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Our History

The History of the APLB: A Legacy from a Dog

The APLB was formed in October 1997 by Dr Wallace Sife and became a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in1999.

Dr Sife set up the APLB after losing his beloved miniature dachshund, Edel Meister in 1987. He was devastated and found his training as a psychologist of little help. Several years later Dr Sife created and established a practical model for the stages of grieving unique to pet loss derived and modified from the work of Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross on human loss. 

When Dr. Sife wrote The Loss of a Pet he remarked, “This is the book I would have wanted for myself. And my unanticipated new orientation in life was part of his legacy to me.” The Loss of a Pet (1993) has won numerous awards and is now in its 4th edition.

Dr. Sife often reminded APLB members that what we have achieved together is a proud monument to all our beloved pets – living and dead. “We are better people, individually and collectively, because of them.” They have bequeathed to us a new sense of dedication and personal incentive. Here, we honor them and ourselves.

Dr. Wallace Sife: The Founder of the APLB

Dr. Wallace Sife was a proud Korean War veteran. He held BA and MA degrees in English and Education from Brooklyn College, an MA and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from New York University, and another Ph.D. in Trans Cognitive Psychology and Speed Reading from the Union Institute in Cincinnati. He wrote numerous books on a range of subjects.

Dr. Sife died on April 8 2020. His desire was to leave an enduring legacy – one that would grow and remain a primary source of comfort and support to grieving pet parents and professionals in what has become a recognized field.

“We are all in the same lifeboat, together. And now we are all here for each other.” Dr Wallace Sife.

Publications by Wallace Sife, Ph.D.

  • Speedreading, Self-Taught, Self-Published: 1976
  • Parallel Processing: Using the Whole Brain During Speed Reading and Spontaneous Sight Reading of Music: A Model of Bicameral Integration, Self-Published: 1977
  • Self-Liberation from Test Anxiety (tape & record), Folkways: 1980
  • Deep Relaxation, (tape), Self-published: 1984
  • Extended Deep Relaxation, (tape), Self-published: 1990
  • Modern Rubaiyat, Bristol Banner Books, Bristol, IN: 1991
  • The Loss of a Pet, Howell Book House, New York: 1993.
  • The Loss of a Pet: New Revised and Expanded, Howell Book House, New York: 1998.
  • Stroke: Enhancing Quality of Life, Editor, Haworth Press, Binghamton, NY: 1998
  • Translated to Italian: 2001
  • The Loss of a Pet: Third Edition. Howell Book House, New York: 2005.
  • The Loss of a Pet: Fourth Edition. Turner Publishers: New York: 2014.
  • Translated to Hungarian, 2016
  • Tales From the Sea Horse, Dog Ear Publications, Indianapolis, IN: 2016
  • Modern Rubaiyat, Second Edition, Dog Ear Publications, Indianapolis, IN: 2016


Between 1998 and 2019 Dr. Sife wrote 89 essays on various aspects of pet loss and bereavement. New ones appeared in each quarterly edition of the APLB newsletter: www.aplb.org

Creatures of the Universe: What is Life and Death?: A New Outlook and Synthesis of Interdisciplinary Sciences (6,870 words) Self-published © Copyright 2016, Dr. Wallace Sife / ©Amended: Copyright 2019, Dr. Wallace Sife

2019 The Devil’s Mother Goose Self-Published

Dr. Wallace Sife

Dr. Sife Pioneered

  • One of the first free online Chat Rooms for bereaved pet parents held 6 times per week;
  • Designed & implemented a unique internship program of instruction in on-line chats, providing trainees with free specialized instruction and supervised fieldwork;
  • Designed, developed and implemented a ten-hour training program, providing continuing education credits, certified by NASW and the AAVSB, and delivered at the end of 8 APLB biennial conferences;
  • It became a 5-week online training program, Pet Loss Grief Counselor, offered twice annually
  • Developed a working model for Pet Loss Support Groups, providing free training and support to those interested in starting their own

Dr. Sife died in Brooklyn, New York, on April 8, 2020, from complications arising from the COVID19 virus. His pioneering efforts and contribution to the field of pet loss and grief support are invaluable. His desire was to leave an enduring legacy – one that would grow and remain a primary source of comfort and support to grieving pet parents and professionals in what has become a recognized field in its own right.

A favorite quote of his was, “We are all in the same lifeboat, together. And now we are all here for each other.”

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After the Cease-Fire
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Blue Battalion HQ June 1953
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Fort Lee September 1952
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Our KATUSA Liked Me
The Three Company Jews
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original-aplb-logo
After the Cease-Fire
IMG_9530-2
Blue Battalion HQ June 1953
DSC_3818
DSC_3826
DSC_3840
the-loss-of-a-pet
DSC_3871
Fort Lee September 1952
IMG_9070
Our KATUSA Liked Me
The Three Company Jews
92631843_10158262878777938_2772670366189879296_n
2019-06-29 20.50.50
2019-06-29 20.50.58
2019-06-29 20.51.08
2019-06-29 20.51.41
APLB Conf - Wally
IMG_0129
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This year the Association of Pet Loss & Bereavement (APLB) is participating in Giving Tuesday, on November 28. Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. 

Please give generously. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those grieving the loss of their cherished pets.

This year the Association of Pet Loss & Bereavement (APLB) is participating in Giving Tuesday, on November 28. Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. 

Please give generously. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those grieving the loss of their cherished pets.