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on January 9, 2000
I have read many, many books on pet bereavement and loss and I have to say that I'm a little disappointed with Mr. Sife's book. It reads like a monotonous textbook and lacks feeling. I've read other pet bereavement books where warmth and understanding are felt, right from page one, but this book is not like that. There are other pet bereavement books out there that are much more helpful.
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on October 8, 2001
Three weeks ago, we lost our 8-year old Boxer, Taylor, to Lymphosarcoma. We took her to the very best Oncologists(several of them), spent thousands of dollars in trying to keep her with us for as long as possible, but in the end we knew it was time for us to let go.
Not having children, the pain of losing such a loving animal was beyond my expectation of grief. When I researched the list of books on pet loss, I was looking for facts on how to deal with this agony and pain. Dr. Sife's introduction and chapters on this subject matter was a validation that what me and my husband were feeling and going through were normal.
Dr. Sife's case histories throughout the book were very helpful in applying what other people have experienced and what we were going through.
For anyone who has recently lost a pet and is looking for some insight on the feelings they are experiencing, I highly recommend this book. He is very factual. If you are looking for a spiritual or religious aspect, this is not the book. Although Dr. Sife does touch on this subject in a chapter, the basis for the book is the psychological aspects of losing a member of your family.
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on June 29, 2003
I have to admit that this is one of the better books out there on pet loss however it is very clinical. When you're in a bunch of pain that clinical tone is a bit too impersonal and doesn't convey a whole lot of empathy. In fact the book contains several examples of case studies of pet owners who were too attached to their pets and needed counseling. The part that was the most helpful to me was the suggestions on what to do to feel better, there's a list offered towards the end of the book. One suggestion was writing down remote memories that seem to surge in the days immediately after the death of your pet. The chapter on feeling angry was a good kick in the pants. It's a good book but it has more of a tough love approach. I didn't feel a whole lot of comfort reading it but it did have some solid suggestions that helped. It's kind of practical. It is very informational talks about a lot of issues and practical stuff like pet cemetaries, counseling, etc. Author does have a few soap boxes.
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on November 5, 1998
From Publisher's Weekly: If you snicker at the notion of a book devoted to pet bereavement, consider that that very lack of sympathy may have brought the book into being. Sife, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based psychotherapist and the founder of the Association for Pet Bereavement, addresses the pet owner whose grief at a pet's death is largely misunderstood or even ridiculed by friends, associates and society in general. Although his topic easily lends itself to touchy-feely disquisitions, Sife is to be commended for offering information that is not only compassionate but concise, wide-ranging and, above all, practical. For example, he defines stages of grieving, interpolating case studies to demonstrate those instances where expressions of mourning mask deeper problems. He composes dignified rejoinders to those who launch a ``perceived assault'' on the reader's grief; explains why the rupture of a human-animal bond can be so devastating; offers specific techniques for dealing with anger; explores the special needs of children whose pets die; presents various factors involved in considering euthanasia, including such particulars as whether or not it is beneficial to remain with the pet until its final breath; and polls leaders of various religions. A superb contribution to a growing field. (May)
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on September 9, 1999
Dr. Sife has found the courage in his work, to allow us to boldly go through all of the emotions of grief - as is usually applied to the loss of a human - in the loss of a beloved animal friend. Our relationships with animals are often so intense that, if we are honest with ourselves, we find that they are often the beings we trust unconditionally with our secrets and our souls. This book gives the reader permission to grieve, a guided path down the road through the grief process, and skills to lead them to the healing process. He does not take these losses lightly - but rather helps the survivor understand their powerful grief. Through this work I have come to understand that the loss of a pet is significant, and can be life altering. I thank Dr. Sife for helping me to find the space and the human contact (counselors and support groups are listed in the book) through which I came to understand that this loss is not to be taken lightly. Buy this book for yourself, or for a friend who has had a loss of this kind. You may never know how much that friend may need it because pet bereavement is not something everyone allows themselves to show. You may be helping a soul to heal.
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on May 5, 2001
Dr. Sife's book greatly helped me to identify the many facets of pet loss and why I grieved so deeply after the death of my young dog due to multiple organ failure. For anyone who has found themself grieving deeply for a pet and cannot seem to cope, please read "The Loss of A Pet".
Dr. Sife's book will take you through each step of the grieving process, but also deals with other issues such as the sudden disappearance of a pet, children and pet loss, the question of euthanasia, supportive counceling, etc.
Probably my favorite chapter deals with practical suggestions to help us grieve for our pets. Just reading this chapter gave me peace and comfort - knowing there were things I could do rather than just thinking about my loss.
I still love my Khiori, I still miss her, but now I have a greater understanding of how much she meant to me and why.
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on July 28, 1998
As an RN, MA, I was devastated at the loss of my beloved pet.Dr. Sife's book helped me enormously to understand the grief processas it relates to pet loss. It is written in a compassionate and very knowledgeable way. If you only can buy one book on pet bereavement, this is it. And if you have lost a pet, or know someone who has, this book will help you. I also highly recommend that you visit the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement website, which organization Dr. Sife is President of. Grief over the loss of a pet is a normal response, and Dr. Sife makes this very clear. END
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on July 28, 1998
I came upon this book after a terrible fire that took the lives of my two dogs, Fluffy and Cayman. I had nowhere to turn to so I thought reading a book on the subject may help. The book by Dr. Sife helped me realize that all that I was feeling was normal in the loss of a beloved pet. How pets are truly a part of our family and losing them is truly a devastating experience. I found the book so helpful, I've sent it onto a friend who also suffered the same lose of her animals as well. Thank you Dr. Sife for your wonderful book.
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on December 28, 1999
No one should experience the loss of a pet without this book to guide and comfort them throughout the grieving process. Dr Sife speaks to the mourning pet lover with a gentle, conversational tone that reads easily and does much to heal the soul.
I was disconsolate after the loss of my Great Dane and this book helped me understand what I was feeling and why. If you love someone who has lost a pet, get them this book. I am donating several copies to my vets office in the name of my dog.
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on May 27, 2004
After the death of our beloved dog-child Ruffy, this was the only book on pet grief I could find at my bookstore. My heart was, and still is,bleeding and I took it home and devoured it in a matter of days. It is written more to those who counsel the grieving in my opinion and did not minister to my pain. It is too technical and black and white. I felt it left out heartfelt emotion and soul. I am still searching for a book to touch my heart.
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