TulsaPets Magazine January 2024

January / February 2024 • TulsaPets 15 process by introducing organic materials (leaf compost and cottonseed hulls) into the various beds and grounds and let na- ture do the rest.  Our efforts were validated when we saw the worm population dra- matically increase and even saw our first lizards.” He adds, “The result has been better moisture control (requiring less watering), and the plants have all the nutrients they need. No fertilizer is added. There is much shade in the memorial garden, so we are using a unique fescue seed blend.  It is unique because it actually has rhizomes, unlike regular fescue, and will be able to replenish itself each year without the need for reseeding.” Lastinger continues, ”We are also thin- ning and transplanting our existing plants, which allow for better growth exposure, reducing the chance of plant diseases.  We do not use chemical weed-control products in the memorial garden.  It also means that we don’t have to buy as many additional plants.  We’re growing our own — includ- ing trees.” As We Remember and Reflect While renovating an area of the memorial garden, two members of the garden team, Dennis Neill and John Southard, had the idea of establishing a memorial area for pets because of their great love for ani- mals. The two of them made it possible for All Souls to designate a special place and way to remember and reflect on animal companions. There is no restriction on what type of animals can be honored, says Garrett Powders, All Souls communica- tions manager. Neill adds, “We want people to be able to honor all their pets, whether it’s a bird, a fish, or a lizard.” People can submit a written remem- brance and/or photo of their pets for a memorial book or spread ashes in the memorial area or both. “It is the family’s choice,” says Neill. The animal memorial book contains artwork by Petr Rudnev and calligraphy by Cynthia Vanderpool. Neill, Southard, Vanderpool, and Iris LeBeck are among those who have contributed written trib- utes so far. Hinkle says, “I plan to include in the book the two Golden Retrievers who were service dogs at Saint Simeon’s Senior Community, where I worked for over 20 years. Although they were not my dogs, I was their caregiver (they lived with me), and they were at Saint Simeon’s every day. Simone I was on the cover of the first issue of Tulsa Pets. Ten years, later, Simone II continued the tradition of being one of the cover girls.” The All Souls Pet Memorial includes statues of a dog and cat flanking a native sandstone with a plaque inscribed, “Always in Our Hearts.” Lavanhar said at the dedication of the pet memorial, “We recognize it’s not just our human friends that are so important to us, but our animal friends too.” And what better place to recognize that importance than a peaceful pet memorial in a beautiful walled garden? Even the whizzing of traffic on a nearby busy street does not disturb the tranquility. And the garden will surely be a source of solace for those who bring the ashes of their beloved pets there. An animal memorial book is one of the ways to honor pets at All Souls Unitarian Church. People can place remembrances and photos of their pets in the memorial book at All Souls Unitarian Church. Members of All Souls Unitarian Church and their families can be memorialized in the church’s garden.