I discuss pet grief and losing our dachshund Coco to tragic circumstances in my memoir, Destination Dachshund, and have been amazed with the response from people. So many people grieve over the loss of a beloved pet, and for those who have dealt with it, or are going through it right now – it can be overwhelming at times.
Through writing Destination Dachshund, I met Wendy Van de Poll, a Certified End of Life and Grief Coach for Pets. Her first two books in her Pet Bereavement Series, My Dog is Dying, Emotions, Decisions & Options for Healing and My Dog Has Died: Making Decisions & Healing the Trauma of Pet Loss are wonderful books, whether to help with decisions with a terminally ill dog, dealing with grief after they pass, guilt that you could have done more, and moving on – both books with help with that journey.
Grieving is a different process for everyone, and for some it is very difficult. If you would like to buy Wendy’s books follow the links below. ↓
I still tear up when I think of when my first pet died, when we had to make that decision to put our old dachshund, Pancho, down when I was a child.
Since then there has been many dogs in my life – Gretel, a German shepherd that we had to call the vet in the middle of the night to have her put down when her arthritic legs gave out on her and she was in pain. That night, Pancho II, my second dachshund snuggled in bed between my husband and I, too distraught to sleep on his own after having spent his whole life so far sleeping against Gretel.
Afterwards there was Pepe, another dachshund and playmate for Pancho. They lived long full lives until Pancho got Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) and was paralysed and incontinent and we made the difficult decision to put him down. We were all devastated. Sadly, Pepe died 6 months later and for the first time in my entire life, we had no dogs to fill our house with joy. It was quiet, too quiet. I hated the silence. I missed our dogs, I missed their companionship, their funny antics and their love.
To heal our hearts we then introduced Coco and Charlie into our lives and as the story goes in Destination Dachshund, our beautiful girl, Coco, died too young after being bitten by a red belly black snake just days before our three-month trip. It was devastating to lose her so young, and so tragically. I am still grieving over this, still feel guilt that I wasn’t there for her and wish I could have done more. ‘If only we’d arrived home sooner,’ is something I often think to myself. Writing the book stirred my grief up again, as well as the grief over my father’s death, but it was an exercise in healing as well.
Check out Wendy Van de Poll’s Pet Bereavement books below:
Book 1 My Dog is Dying: What do I do? Buy HERE
Book 2 My Dog has Died: What do I do? $0.99 for a short time only – download it HERE
My Review: Most people have grieved over a beloved pet, as have I. And each dog that has been in my life and lost has been very hard to get over – it always hits hard, but after reading Wendy Van de Poll’s book I feel better equipped to be able to deal with my grief. Having lost dogs to long illnesses and a sudden tragedy with a younger pet and make the agonising decision of when is the right time to euthanise a pet, this book, and the author understands what I am going through.
Wendy Van de Poll is qualified grief and end of life coach, pet celebrant and pet owner and has provided a wonderful book to help everyone through a difficult journey. She has included questions for grieving pet owners to contemplate and help to set up a plan to go forward and many case studies. It is a very comprehensive book on the subject of dealing with a dying pet from when you receive the heartbreaking news to healing, decision making and how to cope afterwards. It is always comforting to know I’m not alone in the intense grief I experience when losing a canine family member and companion.
My Review: Author Wendy Van de Poll knows her stuff, she hits all the right points about the roller coaster of emotions that is felt when losing a beloved pet. Not only has she experienced it – but is also a verified pet bereavement coach. I connected with Wendy’s first book so much and it helped me through some long suppressed grief and guilt over a pet who passed a few years ago when having to make difficult decisions when a pet is ill. This book resonated with me as well, and for any pet lover who has lost their furry best friend whether recently or in years gone past it WILL help you get through the trauma of your silent house and your grieving heart.