I have a 13 year old Australian Shepherd, and it's starting to feel like his life is drawing to a close. He's been a beloved family pet and friend since he was 2 months old, and this is already extremely difficult. Hopefully it's further off than I am anticipating.
I'd like suggestions/advice regarding what to do with his remains. The options I have identified (and my response to each) are below.
1) Bury in backyard. This is legal in my county. This is honestly my preference, as it would feel right to have him nearby and in the place he loved. A few smaller pets are buried there too. However, it is quite likely that we will move in the next 3-5 years, and we worry about him being disturbed in the future. This may sound terrible--but how long would you anticipate it taking a dog body to decompose?
2) Bury him in a cemtery. There are two pet cemeteries within an hour of our home. I have visited both. One is in a run-down area of a run-down town and just feels neglected and not right. One is in a nicer cemetery and I like (not love) the location. However, burying him there would cost $2000+ which, although do-able, would be a financial burden.
3) Cremate him. For many reasons, my religion is opposed to cremation (for people) except for in areas where it is the only legal option. Probably due to this, I am really not liking the idea of cremation. This is what most people in my area/religion seem to do with deceased pets though. I don't like the idea of his body being burned. This is the option I'm least comfortable with, but it is what other family members lean towards. If we went this route, we would probably scatter the ashes rather than keeping them. I don't have a hard time parting with the ashes, it's the process of acquiring the ashes that I dislike.
What would you do? Any advice? I haven't been through this with a dog before.