/ Recommended Reading
Go to Pet Loss Links
Go to Pet Loss Journals
The books listed below are available online
or they can be ordered at most local book stores. Consider,
too, that there are many pet loss books available now and I highlight only a small sample.
1. Anderson Allen, Moira, M.Ed. Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet. Printed in the US by Dog Ear Press, 2007. 20th Anniversary Edition.
Coping with Sorrow is a warm, supportive
book filled with information and guidance. Allen treats the subject of companion animal death with sincere and sympathetic
feelings. The book is a guide that helps us understand we are not alone in our grief. It addresses many aspects of pet loss
and grief, including how to help a grieving friend. The author walks the griever through the stages of bereavement, offering
explanations and coping strategies at every step. She tackles tough questions such as: Was euthanasia the right choice? Should
I get another pet? And, do pets go to heaven? Anderson's book fills the need for a comprehensive, yet easily read, publication
on pet loss and grief. The message is one of love, common sense and practical information. This 20th anniversary edition is
written in a clear, friendly style with compassion and understanding.
2. Chiffolo, Anthony and Rayner W. Hesse, Jr. We Thank You, God, for These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets. New York: The Paulist Press, 2003.
Description: Prayer services for beloved pets
Thank You, God, for These is a one-of-a-kind book for pet lovers that is at once a scriptural guide, liturgical resource,
and reflection on the joys of living with animals as pets. Both devotional and inspirational, this book provides a whole range
of observances: a welcome for new pets, blessing of appreciation for our pets, words of prayer for our sick pets, services
to bury our pets, words of condolence to ease our grief, and more. The book includes prayers and blessings for use by adults
and children. I especially liked that the writing encompasses a wide variety of animals such horses, ferrets, hamsters,
rabbits, birds, etc., and of course cats and dogs.
3. Kowalski, Gary. Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet. Walpole, New Hampshire: Stillpoint Publishing, 1997. (Used books available)
from Independent Publisher:
After Gary Kowalski,
author and the minister of Burlington Vermont's Unitarian Universalist church, completed his new book, Goodbye, Friend,
on dealing with losing your pet, his own elderly dog, Chinook, died. In his first book, The Souls of Animals, Kowalski
wrote: "My own wise friend is my dog. He has deep knowledge to impart." Apparently, Chinook did his good work up
until the end. Kowalski's new book is full of sound, compassionate advice to get you through the loss of your pet(s). Included
are ideas for rituals and ceremonies, spiritual guidance and readings and poems to use for solace. The author's voice is a
soothing one, not surprising for a minister whose job it is to be wise and reflective.
The book also addresses animals' grieving; their life spans; their growth, illnesses and
needs. These are similar to ours: need to eat, to exercise, to sleep, to have fun, to enjoy companionship and to expect routine.
The author includes advice on how to take care of yourself after the death of a pet and the importance of honesty when talking
with children about this event.
book is not only useful for healing when a good friend dies, but also reasserts his primary message: that animals are important,
that "pets are not petty," that they deserve our respect and our kind care. As the author writes, "Animals
enrich our lives in countless ways, with their playfulness, their tranquility, their constancy, and their love..." Filled
with beautiful poetry and prose. This book will help readers mourn and remember well.
4. Montgomery, Mary and Herb. Good-bye, My Friend: Grieving the Loss
of a Pet. Minneapolis, MN: Montgomery Press, 1991, 8th Printing 1997. Available at DogWise.com
book comforts those who are grieving the death of a pet by acknowledging the need, as well as the right, to grieve the loss
of a beloved companion. The authors explain (in 32 well-written pages) the grieving process and suggest outlets for grief.
From the product description: Like a comforting hug from someone who understands, Good-bye My Friend includes the
stages of grief, grieving in your own way, the angry feelings, outlets for grief, how long will the grieving last, will I
see my pet again, helping children deal with pet loss, and more. It has an inscription page and makes a thoughtful gift. At
only $4.95, it is a good value.
Montgomery, Mary and Herb. A Final Act of Caring: Ending the Life of an Animal Friend. Minneapolis, MN: Montgomery
Press, 1993, 4th Printing 1998. Also from DogWise.com
From the back cover: "Pets enrich our lives beyond
measure. They give us the comfort of their companionship. They accept us without criticism or judgment. And they provide the
one thing that few people are able to give: unconditional love. No wonder, then, that the decision to end the life of an animal
friend is so difficult. No wonder we put it off as long as possible. As you face the painful decision about euthanasia, be
assured that the trust your pet has in you is well-placed. The compassion that compels you to end the life of your friend
is a final act of caring - a final act of love. This little book is designed to help and comfort you as you make this final
decision." Another $4.95 treasure. Makes a loving gift.
6. Sife, Wallace. Ph.D. The Loss of a Pet: A Guide to Coping with the Grieving Process When a Pet Dies. Howell Book House, Edition 3, 2005.
From Publishers Weekly and Product
you snicker at the notion of a book devoted to pet bereavement, consider that that very lack of sympathy may have brought
the book into being. Author Wallace Sife, a Brooklyn, New York based psychotherapist and the founder of the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, addresses the pet owner whose grief at a pet's death is largely misunderstood or even ridiculed by friends, associates and
society in general. Although his topic easily lends itself to touchy-feely
disquisitions, Sife is to be commended for offering information that is not only compassionate but concise, wide-ranging and,
above all, practical.
Understanding helps heal the hurt when you lose a pet. A cherished pet gives you boundless, unconditional love and
occupies a special place in your routine, your home, and your heart. When your pet dies, that warm, special place becomes
a sad, empty space. This book helps you understand:
* The grieving process, including typical stages of grief and techniques for coping
* Grieving for a missing
pet, one you had to give up because of a change in life situation, and other difficult circumstances
* Children and the death of a pet
* Euthanasia, including important considerations
* Religion and the death of a pet, with articles by various religious leaders
* Aftercare facilities, including an extensive index
of pet cemeteries, crematories, and memorial gardens
The Loss of a Pet, Third Edition, has new expanded information,
is filled with practical suggestions, resources, and most importantly, compassion and understanding. This important book helps
you cope and reassures you that you are not alone. A superb
contribution to a growing field.
7. Wolfelt, Alan.
When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing.
Companion Press, 2004.
From the Publisher:
Affirming a pet owner's
struggle with grief when his or her pet dies, this book helps mourners understand why their feelings are so strong and helps
them overcome the loss. Included are practical suggestions for mourning and ideas for remembering and memorializing one's
pet. Among the issues covered are understanding the many emotions experienced after the death of a pet; understanding why
grief for pets is unique; pet funerals and burial or cremation; celebrating and remembering the life of one's pet; coping
with feelings about euthanasia; helping children understand the death of their pet; and things to keep in mind before getting
Pet Loss Journals: (5-Star Reader Reviews at Amazon)
Luckenbach, Patty. The Kingdom of Heart: A Pet Loss Journal. Spiritual Living Press, 2005. $11.00
O,Brien, Timothy J. You Will Always Be a Part of Me...A Guide and Journal for Grieving the Loss of Your Pet. ISMPI, Inc. 2011 Includes CD and journal. $20.00
Traisman, Enid. My Pet Remembrance Journal. 2nd Edition. Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital, 2010. $9.95
Writing can help you express the emotions of grief
and memorialize your beloved pet. To learn more, visit Focused Expressive Writing and click Pet Loss. Journals also make thoughtful gifts for a friend who is grieving the death of a cherished