If you’ve ever lost a pet, you know the heartbreak it can cause. Some people are more attached to their pets than others, and when those peoples’ pets pass on they tend to find less-conventional ways to deal with it.
Enter Anthony Eddy, taxidermist and owner of Eddy’s Wildlife Studios in Slater, Missouri. Eddy specializes in pet taxidermy, as opposed to the stuffing of hunting trophies and the like.
While he’s certainly not the only pet taxidermist around, it’s Eddy’s methods that set him apart. Eddy uses freeze-drying as part of his process, a fact that upsets some but is crucial to this way of pet preservation. His talent for the trade precedes him–according to the Daily Mail, his waiting list is two months long.
It can take up to a year for a pet to be properly preserved, but that doesn’t stop three or four animals from showing up at his workshop every week. Eddy says that all kinds of animals find their way in, not just the furry ones, and that he’s not taken by surprise anymore when he receives strange requests.
If you’re in the market for a freeze-dried loved one, the full treatment will cost $850 for animals under 10 pounds and $40 for each additional pound. Eddy, a former hog farmer, high school chemistry and biology teacher and Air Force veteran, likens his work to that of a mortician. He’s very clinical, professional and precise in the way he does his work, and the lack of flaws in his finished products has likely been part of the cause of his good reputation.
There are several positions available for these pets–the wistful gaze upward and the curled-up asleep look are two popular choices. Like any craftsman, Eddy prizes the artistry inherent to the work, no matter how morbid.