Creating    A    theme    album    for    your    pets

Write    About    Your    Pets

Your pets are important to you. Include them in your memoirs.

Bea Sheftel

If you are an animal lover you probably have had many pets in your life. My first pet, that I remember, was Chrissy, a black cockerspanial who came into my life when I was very young.

She was such a special dog I wrote an article about her called A Dog's Life. It was a memoir article but I sold it to Guideposts Books for their series Listerning to the Animals. Even though the story was very much about my family and our feelings towards this wonderful dog, it was universal enough to be published. The emotions of loving a loyal dog are common to many people. That's what writing and selling sections of your memoir writing is all about. What you experience might be particular to you but yet the emotions are common to many.

So was there a special pet in your life? Have you considered writing about that pet? Perhaps you could write a memorial to the memory of your dear friend?I have included a link to a site that specializes in memorializing pets. There is beautiful music, poetry, essays and even a ceremony to honor your pet. Whether your pet has recently died, or passed many years ago, you will find comfort in this web site.I hope you will write about your pet. Don't worry about the style.

Include the names of the people in the photos as well as the pet. What is the occasion?

Sit down, remember your animal friend, and let your heart pour the words onto the page. You can always fix it up later. For now, give yourself permission to recall, rejoice, and cry. Our pets are very special to us. Sometimes I think they are animal angels. Other times I think they are like my children.What do your pets mean to you?Write about them. If they are important in your life now, or were important when you were younger, then they belong in your memoirs.

Some Pages from my Pet Theme Album

If you have pets past and present you have loved, consider an album devoted exclusively to them. This doesn't mean I don't also have photos of my pets in family albums. I do. However, I devoted one entire album just to them. For those pets who have passed on it is a memorial. For those pets still with me it is a reminder of why I love them so much.

To get started on a pet theme album collect all the photos of your pets. Put them into one location and then separate them by the pet and the dates.

You might consider one pet to a page, or several pets to a page. Be sure to include journaling. Our memories get worse as we grow older. It is easy to forget what we have done and places we've gone. Whenever possible include the date and location of the photo. Also include the name of the pet and any people in the photo. Your journaling will go beyond the dates and names. You should write about the event and how you felt. Why are these photos special? Who was with your when you went on your adventure with your pet? How was the weather? How did the pets like the day out? Did anything amusing happen? Unusual? Special?

Start with a title page to a specific event. For instance: the Halloween photos. You only need one title page to a series of pages for the same event. Add embellishments that are appropriate such as specific pet stickers. Try other embellishments such as tags, decorated journal boxes, and appropriate bulkies such as buttons shaped like bones.

Theme albums are particularly fun to make. You don't have to limit them to your pets. You can do a Christmas theme album, or a travel album, or anniversary. Once you collect the photos you want to include in the album you are ready to go.

Things to remember:
Back your photos with acid free card stock or designer paper.
Use only archival safe materials. When in doubt test it.
If you use bulky items make sure they aren't too bulky for your album or they could rip through your pages. For safety sake, limit the number of bulky items you include. Don't have one bulky page followed by another. Give some space in between.

Use stick-on letters or create die cut letters.
Computerized titles are fine. Fill-in with color.
Use bead letters on tags.
Create profiles of your pets. Why are they so special to you? When did they come into your life? What do they mean to you?

Pages are 8 1/2 x 11

Be creative. Add embellishments. Remember the happy days. Honor your pets for the unconditional love they give to you.


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