David Tan, a Philippine toy maker is creating 'plushies' for grieving pet owners that are made in the exact same size and likeliness as their late fluffy companion.
When we lose a loved one, we also lose a part of ourselves. Like people, losing a pet is parallelly painful and makes you feel that the ground beneath your feet has been snatched away. The fact that it hurts so much to lose them is a testament to the deep connection we share with our furry pals. Pam Brown once said, "If there is a heaven, it's certain our animals are to be there. Their lives become so interwoven with our own it would take more than an archangel to detangle them."
Even if the loss is unbearable, finding ways to cope healthily and move on while still honoring and remembering them is essential. To help you with it, a Philippine toy maker is creating 'plushies' for grieving pet owners who want to memorialize their pets, reports Reuters.
Philippines toy maker David Tan and his team of 20 employees use photos sent by customers to create lookalikes or “plush animal clones” of deceased pets using synthetic fur that is airbrushed according to the colors and markings of the animals. "It removes that 'ick' factor. This is actually one hundred percent, genuinely a stuffed toy," he explained.
This process, however, is different from taxidermy, which preserves the animal body, said Tan, owner of Pampanga Teddy Bear Factory. They’re touchable, huggable and made in the exact same size as your late fluffy companion. The cost of each plushie starts frin 3,500 pesos (US$ 65), which 38-year-old Jaja Lazarte said is worth paying for the memory of her Shih Tzu. "Although his ashes are here, and his memories are here, it's so much better to see something that really resembles him," Lazarte said.
The business is under Tancorp Manufacturing Inc. and is based in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga. The factory originally produced clothes and apparel, but six months later, Tan discovered that an employee from his team knew about making stuffed toys. It was then that Tan adopted the idea of making plush animal clones. Although the plushies did not look as realistic during the initial days, they mastered the art over the next couple of years.
“We’re lucky to have assembled the correct team with the correct skills,” he told ANCX. The crafting process begins when a customer sends the design information and requirements through their website or Facebook page. From there, he and his team make the pattern by hand based on the photos provided by the customer.
It takes a day to two to finish making one clone, but since the factory produces over 100 clones a month, it takes about three to four weeks for a customer to receive the finished item. They also ship internationally. Tan revealed that they also produce other animal clones like rabbits and are willing to accept almost any animal depending on the customer’s request.
The company has attracted many followers from around the world, and Tan admitted that it gives him a good feeling when he sees a new TikTok video or posts on the Facebook page from a customer. “We get reminded about how special our services are, so that's a really good motivating factor,” he said.
You want to treasure and cherish every moment with your dog, and thanks to Tan, those wishes can come true. A healthier grief journey allows your pets to live on in you, and these memories, both happy and sad, preserve your time together.