I just completed my 10 hour training with the Associaiton Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB). The five week course is complicated and worth the effort. The teacher is a psychologist that has recognized the need in our culture to allow for grief and healing after the loss of an animal companion. His book is wonderful and helped me after the loss of our 2 older labradors (Nyala and Bella Grace). The book is The Loss of a Pet by Dr. Wallace Sife. I highly recommend the book for anyone who is mourning the loss of their beloved animal. The foundation formed by Dr. Sife is Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, inc. The website is full of useful information www.aplb.org. I created a memorial for Nyala and Bella and they are listed under “Patrick Family”.
Because people in our culture grieve silently for our loss animals, it is difficult to heal. People often confide in their pets, tell them our fantasies, receive great comfort when we are stressed and all of these behaviors create a special unmatched bond. Sometimes folks are ashamed to tell friends or professionals the extent in which we mourn. Society as a rule can be insensitive to animal loss. I think the work of this organization is of great value and will continue to blog about the issue.