Pet Loss Support
"Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really."
Saying goodbye hurts. Our pets are our family, our best friends, our confidants. Their love for us is like none other, and when they get sick and when they grow old, our hearts break. Grief and mourning are a part of saying goodbye, and sometimes feelings of guilt and anger arise too. Where there was once your loving and loyal pet, there is now a void, and it hurts. We cannot take your pain away, but here are some resources which may help you.
Grief Support Counseling:
Monty Raab was a beautiful, award winning Golden Retriever who was also an exceptional therapy dog, Throughout his life, Monty visited hospitals and nursing homes throughout Southeastern NC sharing his grace and his love so widely that Monty's Home was born. In honor of his legacy, Monty's Home provides Rainbow Bridge Journey Services. Elaine DeLise, MS in Psychology, and board member of Monty's Home, offers complimentary sessions in Emotion Freedom Techniques and more. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her at 910-470-0379.
Memorialize your pet: For many, a memorial to their pet helps the healing to begin. For instance:
- Donate to an animal rescue charity in honor of your pet
- Build a simple memorial in your backyard
- Frame a special photo of your pet
- Make keepsakes from a lock of fur, a paw print, or a pet’s collar
- Volunteer at an animal shelter in your pet’s honor
- Consider becoming a pet foster parent
- Plant a tree in your pet's honor
- The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement offers chat rooms staffed by trained professionals who volunteer their time, in honor of their pets, to assist anyone who is mourning their pet: www.aplb.org.
- The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers a section on pet loss: www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-loss/pet-loss.
- Marty Tousley is a human hospice bereavement counselor who offers support for those suffering from the loss of their pet as well: http://www.griefhealing.com.
- The Rainbow Bridge site provides a pet loss forum: http://www.rainbowbridge.com.
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: 877-474-3310
- Iams Pet Loss Support Center: 888-332-7738
- Paw Prints in the Stars: A Farewell and Journal for a Beloved Pet by Warren Hanson
- When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing by Alan D Wolfelt, PhD CT
- The Loss of a Pet: A Guide to Coping with the Grieving Process When a Pet Dies by Wallace Sife
- Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet by Gary Kowalski
- The Pet Loss Companion: Healing Advice from Family Therapists Who Lead Pet Loss Groups by Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio and Nancy Saxton-Lopez (2013)
Books for Children:
- Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant (1995)
- The Kids Book About Pet Loss: Grieving and Healing After Losing Your Pet by Vicky Taylor (2013)
- I'll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm (1988)
- When a Pet Dies by Fred Rogers (1998)
- Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant (1997)
- Forever Paws by Christine Davis (2011)
- Saying Goodbye to Lulu by Corinne Demas and Ard Hoyt (2009)
- For Every Dog an Angel by Christine Davis (1997)