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Everyone who's ever loved an animal companion will find wisdom and solace in this book. The authors share stories drawn from decades of experience leading pet loss groups and practicing family therapy. Their recommendations for taking care of yourself and loved ones during the rough spots of grief will answer all of your important questions and help you feel well-supported. I highly recommend The Pet Loss Companion for companion animal lovers like me.
- Ed Sayres, President & CEO of the ASPCA(R) The Pet Loss Companion is a wonderfully reassuring book for anyone who cares about pets. It is a loving book, full of personal and practical details about how to care for oneself after loss. The authors are sensitive pet-lovers, empathic and engaging in this moving and meaningful book.
- Monica McGoldrick, MSW, Ph.D. (h.c.), Director, Multicultural Family Institute, and author of You Can Go Home Again If you have ever lost a beloved pet and have wondered if your feelings are normal, this book is a must read for you. Ken and Nancy, in this single book, have captured the emotional roller coaster that most people experience during the end stages of the life of their pet. In addition there are helpful insights into their world as bereavement counselors and how they have helped their patients deal with the experiences of death. I have practiced Veterinary Medicine for over 30 years and have finally found a book that can be given to my grieving owners after such a trauma.
- Anthony Miele, DVM, CEO, Veterinary Asset Management, Inc. What a gift Ken and Nancy's book is to those of us who have cherished and lost a pet companion. They get it, and as such, gently and skillfully help to ease the treacherous journey that loss is. This gem explores the terrain of loss and grief and the vast love that surrounds the experience. Readers will be warmed, saddened, and delighted by the examples and tools that are provided to ease the necessary grief process. The experience of reading this little book leaves me feeling much gratitude for my pet companions and these authors who so beautifully convey the huge role they play in our lives.
- Lynn Parker, Ph.D., LCSW, Professor, Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center is proud to offer free pet loss support as part of its programmatic efforts, with Nancy Saxton-Lopez at the helm for over 20 years. Together Ken and Nancy continue to provide this valuable service at our center twice monthly and they've expanded their reach by sharing their professional training and direct pet loss counseling expertise with the completion of The Pet Loss Companion. Their compassion for both pets and the people who love them is palpable in this concise, easy-to-read guide which offers understanding, solace, and hope to anyone struggling with the loss of a cherished animal companion, no matter the circumstances. The loss of a companion animal is a unique, yet not unique, grieving process not always well understood by others. This book connects and thereby supports people at a time of what can be isolating grief, providing a life raft or light to navigate the process. It's also a helpful tool-whether as a gift or for personal awareness-for those looking for some guidance in supporting family and friends coping with pet loss.
- Heather Cammisa, President & CEO, St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center, Madison, New Jersey
About the Author
Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who has led monthly pet loss groups for eleven years. He is a lifelong animal companion enthusiast, having shared his home with dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, cockatiels, finches, chinchillas, guinea pigs, turtles, mice, one horse, and one rat. A special rat, indeed, Nero sat on Ken's shoulder eating peanuts while Ken studied late into the evenings at college. Ken earned his B.A. in biopsychology at Cornell University and Master of Social Work (MSW) at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He completed a three year post-graduate program in family therapy at The Multicultural Family Institute, Highland Park, New Jersey, where he now serves on the board of directors. Ken makes his living as a health and wellness executive at a multinational company. He is a father and husband who lives with his family in Palmer, Massachusetts, and Newark, New Jersey. Ken is the author/coauthor of two previous books, Making Love, Playing Power: Men, Women and the Rewards of Intimate Justice and Transformative Family Therapy: Just Families in a Just Society. Nancy Saxton-Lopez is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (DCSW), and psychotherapist who began the Companion Animal Loss Support Group at St. Hubert's Giralda in Madison New Jersey, on April 3, 1990. Nancy earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) at New York University. She received a Certificate in Family Therapy from the Center of Family Studies in Springfield, New Jersey. Currently, Nancy is a Senior Partner in a behavioral healthcare consulting firm and has a private practice. She loves all animals and has shared her home with many dogs, birds, fish and a mouse. She lives with her daughter, husband, and four black pugs in Ridgewood, New Jersey.