From a psychologist with twenty years of experience as a pet bereavement specialist, comes the first title to offer cognitive tools and exercises for validating and supporting the particular grief that results from the loss of a pet.
When a pet dies, the vast majority of owners experience significant grief, which is often downplayed by friends, family, and even helping professionals. In this book readers will find validation for their grief, come to understand their human-animal bond, and master solid tools to help them through the grieving process.
Cofounder of San Diego County’s Pet Bereavement Program, author Lorri Greene has been specializing in pet bereavement issues for over twenty years. In this sympathetic new book she teaches that pet bereavement is normal and similar in scope to the loss of an important person. Readers evaluate their level of pet attachment and the intensity of their grief experience using Greene’s Pet Attachment Worksheet (PAW). They then work through their grief with specific bereavement techniques, including memorializing the pet, recognizing problematic thinking, and finding support. Coping skills are provided for any remaining guilt over medical measures taken or not, and euthanizing a pet. Readers who accidentally killed or witnessed the death of their pets learn about post-traumatic stress symptoms, and are offered self-help resources. Additional chapters include easing a child through pet grief, finding support, and pet loss for the elderly and the owners of working animals.