From the email inbox: dog flags and do-it-yourself funeralsFebruary 15th, 2012 by Chris Henry
Every day hundreds of emails pour into our general email inbox. Some are clearly sketchy … “dear sir or madame – I offering splendid item, to receive your reward, link to me …” I think not.
We hear of many unusual products and services. Today for example, we got emails touting “dog flags” and do-it-yourself funerals.
Sacred Crossings of Los Angeles (wouldn’t expect them to locate in Omaha) offers to guide families interested in bypassing the funeral home.
“Sacred Crossings educates families in the ancient ritual of after death care — bathing, anointing and dressing the body; creating sacred space in the home for viewing; delivery of a simple pine box or cardboard cremation casket, which can be decorated by family members,” a press release says.
The owner, Olivia Bareham, is an ordained minister and a member of the National Home Funeral Alliance, an organization dedicated to educating people about the “intrinsic value” of in-home funerals. Bareham offers help “completing the legal paperwork and making arrangements with the cemetery or crematory for final disposition. Spiritual ministerial services include near-death prayer/meditation vigils, grief support and funeral celebrant services.”
An interesting concept. If anyone in Kitsap County has done this or considered it, run, don’t walk to your computer and contact me at email@example.com.
The second email of interest, touted the benefits of Dog Flags, colored flags that “slide easily over your pets leash.” Each color has phrase that signifies the temperament of the animal. Red, Ask Before Approaching; Green, Friendly; Yellow; I’m Shy; Blue, In Training; Orange, Special Needs.
“With over 80 million owned dogs as pets in the United States alone, being able to know at a glance which canines you can approach and which ones you should leave alone goes a long way to avoiding unwanted incidents,” a press release for the product says.
“Another advantage to Dog Flags is to help remove the stigma from certain dogs,” the advertisement goes on. “’Passing a pit bull or Rottweiler and seeing a Green ‘Friendly’ flag is going to help make people a lot more comfortable,’, says Kristin Valgardson, owner of Dog Flags LLC.”
This email raises several questions.
Do people really stigmatize dogs based on their breed?
Do these flags cover pretty much all temperaments or is there something missing? At the risk of offending readers, I won’t go into detail, I can think of one behavior — starts with “h” — that should definitely be red-flagged.
And is it really fair to try to describe your beloved pet with a single generic phrase, lumping it in with all other “friendly” or “shy” individuals?
How would you describe your four-legged friend in a short, easy to understand phrase?
Is this a good idea? If so, why did nobody think of it before?