Honey, the miniature long haired dachshund was by my side for nearly 14 years. When sadly we were forced to say goodbye, the veterinarian asked a simple question, “Would you like her ashes, or a clipping of her fur?” Neither myself or my husband really knew the answer.

The thought of our beloved friend spending the rest of our lives sitting in an uninspiring wooden box didn’t feel fitting. We declined the veterinarian’s offers and left with only her blanket to remember her by.

A few days passed before I plucked up the courage to retrieve the blanket from my car. As I carefully lifted it out, a small clump of Honey’s fur fell from the folds – presumably from where the veterinarian had to clip her fur to place the needle. I didn’t know what to do with it and I certainly didn’t want to put it in the bin – it was all I had left of her now.

I wrapped up her fur in a plastic bag and sealed it with tape. Placing it into a decorative cup on the sideboard, I knew it would be safe from being accidentally thrown away but would it be forgotten and lost?

It was drawing closer to the first anniversary of her passing and I hadn’t forgotten the clipping, how could I? As I scrolled through my Facebook feed, I stopped at a post in a dachshund owners group. It was an urn that a loving daughter had made in wood for her mother’s dachshund. She had carved a wooden dachshund who stood proudly on top.

‘Wouldn’t it be great if you could make a memorial shaped like your friend and place the ashes inside that?’ I thought to myself. It hit me – I had the means and most of the knowledge to do that. My husband had recently bought a 3D printer and I was learning the basics of 3D modelling.

I set to work. Using photographs of my beloved dog, and the memories I still held dear of her, I worked through the evenings until I created a 3D model I felt did her rightful justice. It took weeks of unsuccessful prints, tweaks, and reworks until in my hands I held a replica of my sweet Honey girl. What’s more, pausing the print allowed me to place the keepsake of Honey’s fur sealed safely inside.

I have made it my mission to help others remember their loved ones with dignity and pride. From photographs I sculpt a unique 3D model, capturing the likeness and features that made our friends and family members so special to us. Using the 3D printer, I create the physical piece, pausing it to place a treasured keepsake inside to be safely sealed upon completion of the print – treating every one as if I was still working on that first one for my sweet Honey.

Thank you for reading the story of my dear Honey and how she touched our hearts. Her memorial has pride of place on my desk so I can see and remember her every time I help another to remember.