Additional SupportPet Loss Resources
Breaking the Power of Guilt
If any emotion rules supreme when a pet dies, it is guilt. No matter what the
circumstances of our loss, guilt is there, grabbing us by the throat. It haunts our days, ruins our sleep, and tarnishes our memories. Often, guilt goes beyond the loss itself; we may start to feel guilty for just about everything.
Download this article now to learn how you can break free from the feelings of guilt you may be experiencing.
The death of a beloved pet can be as painful as any other loss you may experience. Our pets serve many roles in our lives. They are our friends, companions, teachers, children & soul mates. It’s important to honor our grief and remember that LOVE is LOVE. It doesn’t matter whether the ones we love and have lost have 2 legs or 4.
Download our coping strategies guide to learn important strategies for coping with the loss of a beloved pet.
We have found the resources listed below to be extremely helpful during this difficult time. All of these books can be ordered online, and most can be found or ordered through your local bookstore or online.
When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing
By Alan D Wolfelt PhD
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 another pet.
How to ROAR: Pet Loss Grief Recovery
By Robin Jean Brown
Robin Jean Brown understands firsthand the deep bond that can develop between person and animal. She’s not some cold psychologist, but rather a pet owner herself who dealt with her own painful journey through the grieving process. She found that there wasn’t a lot of help for her. Other books are either too cold and clinical...or they’re too sad, and just make you cry harder. And none of them had workbook-style questions to guide her through her journey. So Robin wrote the guide herself – to deal with your grief, effectively and step by step. She is personal, empathetic, and comforting – yet at the same time she’ll help you move through your grief.
Bill at Rainbow Bridge
By Dan Carrison
The owners of departed pets want to know: that their pets are happy, that their own grief is normal, that they will be reunited with their pets one day, and that it's OK to love again. Bill at Rainbow Bridge-- written for all who have ever been blessed by the unconditional love of a pet-- fulfills these wishes.
Sacred Gifts Of A Short Life: Uncovering The Wisdom Of Our Pets End Of Life Journeys
By Elizabeth Ann Fernandez
"Sacred Gifts of a Short Life", a 152 page publication, chronicles the end of life journeys of several of Dr. Liz's patients in a way that allows us all to see death from the perspective of both profound sadness, and precious sacredness.
Sacred Gifts of a Short Life takes us on an exploration of some of the difficult questions surrounding the end of life journeys of our furry loved ones. Honest, pragmatic, compassionate, empowering and refreshing, it answers questions such as: Is it time? Is surgery the best option? How do I know if my loved one is suffering? Am I selfish? Does my loved one have any quality of life? What right do I have to take a life?
Through real life examples, readers are inspired and guided to trust the "inner knowing", and are invited to look beyond the ideas of right and wrong, recognizing that each decision must be based on the exact circumstances in the moment.
The Invisible String
By Patrice Karst
With over a million copies sold, this accessible, bestselling picture book phenomenon about the unbreakable connections between loved ones has healed a generation of readers--children and adults alike--and has been updated with new illustrations and an afterword from the author. Also available: Spanish edition (El hilo invisible) and a companion workbook (The Invisible String Workbook).
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney
By Judith Viorst
My cat Barney died this Friday. I was very sad. My mother said we could have a funeral for him, and I should think of ten good things about Barney so I could tell them...
But the small boy who loved Barney can only think of nine. Later, while talking with his father, he discovers the tenth -- and begins to understand.
Paw Prints in the Stars: A Farewell and Journal for a Beloved Pet
By Warren Hanson
Paw Prints in the Stars was created to help one deal with the loss of a beloved pet. The book is written in the voice of the pet that has passed and brings peace and comfort while celebrating life and the lessons learned. There is a place for treasured photos and journal pages for favorite memories as well as a special ribbon to hold collar tags.
When a Pet Dies
By Fred Rogers
In this useful book from the First Experience series, the affable star of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood helps children share feelings of the loss of a pet while offering reassurance that grieving is a natural, healing thing to do.
"A sensitive and sensible first book about death." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Filled with warmth and reassurance,...When a Pet Dies assures youngsters that no matter how badly they feel when they lose a pet, in time their hurt will ease, and they will be able to remember with fondness the happiness they shared." —Booklist
Rusty -n- Nikki, Doggie Lesson in Life and Love
By Janus Moncur
The story starts with the birth of Rusty, the runt of his litter, forced by his mother to leave home when she is afraid their master is going to hurt Rusty because he doesnt look like his purebred siblings. Traveling with a wise cat for a companion, Rusty makes his way out of the country and is eventually picked up by members of a shelter. At the shelter he meets his new best friendNikki, an older dog with a warm heart. The two dogs become inseparable. A young woman named Jenny eventually adopts them, and the three live happily until Jennys ex-boyfriend forces the dogs to come to her rescue. This is a great story of the love, friendship, and loyalty pets bring into our lives.
A Snowflake in My Hand
By Samantha Mooney
A miracle of a book--a joyous celebration of the unspoken but deeply felt bond between animals and people and, in Roger Caras's words, "a celebration of life in the face of death".
Each day holds the promise of a few new faces, a hundred possibilities, and perhaps one miracle.
In a book that reflects her years of work at New York City’s famous Animal Medical Center, Samantha Mooney creates a miracle of her own—the unforgettable story of dedicated professionals who, faced with sometimes incurable illness among the animals they care for, nevertheless find companionships and laughter in that caring. But above all, this is a story of cats: Clancy, a tiger-suited Irish rogue who refuses to be caged; gentle Oliver Cromwell, who summers in Maine and makes friends with his own personal sea gull; and one tiny black cat, Fledermaus, who breaks through Samantha’s own wall of frozen grief after her father’s death and shows her the rewards, and the risks, of loving again.
Books on the Afterlife
Animals and the Afterlife: True Stories of Our Best Friends' Journey Beyond Death
By Kim Sheridan
Kim Sheridan grew up with animals as her constant companions. Each time she faced the death of a beloved pet, along with the pain came the same questions, to which she could find no answers. Then, mysterious things began to happen that she couldn’ explain, which led her on an incredible journey to uncover the truth. Along with her own extraordinary experiences, she compiled heartwarming and meaningful true stories of everyday people around the world, and discovered compelling evidence that forever erased her own doubts about an afterlife for animals. This book provides enormous comfort and reassurance to anyone who has ever cherished a pet, and food for thought for anyone who has ever questioned the place of these beloved creatures in the larger scheme of things, both here on Earth and beyond.
Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe
By Laura Lynne Jackson
In Signs, Jackson is able to bring the mystical into the everyday. She relates stories of people who have experienced uncanny revelations and instances of unexplained synchronicity, as well as others drawn from her own experience. There’s the lost child who appears to his mother as a deer that approaches her unhesitatingly at a highway rest stop; the name written on a dollar bill that lets a terrified wife know that her husband will be okay; the Elvis Presley song that arrives at the exact moment of Jackson’s own father’s passing; and many others. This is a book that is inspiring and practical, deeply comforting and wonderfully motivational, in asking us to see beyond ourselves to a more magnificent universal design.
We Are Their Heaven: Why the Dead Never Leave Us
By Allison DuBois
From renowned medium and bestselling author Allison DuBois, a inspirational, thought-provoking, and comforting book that examines the questions: what happens to our loved ones when they die? Is there a heaven? Is there a true connection and communication between the living and the dead?
Allison DuBois invites us into her world where she delivers messages from our lost loved ones. She convinces us that those who have passed away are constantly with us, providing comfort, love, and support. They are as eager to reach us as we are to stay connected with them.