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Recommended Reading


Snort's Special Gift

by Suzann Yue, Illustrated by Lin Wang

Savy is worried. Her dog, Snort, is very sick. Savy's parents explain that Snort will need to leave their family because it's the only way that Snort's pain will go away and be at peace. Savy knows this is best, but what will Savy do without her best friend?

In Snort's Special Gift, Savy and her family explore different ways to grieve for and remember a beloved pet. This healing story addresses feelings of loss in gentle and supportive ways as the family shares happy memories and creates a beautiful celebration of Snort's life. And in the end, Savy discovers that Snort has more gifts to share with her...

Winner - Gold Medal in the Mom's Choice Awards in the category: Children's Picture Books, Growing Up/Personal Growth.

Winner - Silver Medal in the Religion/Spirituality category of the Moonbeam Children's Awards. (October 2011)

"Almost all of us, at some point in our lives, can relate to the heart breaking loss of a beloved pet. Suzann Yue and Lin Wang, both figuratively and literally, paint a rich story of Snort, the charming and beautiful boxer dog. The artists offer a very gentle, gracious, and effective way of tackling an emotional subject. The focus is on all of the wonderful treasures and lessons that Snort brought to the family, and the story becomes a celebration of life! This book will help a lot of people—children and adults—cherish and commemorate the pets in their relationships."

Sherry Fonseth-Lais, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Assistant Clinic Professor in General Practice, University of Minnesota



When Pets Die

by Doris Zagdanski

The grief for a pet is explained in a commonsense, practical and very sensitive way. Just what you need when your pet companion has died and it seems that no-one understands. The author explains that it is not unusual to feel overwhelming grief at the loss of a pet and gives help and advice on how to cope.

About Doris Zagdanski

Began working for Hepner Funeral Services in Geelong in 1984 and established reputation as a grief educator and funeral industry trainer.

From 1982 - 1987 held a voluntary position with the Coronerís department in Geelong as a 'parent support person' to all SIDS families in the region.

Awarded inaugural 1994 Mrs Victoria Community Service Award in recognition of service to the Sudden Infant Death Research Foundation in Victoria.

Author of the following books:

  • Something I've Never Felt Before - How Teenagers Cope with Grief (1990)
  • Stuck For Words - What to Say to Someone Who is Grieving. (1994).
  • Now that the Funeral Is Over - Understanding the Effects of Grief (1997)
  • What's Dead Mean? A learning together activity book for adults and children (2002)
  • When Pets Die - It's alright to grieve (2005)



When your pet dies: A guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing

by Alan Wolfelt

Affirming a pet owner's struggle with grief when his or her pet dies, this book helps mourners understand why their feelings are so strong and helps them overcome the loss. Included are practical suggestions for mourning and ideas for remembering and memorializing one's pet. Among the issues covered are understanding the many emotions experienced after the death of a pet; understanding why grief for pets is unique; pet funerals and burial or cremation; celebrating and remembering the life of one's pet; coping with feelings about euthanasia; helping children understand the death of their pet; and things to keep in mind before getting another pet.



Rainbow Tears: Reflections of Pet Loss, Grief and Healing

by Blain Cunningham

In 2002 my beloved animal companion, Pug, died. Initially I had purchased her for my father who was wheelchair bound. But I soon discovered that the tiny Boston Terrier, with the large almond-shaped, brown eyes, had become mine. Her delicate heart strings wrapped tightly around my soul. We became inseparable. Time passed and my father died. Then four years later, Pug died. Pug's death was devastating to me. In some ways it felt like I had lost my father again. I felt isolated and guilty in my grief. After all, I was a veterinarian. If only . . . I should have been able to save her from pain and death. If not for the support of my other animals, and a few good friends, I would have succumbed. Restitution occurred when I let go and wrote the happy moments of Pug's life as it intertwined with mine. In two weeks her story "Sleeping With Angels" was completed and later published. The book was read worldwide. And as a result, people shared their animal stories with me and I compiled those stories into other books and seven years later the stories have come full circle. Now I look fondly at the past and remember the many stories of cherished animals that people have shared with me. And I realize that the stepping stone journey has made me a better person. These are a few of the cherished stories that I have chosen to share one more time, with those that grieve the loss of a beloved animal companion. May it help with the healing process.



How to ROAR: Pet Loss Grief Recovery

by Robin Jean Brown

Robin Jean Brown understands firsthand the deep bond that can develop between person and animal. She's not some cold psychologist, but rather a pet owner herself who dealt with her own painful journey through the grieving process.