Laura MacDonald keeps memories of her dog Koda close to her heart.

She wears Koda's dog tags around her neck.

"It's just a way for me to remember her," says Laura.

Like many pet lovers, Laura didn't consider Koda just a pet.

She was a member of the family.

"She was my best friend for almost 16 years," says Laura. "She was patient and loyal and sensitive."

When finally Laura had to put Koda down, it was heartbreaking.

"She went everywhere with me. We did everything together. I really miss her. It has been very different without her, for sure."

The thought of Koda being gone forever devastated Laura.

Then she heard of something called Rooted.

The Bellevue-based company does an eight-week compost of your pet, turning the remains into a rich, organic soil. It's completely legal and actually more environmentally friendly than burying an animal in the backyard.

"Backyard options are susceptible to animal scavenging and the spread of disease. Our system is impervious to such threats, it sustains temperatures exceeding EPA guidelines, and it stabilizes the consequent compost," says Rooted co-founder Paul Tschetter.

The service costs anywhere from $100 to $700 depending on the size of your pet, about 25-percent more than standard cremation, according to Tschetter.

Laura plans to use Koda to plant a tree.

"I can plant a beautiful tree that I can have forever and watch it grow and feed the birds from it," says Laura. "I think that will give me comfort. It's the circle of life, moving on and growing."