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There are hundreds of books written about coping with loss and grief. When you are looking for one to help your family deal with pet loss, the selection can be overwhelming!
The following list represents stories that portray a variety of specific situations about losing a pet. It also provides a variety of approaches to helping children understand loss and heal their feelings of grief.
For Toddlers, Preschoolers and School-aged Children
Jasper’s Day by Marjorie Blain Parker
When a Pet Dies by Fred Rogers (TV’s Mr. Rogers)
Saying Good-bye to LuLu by Corinne Demas
I Will Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm
The Tenth Good Thing about Barney by Judith Viorst
*A Special Place for Charlee by Debby Morehead
*Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant
*Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant
The Legend of Rainbow Bridge by William Britton
Saying Good-bye to Your Pet: Children Can Learn to Cope with Pet Loss (art therapy) by Marge Eaton Heegaard
Remembering My Pet: A Kid’s Own Spiritual Workbook for When a Pet Dies (Multifaith) by Nechama Liss-Levinson, Ph.D., Rev. Molly Phinney Baskette, and Lynn L. Caruso
For Teens and Young Adults
A Snowflake in My Hand by Samantha Mooney
Lifetimes by Bryan Mellonie
*Goodbye Friend by Gary Kowalski
Paw Prints in the Stars by Warren Hanson
Mostly Bob by Tom Corwin
Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing by Thomas R. Golden
Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Marty Becker, DVM, Carol Kline
Grieving the Death of a Pet by Betty Carmack
Men and Grief by Carol Staudacher
Kindred Spirit, Kindred Care: Making Health Decisions on Behalf of Our Animal Companions by Shannon Fujimoto Nakaya, DVM
When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
The Final Farewell: Preparing and Mourning by Marty Touseley
When Children Grieve: For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving and Other Losses by John W. James, Russell Friedman, and Leslie Matthews
Great for the Whole Family
*Dog Blessings: Poems, Prose, and Prayers Celebrating Our Relationship with Dogs by June Cotner
*Old Dogs are the best dogs by Gene Weingarten
All of these titles are available through libraries, book stores or online book sellers. Selections marked by an * are available through our online store.
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Find additional resources and related articles under Kids and Grief in the Veterinary Wisdom® Resource Center - Support for Pet Parents.
© 2013. World by the Tail, Inc. All rights reserved.
Laurel Lagoni is a nationally recognized veterinary grief expert and the former Director of the Argus Institute at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She is President of World by the Tail, Inc., and directs the Veterinary Wisdom® Resource Centers at www.veterinarywisdom.com