Last night a few of us got together and had a "sukavati" for Janet Chernin's dog Oreo - yesterday it was 49 days since Oreo died - and in the Buddhist tradition this is the time when Oreo will be moving on to whatever form she is going to take next - if you believe in reincarnation. She might be going to another dog, or a bird, or even taking on human form based on how she was in her last life. It's also a way for the people who loved the dead being to release their grasping of the life that's been taken away and they can never get back.
There's a little ceremony that's done and then at the end a photo of the deceased is burned - to signify that the loved one is truly gone and disappeared into the "ether". The ceremony was performed by a really good friend of Janet's who also happens to be someone really well known in the local Buddhist community - Colleen Logan. It was a really neat thing to go to - and Oreo was a really lucky dog to have it done for her, that's for sure.
Besides the shrine that had Oreo's photo that was going to be burned - there was an area that had another photo - along with a photo of Janet's other dog who died - Ceilidh, with candles to make everything look nice - and both of their ashes.
Oreo's sister Sassy decided to spend the ceremony laying behind me for some reason - I guess she feels like she's enlightened enough already!
Pickle on the other hand spent the ceremony curled up right next to a painting that Janet had commissioned of a bull terrier that's called "ghost dog" that was right next to the shrine - so she could be right in the middle of everything.
Even one of the most soon to be esteemed CEO's of the Clicker Leash Company showed up!