Grief Support

They were your constant companion, your confidant, your unconditional friend. When they die, it can feel like a part of you died with them. As an animal lover, you develop a deep human-animal bond with your pet—deeper than some people can understand. When they die, your world falls apart.

That’s how it’s been for us with the passing of the animals that graced our lives—our world crumbled. Where we once saw color, there was only black and white.

Our own experiences of loss led us to explore the many facets of grief.

Lisa’s journey through grief led her to enroll in the Animal Chaplaincy Program with the Compassion Consortium. The program helps fulfill the heart’s call to honor and celebrates the lives of all species, including how to companion them through joys and challenges.

Talking with grief counselors, we learned many things that have helped on our journey to peace.

  • There is no one way to grieve. We offer these resources in the hope you find a beacon of light on your own path through grief.
  • The grief process isn’t linear. Moving through grief is like a spiral or squiggly line that travels forward, backward, up, down, and then repeats the random pattern. We hope you’ll visit again and again to explore these resources, as some may speak to your needs at different times.
  • Having the support of others who have experienced your pain is invaluable. Lean on others who’ve been there and let their experiences help you reach the other side—the side that contains the joy and appreciation for the love you shared.

Please know we've felt what you feel.

We hope these grief resources will help you understand you’re not alone.


Sacred Sendoffs, Surviving Animal Loss, Making Life Meaningful, & Healing the Planet, Sarah H. Bowen

Dog Heaven, Cynthia Ryland

Dog Songs, Mary Oliver

For Every Dog an Angel, Christine Davis

Goodbye, friend, Gary Kowalski

Grieving the Death of a Pet, Betty J. Carmack

How Animals Grieve, Barbara J. King

The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss, by Russell Friedman, Cole James, and John W. James

The Dog Chapel, Stephen Huneck

Weep Not for Me, Constance Jenkins

When the Loss is Deep, A Companion Animal Grief Journey, Deborah Jones, Ph.D.


There is No Grief Starter Pack with Michael Cruz Kayne, part of TED How to Be a Better Human

As I Live and Grieve, Kathy Gleason

Never Just a Dog, John Littlefair


Why the Loss of a Pet is so Challenging, Jen Reeder

What NOT to Say When Someone’s Pet Dies, Deb Jones, Ph.D.

When the Loss is Deep, Deb Jones, Ph.D.

Mindfulness Tools Help With Grief, Catherine Holm

The Guilt in Goodbye, Teoti Anderson

On Joy and Sorrow by Kahlil Gibran Poem, Academy of American Poets


We Don’t Move on From Grief, We Move Forward with It, Nora McInery, TED women, 2018

Grief and Love in the Animal Kingdom, Barbara J. King, TED, 2019

Pet Loss Grief; The Pain Explained, Sarah Hoggan DVM, TEDx Talks

Grief and Pet Loss, Symptoms You May Experience, Belinda Johnson, Naturally Happy Dogs


The Death of a Dog Changes You delves into the deep and dark places I visited after the untimely deaths of my four young dogs and the uncanny way that transforming immense grief and sorrow can lead to pure joy. It’s a love story filled with tragedy, anger, guilt, second-guessing and, ultimately, acceptance.

~ Lisa Lyle Waggoner