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13 gentle gestures to help grieving clients

Article

After a loss, take these steps to recognize clients' special relationships with their pets.

1. We use two comfort rooms for attended euthanasia and for bereavement support.

2. We offer a lending library of books for children and adults on pet loss.

3. We deliver a single rose in a bud vase with a sympathy card and a personal note from each of our team members to the family's home after a pet's death.

4. We give a dog or cat angel pin to each family member.

5. We give a black "Remember" wristband to each family member.

6. We make clay paw prints of the pet.

7. In families with children, we send a comfort pal stuffed animal home with the children.

8. We send out clients of copy of When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering, and Healing by Alan Wolfelt, PhD (Companion Press, 2004)

9. We offer a complimentary session to discuss palliative and hospice care and death with the entire family after a terminal diagnosis is made.

10. We employ a bereavement specialist as part of our team.

11. We offer individual and group pet loss support to our clients and the community.

12. We hold an annual Remembrance Ceremony for our clients and team.

13. We decorate our holiday tree with ornaments our team and clients provided in memory of pets who've died.

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