It doesn’t matter how long we prepare for the inevitable. Losing our animal family members is painful and devastating.
Sadly, all of us experience it at some point, but we don’t have to go though it alone.
Tripawds will always be a place to turn to to share the good times and sad ones, to celebrate and to reminisce.
When you need more information to turn to for comfort and help, here are some ideas. Be sure to check the Grief Support tips on our Resources Page too.
We’ll update this regularly. If you have any good resources to share, please let us know in the comments section below.
Tripawds Discussion Forum: Coping with Loss
Question Yourself to Prepare for Loss
Tripawds Founder Jerry asks, “Which would be worse: the pain of missing your pet or to watch his condition deteriorate?”
Thoughts on Grief
Spirit Indi’s Mom shares her method for coping with loss; “The work is to find the balance and be at peace with the empty space. Don’t try to fill it up, hard as it might be. Because it is what it is. It is what it is, says love.”
Anticipatory Grief: Trying to Cope with the Impending Loss of Tshuvah
Tripawd Mom Beth wonders how she will cope with the loss of her beloved Tshuvah, who was just diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma.
On Deciding to Say Goodbye and How to Know When “It’s Time”
As Henri’s condition deteriorates, his Mom wonders, “Why after all of this, am I second guessing myself, feeling guilt, questioning whether it is the right time etc? I guess part of me believes he will get better, but I think I know what the truth is.”
How to Decide About at Home Euthanasia
A healthy discussion that anyone facing end of life decisions for their dog should hear.
Quotes to inspire and bring peace to broken hearts.
Jerry’s Story: Coping with the Inevitable
Jerry lived with osteosarcoma for 24 months. Toward the end of his time on earth, he and his pawrents chronicled the emotional rollercoaster they rode.
Buying Time on an Emotional Budget
May 19, 2008: When it comes to cancer treatment, it’s not about what things cost. It’s about maximizing quality of life and preparing for the inevitable.
Acknowledge There is Nothing to Lose
August 24th 2008: Jerry ponders Steve Jobs’ quote, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
What to Expect Next. . .
September 17, 2008: Jerry talks about the progression of osteosarcoma lung metastasis in his body, and maintaining a pawsitive but realistic outlook.
Saying Goodbye: How We Knew (part 1)
November 1, 2008: Spirit Jerry says “I’ve always tried to be upfront about my cancer, so in the next two blog posts, my pawrents and I feel strong enough to share the details of our last hours together.”
Free Companion Animal Grief Support Counseling
The Argus Institute
The Argus Institute is staffed with professional clinical counselors who give free information and emotional support to pawrents facing hard decisions surrounding their animal’s health care.
Tufts University: Pet Loss Support Hotline
Tufts veterinary students work alongside trained psychologists to help provide one-on-one counseling with grieving pet pawrents. There is no formula or time limit. Staff members listen, realizing that no two callers or situations are alike.
ASPCA Pet Loss Support Hotline: (877) 474-3310
Ohio State C.A.L.L. (Companion Animal Listening Line): (614) 292-1823
Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine Pet Loss Support Hotline : (517) 432-2696. Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Eastern time)
Cornell University Pet Loss Support Hotline: (607) 253-3932
6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday -Thursday evenings (Eastern time)
University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine “C.A.R.E. Pet Loss Support Hotline”: (877) 394-2273
University of Florida Pet Loss Support hotline: (352) 392-2235
Leave a message and someone will call you back within 24 hours weekdays; weekend calls are returned on Monday.
Hospice Care Resources
The Animal Healing Project presents organizations, articles and resources for home hospice care for companion animals.
Home Care Tips for Your Terminal Pet, by Alice E. Villalobos, D.V.M., VCA Coast Animal Hospital and Cancer Center, California.
The Nikki Hospice Foundation for Pets shares pet loss support and resources.
Pet Loss Support Page teaches us how to define “quality of life” for an animal.
Grief Support Books
“The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer: Lessons on Living and Dying from My Canine Brothers” was the most powerful tool my pawrents found to help them cope with the emotional toll that cancer took on our pack.
“For Every Dog an Angel” Celebrates the Bond between humans and their beloved canine companions.
“How to ROAR and Recover from Pet Loss“ is a step-by-step guide to recover from the loss of your best friend.
Children and Pet Loss
Tips for Responding to Children’s Needs During Pet Loss from the Argus Institute.
Tips for helping children cope with pet loss from the ASPCA.
General Pet Loss Comfort
Christine Davis, author of “For Every Dog an Angel,” presents a guide to coping with grief and loss.
The ASPCA’s Guide to Pet Loss
Read Our Review of Heartsmith Pet Memorial Lockets.
See the Tripawds Remembrance Page for Pet Urns, Memorial Boxes and More.