These are websites and literature I recommend for readers and professionals alike.
Below are a few specific articles of mine that anyone may find beneficial.
- My article in Bark Magazine about handling a difficult diagnosis: https://thebark.com/content/10-tips-navigating-tough-decisions-about-your-dog
- My article in Bark Magazine about how we grieved for our Remy: https://thebark.com/content/vet-gives-wise-counsel-about-grieving
Pet Loss Support
Resources for anyone looking for support when dealing with the loss (or the impending loss) of a beloved pet.
- www.petloss.com – Monday Pet Loss Candle Ceremony
- www.rainbowsbridge.com – Rainbows Bridge is a virtual memorial home and grief support community
- www.in-memory-of-pets.com – In Memory of Pets, Beyond Life’s Gateway
- www.pet-loss.net – The Pet Loss Support Page
- www.aplb.org – The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement
Books for Adults
- Good Grief: On Loving Pets, Here and Hereafter by E.B. Bartels, an enjoyable and comforting read about the different ways people (including the author) have memorialized their pets
- P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna by Sarah Chauncey, a gift book for adults who have lost a cat, also appropriate for children grieving a cat they’ve helped care for
- The Pet Loss Companion by Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio and Nancy Saxton-Lopez, written by family therapists who’ve led pet loss groups
- Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet, by Gary Kowalski, a Unitarian Universalist minister
- Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet, by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed.
- When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing, by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
- The Loss of a Pet: A Guide to Coping with the Grieving Process When a Pet Dies, by Wallace Sife, Ph.D.
Books for Children
- The End of Something Wonderful: A Practical Guide to a Backyard Funeral by Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic, a direct and funny book about saying goodbye to different kinds of animals
- The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr, about a fish who has lost his fish companion and the range of emotions he experiences
- Sally Goes to Heaven by Stephen Huneck, one in a series of beautifully illustrated Sally books about a black Labrador
- The Invisible Leash by Patrice Karst, about an invisible leash that feels like love
- Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant (there’s also a Dog Heaven), author of the Henry and Mudge children’s book series
- The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, by Judith Viorst
- When a Pet Dies, by Fred Rogers
Pet Loss Hotlines
Offered by many veterinary schools as well as other organizations. Most are staffed part-time and will state their hours when you call. You can leave a message and your call will be returned when they are next staffed.
- ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals): 877-GRIEF-10 (877-474-3310)
- Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts: 508-839-7966
- Chicago Veterinary Medical Association: 630-325-1600
- Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine: 607-218-7457
Both of the following websites have a searchable geographic database of veterinarians that utilize acupuncture:
www.ivas.org – International Veterinary Acupuncture Society
www.aava.org – American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture
Four Paws, Five Directions by Dr. Cheryl Schwartz is a classic book that explains veterinary acupuncture to both pet owners and veterinarians.
General Veterinary Information
- www.theshelterpetproject.org, sponsored by the Humane Society, connects people with adoptable pets and shelters in their areas
- www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights/stopping-puppy-mills details how to avoid purchasing a dog from a puppy mill and gives information on how we can work to end puppy mills
- The Doggie in the Window, by Rory Kress, takes a deep dive into the world of puppy mills
How to Find a Good Breeder
If you must purchase a purebred, please read this excellent article on the website of The Humane Society of the United States, “How to Find a Responsible Breeder”: www.humanesociety.org/issues/puppy_mills/tips/finding_responsible_dog_breeder.html
- A reputable breeder cares more about the puppies they place than about their bank balance (or yours).
- They will try to match the puppy’s personality to your home environment to assure a good match, rather than allowing a buyer to choose according to a preferred color or gender.
- The puppies will have been born onsite, and you will meet at least one of the parents, who will be friendly and healthy.
- Most importantly, a good breeder will want you to surrender the dog back to them if you cannot care for it at some point in the animal’s life, ensuring that the puppies they place will never end up unclaimed in a shelter.
Karen Pryor’s website is www.clickertraining.com, and contains a wealth of information.
Home Cooking for your Pet
Home cooking should always be done under veterinary supervision, while following a recipe, so check with your veterinarian first. Otherwise, the diet may not be safe for long-term use.
This website provides recipes which are complete if you purchase their supplement (if you prefer, you can use your own supplements, and purchase a recipe): www.balanceit.com.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Veterinary Social Work
University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s website offers insight and information about veterinary social work as they define as “attending to human needs at the intersection of veterinary and social work practice.”
- www.onehealthinitiative.com – “One Health Initiative will unite human and veterinary medicine”
- www.avma.org/kb/resources/reference/pages/one-health.aspx – The American Veterinary Medical Association’s One Health page