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When It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Preparing for the Transition of Your Beloved Pet

Foreword by Victoria Nicholls

Practical guidance and compassionate support for pet owners before, during, and after the death of a beloved companion animal

• Explores how to best prepare for a good death for your pet, including recognizing changes in your animal’s well-being, palliative care at home, taking care of your pet’s remains, ceremonies, and more

• Offers practical exercises and activities, such as what to discuss with the vet when euthanasia is anticipated, how to retain a center of inner calm when making decisions, and how to find the courage to say goodbye when the time comes

• Addresses the emotional components of the bereavement process--fears beforehand, guilt and anger afterward--and offers advice on self-care throughout

Our pets are members of our families. The death or separation from a beloved animal friend--whether anticipated or unexpected--can unleash a roller coaster of emotions. In this compassionate guide based on more than 20 years’ experience helping individuals and veterinary professionals, Angela Garner offers practical support and guidance to help you prepare for your pet’s death ahead of time, do your best by your animal friend when the time comes, and work through your grieving process afterward.

The author explores how to prepare for a good death for your pet, including recognizing changes in your pet’s well-being, palliative care at home, taking care of your pet’s remains, ceremonies, and more. She discusses natural death and euthanasia and offers exercises and activities to help you work through difficult issues, such as what to discuss with the vet and how to stay focused on your pet’s welfare when euthanasia is anticipated. Sharing her own experiences and those of others, she explores practices to help you cope with fears and overwhelming emotions, retain a center of inner calm when making crucial decisions, and find the courage to say goodbye when it is time.

Angela Garner also addresses the different emotional components of the bereavement process--fears beforehand and guilt and anger afterward--and includes a compassionate discussion about children and pet loss as well as how to support a grieving companion animal in the family. Offering step-by-step support throughout, this guide brings hope and reassurance that, while grief may feel insurmountable, you will come out the other side to once again reengage with life.

Angela Garner, animal bereavement specialist and former nurse, founded a national support service in the UK to help people through the grieving process, developing a wide range of pet bereavement support resources. Awarded a fellowship by the Society of Bereavement Practitioners for her work, she lives in Devon, UK.