A model who called her pet dog her 'fur-child' has revealed how she held a funeral for it after it was hit by a car and even had a stuffed clone made.
Daley South, 30, from Austin, Texas, and her event coordinator husband, Logan, 31, held an hour-long service for Diavol, complete with 25 mourners, eulogies, recitals and a releasing of butterflies at sunset at their home on July 11.
Just eight days earlier, Daley had found their three-year-old wolfdog's bloodied body by the roadside after it been killed after running off when it was spooked by fireworks.
A distraught Daley explained: 'There was no question about having the funeral. You would have one for a child or a friend, so why not for a dog?
'My husband and I decided to have fur-children instead of human children. Diavol really was like my baby. When he was born we even had a 'puppy shower' for it, with games and presents.'
Mourning her 'soulmate,' Daley, whose modelling work encompasses fashion shoots, glamour work and artistic nudes, was delighted when she heard about a company making bespoke stuffed effigies of deceased pets, using owners' photos.
'In the days after he was gone I just needed something to fill the void. I was searching for anything. Then I found Cuddle Clones and it was perfect,' said Daley, who received the doggy doll four weeks later.
Happily investing $300 (£228) in the replica, which has a movable tail and ears and now goes with her everywhere, she was able to store Diavol's ashes in a zipped pouch in its tummy.
She said: 'I do admit, after ordering it, I suddenly worried that I might freak out when I saw it, or that it would be too morbid.'
But Daley's clone, from a firm which also makes dolls, slippers and golf club covers in the image of pets, has given her great comfort.
She continued: 'I haven't slept with it too much yet. Our other dog Devora, three, also a wolfdog is also very interested in it, but I'm worried she might chew it, so haven't let her get too close.'
Daley admits she would be beside herself if the replica was damaged, as it is such a fitting tribute to Diavol.
'I will never forget how helpless we felt, after several hours of searching for him on foot and screaming his name into the night,' she recalled about the night he went missing.
'Feeling utterly powerless, I then got in the car and took to the local roads, finding him covered in blood at the side of the road.'
Daley continued: 'I pretty much blacked out from grief. My husband ran all the way from our house at 3am and found me there in the road, lying unconscious next to Diavol.'
For the next few days, Logan and Daley, who met nine years ago at a nightclub and have a polyamorous relationship involving more than one partner, were distraught.
She continued: 'I had always said to Logan that if anything ever happened to one of the dogs he would have to watch me, to make sure I didn't do anything stupid. I didn't think that day would ever really come though.'
Diavol, who Daley describes as her soulmate, claiming they had a connection 'like no other,' was kept in a freezer to preserve his body, before being taken away by a local animal cremator.
A special urn was bought for the ashes and placed on an altar, alongside a collection of mementoes, including his collar, baby teeth and favourite tennis balls.
The subsequent funeral was, according to Daley, a 'spiritual but not religious' event, with friends, family, babysitters and dog-groomers who knew Diavol well, all coming to pay their respects.
And Logan's girlfriend read a poem called, Tummy Rubs In Heaven, while Daley gave a eulogy.
'I knew Diavol so well,' explained Daley. 'He was no saint, though. People try to make out that the recently departed were perfect, but in reality, Diavol was silly, moody and spoilt – a real doofus, or daft dog.
'That's why I loved him, and now I feel like I've lost a piece of my soul.'
In addition to her canine clone, the animal lover ordered two $150 (£114) rings, with stones made from some of Diavol's ashes.
'I have asked for the stone to be an orangey-brown colour, the same colour as his eyes,' she said. 'He was like a son to me and I want to feel connected to him always.'
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.