A much-loved dog who died too young has inspired plans for a Pet Remembrance park.
Buster the bichon frise was family to Blenheim husband and wife Carol and Phil Taylor and when he died in December 2017 at 8-years-old, they were devastated.
Carol vowed to find somewhere special where she could bury his ashes and mourn the loss of the little white dog who has been such a big part of her life.
“He passed away in my arms.
“Buster was my baby really, my prime mover on this,” this says.
A longtime advocate for a pet cemetery in the region, Carol promised herself she would push for a suitable location.
And after making a submission to council, the wedding celebrant says she is delighted that councillors have pledged to investigate the possibility of setting aside land for a park.
“It would be a park for ashes, somewhere nice where people could sit and reflect.
“There’s nowhere to go and mourn here, nowhere to go and just think about them,” she says.
“It broke my heart when Buster died, he was an extra special dog and I just want somewhere nice to put his ashes.
“We do bury our pets in our gardens, thinking our homes will be our forever homes, but often they’re not.”
Carol says she is hopeful of seeing her dream of a place to remember pets that have passed become a reality soon.
Possible sites include the Wither Hills Farm Park, alongside the Rifle Range Carpark or at the Renwick Dog Park at Foxes Island or along the Taylor River area.
The move comes as council ruled out the possibility of putting a pet cemetery in the grounds of any of the eight it cares for.
The memorial park would be a place of peace where ashes could be buried and for owners to reflect, says Carol.
People could donate money to scatter or bury ashes, she says.
“They’ve [the council] been brilliant and appear to be behind it. It’s not been shot down nor has there been any negativity from them at all,” Carol says.
With two other dogs, Sophie, 14, and Alfie, Buster’s grandson, Carol is determined to see the project through.
Until then, Buster’s ashes remain close by at home.
“We make them our family,” she says.