A Book Can Help Kids (and Adults) Deal with Loss of a Pet

The heartbreak of losing a pet is often a traumatic event in anyone’s life. For children, especially, the death of a beloved pet and even euthanasia can be very difficult concepts to understand.

There are very likely resources in local Bridgeport, Fairfield, New Haven and Stamford, CT schools and libraries on the topic. However, a book recently released that was written by a veterinarian to help children (and adults) better deal with losing a pet was recently the topic of discussion in a Pet Health Network article that is worth a closer look.

Dr. Corey Gut, a veterinarian, is the author of  Being Brave for Bailey, a children’s book available on Amazon.comhttps://www.amazon.com/Being-Brave-Bailey-Corey-Gut/dp/1480807192/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476045231&sr=1-1&keywords=Being+Brave+for+Bailey.

Pet Health Network Managing Editor Jason Carr explored the reasons Gut wrote the book and shared her insight in the recent Pet Health Network online article titled New Children’s Book offers Help after Loss of a Pet. For the full story go to http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/news-blogs/a-pets-life/new-childrens-book-offers-help-after-loss-a-pet.

Here is a short excerpt from the interview about the book:

“Q. What was your inspiration for the book?

Euthanasia and death are very frightening and confusing for young children. Many times, the loss of a pet is a child’s first experience with death. As a veterinarian, families have asked me countless times over the years for resources and advice on how to broach the topic of pet loss with their children. Since I couldn’t find anything available to help these families, I decided to write the book Being Brave for Bailey.”

“I had recently diagnosed my sister’s dog, Bailey, with liver cancer and my sister was one of those clients looking to me to provide guidance with my young niece. The book tells the story of Bailey, a dog who is getting old and has become ill and the family needs to make the difficult decision to euthanize Bailey so he doesn’t hurt or suffer anymore. After reading the book, the parents have an entryway to discuss their own pet and some of the things that may be happening and decisions  that may need to be made.”

Gut went on to say that the book was written for children ages three to 10 years and that she sought the guidance of elementary school counselor and a licensed children’s therapist when writing the story.

She sought to introduce the idea of the loss of a pet to children in as gentle and non-threatening way as possible, Gut explained.

“However, the most surprising aspect of this experience so far is the number of adults that have come forward and shared with me how much this book has helped them too. At any age, we question decisions that need to be made and there is never a good age, or a good time to have to say goodbye to a part of one’s family. It’s always hard. It’s supposed to be,” she added.

Q. What advice would you give to families dealing with grief and the loss of a pet?

“It’s always difficult. The greater the love, the greater the loss. Pets have a way of loving us unconditionally and leaving a huge heartache when they’re gone. As far as children are concerned, I believe that including children in the process is extremely helpful. Death is very frightening and children feel a complete loss of control. But if you are able to include them, in small ways, in some of the decisions surrounding the loss (“Should we bury Fido with his favorite blanket, or his bone?”) and also afterward, by doing activities together to commemorate the pet – planting a tree in the pet’s memory, or making a shadow box or scrapbook together, it provides children with a sense of control and helps them learn about an inevitable part of life in the process.”

Gut is on a personal campaign to get the book distributed to schools across the U.S. Eventually she’d like to see the book become available worldwide.

Being Brave for Bailey has received all 5-star reviews on Google, Amazon, and other search engines and phenomenal accolades from the Journal of American Veterinary Medicine, the Reader’s Favorite Award, and many more, according to Gut.

If you have questions about talking to your kids about a terminal pet of your own consult your pet’s veterinarian.

Turn to your local CT Offleash K9 Training professional for answers and guidance to questions you may have regarding canine obedience, dog aggression, food aggression, dog potty training issues and more.