People are horrified that a woman's estate carried out her will, which requested she be buried with her dog.
Although being buried with another being other than yourself is generally kind of weird, it's how the estate went about fulfilling the last request that has everyone up in arms.
And that's because there was nothing wrong with her pet. She was euthanized for no other reason than so she would be buried with her owner.
I personally don't own any pets anymore because I've had to suffer through the deaths of two dogs and it's not an experience I'd like to re-live. Sure, it teaches a life lesson about loss and pain and honoring past loved ones and all that good stuff, but there's one problem: it hurts.
I hate thinking about animals suffering, especially when their suffering is caused by the crummy things humans impose on them.
Apparently, this woman loved her Shih Tzu so much, she couldn't bear the thought of being away from her for a moment. So much so that she wanted the dog to die when she died so they could rest together in all eternity. As if it wasn't bad enough to force dogs to wear silly clothes and have Instagram accounts, now we're killing them because we don't want to be lonely corpses? Yeesh.
According to WWBT in Richmond, Virginia, Emma the dog was brought to the Chesterfield Animal Shelter in March with no health issues or concerns. Staff at the shelter were crushed by the idea of killing this pup for no reason whatsoever, but it was not their call at the end of the day. They urged the executor of Emma's owner’s estate to reconsider the request, but to no avail.
The veterinary staff even mentioned to the man in charge of the dog that they could find a new home for Emma very easily. Heartbroken and confused, the shelter had no choice but to proceed with euthanizing the helpless little dog at his late owner’s bizarre request.
The President of Virginia Funeral Directors Association, Larry Spiaggi, told The New York Post that it is actually illegal to bury animal remains with a human’s casket. This was not the first request of its kind that he has dealt with. Years back, another client had the same plea and at the time, he allowed it.
That is because Virginia's Cemetery code only applies to public cemeteries, and exceptions can be made for private ones. Spiaggi told the Post "Knowing while we were taking care of her that that poor dog was being euthanized... I still ache over it".
Many people expressed their disbelief and anger at the situation via social media, saying "let the dog live, the owner won't know anyway." and calling the situation "heartless." Others tweeted things like “what a selfish monster," after the dog was killed. Virginia State lawmakers are now reviewing how they can amend the cemetery code to prevent future tragic losses like Emma.
If you're still perplexed as to why anyone would want to be buried with their pet, it turns out human beings have been engaging in this practice for a very, very, very long time.
The Ancient Egyptians loved being buried with their pets. Archaeological finds have unearthed figures who were mummified with lizards, cats, dogs... you name it.
But there's more recent trends of pet lovers resting in eternal slumber with their furred and feathered friends.
Some folks are even buying plots of land in pet cemeteries so they can spend the afterlife next to their animal BFFs. This is a niche practice and most pet cemeteries would never entertain the idea, but at least 50 of them offer this service, so keep that in mind if you'd rather be surrounded by cute and cuddly critters when you're dead instead of a bunch of boring human beings.