Books & Kits to Help with Dog Loss
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The loss of an animal companion is often just as devastating as the death of a human loved one. And, it actually take years to actively continue and grow in our life journeys following such a loss. Below, we have included some of our favorite books and kits to help kindle many ways to more positively acknowledge this loss, for a cherished friend or relative . . . or, for yourself.

Rainbows & Bridges: An Animal Companion Memorial Kit
Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet
Saying Goodbye to your Angel Animals
Even Bad Dogs Go to Heaven: More from The Dog Chapel


Rainbows & Bridges: An Animal Companion Memorial Kit

The loss of an animal companion is often just as devastating as the death of a human loved one. Published by New World Library in 2005, this wonderful memorial kit from clergy members Linda and Allen Anderson is a heartwarming and unique way to help those healing from such a loss. The couple addresses the spectrum of feelings that can arise, such as despair, loneliness, anger, alienation, disappointment, and self-doubt. Filled with inspirational ideas and exercises, Rainbows & Bridges walks the bereft through the process of remembering the past, grieving in the present, and finding hope for the future. Price: $23.00

Susan Chernak McElroy, author, Animals as Teachers & Healers and All My Relations: Living with Animals As Teachers & Healers
"Let me say this about Rainbows and Bridges: I love it. I treasure it. Allen and Linda Anderson have left no question unposed, no conflict bypassed, no reflection unacknowledged. If you are facing or have faced the loss of a beloved animal friend, let this book be your companion and your comfort. There exists no better exploration of this Landscape of Loss than you will find here."

The Memorial Kit includes the following:

Rainbows & Bridges Finding Comfort after the Loss of Your Animal Friend ─ 128-page book designed to serve as a guide for allowing grief to follow its natural course.
Rainbows & Bridges Celebration of a Life Journal ─ A 80-page guided journal questions and prompts with space for writing and keeping a scrapbook to encourage those who have lost an animal companion to create mementos in honor of their animals.
Rainbows & Bridges Meditation Cards ─ A set of 20 cards with brief reflections to help people gain peace and perspective about losing an animal companion who has made an important and special contribution to their lives.
Rainbows & Bridges Memorial Cards ─ Outlines and reading for three types of memorial services: religious, secular, and nature based.
The front cover of the box is additionally a frame designed to display a photo of the beloved pet. Also included in the kit is the touching story of the Rainbow Bridge — the place where animals go after they die until the day comes and they team up with their human companions and can walk over the bridge together.




Saying Goodbye to your Angel Animals: Finding Comfort After Losing Your Pets

In this thoughtful book, Allen and Linda Anderson walk you through the numbing pain and dreadful sense of loss that arise when a beloved animal dies. They offer solace to help you deal with grief, remember and honor key moments in the animal’s life, find comfort through groups and with professionals, and get past the depression. They also include exercises, affirmations, and meditations to use through the various stages of grief. The Andersons’ caring, practical advice covers all aspects of pet loss, offering guidance on:

  • Helping children grieve
  • Honoring your religious beliefs
  • Grieving for runaway pets
  • Helping others know what to say or do to console you
  • Planning an appropriate memorial ceremony or tribute

The book also explores the concept of after-death experiences of departed companion animals and relates many beautiful stories, including the Rainbow Bridge story, that reinforce the love and sense of peace that come from honoring the place animals hold in our lives. Price: $14.00

Take some time to check out the incredible Table of Contents and the book's Introduction.

“Allen and Linda Anderson’s book gives us permission to acknowledge the intense bond we have with our animal companions and the deep loss we can experience after their deaths. It provides helpful stories, exercises, and memorial services respecting a variety of beliefs. Infused with kindness, their work offers us help, hope, and a rainbow during the storm. I have learned from it and will celebrate and share it.”
— The Reverend Mary Piper, Episcopal priest and chaplain, cofounder of the pet loss support program at Heart of the Valley Humane Society in Bozeman, Montana

“This masterful and beautiful book is rich with wisdom, inspiration, and sound advice....With sensitivity and compassion as well as practical information, the Andersons gently and deftly guide us through the complex labyrinth of emotions associated with grief. I highly recommend this thoughtful, illuminating, and comforting book.”
Diane Pomerance, PhD, creator and director of the Pet Grief Counseling Program, SPCA of Texas, and author of
When Your Pet Dies



Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet

After Gary Kowalski, author and the minister of Burlington Vermont's Unitarian Universalist church, completed his new book, Goodbye, Friend, on dealing with losing your pet, his own elderly dog, Chinook, died. In his first book, The Souls of Animals, Kowalski wrote: "My own wise friend is my dog. He has deep knowledge to impart." Apparently, Chinook did his good work up until the end. Kowalski's new book is full of sound, compassionate advice to get you through the loss of your pet(s). Included are ideas for rituals and ceremonies, spiritual guidance and readings and poems to use for solace.

The author's voice is a soothing one, not surprising for a minister whose job it is to be wise and reflective. The book also addresses animals' grieving; their life spans; their growth, illnesses and needs. These are similar to ours: need to eat, to exercise, to sleep, to have fun, to enjoy companionship and to expect routine. Kowalski includes advice on how to take care of yourself after the death of a pet and the importance of honesty when talking with children about this event. Kowalski's book is not only useful for healing when a good friend dies, but also reasserts his primary message: that animals are important, that "pets are not petty," that they deserve our respect and our kind care. As Kowalski writes, "Animals enrich our lives in countless ways, with their playfulness, their tranquility [sic], their constancy, and their love..." This book will help readers mourn and remember them well.

Gary Kowalski currently serves as minister to the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington, Vermont. He holds degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Divinity School. Reverend Kowalski has written several books, including The Souls of Animals, The Bible According To Noah: Theology As If Animals Mattered, Science and the Search for G-d, and Revolutionary Spirits: The Enlightened Faith of America's Founding Fathers. Price: $12.00

Dr. Marty Becker, Resident Veterinarian on ABC TV's Good Morning America, author of The Healing Power of Pets
"Saying goodbye to a pet soul-mate is something we dread but must inevitably accept. Goodbye, Friend offers answers that are woven into a tapestry of care, compassion and unconditional love for the pets with whom we've shared our hearts and homes. Then, we can become much more than our pet's best friend — we can become healers, teachers and angels for our friends and family when they, too, lose a beloved pet."



Even Bad Dogs Go to Heaven: More from The Dog Chapel

The Dog Chapel introduced readers to Stephen Huneck's very special retreat for dogs and their owners, and his dog-centric philosophy captured the public's attention. In this book, a follow-up to that perennial seller, readers will learn more about the special affection owners reserve for dogs that have passed on. Pet owners come to the Dog Chapel in Vermont to remember and memorialize their beloved dogs. All along the walls and on every available surface, visitors leave pictures, letters, and testimonials about the dogs that have passed away. People who have just lost a pet find comfort in this outpouring of emotion, and use the walls to bid farewell to their canine friends. This book celebrates this affection and reflects on the life cycle of our beloved dogs. It is the perfect gift for a bereaved pet owner, or anyone who believes that dogs have a special place in human life.

This hardcover book with jacket, published on September 1, 2010, is sized at 8" x 8", with 80 pages and 33 gorgeous full-color illustrations. Price: $19.95.






Additional books on bereavement can be found below:
Bereavement books for Adults
Bereavement books for Children