Pet Cemetery
The return of Lucky

Who has a dead pet in their freezer story they wanna share?

I’ll go first!

I have a dead chicken in my freezer.

As you may remember one of our chicks, little Lucky, died during his second week of life.

Poor little Lucky.  He died right in the palm of my hand.  I didn’t know what to do and I could barely see where I was going from the tears, so I stumbled up my basement stairs to the living room where my boyfriend was settling into the couch to watch Survivor.

He jumped up, took two strides across the living room floor and grabbed an empty cardboard matchstick box.  He opened it up and I slid Lucky in.

Good.  That was over with.  Phew.

I started off with a fluffy dead chick in my hand and now I had a fluffy dead chick in a matchbox in my hand.

What the  hell now?

I wasn’t flushing him, I wasn’t dumping him in with the composting.  So now what?  What do you do with an animal that up and dies on you in your house?

Well the logical choice of course.  Stick him in the freezer.  Which is what I did temporarily.  Just until I could figure out what to do with him.

It took me  150 days to figure out to do with him.  Give or take a week.  So there sat Lucky in a matchbox in my freezer for the past 5 months.  Why so long?  Well,  I can tell you I definitely didn’t forget about him.  At any given time I couldn’t tell you how many whole chickens without feathers I have in my freezer, but I always know how many with feathers I have.   Also, any meat with a first name in your freezer tends be remembered.

And besides,  every time I wanted ice cream, I’d have to move Lucky.

So this week, I shoved the Haagen Dazs aside, grabbed Lucky and gave him a  proper burial.  I’d always kind of planned to bury him under the coop so now that it was done, I could finally grab a shovel and started digging.

 

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Once I got down to the task, I decided putting Lucky underneath the coop was kind of creepy.  Unlike keeping him in the freezer beside our ice cream for the past 5 months which was entirely normal.

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So I buried lucky underneath a weeping Beech right beside the coop.  Go ahead.  You can be honest.  Exactly how insane do you think I am at this moment?  I know you’re thinking it.

 

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It’s a pretty spot right near the other chickens.  But not underneath them.  I have no idea why beside is less creepy than underneath.  It just is.

 

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Once I laid his stone, we almost had closure.  And some extra space in the freezer.  There was just one last thing …

 

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The service.  It was beautiful.

 

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And then it was over.

 

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Rest in peace little Lucky.  You were a good egg.

The burial marker was sent to me by reader LeeAnne. She also sells them online. See all her work here.

118 Comments

  1. melanie says:

    My heart goes out to you Karen. Lucky was fortunate to have been brought to your home. Beautiful burial. RIP Lucky.

  2. pve says:

    you just made this chick cry.
    pve

  3. Rachel says:

    It was a guinea pig named Reese! He died in February so we had no choice but to “keep” him til the ground thawed!

  4. kel mcnichol says:

    OK, not weird at all. All of our pets have gone to their final resting place buried out on my sisters land (10 acres). I could not imagine anything else.

    The only thing odd I have ever had in my freezer was a scorpion I froze. I found my cat looking at something on the wall – a scorpion – in my house! So I had to do something or else my cat would. So I got a container, put it underneath it and knocked him in. Then closed it. I could not throw it away – what if someone opened it. I could not hit it – what if it ran away. I could not flush it – what if it did not go down. So – freeze it. He froze straight. I kept it there for awhile (not sure why) then flushed it. Only to find out that scorpions can withstand freezing temps and that may not have even been enough to kill it since they can thaw out and revive.

  5. Tracy says:

    Nah,that’s not insane! But wondering if you ever considered a name change at some point? :)

  6. Shannon Clarke Devine says:

    “good egg” – ha, ha, ha, like that!! I believe I am past amateur in that I was up at 3am spray painting a bar fridge in my lounge with all the carpets rolled back. After having decorated a chinese lantern with vines leaves and paper butterflies and painting an old lamp stand I found in the trash…..

  7. LooLoo says:

    I love the story of Lucky. But you haven’t lived until you’ve had a dead rabbit tossed in the middle of your unmade bed by two wailing children, begging me to do something…”Fonzi isn’t moving”.
    We had a long talk about death…”to all things there is a season”…blah, blah, blah. Thinking we’d bury Fonzi and be done with it, I went off to find a “proper box”. But the children said I couldnt do the burying, “Daddy has to do it”. Fine, but daddy was out of town and not due back for several days, so Fonzi went into the freezer and since I couldn’t bare to open the door with the poor dead rabbit inside, we lived on fast food until daddy got home. He was laid to rest in peace beside the swingset. (Fonzi, not daddy)

  8. mimi says:

    I was creeped out that you didn’t put the matchbox in a ziploc bag before putting it in the freezer. Then I thought about, as you put it, featherless chickens, and yea, it’s not THAT crazy.

    Did you carve the stone for Lucky?

  9. bex says:

    oooo… nothing like Stephen King reruns in the the middle of the night … or Alfred Hitchcock for that matter. ;)

  10. Kirsten says:

    We kept my cat in the fridge in a shoebox for a day after she died, so no, I don’t think it’s crazy. It’s good that you got closure for Lucky’s death and managed to make a lovely grave.
    Plus, keeping a dead pet in a matchbox is not nearly as insane/un-foodsafe as what my mother did when I was a child: She put my dead beta in an icing can and put it in the freezer… and when my sister opened it up, looking for sweets, she found my dead fish instead.

  11. Kathy says:

    We had my kids’ three pet rats in our freezer for two years! We finally just buried them last Summer, along with our two cremated dogs and our friend’s dog. The best part was when my in-laws were visiting once and my father-in-law, who gets bored easily, decided to help out by cleaning out our deep freeze. He was not impressed when he came across three frozen rats wrapped in plastic bags and marked “Do Not Eat” – Cutie, Butterscotch and Mr. McFluffball! Priceless

  12. Mandy Y says:

    None of this is surprising to me at all ;) I’ve had to host tearful funerals for 2 goldfish and a siamese fighting fish called Mr Big Fins – my children wouldn’t have it any other way.

  13. Todd says:

    Ok, I was with you until I saw the stone for the deceased chick.

    • Karen says:

      Todd – You’re such a boy. You must have missed the post where a reader made this for me (she has a business) after Lucky died. His death prompted her to start making pet burial markers! I think it’s a great idea. I’ll never forget where lucky is and start digging around in there for one thing. ~ k

      • mothership says:

        OMG YES….. bunny had a wooden cross, that the dog eventually chewed up, then the remodel & all the building supplies piled up over him…. and now… after reading this…. I realize bunny is somewhere under the veggie garden…. hmmmmm haven’t dug him up yet….. hopefully he’s under the tomatoes & not the potatoes!

  14. Rebecca says:

    I don’t think your crazy, in fact id do the same thing. Beautiful, burial. Just be sure the ladies don’t turn that spot into a dust bathing area, you don’t want lucky being resorected. If you know what I mean.

  15. Laura says:

    WHY am I tearing up right now?! I think it’s hormones, tour exhaustion, or my unnatural love for all non-human, living things. Poor chicky. RIP.

  16. Elaine says:

    I have too many to tell ! The best involved a dead cat, he was in a cooler for a week, went every where my daughter went, sat beside her bed, until she finally agreed we should bury it. We decided to inter kitty in the local cemetery (we are in the country and Tom the kitty was being interred over our great, great, great, grandpa … dead for over 70 yrs, OK I figured) . A neighbor (who had to be watching with binoculars) saw us digging the hole and “burying something”, called the police because she assumed we were crazed killers who “had buried a baby” (I’m serious). My dad found out because he is on the cemetery board, and before he could find me to exhume kitty, the police had contacted the state anthropologist to exhume the mystery object (rolling eyes here). So we begged forgiveness from the cemetery board, dug the kitty up and put him in our yard. Why not the yard to start with ? Well the daughter was concerned that we might move someday and she would not be able to visit kitty’s grave. Lesson learned: be more discreet when burying family pets at the local cemetery. You certainly gave Lucky a nice service and a lovely marker ! Closure, it’s all about closure E in TN

    • Karen says:

      THAT is hilarious. Now that it’s over and done with that is. The marker was sent to me by LeeAnne. She makes them! http://takenforgraniteart.webs.com/

    • Oh my! What a story! Next time call me. Have kitty cremated and I can add the ashes to the stone. If you move, take kitty with you.

      Read a funny story somewhat recently – think it was in a local paper or might have been on these interwebs. After a family member died, a man removed the deceased’s pet’s grave markers. The markers were just the names Jody and Wanda, or something like that. No really knowing what to do with them, he put them in his own yard and forgot about them. Years later he moved. Decades(?)later, the “new” house owners discovered what they took to be children’s graves in their back yard and called the police. They eventually traced down the man and mystery was solved.
      Hmm. I think I’ll be making sure my pet markers say so somewhere on them.

      • Claudine says:

        LeeAnne, I think it would be sweet to cast a paw or foot print on the marker. Obviously not the animal’s actual paw print. And it would also help in this type circumstance, should it ever arise again.

  17. Claudine says:

    Alright, this isn’t a dead pet in the freezer story, but I think it may be worse. When my son was a teenager, his pet rat, Emily, died. It was winter in California, and while not frozen, the ground was pretty muddy. Not a perfect condition for pet burial. Several days had passed since she had, and I truly wasn’t giving it much thought, counting on my son to let me know when and if he wanted me to participate in a service, or if he needed help with anything. I came home from work one evening to the most horrific stench. It surrounded our house, and lay like a green haze over the yard. The windows were wide open because, using young male thought processes, he had decided to open them when the house started to smell, not thinking about how the odor actually originated outside, so it had seeped its way into our home. Apparently, as poor old Emily lay in the early stages of decomposition in a paper bag in the back yard, my son’s idea of compassion drew him to the vision of a graceful, if not Viking-esque, cremation. In the Weber. Need I mention that our barbeque found its way to the dumpster the very next day?

  18. Pati says:

    Nothing insane about it ! I’ve had more than one pet in the freezer before I could get around to burying them…wait a minute..does this make meas insane as you ??? I can only dream !! LOL

    • Karen says:

      Pati – As insane as me? Like professionally insane? Good luck with that. Gimme a call when you get up out of a dead sleep to arrange your bookcases. At that point you will be granted amateur status. :) ~ karen

  19. Whitney says:

    I think you are totally insane! But that’s what makes you so fun! ;)

  20. Marti says:

    You are the most purely weird thing in my overnight shift, Karen. Reading your blog is PURELY weird.

    And what? A funeral… without a proper viewing? (Thank you!)

  21. Jessica says:

    I actually totally understand that. We had a few goldfish and every single one of them lived in the freezer until I could bury them in the side yard. Beloved pets don’t belong down the drain or in the trash.

  22. Sparrow says:

    It’s okay. I’ve had a few dead pets in my freezer too. They were just usually wrapped in foil and hidden in the back, so I could have my ice-cream without guilt.

  23. Bev says:

    My old landlady used to have a big aquarium and her own kitchen, but she kept the blood worms to feed her fish in OUR freezer!!! Kept with your own food I have no problem with, asking your neighbour to keep it in their fridge, might have been a bit much :o)

  24. nancy (aka moneycoach) says:

    RIP little Lucky!

  25. Jenn says:

    Closure is important.

    • Karen says:

      Jenn – Huh. I thought for SURE my first comment would be “In the freezer? With the food? You’re insane and I hate you.” ~ k

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