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When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  160 ratings  ·  17 reviews
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; ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Companion Press (first published January 1st 2004)
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Average rating 4.36  · 
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Rebekah Giese Witherspoon
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Myth: You don’t need to grieve because it was just a pet.
Truth: If you give love and receive love in return, you are in a relationship. If that relationship is severed by death, you will grieve. This is normal and natural.

Myth: It hurts less because it was just a pet.
Truth: How much it hurts in death is a product of how much love and attachment there was in life…. If you deeply loved your pet and felt a strong bond with him, you will probably hurt deeply.

This book was given to me by the kind vet
Jennifer Frost
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My dog Hitch passed away yesterday and the pain is horrible. I have never experienced a great loss and I needed advice to know I was not losing my mind. This was an amazing book. I feel as I am where I need to be and it is a process. I am just beginning.
Steph Arizpe Strobel
Aug 23, 2022 rated it it was amazing
It really feels like I've been losing my mind lately. It's been almost a month since we lost our boy but I'm crying harder every day and overthinking more than ever before. I think I've been really needing an outlet and I feel like I found a good one in this book.

This is a sweet little book that came with lots of prompts to encourage writing and memorializing your pet through words. There's a section for you to paste in a photo of your pet, and simple questions about your pet's appearance, pers
laudanum at 33
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just what someone needs during this kind of thing. It's not only a guide, but a place to memorialize memories and process what you're going through. ...more
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I didn't know there is a difference between grief and mourning. This book was just what I needed to help me process the sudden loss of my dog, Frank. I have supportive friends and family, but I've been concerned over the last 6 weeks since his death that they'll "get tired" of my grief. This book gave me the confidence to know that what I'm feeling and experiencing is normal. Wolfelt even goes on to talk about how every pet is special but sometimes you meet, and ultimately lose, that one pet who ...more
"not only has a companion you dearly loved been taken from you, but a key piece of the ritual of your life suddenly is no longer there."

"a study by the american pet products manufacturers association found that having a pet in the office results in better motivation, more productivity, and decreased absenteeism."

"pets give us that rarest of affirmations, unconditional love."

"if you give love and receive love in return, you are in a relationship."
Jodi Clark-Lopez
Easy to read and normalizes feeling of grief and sadness that stem from such a loss

Provides practical advice on how to cope with the grief and sadness that stems from losing a non human loved one.
Tara Kruck
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good read for anyone who has lost a pet.

My sister-in-law recommended this book to me and I’m glad she did. It had been very helpful during this very difficult time for my husband and I.
Mike Campbell
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brief but effective

This book is very brief but extremely effective. I had to euthanize both my cats of almost 17 years within two months of each other. I suffer from clinical major depression and social anxiety. I've always been a "loner" and my cats were the therapeutic that allowed me to function. This also happened during the COVID pandemic. This book clearly states much of what I am still feeling. RIP Simba and Miss Kittin (2004-2020).
Digger's Mom
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After we lost Hermes so suddenly, this book gave me permission to grieve openly without judging myself. It reminded me it is normal to tear up after losing such an ever-present, loving dog.
Susan Cronin
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very helpful to understand my feelings at the loss of my dog.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book gave great advice on how to deal with the loss of a oet. Everyone grieves in their own way. All pets are special. May they always be in our hearts,
Lydia Medina
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Last week I lost my beloved dog. He was my first pet and we have been though everything together. 3 months ago I found out he had a large mass in his body which couldn't be removed. I tried preparing myself for the time of his passing but when it came I was devastated. I didn't know how to handle it. I decided I wanted my pet soulmate cremated. The place I cremated him at gave me a brochure and the back of it recommend this book. This book has helped me so much and understand the pain and emptin ...more
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a very good book for anyone dealing with the loss of a pet. The writing style is sensitive and comforting, yet at the same time the explanations of the grieving process are objective enough to help the reader feel that his/her emotions are validated. It includes anecdotes from the author and other bereaved pet owners, ideas for how to memorialize one's pet, and it discusses common questions such as when the right time is to consider getting a new pet. I'm glad the author took the time to ...more
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've been reading a lot of grief books since my dog died. This is a very good one. It is short, but full of good information and advice. It is easy to read and not full of professional lingo. It is pocket sized, so I guess you could carry it around with you. I like it because it has lots of lists; some "assignments" but not too corny, as some grief books can be. As a professional and a pet owner, I highly recommend ...more
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