When a Family Pet Dies

When aFamily Pet Dies CareNote coverdults lose a pet, their hearts ache like a child’s. Their grief matters.  Today there is greater understanding of the emotional bond between adults and their pets, and it’s no longer taboo for adults to mourn when their pet is taken from them. But often the grieving adult is simultaneously trying to comfort his or her spouse and children who also loved the pet. This eight-page booklet discusses 5 things you can do to take care of yourself and your family in this time of sorrow–including helping your surviving pets.  Buy now at Abbey Press/CareNotes


If you are reading this, you and your family have lost or are close to losing a member of your own family–your pet. But there is no ritual to guide you through your grief; no obiturary to tell the world of your sadness; no funeral to ease you into the final separation from your pet. You may feel confused and guilty over difficult end-of-life decisions. You may feel intense sadness but not know how to express it. You want to ease the pain of your spouse and children but may wonder: “Who will be strong for me?”

“I do not believe for one second that God placed such creatures as our dogs on earth as ‘throwaway’ creatures that simply cease to exist when they fulfill their purpose and then die. All of creation is part of God’s divine plan and all of creation will be redeemed in Christ Jesus. There was a kid’s movie a few years back that proclaimed, ‘All Dogs Go to Heaven.’ I have no doubt.”

Father John Dresko, Orthodox Church of America

“Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.”