Pets: Behind the Scenes


If you have pets then I’m sure your camera roll is filled with them romping, snuggling and just being generally cute. In fact, team member Alison’s blog post highlights how goofy our pets can sometimes be. Be sure to check out her post on the blog. Then Kathy highlights a lifetime of pet stories that are now behind her. Kathy recalled many moments of pet life both captured in photos as well as background info.

Speaking of background… have you stopped to really think about all the input that these wily critters need from us? Leashes, litter, food, toys, bedding. The list goes on and on. So my question for you is have you ever stopped to document this part of pet ownership? Today I’d like to encourage you to do just that. Go behind the scenes of pet ownership!

In our house we currently have 1 cat, 1 guinea pig, 10 shrimp, 1 large snail and several small snails, and 13 chickens. Okay, okay. The chickens are not in our house, but you get the idea. With plenty of critters we have plenty of upkeep. 

I’m not going to take up your time going through all the upkeep for all the critters, so let’s just focus on the cat shall we? Many of us have cats, so it is a relatable topic! In this layout I talk about how I have to bribe my cat with treats, what his favorite treats are, the pet brushing that requires the treats and of course all the little messes our pets leave for us. I go into the full process of creating this page in my YouTube video below.

While I covered just three pieces of the behind-the-scenes story for my cat, there are more ways to dive into background stories.

  1. Talk about daily routines.
  2. Cover special equipment.
  3. Document the costs of owning a pet in this day and age. How about those vet bills??
  4. Don’t forget to tell about pet quirks that you can’t always see in a photo.
  5. Discuss the reasons for getting your pet.
  6. What happens at the end of a pets life?

Um. No. 6? Did I really just go there? Yep, I did. Part of owning a pet is that they don’t usually live as long as we do and we’ll have to say goodbye to one or more pets in our lifetime. Let’s not avoid the topic. Lets cover it. 

Have you ever had a pet pass? Have you scrapped about it? We had to have one of our cats put to sleep a couple of months ago and it was a very hard process. But I let my scrapping lead me through some of the tough feelings in these next two layouts. (Art truly can be a healing way to cope with loss.)

Here I left lots of journaling room and I’m just making a list of all the cat’s personality traits that I can think of. I’ve left extra space to fill in more thoughts as they come to me. The rest of the family can add in their thoughts too. I know I can’t remember everything the instant I sit down to journal, so leaving extra room is helpful!

This layout is exactly one of those behind the scenes stories that just can’t be caught in a simple picture. I documented all (okay, many) of the little sayings I would use as I talked to my cat. I let those words shine as both journaling and embellishment. (And to toot my own horn here for a minute, this layout was featured on the Scrapbook and Cards Today blog as an example of clever story telling! Exciting.)

So we’ve gone behind the scenes and we’ve covered just a couple of techniques for storytelling. Be sure to capture all the parts of the story for these beloved family members.

That reminds me, last month on the blog we were talking all about family and I shared the term fr•amily, which is the idea that family includes more than just our blood relatives. Our friends can be our family too, thus fr•amily. For most of us our pets are part of our family too, right?? So perhaps we need a new word for that as well…


Yeah, it just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Don’t worry, I’ll keep trying 😉

In the meantime, think about how our stories are much broader and deeper than just a sweet photo. Take some time to record the behind the scenes in life. And if you post on Instagram, be sure to tag us @scraphappy and #scraphappyfamily so we can check out your work!

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