There’s a new book out for children that is designed to help them cope with the death of their dog. It’s titled “Give a Dog your Heart” and is written by Aubrey Fine, Ed.D., a child psychologist who has been using dogs in AAT as long as anyone. I’m not completely objective, Aubrey and I co-authored a chapter in his new Handbook of Animal Assisted Therapy, and I found him to be kind, compassionate and a joy to work with.
Still, if I didn’t like the book I wouldn’t post a note about it. The book is beautifully written and designed, has break your heart photos of a black lab, and a wonderful section at the back for children to use as an album and a journal. Hard as it is, pets are such a good opportunity to help children learn about how to wend your way through the woods when you are grieving. I just read an advice column in which a woman felt guilty because she took her child to a movie in which a pet died, and the child was upset. The columnist, yeah for her, wrote there was no reason to feel guilt, but that the movie was a wonderful ‘teaching moment’ to help a child learn that death is a part of life, and that we feel sad about the loss, feel grateful for a beloved pet’s life, and go on to celebrate it as best we can.
I’d love to hear about other books that you have found useful, especially for children. Any others out there?
MEANWHILE, back on the farm: Well, I’m not actually. I’m about in the middle of the Milford Track right now, deep in the South Island of New Zealand. I pre-posted this, knowing that my connection to the internet will be sporadic at best. Here’s a photo from home, to remind me that it might be spring in New Zealand, but this is probably what it will look like when I get home.