The latest by Katz (Soul of a Dog: Reflections on the Spirits of the Animals of Bedlam Farm, 2009, etc.) continues his popular line of books regarding man’s best friend, this time focusing on how readers should cope with the loss of a pet.
Immediately after the death of his beloved golden retriever the author accidentally drove his car into a telephone pole. “This was one of my first lessons in grieving for animal: be prepared,” he writes. While bereaved owners often assume their grief is over the top for “just a dog” or cat, Katz points out that companion animals often play a larger role in one’s daily life than friends or even children, and their deaths can be shockingly powerful. With simple prose, the author aims to assist pet owners through the grieving process by providing advice, anecdotal reflections on the lives of animals and personal stories regarding Katz and other owners’ loss of dogs, cats and even a steer. Readers with ailing pets will find this book particularly useful, as it outlines many ways to prepare for an animal’s encroaching death, such as discussing when and how an owner should make the difficult choice to euthanize, and providing ideas like having a “perfect day” that involves doing everything the pet enjoys.
Not without its sappy moments, but readers will find this book refreshing in its honest depiction of grief over pet loss.