Beware of the freeze-dried dog!

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The Independent US

When the postman calls and sees Fido curled up on the floor of the front room beneath an open window, he will have no reason to fret. The dog - let's imagine it is a Dobermann, big teeth and glaring eyes - is not about to make a dive for his ankles. Fido won't even snarl. Because Fido is frozen.

When the postman calls and sees Fido curled up on the floor of the front room beneath an open window, he will have no reason to fret. The dog - let's imagine it is a Dobermann, big teeth and glaring eyes - is not about to make a dive for his ankles. Fido won't even snarl. Because Fido is frozen.

Pet owners in America who lose their furry friends to old age, illness or collisions on the street have options other than having them buried or cremated. The taxidermy industry is offering a new service that means pets can be around their owners beyond death.

You could always have Fido or Squeak preserved the old- fashioned way - stuffed and mounted. But stuffing is a laborious business, involving skinning, sewing and fattening. This new process of freeze-drying is altogether simpler.

Growing numbers of taxidermy businesses are buying the equipment necessary to offer freeze-drying to pet owners. A poodle will cost about $600 to have freeze-dried as against $2,000 for regular stuffing.

Moreover, owners can have their favourite mutt preserved in any almost any position they choose - curled up on the floor, begging for food, even snarling fiercely to ward off burglars.

The practice may not be to everyone's taste. And the question has to be asked - if you are going to freeze dry the cat, what about grandma? Even so, it was recently endorsed by the Pet Lovers Association.

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