My state has a fifth season. Hunting season. We have people hunting deer, ducks, hogs, squirrels, rabbits, turkeys, and whatever else has fur or feathers around here. It amazes me that I ever see road kill anymore. That dead possum I saw last week must have fallen out of the back of some Bubba's pickup. Nothing like a nice hot bowl of possum 'n dumplings, I always say. Somebody call PETA. This state needs more vegetarians.
That said, taxidermy is big business in these here parts. I may have mentioned the death décor I have in my own home (two buck heads and an entire stuffed turkey). As if the thought of knowing where your meat comes from isn't scarring enough for some of us, a new type of taxidermy has made its way to my area. Pet taxidermy, known as pet preservation, is apparently becoming all the rage. We have an option other than the less disturbing choices like cremation or burial. Freeze drying is now on the table.
That's right. Why go through a healthy grieving process over your pet, when you can keep the carcass frozen in time for forever enjoyment? You can even choose the pose you'd like. Head up, head down, runway-ready, whatever. Some people prefer to see their pets as they were in life, lying on their favorite cushion in the sun. Depending on the size of your beloved friend, the deceased will spend approximately three to twelve weeks in the freeze dryer. Everything from Tweety to Spike is eligible, even rabbits and reptiles - oh my.
I love my pets as much as anyone. However, seeing the dead is one thing. Touching is another. In my opinion, there should never be touching once my pets have made their way to that great dog park in the sky. According to the taxidermy company's website, "Your pet will look very natural and even up close it will be difficult to tell any difference at all, except for the lack of movement." (Duh.) They also say that, if you're careful, you can hold, carry, and even gently pet the animal after the preservation process is complete. Okay… Adults are one thing, but think of the children. Show and tell would never be the same. Angry parents would be calling for weeks. I can't afford paying for everyone else's kid's therapy. Mine are going to cost me enough.
A word to all of you considering this option: You'll want to select the perfect location to display your preserved pooch, a place you'll be keeping him for years. Freeze dried loved ones cannot be stored in the attic or basement. But take heart. They do get injected with a potent bug proofer, to keep the crawlies off your critter. Good to know.
Apparently people from all over the country have entrusted their dead pets with this particular company. The interest is so great, in fact, that the family has a reality show debuting on Animal Planet later in the year. Maybe this will trigger a new trend in Hollywood. Celebrities are so nuts over plastic surgery, why spare any expense when it comes to their faithful companions? I don't know. I wouldn't be petting any Chihuahua I saw in Joan Rivers' purse anytime soon.