home with this little cherished spirit.
The team at Cherished Ones, the makers of Pet Perennials understand fully the emotional, psychological, and physical effects that losing a pet can have. Our founders, Remy Bibaud and Lori Davidson have both experienced this kind of loss. Their own experiences were the inspiration for these one of a kind, living memorial products.
All "Pet Perennials" organic, flowering products follow a patented process that can include a small portion of the cremated ashes of a beloved pet along with a nutrient rich planting matrix and pet friendly flower seeds to yield seed wafers. The seed wafers can be planted to grow colorful flowers that will be enjoyed season after season wherever one choses to create a living memorial. Pet Perennials can be ordered as a custom, handcrafted option or the MiY Pet Perennials Kit. If ordering our "custom" product rest assured that your pet's cremated ashes will be handled with respect by one of our technicians while making your "Custom" Pet Perennials. Pet Perennials products are patented.
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to use Pet Perennials since they contain perennial flower seeds, once sown they will bring a smile and enjoyment to you each year. A "custom" product order includes 24 wafers, therefore you are not limited to when or where you plant them. You can give some of the wafers to family and friends, or order them their own batch. The MiY Pet Perennials Kit enables you to make approximately 12 seed wafers in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
- Do you have a favorite place where you liked to walk your dog?
- Is there a special trail where you enjoyed riding your horse? Or a pasture that he liked to roam?
- Did your cat have a particular tree that she climbed? Or a place in neighboring woods that she visited?
- Perhaps your rabbit liked to hide among the plants and shrubs in your backyard?
These are all perfect locations to sow your Pet Perennials seed wafers. The possibilities for planting are endless because you can take the wafers wherever you wish. No matter where you decide to sow them, we believe that everyone will delight in the colorful flowers that bloom as a result. Pet Perennials are also available as pre-made seed wafers that do not include any cremated ashes. They are perfect gift for a friend or family member commemorating their new pet, or honoring the loss of a pet.
What is in a "custom" order of Pet Perennials?
In both the "custom" product and the MiY Pet Perennials Kit a small portion of a beloved pet's cremated ashes can be mixed in with our planting matrix and wildflower seeds (perennial and annual). The planting matrix is made of the highest quality, nutrient rich planting compounds. All of the organic materials are hand melded to form seed wafers that can be planted later.
When do you use Pet Perennials?
Pet Perennials do not "expire", however we recommend using them within 6 months to one year of purchase. You will want to keep them in a cool, dry place and away from water or liquids if you do not intend to plant the seed wafers right away. Premature contact with liquids could begin the germination process.
How do you grow Pet Perennials?
You do not need to plant the Pet Perennial seed wafers; in fact you simply place them on the ground in the areas where you wish for them to grow (we call it "sowing"). DO NOT COVER with earth or soil. Water and sun is required. For those that live in apartments or condominiums, you can sow your Pet Perennials in flower pots or window boxes with good potting soil to be displayed both in and outside of your home.
Please keep in mind that perennial seeds will take a season or two to "flower" from the time of sowing, however they will germinate within approximately 7 to 14 days along with the annual seeds. Germination means that seedlings will sprout from the wafers. It will look like green plants and stems once grown. The annual seeds that have been added may flower within 5 to 7 weeks to provide quick color and enjoyment in the meantime. However, green plant like growth equals success!! Keep in mind that the environment and soil in which you are disbursing the seed wafers has an impact so be sure to sow them in areas where the earth or potting soil is clear of chemicals, pests, and weeds. And, remember don't forget to place them where they will be exposed to sunshine and water regularly. If planted outside, water regularly where rainfall is limited. For more information see the Planting and Growing the Product section below.
Not quite sure what to say to a person who has lost a pet, or what you might do to let them know that you care? Consider purchasing a gift voucher for Pet Perennials for any pet owner who has chosen cremation for their beloved friend. We are certain that they would appreciate your kind gesture every time they see the blooms. How about our Make-It-Yourself Pet Perennials Kit? It is a one-of-a-kind crafting project that the whole family can enjoy. Please visit our shop where you can purchase and send a gift voucher to your special family member or friend andl learn more about the MiY Pet Perennials Kit.
Pet Perennials offer two wildflower seed mix options - the Butterfly Hummingbird perennial seed mix and the Pollinator perennial seed mix. Both mixes are safe for pets. When ordering your Custom Pet Perennials be sure to select the seed option that you desire. The MiY Pet Perennials Kit includes the Butterfly Hummingbird mix.
Butterfly Hummingbird Wildflower Seed Mix
Bring beautiful wildlife into your garden or meadow with the Butterfly & Hummingbird Seed Mix. It contains 12 wildflowers, both annuals and perennials that will attract winged friends. This mixture is designed to provide stunning color all season long, year after year. It will burst into blooms the first year with the annual wildflowers and provide color in years after with the perennials.
This is a specially designed mixture of 12 easy-to-grow wildflowers that butterflies and hummingbirds love. The mix includes both wild annuals and perennials, so bloom will begin just 3 to 4 weeks after sprouting, and should return year after year. The full flower list is below.
When and where to plant the Butterfly and Hummingbird seed mix:
It is best to plant your Pet Perennials in spring or early summer, or in late fall after frost for spring blooms. If you live in a warm winter area plant your Pet Perennials at the beginning of the rainy season. Choose any bright sunny spot. Butterflies and hummingbirds will find your bright flowers once they bloom.
Regions: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, West, Pacific Northwest
• Chinese Forget-Me-Not
• Wild Cosmos
• Rocket Larkspur
• Purple Coneflower
• Rose Mallow
• Baby Snapdragon
• Arroyo Lupine
• Lemon Mint
• Black-eyed Susan
• Scarlet Sage
• Crimson Clover
Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix
This easy-to-grow mixture contains 17 wildflowers, both annuals and perennials, that are easy to pollinate. Pollinators are critical to our ecosystem and pet lovers like you can make a big difference by making sure there are plenty of flowers for them to feed on. This mixture contains 17 wildflower, 10 annuals for first-year color, plus 7 perennials for second and successive years' bloom. This mixture contains 17 wildflower, 10 annuals for first-year color, plus 7 perennials for second and successive years' bloom. The full flower list is below.
Regions: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, West, Pacific Northwest
• Butterfly Milkweed
• Patridge Pea
• Lance Leaved Coreopsis
• Plains Coreopsis
• Cosmos Sensation Mix
• Purple Coneflower
• California Poppy
• Blanket Flower
• Dwarf Sunspot Sunflower
• Meadow Foam
• Dwarf Lupine Pixie Delight Mix
• Perennial Lupine
• Arroyo Lupine
• Bee Balm / Wild Bergamont
• Lacy Phacelia
• Mexican Hat
• Crimson Clover
Custom Pet Perennials Order Process
We understand how precious your pet was to you that is why you can feel confident that your pet is respected and in very good hands through out the entire process. Once your order has been placed through the Cherished Ones online shop, the order fulfillment process will begin. There are three stages to fulfilling your custom, handmade Pet Perennials order.
Stage A Once your order has been placed you will be sent an instruction kit by mail to help you prepare a small portion of your beloved pet's cremation ashes. You should have received an email with the same instructions attached to it after you placed your order online. The instruction kit includes a labeled container for the cremated remains and a pre-paid mailing envelope. You will send the package back to us. Postal tracking is included on the returned item. Your pet's cremated remains are identified by an order number, as well as their actual name as given to us by you at the time of order. Rest assured that this identification information remains with your custom order throughout the entire process.
Stage B Once the small portion of remains from your pet have been received at our fulfillment center, your custom order will be made. You will be notified by email that the package has been received. Our melding process is done by hand so that your Pet Perennials order is made separately from any other order. Please allow two to three weeks for your order to be handmade.
Stage C When your order has been completed it is packaged and shipped back to you in a pre-paid shipping box. The shipment is tracked as well. You will be notified by email that the completed order has been shipped.
That's it! All that is left to do is for you to sow, grow and enjoy your Pet Perennials.
Planting and Growing Pet Perennials Products
One of the best things about wildflowers is how easy they are to grow. Here are some easy planting steps for you.
When sowing seed wafers timing is important. Although your seed wafers may be planted anytime and in any condition, please consider the following suggestions, especially when planting in a garden. We recommend that you check for your last frost date and plant after this has passed.
Sow in the fall or early winter- for best results. If you missed the season don’t despair, you can sow them any time and they will sprout when germination is triggered naturally, perhaps the following year. Perennials require “wintering” to properly flower. Annuals are added to the product so that the celebration of love seeding life might begin soon after the planting!
Choose a spot that gets 6 or more hours of direct sun a day. If you are sowing in your own yard or garden then prepare your soil by clearing the area of all existing growth. Simply dig up everything that is growing, turn the soil and rake the area flat.
We recommend placing the seed wafer onto the soil, but DO NOT bury them. If you are disbursing them in places that you are unable to prepare, you do not have to prepare the area beforehand. The wafer provides the soil to keep the seeds and seedlings safe and to begin germination which usually occurs within 7 to 14 days, possibly up to 20 days. The matrix surrounding the seed will eventually meld in with the earth around it. Perennial flowers will germinate and become seedlings, but will not flower until the they have "wintered". When the germination process begins the seedlings will look similar to weeds, please don't pick them.
If you are sowing in your own yard or garden, water to keep the soil moist, but do not soak. You should do this until the seedlings are about 4-6" tall. After that, the seedlings will survive on natural rains. If you are experiencing very dry weather, water more often. If you are disbursing the seed wafers in places that you are unable to water, the natural rains should be enough to moisten them for germination if rains are normal. Drought prone areas make it more difficult for this to occur so consider germinating them before disbursing for best results.
Tips for Germinating Out of Season
To assist in the germination of the seeds during a dry season or to expedite germination without allowing for nature’s seasonal wintering, try wetting and germinating the seed wafers before planting by taking the following steps:
1. Place the seed wafers between layers of paper towels, placing the towels over and under the wafers on a plate or flat surface. Sprinkle a small amount of water over the top paper towel. The seed wafers will absorb the water from the dampened towel. Let the seed wafers absorb the moisture slowly, so the moisture penetrates evenly and deeply. Over-watering may result in transforming the wafers into a pile of mush.
2. After an hour or so, the seed wafers darken with the absorption of water. Sprinkle some more water on the top layer of towels. The sprinkling of water mimics spring rain and/or snow melt. When each seed ball has absorbed adequate moisture it will appear darker and will have the texture of a grape. The goal is to MOISTEN the wafers, not saturate them. REMEMBER: If you added too much water, you might end up with mush. If so simply allow the wafers to air dry for a day or so. And if they have lost their shape, the wafers may be formed into balls.
3. Place the seed wafers (without the paper towels) in a baggie or sealing container.
4. Place them in the fridge. The mixtures we use in our product generally do best with 2 months of cold-damp stratification. This process mimics nature’s seasonal wintering.
5. Check occasionally and remove and plant any wafers that are visibly growing. After two months, remove any wafers still in the fridge and sow as normal. Don't let them dry out after stratification! Wafers are best sown in a rainy season, or if planted in a garden or container, water regularly.
Product Disclaimers: Cherished Ones uses only the highest quality seeds and nutrient rich soil matrix when customizing your order, however results are not 100% guaranteed for every seed that is included in each wafer. Additionally, we cannot control adverse weather conditions or assume responsibility for non-adherence to planting suggestions or your personal care choices whether grown on the earth or in containers that could result in compromised stratification results. Cherished Ones recommended shelf life for the product before planting is six months to 1 year. Our products use only a small portion of your loved ones cremation ashes, however please check your local ordinances to see if there are rules or suggestions on planting and disbursing of cremation ashes. Cherished Ones seed wafer products are not edible, please do not place in any location where they might be mistaken for pet or human treats!