When Your Pet Dies: A Healing Handbook for Kids

When Your Pet Dies: A Healing Handbook for Kids

by Victoria Ryan, R. W. Alley

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A child will never forget a beloved pet, or the day it died. And the sadness that follows is true grief. This little elfin guide to good grief validates your child’s sadness—the necessary first step for healing. It acknowledges feelings that are new, confusing, and frightening. And it offers creative ideas for easing the sting of grief and memorializing a lost pet. A touching tribute to the love between a child and pet . . . and a compassionate guide to handling this loss with gentleness and sensitivity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781497696624
Publisher: Abbey Press
Publication date: 10/28/2014
Series: Elf-help Books for Kids
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 32
File size: 4 MB
Age Range: 8 - 11 Years

About the Author

Victoria Ryan holds a master’s degree and national certification in speech-language pathology. She works primarily with school-age children, and teaches reading and composition at the college level. A writer and workshop speaker on writing-related topics, she has published works in the areas of communication, grief, and family. She and her husband have six sons and live in Hamilton, Ohio.
R. W. Alley is the illustrator for the popular Abbey Press adult series of Elf-help books, as well as an illustrator and writer of children’s books. He lives in Barrington, Rhode Island, with his wife, daughter, and son. See a wide variety of his works at: www.rwalley.com.


Read an Excerpt

When Your Pet Dies

A Healing Handbook for Kids

By Victoria Ryan, R. W. Alley

Abbey Press

Copyright © 2003 Victoria Ryan
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4976-9662-4


Losing a Pet

Your pet might be very old or very sick. Maybe she was hit by a car, or ran out of the yard and hasn't come home for a long time.

Perhaps your pet has to be given away because your family is moving, or because your sister is allergic to her. Maybe she has to be taken away because she hurt someone.

Your parent might say, "Your pet needs to go away" or "Your pet is going to die." You feel very, very sad.

What "Dying" Means

"Dying" means your pet's body stops working and cannot be fixed. Dying means you will not be able to play with her again. All pets die — birds and bunnies, fish and ferrets, cats, dogs, and horses.

When it's time for your pet to die, she will act differently. Your dog may move very slowly. Your rabbit's eyes may seem tired and droopy. Your cat may not walk across your sofa or chase the toy mouse. You might tap on your aquarium, but your fish may not swim to you.

You want to make your pet better, but you can't. It is a sad day.

Saying Good-bye

Your parent might say, "Your pet needs to go to the vet for the last time." That means your pet will be dead soon. You need to say good-bye to her.

Hug your pet and tell her you love her. Tell her she was the best pet in the whole world. Ask your parent to take a picture of you with your pet. You might write a good-bye letter to your pet and tie it to a balloon. When your pet dies, let the balloon float up to heaven with her.

When Your Pet Dies Suddenly

Sometimes pets die without anyone knowing. You might walk into your room and find your gerbil lying quietly in his cage. You might tickle your cat, but she won't move. You might call your lizard's name, but he won't look at you. You might touch your bird, but it feels stiff and cold.

You can still say good-bye to your pet. You could wrap your pet's small body in one of your shirts and hug him one last time. You could cover him with his favorite blanket, and hold his paw like you always did.

Tell your pet you will miss him very much and will never forget him. He will hear what you say from heaven.

Pet Heaven

Heaven is a beautiful place where God takes care of pets and people after they die. Your pet will not have pain in heaven. He will always be happy there.

Ask your parents what they think your pet is doing in heaven. Could your rabbit be hopping from one cloud to the next? Could angels be riding your horse, or playing catch with your dog?

You can't visit heaven, and your pet can't visit you. But he can hear you when you pray. Tell your pet how you feel.

It's Okay to Cry

Although your pet is safe and happy, you are still sad. You miss your pet. You keep loving it, even though it is gone.

You might wonder if it is okay to cry about your pet. It is. Your pet loved you and made you feel special. He was your friend. It's natural to cry.

Your parents might cry. Your sister and brother may cry. It's okay for everybody to cry, no matter how old they are.

Some people don't cry even when they are sad. It's okay not to cry, too.

Tell People About Your Pet

People who knew your pet may want to say good-bye, too. You might make "announcement cards." An announcement card tells the name of your pet and the day it died. You can draw a picture of your pet on the card or put his photograph inside. You can write a letter or a poem about him.

Give the cards to your neighbors and friends. Mail them to your grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Show them to your teachers and classmates.

Your Pet's Funeral

A funeral is a ceremony that honors a pet that has died. People gather and say nice things about your pet. They will say they are sorry he died. They will tell funny stories about him. Hearing how much people enjoyed your pet will help you feel better.

Do you think people will remember how fast your cat could chase a squirrel? Will they remember when your dog jumped in the school bus and made the driver and children laugh?


Excerpted from When Your Pet Dies by Victoria Ryan, R. W. Alley. Copyright © 2003 Victoria Ryan. Excerpted by permission of Abbey Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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