Racheal Harris (Deakin University, Australia)

Skin, Meaning, and Symbolism in Pet Memorials

ISBN: 978-1-78756-422-0, eISBN: 978-1-78756-419-0

Publication date: 27 June 2019


Harris, R. (2019), "Prelims", Skin, Meaning, and Symbolism in Pet Memorials (Emerald Studies in Death and Culture), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xvi.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Racheal Harris

Front Image

Animal Skull Surrounded by Creosote Flowers

Animal Skull Surrounded by Creosote Flowers

Half Title Page


Series Page

Emerald Studies in Death and Culture

Series Editors: Ruth Penfold-Mounce, University of York, UK; Julie Rugg, University of York, UK; Jack Denham, York St John University, UK

Editorial Advisory Board: Jacque Lynn Foltyn, National University, USA; Lisa McCormick, University of Edinburgh, UK; Ben Poore, University of York, UK; Melissa Schrift, East Tennessee State University, USA; Kate Woodthorpe, University of Bath, UK

Emerald Studies in Death and Culture provides an outlet for cross-disciplinary exploration of aspects of mortality. The series creates a new forum for the publication of interdisciplinary research that approaches death from a cultural perspective. Published texts will be at the forefront of new ideas, new subjects, new theoretical applications, and new explorations of less conventional cultural engagements with death and the dead.

Published titles

Brian Parsons, The Evolution of the British Funeral Industry in the 20th Century: From Undertaker to Funeral Director

Ruth Penfold-Mounce, Death, The Dead and Popular Culture

Matthew Spokes, Death, Memorialization and Deviant Spaces

Title Page


Tattoos, Taxidermy, and Trinkets



Deakin University, Australia

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

Copyright Page

Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2019

Copyright © 2019 Racheal Harris. Published under exclusive license.

Reprints and permissions service


No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying issued in the UK by The Copyright Licensing Agency and in the USA by The Copyright Clearance Center. Any opinions expressed in the chapters are those of the authors. Whilst Emerald makes every effort to ensure the quality and accuracy of its content, Emerald makes no representation implied or otherwise, as to the chapters’ suitability and application and disclaims any warranties, express or implied, to their use.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-78756-422-0 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-78756-419-0 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-78756-421-3 (Epub)


For Max, my eternal “good boy,” mourned, missed, and commemorated in ink.

I carry you with me, always …

And for Elwood, who sits beside me in this moment,

always (im)patiently waiting for his dinner …

List of Figures and Tables

Figure 1. Dog to Cat Ratio 146
Table 1. Tattoo Hashtags 142
Table 2. Recurrent Tattoo Themes 146
Table 3. Instagram Influencers 169

List of Images

Front Cover. Animal Skull Surrounded by Creosote Flowers
Image 1. Woman and Dog on Sofa 2
Image 2. Woman and Dog at the Piano 18
Image 3. Partially Concealed Tattoo on Female Thigh 38
Image 4. Woman Nursing a Kitten 66
Image 5. Cremated Remains of Companion Animals 74
Image 6. Taxidermy Mouse Encased in Necklace 81
Image 7. Preserved Animal Fur, Cut in the Shape of a Love Heart 83
Image 8. Taxidermy Panda 86
Image 9. Jackalope 92
Image 10. Bespoke Taxidermy Wolf with Wings 93
Image 11. Wedding Cake Topper Featuring Taxidermy Mice 101
Image 12. Women with Taxidermy Creatures 108
Image 13. Partially Preserved Chihuahua 117
Image 14. Completed Chihuahua Mount 121
Image 15. Preserved Paws (Matching) 129
Image 16. Single Paw with Lace Adornment 130
Image 17. Cat Paw 131
Image 18. Victorian Era Paw Preservation 132
Image 19. Two-headed Rabbit 133
Image 20. Ear Preservation 134
Image 21. Mouse Purse 135
Image 22. Preserved Cat 136
Image 23. Preserved Dog 137
Image 24. Tattoo Machine and Animal Skulls 138
Image 25. Anthropomorphic Cat Stencil 150
Image 26. Completed Dog Tattoo 151
Image 27. Flash Tattoo Design (Love Heart and Paw Print) 154
Image 28. Flash Tattoo Design (Paw Print with Heart Toes) 155
Image 29. Cat Tattoo Design 159
Image 30. Man and Dog Listening to a Transistor Radio 162
Image 31. Elwood Seeing His Tattooed Likeness 179
Image 32. Elwood Responding to Tattoo 180
Image 33. Tattoo and Portrait 181
Image 34. Woman and Dog Looking Out over the Water 184
Image 35. Sleeping Child and Collie-mix Dog 190
Back Cover. Treated Animal Skeleton 209


Research, like writing, can be isolating at times. One is frequently haunted by self-doubt, coupled with the lingering question of whether what seemed like a fabulous idea to begin with will ever come to fruition. Certainly, I jumped into this with little thought as to how I was going to make it work, and with equally little consideration as to the long road that stretched out ahead. I might never have had the courage to endure if not for my ignorance, so perhaps that was for the best. I don’t believe that this project would have come together without the intervention and persistent encouragement of the following people. In various forms, they have been my cheer squad since day one and I thank them, humbly, each and every one…

Dr Ruth Penfold-Mounce (University of York), Philippa Grand (Emerald Publications), and the Death and Culture Network (DaCNet), thank you for allowing me to be part of this fantastic group of researchers and to contribute to the Death & Culture series. Your continued guidance, support, and encouragement have given me the confidence to accept death studies as my true calling. I feel at last, as though I have found my kindred spirits!

Roger Hillman (Australian Catholic University), without your impeccably timed interventions, I might never have come across DaCNet to begin with. Your encouragement has been tireless and your feedback invaluable. No matter how much doubt I may have expressed in my abilities, you always met me with complete optimism, and I thank you for that.

Anne Cummins, Professor Bridget Aitchison (Australian Catholic University), Rohan Price, and my army of patient proofreaders. Thank you for painstakingly reading and re-reading my manuscript and for offering personal and professional support throughout this process. Even when I felt things weren’t looking good, you were able to find something to smile about.

Lauren Kane from Precious Creatures, thank you for permission to include images of your various, and always, stunningly beautiful creations and for being so wonderfully open to engaging in this project.

And finally, a heartfelt thank you to Tom Bromwell for reminding me of the importance of setting small goals, so that the larger ones might not seem so insurmountable. Your belief that this would come together in the end helped me to also believe that it would.