Teenager, 18, pays heartfelt tribute to her dead dog Mika by getting its ashes inked in her skin for a tattoo ‘so they can be together forever’
A teenager has defended her decision to have her dead dog’s ashes inked in to her skin as a tattoo so that the pair can ‘be together forever’.
Bethany Cruickshank, 18, from Andover, Hampshire, said she was crippled by a ‘deep sadness’ after her beloved 11-year-old husky, Mika, passed away from old age in June last year.
The 18-year-old said she wanted to honour the life of her best friend in a unique way – so she decided to get a commemorative tattoo of Mika’s pawprint inked on her skin.
But Bethany’s devotion to her dog was propelled to the next level after getting Mika’s ashes inked into her skin as part of the tattoo – which she said was a way for them to ‘be together forever’
After getting inked on Tuesday, the customer service assistant said she received an onslaught of negative comments after posting a photograph of her new £50 tattoo online.
But Bethany insists it was the perfect way for her to honour Mika and added that she would not hesitate to get similar tattoos done with the ashes of other pets after they die.
‘I was incredibly sad after she passed away. I knew I wanted to do something special to commemorate her life.
‘My family and friends were a bit shocked but were all very supportive of the idea. Now some of my friends have said they are going to do it as well.
‘I’ve copped some backlash from the online community. Some people were being so rude and saying that it was disgusting and immoral.
‘Then others were telling me its’s unsanitary and not safe. But the ashes are literally burnt to a crisp and there are no germs in there.
‘People need to do their research before being so quick to pass judgement.’
While the process of getting a loved one’s ashes tattooed into the skin after cremation is still a relatively unknown and unique practice, Bethany said there are many tattoo artists around the world offering it as a service.
‘She was cremated, and I looked into the possibility of getting her ashes made into jewellery, but it was very expensive.
‘Then I read about getting ashes inked in the skin for a tattoo and I knew straight away it was something I’d love to do but I had to wait until I was 18.
‘After Mika died, the vet did an impression of her paw print for us to keep. I’m really happy I had that as it meant I could have an exact replica tattooed on me.
Known in the industry as ‘memorial tattoos’, these unique creations are achieved by mixing a small amount of ashes with regular tattoo ink to produce an ash-infused ink solution, which is injected into the skin.
Bethany said: ‘When Mika was alive, she would be with me all the time and I wanted it to be the same after she had passed. Now she will be with me for the rest of my life.
‘Doing this is so much more meaningful to me than just having her ashes sitting in an urn on the mantle.
‘At the end of the day it’s nobody else’s business. It’s my body and my choice.’