Industry experts to release children’s book on pet loss
Forever Friend was created to help parents guide their children through the painful challenge of losing a pet.
Two pet loss industry experts have collaborated to coauthor Forever Friend, a book designed to help families navigate the grief and emotions of losing a pet. The book is meant for parents to read with their children, providing a guide to support the mourning process with thoughtful and appropriate activities. The activities in Forever Friend are devised to give children a safe space to record their thoughts, process their emotions, and capture the precious memories of the time they shared with their pet.
Forever Friend was coauthored by Mary Gardener, DVM, and Coleen Ellis, CT, CTLP. Together, they have spent more than 50 years assisting families with their pets’ end-of-life journeys. Ellis is president of Two Hearts Pet Loss Center, past cochair of the PLPA, and current Executive Director for the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care. Gardener is a hospice veterinarian and cofounder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, the nation’s largest organization of hospice and end of life veterinarians.
“I’m so excited about this book for children. While the use of the words ‘state-of-the-art’ seems a bit interesting in describing a book, the publication really takes into consideration the child of today. Today’s child is familiar with technology like cell phones and social media. We wanted to acknowledge that for children by creating something more than a coloring book. With Forever Friend, they can create a screensaver of their beloved dog, write a blog, be a reporter, or create a video, to name a few of the activities” Gardner said.
Additional activities in Forever Friend include a word find, crossword puzzle, paper with embedded flower seeds to plant, the creation of a memory table, and more.
“Forever Friend is a book designed for the family of today, to walk the grief journey together,” said Ellis. “While these activities are designed for children, we know the true healing for everyone who loved the pet will happen as these pages are completed as a family. Grief is unique to each person. This publication certainly acknowledges that and is also a wonderful place to communicate collectively the life, love and memories shared with a precious dog. A bit of an intended consequence with Forever Friend is the entire family being able to heal together through these various activities.”
Forever Friend releases January 10, 2022. This version focuses on the loss of a beloved dog. The cat version of Forever Friend is slated to release in early 2022.
INDUSTRY EXPERTS RELEASE BOOK ON CHILDREN AND PET LOSS. News Release. ForeverFriend.Pet; January 7, 2022.