Dogs have long been considered “man’s best friend,” and what greater gift than the love of a cat. The bond between humans and their pets is unique, amazing and rewarding to say the least. Our pets; whether it be a dog, cat, bird, hamster, ferret or any species, have helped us in so many ways and expect so little in return. As humans we become very attached to our animal companions. We develop such an emotional bond to our pets, we live everyday with joy, we laugh often, we play hard and love even harder, we gain so much pleasure from their companionship. Unfortunately, the loss and grief we will feel upon illness or death of our special friend and family member, will be inevitable.

We know how difficult it is to deal with the loss of a pet. Listed below are some resources and suggestions that may help with the grieving process, and help you to remember your pet. These links are courtesy to you and should not be considered endorsements. We at West Ridge Animal Health Center hope that our pet memorial and all the information provided will help you in the grieving process.

Below is a list of books for coping with pet loss:

Goodbye, Friend
Gary Kowalski
Included are ideas for rituals and ceremonies‚ spiritual guidance and readings for solace. Kowalski 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.

Saying Goodbye to the Pet You Love
Lorri A. Greene, Ph.D.
Written by a psychologist who is a leader in the field of pet bereavement‚ this practical but sympathetic guide validates the survivor’s often misunderstood feelings‚ explains the importance of the human ⁄ animal bond‚ and offers strategies for working through the grieving process. Topics include memorializing the pet‚ recognizing problematic thinking‚ finding support‚ dealing with guilt and explaining the pet’s death to a child. The special needs of the guardians of working animals are addressed‚ as are self-help resources for the elderly.

Pet Loss: A Spiritual Guide
Julia Harris
This book helps readers to understand the many emotional reactions to the loss of a pet‚ assist children in coping with and recovering from their loss; and learn how different spiritual belief systems recognize and counsel pet loss. Practical topics include what happens at a pet cemetery burial‚ cremation or home burial; what legal arrangements are available; how to develop a ceremony to honor the pet; and how to cope with the trauma of a terminally ill or runaway pet.

Three Cats‚ Two Dogs: One Journey Through Multiple Pet Loss
David Congalton
The author talks about how he transformed his anguish over the loss of several pets into a commitment to abused and abandoned animals. This down–to–earth book offers solace and practical suggestions for coping with grief.

Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet
Moira Allen’s
A wonderful, helpful book filled with information and guidance. Treats a serious subject with sympathetic feelings. An excellent guide allowing us to understand that we are not alone with our grief. Written in a clear, friendly style. It takes a pet owner by the hand and walks him through the stages of bereavement, offering explanations and coping strategies at every step. The message is one of love, common sense, and practical information. The wealth of information given by pet owners makes the book come alive.

Grieving the Loss of Your Pet: How to Survive the Journey
Rebecca Cagle
This book deals compassionately with grieving the loss of your pet. It can happen under different circumstances such as trauma, illness, selling, disappearance or even theft. The phases of grieving are discussed along with struggling with the possibility of euthanasia, helping a friend grieve the loss of an animal as well as teens and children coping with pet loss. It also covers ways to help prevent theft and disappearance. It talks about pets going to Heaven. It covers remembering your pet and the emotions of choosing when to replace your beloved pet with a new one. And it talks about bonding with your new pet after losing your old one.

Goodbye, Friend
Gary Kowalski
Included are ideas for rituals and ceremonies‚ spiritual guidance and readings for solace. Kowalski 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.

Saying Goodbye to the Pet You Love
Lorri A. Greene, Ph.D.
Written by a psychologist who is a leader in the field of pet bereavement‚ this practical but sympathetic guide validates the survivor’s often misunderstood feelings‚ explains the importance of the human ⁄ animal bond‚ and offers strategies for working through the grieving process. Topics include memorializing the pet‚ recognizing problematic thinking‚ finding support‚ dealing with guilt and explaining the pet’s death to a child. The special needs of the guardians of working animals are addressed‚ as are self-help resources for the elderly.

Pet Loss: A Spiritual Guide
Julia Harris
This book helps readers to understand the many emotional reactions to the loss of a pet‚ assist children in coping with and recovering from their loss; and learn how different spiritual belief systems recognize and counsel pet loss. Practical topics include what happens at a pet cemetery burial‚ cremation or home burial; what legal arrangements are available; how to develop a ceremony to honor the pet; and how to cope with the trauma of a terminally ill or runaway pet.

Three Cats‚ Two Dogs: One Journey Through Multiple Pet Loss
David Congalton
The author talks about how he transformed his anguish over the loss of several pets into a commitment to abused and abandoned animals. This down–to–earth book offers solace and practical suggestions for coping with grief.

Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet
Moira Allen’s
A wonderful, helpful book filled with information and guidance. Treats a serious subject with sympathetic feelings. An excellent guide allowing us to understand that we are not alone with our grief. Written in a clear, friendly style. It takes a pet owner by the hand and walks him through the stages of bereavement, offering explanations and coping strategies at every step. The message is one of love, common sense, and practical information. The wealth of information given by pet owners makes the book come alive.

Grieving the Loss of Your Pet: How to Survive the Journey
Rebecca Cagle
This book deals compassionately with grieving the loss of your pet. It can happen under different circumstances such as trauma, illness, selling, disappearance or even theft. The phases of grieving are discussed along with struggling with the possibility of euthanasia, helping a friend grieve the loss of an animal as well as teens and children coping with pet loss. It also covers ways to help prevent theft and disappearance. It talks about pets going to Heaven. It covers remembering your pet and the emotions of choosing when to replace your beloved pet with a new one. And it talks about bonding with your new pet after losing your old one.

Below is a list of books to help your children say goodbye:

Dog Heaven and Cat Heaven
Cynthia Rylant
These books will appeal to children from preschool to grade two. The simple‚ colorful illustrations take the child on a journey to Dog Heaven or Cat Heaven‚ places of warmth and happiness. In Dog Heaven‚ there are “fields and fields and fields‚” and in Cat Heaven‚ there are thousands of toys and soft angel laps in which to cuddle up. God is depicted as a kindly older man who benevolently watches over his charges.

Remembering Ruby: For Families Living Beyond the Loss of a Pet
Melissa Wells
The loss of a beloved pet can be devastating to a child. This is the true story about a boy‚ his dog‚ and the close relationship that develops between them. When Ruby becomes terminally ill‚ the boy and his family must cope with their feelings along the way, and live beyond the loss. By finding ways to remember Ruby‚ they make it through‚ together.

Saying Goodbye to Lulu
Corrine Demas
A young girl and her lovable dog‚ Lulu‚ are the best of friends. They play games together‚ explore their neighborhood‚ and even cuddle up to read bedtime stories each night. Lulu is the best dog a girl could ever hope for‚ but when she grows older and gradually becomes weak‚ the little girl must face the sad possibility of losing her dear friend‚ and inevitably‚ cope with the death of her canine companion. Over time the little girl discovers that the sweet memory of her beloved Lulu will live on forever in her heart.

Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children
Herbert A. Nieburg
The death of a pet can cause enormous feelings of sorrow, guilt, and loneliness for children and adults alike, whether the end comes through old age, illness, sudden death, or euthanasia. Yet pet owners are often inhibited in their very real grief, even if the animal was considered a full-fledged family member, a child’s favored playmate, or an elderly person’s faithful companion. In Pet Loss, the authors acknowledge and encourage such grief, and assert that pet owners must learn to cope with the death of an animal as they would with any significant loss–by expressing their feelings and coming to terms with their grief. At once a practical guide and an emotional support, Pet Loss offers unique advice for owners faced with an animal’s passing, from the difficult decision to put a pet to sleep to dealing with a veterinarian or making funeral or cremation arrangements.

The Pet Emergency Fund is an animal assistance organization that helps with the cost of emergency veterinary care for owners unable to meet the expense of the services needed. Click on the picture to learn more about how you can donate in memorial of a loved one.

The Pet Tribute honors the human-animal bond by supporting the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. Click above to learn more about their options available to for you to remember your pet.

Listed below are a few links to help with the grieving process.