Explaining the concept of death to a child is a very difficult, confusing, and uncomfortable experience for a parent, educator, or therapist, and it is a topic that is often first introduced by the loss of a pet - sometimes a child's earliest exposure to loss and grief. There is an undeniably special bond that develops between people and their pets, especially between animals and young children, and while the death of a pet can be devastating to an adult, children are often deeply affected by such a loss. Without readily available outlets for their feelings, the trauma of pet loss can remain with a child for life, and without help many adults feel inadequate and not up to the task. The aim of this book is to provide therapists, counselors, educators, parents, social workers, veterinarians, and physicians with resources to help children cope with the loss of a pet.
Table of Contents
Antinori, Foreword. Preface. Acknowledgements. Pet Loss, A Family Experience. How Children Assimilate Loss. Children and Euthanasia. Special Types of Loss. When to Adopt Another Pet. Saying Goodbye. Complicated Grief Response to Pet Loss. Types of Support and Therapies for Children. Children's Artwork and Stories About Loving and Losing Animals. Resources for Helping Children and their Families Through Pet Loss.
Cheri Barton Ross, MA, is a published author, journalist and pet lover. She is the founder and facilitator of the Redwood Empire Veterinary Medical Association Pet Loss Support Group, through which she has worked with numerous children and their families experiencing pet loss. She and her husband own a small veterinary clinic in Santa Rosa, California.
'The loss of a beloved pet is a profound training ground for helping us to accept and process loss at every other level of our lives. Pet Loss and Children offers practical and meaningful tools for helping children navigate pet loss in a way that empowers, supports, and honors them. A must-read for anyone with – or working with – children.' - Susan Chernak McElroy, author of Animals as Teachers and Healers
'This thoughtful, thorough and sensitive book offers advice and insights for the parents, teachers, caretakers, and therapists who care for children suffering from the loss of a companion animal. Cheri Barton Ross validates and explains the importance of the human-animal bond on every page. This book enables adults to help children grow and learn from a painful life experience.' - Enid Traisman, author of My Personal Pet Remembrance Journal