When Laura and Drew Werb of Fountain Hills lost their beloved golden retriever, they were devastated.
"We kept thinking how we wished there was some way to remember her," Laura Werb said. "We had her paw print in the cement out back, but it wasn’t something we could keep in house and see every day."
So the Werbs went to work on coming up with something they could keep in the house. What the lifelong dog lovers came up with led to the development of Paws of Endearment, a handcrafted threedimensional paw casting that is displayed on a plaque with the pet’s photo and name engraved. The Werbs recently unveiled their invention at the American Association of Pet Product Manufacturers Association trade show in Atlanta, where it was named the best new gift item for pets.
"I got one for my 17-monthold Dachshund because I am totally obsessed with her," said Deborah Logan of Phoenix. "I wanted to be able to remember her when she was even smaller than she is now."
Logan said one of the things that attracted her to the product was that it was so easy to use. All you have to do is press your pet’s paw into a molding compound that comes with the kit, let it dry overnight, and mail it back to the company in the box that becomes a return mailer. The paw print is then cast and mounted along with the pet’s photo on a plaque that comes in three choices of wood.
"We really wanted to create something that was endearing and appealed to people like us who love animals," said Werb, whose Paws of Endearment is available in 12 states. "For most people, pets really become part of the family, so it’s only natural that we want to remember them with something like this."
To buy the kit
Here are some of the stores in the East Valley where pet lovers can buy Paws of Endearment, which has a suggested retail price of $29.95:
• Horizon Animal Hospital, 14700 N. Frank Lloyd Blvd., No. 153, Scottsdale, (480) 614-9500
• Palisades Veterinary Hospital, 16813 E. Palisades Blvd., Fountain Hills, (480) 837-5471
• Quartz Mountain Animal Hospital, 8875 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale, (480) 860-1143
• All Creatures Pet Supply, 16810 E. Avenue of the Fountains, Fountain Hills, (480) 837-8180