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Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  467 ratings  ·  54 reviews
The death of a pet is always a painful experience for their owners. In this caring book, Gary Kowalski offers warmth, guidance and wisdom for anyone facing this loss. It is a compilation of heart-warming stories, verse and photographs to provide comfort.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 25th 2006 by New World Library
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  467 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1-non-fiction
Last week, my ten-year-old shiba inu dog, Ryder, unexpectedly passed away. My grief was raw and unmanageable, as this amazing creature stood by my side, offering unconditional love and support 24/7. My other half, equally as impacted, purchased a few books to try to help us understand how to find any solace or ability to move forward, as Ryder was part of every moment of our day. I picked up a paperback copy of Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet by Gary Kowalski a ...more
I bought this today to try to get some comfort to ease the sadness and grief I've felt since my dog Peanut died on 01/19.

It did bring some smiles to my fact but overall, I still feel the same. It does give some advice about the grieving process, but nothing I didn't already know (eat right, get some exercise, take care of yourself, etc).

A few quotes I found sweet:

"'Until one has loved an animal,' wrote Anatole France, 'a part of one's soul remains unawakened.' Almost anyone who has ever let an
Elena Alvarez Dosil
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review originally published at:

I decided to purchase this book after losing Olive, and with the intention of seeking comfort. I want to clarify that, despite being the book written by a clergyman, it has less religious content than other books about the same subject. I just hate reading about pets going to heaven when I don't believe in God or heaven myself. Why is that agnostics or atheists don't have a right to be comforted? I guess it's just easier to
Eva Marie
Jul 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who has lost a pet/ is losing a pet/will lose a pet- all pet owners
Recommended to Eva Marie by: found it in a store
Wow- this has been the most helpful book so far that I've read since my dog died. Granted, I haven't read that many and I'm pretty picky with what I think I'll actually be able to read but this surpasses what I have read.
I was a little leery it would be too religious, with the author being a religious person, and it wasn't. It was about as religious as I am, which is somewhat with not being "overboard". (IMO.)
I definitely would recommend this to anyone who has ever owned a pet. It's helped me
I read this ages ago when I lost a cat -- one who had been with me through the death of my husband, moving and all sorts of other things. When the cat (MacDuff) died, it was like I hit a wall and couldn't cope. I sobbed uncontrollably -- and I am NOT a crier (I spent tons of money in therapy trying to learn how to cry with little success. Turns out, Duffers was a better shrink than any of those therapists.) In any event, my lovely vet gave me this book when I refused to take in another pet b/c I ...more
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Each chapter is unique and covers a multitude of attitudes and loving ways to say good bye to your pet and also how to deal with the loss of a dear, dear companion. I have 2 elder dogs right now and I know their day is coming. I'm no young chick myself so my only hope is that they go before me so they don't have to be farmed out to someone else in their last years...better me than them. The book will make you cry no matter who you are because it touches on the separation that ...more
Christina DeFelice
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
I think I was hoping for more during a tough time but nothing really can help except time I guess. My mom got it for me because she said it got good reviews. I'm not particularly religious though and while still trying to find insight, it's hard to get past all the Bible passages etc. I'm sure it would be very helpful for someone who was more religious and can relate a bit more to it though so it certainly has its place and hope it helps others find comfort. ...more
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though written by a clergyman, this beautifully written book does not have an overtly religious tone. There is one chapter that discusses religion which I skipped over. What is does offer is comfort, calm, and a reassuring voice that I needed desperately this week upon the passing of my beloved cat. Highly recommend.
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I bought this after my beloved cat Baby Kitty died. I really liked it,it was very comforting. Though the writer is a Pastor it does not overly focus on Christianity and represents beliefs from around the world.
Tristy at New World Library
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals, grief
"This wonderful book is the best guide I know of that can help us deal with the death of our animal companions, whom the more we love the more we will grieve."
— Dr. Michael W. Fox, veterinarian and syndicated columnist

"Saying goodbye to a pet soul-mate is something we dread but must inevitably accept. Goodbye, Friend offers answers that are woven into a tapestry of care, compassion and unconditional love for the pets with whom we've shared our hearts and homes. Then, we can become m
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From a guy that was Butters "mommy"

My husband Matthew and I were always rescuing abandoned and animals that became our hairy kids. We got Butters from animal control at the tender age of 3. He was to be my support animal and constant companion. Because he would take me for walks, we dipped into my retirement fund to have him trained so I could be the one taking him for walks. Dogs show their love by licking your face and boy did Butters really love. I was getting my face locked raw. If I had to
Beth Orchard
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book from the library following the death of my cat, Sir Tuft, last week. It was sudden and quick and we made the decision to lay him to rest after just three days. I found this book insightful and helpful and unexpected as I wasn’t even looking for a book on this subject.

I have lost family pets in the past as a kid and my husband lost his dog some years ago but for some reason Tuft was different for me. Maybe because I’m mothering two small babies but I realized how lonely I am
Tiffany Cusick-Bristol
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I put my beloved dog, Lady, down on February 22, 2019 after sharing 14 years with her. She was with me before I was a wife or mother. We went through so much together, hardly ever spending a day apart. So after she passed I was having a difficult time, and began researching books to help me through this difficult time. Kowalski did an excellent job of helping me through my grief. His suggestions actually helped me feel better and move on with life. I think this book can help people with any loss ...more
Chris Batchelor
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know I lost a great friend a bunch of years ago, and although my newest "Friend" really hasn't been that much of a friend to me, when I picked out this book (seeing it from Audible's store on my device, then found it on the Kindle Store), I knew I had to take solace in its words. And although I wasn't too thrilled hearing God's words and it's religious context, I know many will find words of wisdom to learn to this book and try and heal from the painful experiences you've followed. (And I bet ...more
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was gifted to me after losing my best friend, Winston. It did offer some insight on how to deal with grief and I think a lot of people could use this as a resource when they lose a loved pet. Everyone’s situation is different. This book does its best to accommodate the reader in that regard. At the same time some things that it brought up or mentioned made me feel even sadder than I was before I started reading it ...which is hard to explain. Overall, I think it’s helpful to read a boo ...more
Stephanie Frazier
This book was given to me over a year ago, not long after my Great Dane, Leroy, passed away. I only now opened and read it. It definitely opened my eyes and heart and gave me some more closure on his passing. It also gives guidance from other perspectives on how birth and death are handled in their varieties. I really enjoyed the passages and poems at the end. To all who end up reading this book, enjoy!
T. Rose
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Helpful and hopeful book for a very difficult time in life.

An important read for your journey through the loss of your beloved companion pet. I lost my Westie last fall and am still having a hard time grieving for him. I found this book has lots of things to think about and to do to help me through the pain. I have been reading many books about the loss of pets. This is one of the best for me. Hope it helps you as mich as it has helped me.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't know if I'd go so far as saying "it helped" because nothing really can at the moment, but it made me feel like I had more of a toolkit. I wish I'd read it before instead of after. And it also happened to be a very engaging read. ...more
Jenny Whetzel
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I don't know if reading this really "helped" me to accept things easier, but it was a nice read. It is also a quick and easy read. I did enjoy the poems at the end of the book though. I'm glad the author included that little section. ...more
Alexis Barrell
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book really helped me cope with the desperately heart-breaking loss of my two beloved dogs within 3 months of each other. Every chapter eased the pain slightly and in its place offered hope, understanding, resolution, compassion and comfort.
Kathleen Hunter
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Not a serious pet lover myself but having observed others when a pet dies I would recommend this book for anyone who has a pet that will probably predecease them. It is supportive and helpful without being saccharine.
J Crossley
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grieving
Essays on the Passing of Our Animal Friends

A minister provides comfort through essays to help one through the loss of a beloved pet. The author uplifts through message and examples of the bless that pets provide.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from a friend after losing my Molly earlier this year. It has taken me a few months to get through it, but only because I would allow myself to read just one chapter when I picked it up. It has helped provide some additional peace that I have sincerely needed in my mourning.
Kevin Shoop
Sep 09, 2020 rated it liked it
My dog passed away last week, and the grief has been intense. This book was pretty good - fairly helpful. 3.5 stars. It's not like a book is going to take away the loss. But it gave me a little comfort. ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A surprisingly well-written, thoughtful and soothing book.
Sharon Shanahan
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book for those facing the loss of a "furry family" member. ...more
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Better than some of the other books out there. Still lacking in some practical exercises.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it liked it
It had some very useful chapters and anecdotes
More suited for someone with strong religious beliefs as author is clergyman I think
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book to read after the loss of a pet
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
I didn't get anything out of this book. didn't speak to me at all. No comfort for this time I needed. ...more
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13 likes · 3 comments
“I have done mostly what most men do, And pushed it out of my mind; But I can’t forget, if I wanted to, Four-Feet trotting behind. Day after day, the whole day through — Wherever my road inclined — Four-Feet said, “I am coming with you!” And trotted along behind. — RUDYARD KIPLING, “Four-Feet” 2 likes
“Some pets may be more deeply missed than others. In a study at the University of Pennsylvania, trained bereavement counselors were paired with people who were mourning for their pets in an effort to understand more about this kind of loss. The research showed that individuals who lose a cat may have a more severe grief reaction and need greater follow-up than those who lose a dog.” 1 likes
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