Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die

Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die

by Jon Katz

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Overview

In this invaluable guide and touchstone, New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz addresses the difficult but necessary topic of saying goodbye to a beloved pet. Drawing on personal experiences, stories from fellow pet owners, and philosophical reflections, Katz provides support for those in mourning. By allowing ourselves to grieve honestly and openly, he posits, we can in time celebrate the dogs, cats, and other creatures that have so enriched us. Katz compels us to consider if we gave our pets good lives, if we were their advocates in times of need, and if we used our best judgments in the end. In dealing with these issues, we can alleviate guilt, let go, and help others who are undergoing similar passages. By honoring the animals that have graced our lives, we reveal their truly timeless gifts: unwavering companionship and undying love.

With a brand-new Foreword by the author 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345502704
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/21/2012
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 182,835
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.74(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jon Katz has written twenty books—eight novels and twelve works of nonfiction—including Soul of a Dog, Izzy & Lenore, Dog Days, A Good Dog, and The Dogs of Bedlam Farm. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Rolling Stone, Wired, and the AKC Gazette. He has worked for CBS News, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Katz is also a photographer and the author of a children’s book, Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm. He lives on Bedlam Farm in upstate New York with his wife, the artist Maria Wulf; his dogs, Rose, Izzy, Lenore, and Frieda; his donkeys, Lulu and Fanny; and his barn cats, Mother and Minnie.

Hometown:

Montclair, New Jersey

Date of Birth:

August 8, 1947

Place of Birth:

Providence, Rhode Island

Education:

Attended George Washington University and The New School for Social Research

Read an Excerpt

Animal Dreams

Orson

In my dreams, dogs don’t die.

 In my dreams, my dogs talk to me.

 They speak to me of life and loss, of love and joy, of the gates through which they entered and left my life. This is comforting. And nourishing. And very real to me. My dogs touch me in ways that stick. And that does not die.

Orson

Orson emerges from a sea of bright blue lights, ranging

up a verdant hillside under misty skies.

Will you talk with me? I ask.

Of course, he says.

Will you forgive me? I plead.

For what? he asks.

For not being better.

For not fixing you.

For letting you die.

The lights all flicker in the gentlest of breezes.

His bright eyes meet mine.

You didn’t kill me, he says.

It was my time to go. It was my way of leaving,

of saying goodbye, of going home.

Where did you go?

I came here, to rest, and to wait.

And I came back to see you. I put my head on your foot while you worked, and watched over you. You seemed sad, alone.

Then you saw why I brought you to the farm,

why I came into your life, and led you to a different place.

So you could find work you loved.

And find yourself.

And find someone to love.

You did that?

He is silent, staring beyond me.

We come and we go, entering the lives of people

at different points, in different ways. When we are called, we leave. It doesn’t really matter how we go; there are many ways for us to leave. I wish I could have told you that you didn’t have that much power over us, to decide our fates.

I was ready to move on, and so were you. Ready to find another kind of love. To change your work. To find out who you are. I could only do so much. You had to do the rest.

Did you love me?

Yes, always. But not in your way. Not only you. We serve human beings, and we love them all. In our own way, we protect and guide, and fill some of the holes in your lives.

And then he touched his nose to my hand, and he moved off, disappearing into the lights.

I will always be close by, he says.



The

Good Life

There is something elemental, even beautiful, about the natural death of an animal. When a pet dies naturally, it frees us from the agonizing second-guessing and guilt that can accompany the decision to euthanize it in order to spare it suffering. Still, the experience of having a pet die naturally has its own pain, as well as its own opportunities for gratitude and love.

Julia, a nurse in Kansas City, wrote me about her dog Spike, a fourteen-year-old mixed breed adopted from a shelter when he was a puppy. Spike suffered from arthritis and had some colon and kidney problems. He was on a special diet. Julia knew he was getting old, but he was still eating, still able to walk outside and follow her around the house. During his last exam, the vet had said that his heart was weakening. She warned Julia that Spike could go at any time.

Julia talked to the vet about how Spike might die, and the vet said that since the dog’s health problems weren’t particularly severe or painful, he might well die naturally. This was difficult to hear, but Julia was relieved that the vet wasn’t recommending toxic drugs or scary procedures. She didn’t want to put Spike through that.

One night, as she sat reading a novel, Spike climbed up onto the sofa and put his head in her lap. Julia remembered enjoying the pleasure of a good book and the fire crackling in front of them when something made her look up. She sensed, rather than saw or heard, a change. “Suddenly, Spike wasn’t breathing. He was gone. I knew it.”

She was surprised by how calm she felt. Instead of being upset, she felt full of love for her dear friend. She sat with him for a while, then picked him up and laid him on his bed. In the morning she took him to the vet’s office for cremation. The ashes are now in a small urn on the fireplace mantel.

“How lucky I was to have him go that peacefully, and with me. I felt tremendous grief, but I didn’t have to make the decision about his life that I had always dreaded making. And he didn’t die with stitches all over or tubes in his nose, or drugged. He had always had a good life. And he died a good way. Recognizing that made me feel a whole lot better.”

I love the idea of the Good Life. I believe this notion can be an enormous help to people who have lost their pets. The fact that Spike had had a good life was a great comfort to Julia. It gave her perspective; something to take pride in. When you clear away all of the emotional confusion, there is this: all we can give our pets is a Good Life. We can’t do more than that. We miss them because that life was good, loving, and joyful. Too often this truth is lost in our grieving.

When I was a teenager I joined a Quaker meeting. I loved many things about the Quakers but was especially drawn to their notion of death. When someone or something dies, rather than mourn, the Quakers celebrate the life. They laugh and sing and tell funny stories about the person who is gone, and they remember the very best things about that person’s life. What a lesson for those of us who have lost a dog or a cat who has meant a lot to us. And that is just what Julia did for Spike. She didn’t just mourn the dog she lost, she celebrated the life they had together. The Good Life.

Over the years I’ve heard many wonderful stories about dogs who die a natural death, who say goodbye in their own way and time. Donna told me about her Welsh corgi, Cora, who went off into the garden for her final sleep one summer afternoon and was found lying in a bed of hostas, at peace. Raiki, an elderly golden retriever who lived in northeastern Vermont, was struggling to walk, eat, and see. One winter’s night she walked off into a blizzard and was never found. Jen and Peter, who loved her, believe that she became a spirit of the wind, and that she blows back to them with each storm.

Dan, an Upstate New York logger, would let Sadie, his ferocious rottweiler/shepherd out of his truck at 5 a.m. every day, and she would return faithfully about twelve hours later when his work was done. He never knew where she went or what she did, but she often came back limping, bleeding, covered in scratch and claw marks. Sadie was aging and was now stiff with joint pain. One morning, after she scrambled out of the truck, she paused and stared into his eyes for the longest time. He had ridden with this wild and beautiful creature for ten years, but he had never seen her look at him in this way. When she finally limped off, he knew that he would never see her again. And he didn’t.

“I was happy for her,” he said. “She died the way she wanted to die.”

She had, he said, a Good Life.



To give a creature a Good Life is a precious thing.

As your pet ages and you sense the end may be near, focus your mind on the best parts of the life you shared. On love. Loyalty. Comfort. Laughter. Remember that you still have time. Record your memories. You might want to take some photos or make a video. Consider gathering friends to say goodbye. And lift your heart in celebration of the amazing gift of loving an animal’s spirit—and being loved in return.

Finally, it might help ease your sadness to ask yourself the following questions:

Did I give my pet the best life I could?

Did I feed him every single day of his life?

Did I care for him when he was sick?

Did I take him with me whenever I could?

Did I appreciate and return his affection?

Did I recognize and honor his true nature?

Did I love him?

Do I miss him?

Did he have a Good Life?

If the answer to these questions is yes, know and remember that you gave a special animal a Good Life.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Wonderful [and] enormously comforting.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
 
“A must-read . . . Numerous books have been published on the subject, but Going Home ranks right up there with the best.”—Seattle Kennel Club
 
“[A] heartrending book . . . Katz addresses a need, and he does it beautifully.”—Library Journal
 
“Refreshing in its honest depiction of grief over pet loss.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Katz offers wisdom on finding peace.”Baltimore Sun

Customer Reviews

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Going Home 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading this book I have shed some tears and felt how it was to lose a dog. I highly recoomend it to pet owners.
Just-Aimer More than 1 year ago
I had to have my cat of 17 years put to sleep back on Sept 30 of this year. Heart wrenching but the right choice. After a weekend of tears and sadness I started to feel less grief at her absence. I happened upon this book just after Jon Katz had appeared locally at the WI Humane Society - I wish I could have heard him speak. The book itself is well done. It was comforting for me to read and brought up the tears again - but that's ok. It's normal to grieve a pet. It's comforting to know you aren't alone when you experience a high level of grief over a pet. It really is a beautiful book - quick to read, and resonates deeply.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm still mourning the loss of my beloved dog and reading this book helped me sort through my thoughts and feelings. I think the various anecdotes and author's insight can be helpful to all sorts of people. If you've lost a pet, have a terminally ill pet or have an elderly pet I would recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the first 40 pages of the book looking for support after losing a beloved pet. This book read more like a horror story of cold and careless people. Here is a sample... A person adopted a cow as a pet. He later couldn't afford it so he had it slaughtered. He split the profits with the friend that took the animal to the slaughter house. This isn't what any true animal lover would ever do. This book didn't bring me any comfort but rather it has given me even more grief and depression.
Holly More than 1 year ago
Where do I begin with this book, it's not a bad read just a little misleading in the title. Having just lost 4 animals in a 10 month span, I have been trying to get my hands on any kind of book that deals with losing your beloved pet but I was more than a little disappointed while reading this book. To me, the Author kept going from one thing to another within the chapter that made it hard to understand what he was trying to say. Plus, having some of the things that he wrote in this book kinda made it hard to believe that he really loved some of his pets like he claimed he did. Overall, everyone is going to take something different from this book and for me, it was that everyone has different opinions on what constitutes as love for their animal. So take this book with a grain of salt and just read it to get a different view on dealing with losing your pet. Thank You to Jon Katz for sharing your opinion on how to deal with losing a pet! I borrowed this book from my local Public Library!
realbigcat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jon Katz is a wonderful writer. This boo k Going Home Finding Peace When a Pet Dies deals with a tough subject. If you are reading this book you are probably a pet owner and have had to deal with a loss. The fact that we develop such a great bond with our pets and their lifespan is relatively short is one very unforunate. Katz deals with the subject of grieving and accepting the loss. He puts it into a great perspective and relates stories of his own pets. Obviously this book would be a great read for any pet lover but it would also make a great reference book to keep or give to someone who is dealing with the loss of a beloved pet.
-Cee- on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Every once in a long while I pick up a book and start to read the first few pages out of curiosity without intending to get involved. Rarely do I get caught so hard I find it difficult to put anything down that early in the game. This book is one of those rare exceptions.Jon Katz has written a beautiful, sensitive, and common-sense book on a difficult subject - how we love our pets and how we can deal with grief when they pass on. There is a thread of spirituality woven throughout which will resonate with many loving pet owners. Katz emphasizes responsibility for choices, acceptance without guilt, and fond remembrance of what our pets have taught us and the loving attachments we shared with them¿ each one different. His book is a celebration of all things wonderful in the relationships of humans and their pets.I have personally experienced the death of two awesome dogs in my life. For years, I struggled with doubt and a nagging level of guilt over my decisions to euthanize them when the time came. After reading this book I am able to release much of the pain I¿ve held on to unnecessarily. I now focus on cherishing how those dogs have helped me grow, the gifts they gave me, and the joy we shared.Death is a part of life. ¿Going Home¿ will help you recognize and accept this ¿ in your own time; in your own way. There are helpful suggestions for children and adults. I highly recommend this book when you feel ready to read it.
mpensack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jon Katz has written many excellent books about his dogs, his farm animals and the life they share. In "Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die" he combines his experience and knowledge about animals with his thoughts, insights and experience dealing with the grief following their death. He writes with honesty and warmth as he shares his own stories about saying good bye to his furry friends. He offers practical advice mixed with reassurance that grieving is a normal part of loving. I found his experience with hospice patients added much to the narrative. I especially enjoyed the chapter that talks about how getting a new pet is paying your old friend the highest compliment. This book also offers important tips on the importance of being honest with children about the death of a pet. It's an excellent book and a must read for all pet owners who will some day have to say good bye to their best friend.
Laura_Corbett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first Jon Katz book that I have read - so I am now looking forward to reading his other books now. GOING HOME was a quick read that was emotional and sensible at the same file. Jon shared with us his encounters with loss with the animals in his life, but also offers us advice to help us when it comes time for us to be in the same situation. I found myself on the verge of tears throughout most of the book because his anecdotes are touching, but also because I have lost 3 pets this past year so this book hits a bit close to my heart. When this book is available, I would like to give to my friends as their pets approach their senior years in hopes that it will help them in making all the decisions for their pets - and make those decisions w/o guilt! Thank you, Jon!
DocWood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Going Home; Finding Peace When Pets Die, by Jon Katz (Villard, 2011, 166pp., $22.00 US) is a sort of manual for pet owners on pet death and grief, and when it¿s necessary, on the decision to euthanize. It¿s so much more than that, though¿it¿s also a paean to our pets and our relationships with them. Indeed, Katz characterizes the grief itself as an expression of our joy in the animal¿s life.Since the book covers both natural and assisted deaths, stressing the need for preparation, it makes useful reading for owners whose pets are still living and healthy as well as for those already grieving either form of loss. Katz includes sections on children¿s experiences of pet death, and this is also covered thoroughly in Dr. Debra Katz¿s Afterword (which the publisher¿s notes refer to as a preface). Katz works three themes throughout the book. One, we are responsible for making choices that are in the animal¿s best interests, not on the basis of what we want or what other people think we should do. Two, grief is normal and natural, and even a good thing, for it cleanses, heals, and stands as testimony to the love we had for our pet. Three, both the decision and the grief go best if we are prepared. What constitutes the animal¿s best interests, and how do we tell? How do we grieve? And how do we prepare for deciding and grieving? The book addresses each in depth, including how to involve, prepare, and support the children. Katz approaches each task¿which, as he points out, we commit to the moment we bring the animal into our homes and our lives¿practically, spiritually, and compassionately. In the process, Katz is incredibly generous, giving of himself in ways that few would have the courage to do in print. He shares his own grief, his personal failings, and his dreams (in chapters titled ¿Animal Dreams¿).Three of me read this book and we all loved it. The writer in me admired Katz¿s ability to be both succinct and eloquent at the same time. This is the most eminently quotable book I have read in a long time¿which is frustrating in a way because the publisher asks that nobody quote it yet as the ARCs are all uncorrected copy. (On which subject, this ¿uncorrected¿ copy is in better shape than some books I¿ve seen in recent years that are in 2nd and subsequent printings¿and still riddled with a ridiculous number of errors. My hat¿s off to the editors at Villard.) I have resolved that dilemma by quoting it anyway, as it is just too good to pass up. The clinical psychologist fell instantly and completely in love with the book. Its message of comfort, its exhortations to responsibility for our animals, its sweet photographs, and its moving stories all made me wish I could order a case of this book to hand out to grieving clients and friends. And finally, the dotty old woman who still mourns a dog three years gone hesitated to even start the book. When it arrived in the mail, I wondered what on earth I had been thinking when I requested it! But I was hooked on the first page. I read it in fits and starts, on lunch breaks and sometimes when I should have been doing paperwork, and I cried every time I picked it up. Sometimes for myself, sometimes for my Rosie, and sometimes for Katz or for whichever animal¿s death the current chapter was about. But I found it tremendously comforting and anyway, as Katz put it, ¿I would hate to have a dog or cat for whom I did not grieve.¿The three of us have only a few, small quibbles with the book. One, and really the only substantive one, is the psychologist¿s, and it has to do with the title: I¿m uncomfortable with euphemisms like that, seeing them as a denial of the reality of death. The animal is not ¿going home¿. It is dead, not somewhere else¿gone. If clients¿ personal spiritual beliefs include an afterlife or rebirth, fine. But I am not comfortable leading with that myself, preferring instead to follow the griever¿s lead. Another, and I admit that this is so small it borders on petty, is the writer¿s. K
chocolatedog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To be fair, I have read a couple of Katz¿ previous books and found them a little precious and somehow offputting. I tried to keep an open mind about Going Home.This is a thin book and a good book to read as you are facing the final days of your pet¿s life. Katz aptly describes the emotions that the loss of a pet brings. You¿ll want to read Going Home in private. I made the mistake of opening the book up in a coffee shop and had to shut it as tears came. (And I had assumed that I had finished grieving for my several-months-passed dog.) Katz describes how one of his friends gave his dog a Perfect Day before the dog¿s death from heart failure ¿ one day where he and his dog did all of the dog¿s favorite things. I found this a really powerful way to honor your dog before his or her passing. I have just a couple of quibbles with the book. Katz says ¿There is something elemental, even beautiful, about the natural death of an animal.¿ As a vet, I have seen many animals die a natural death, both in the clinic and on the farm. Sometimes it is peaceful and feels right; other times, a natural death can be prolonged and brutal. Katz talks about a pet¿s natural death sparing pet owners the guilt-inducing choice to euthanize. I don¿t think the book is clear enough about the benefits of a timely euthanasia for an animal who is miserable, and about the guilt that can plague owners who feel they waited too long to end their pet¿s suffering.Another curious thing was Katz¿ take on advanced veterinary care for animals. Katz rightly urges pet owners to think about how much money they are willing to spend on their pet in an emergency or at the end of life. He then opines that it is somehow selfish it is to spend a lot of money on veterinary care when so many humans in this world are suffering. This has always been a strange argument to me. People can drop $60,000 on a fancy car or truck, but can¿t spend a small fraction of that amount on caring for their furry family member without being made to feel frivolous? (And, yes, as a vet, I obviously have a horse in this race.) Overall, I think Going Home may be a worthwhile read. There are several books out there that broach this subject, so you may want to browse among the current offerings to find a book that speaks to you.
LivelyLady on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Easy to be objective reading a book about losing a pet when I had lost a pet of 15 years, but currently have a young, healthy pet. I underlined quite a bit in Katz' book about when animals die. He really had a good perspective about while they are an important part of our life and serve a purpose, they are animals. This was easily readable, a quick read, and made even more interesting by examples of animals he has had or that he knew about. A definite recommendation for anyone with an animals, young or old. Since it is not released until the end of September, a good book to put on your Christmas list!
squirrelsohno on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having lost a dog around the same period as I received an advanced reader copy of this book, I was unsure of what to do. My black lab Ozzie had been a part of my life from a young age, and in a sense we grew up together. I¿m 24 and Ozzie came into my family when I was 12, but I quickly took to him and he became like a furry brother for me. His death left a void in my life and I immediately picked up this book. Going Home was both poignant and helpful for me in accepting my dog¿s death. It tells of celebrating a dog¿s life and how blessed I am to have been able to experience his life and his gifts to my family and my own life. Katz¿s own experiences with the death of his dog Orson resonated with me as I searched for hope and comfort in the days after Ozzie¿s death. What I learned, though, is that Ozzie changed me as a person. This book is the type that will teach you about the power our relationships with our pets have on us as people. This book helped ease the grieving process involved with the death of a beloved family pet. Ozzie was more than just a pet, though. He really was part of my family. After reading Going Home, I learned to celebrate his life and be grateful for everything he did for me and my family. If you are in the process of grieving the loss of a pet, this is a book you cannot miss. It helps so much.
clamairy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Touching and uncomplicated look at how to deal with the loss of a loved pet. Having lost one dog and four cats in the last eight years I could relate to Katz and much of what he had to say. One of the most interesting parts of the book for me was the afterword by Debra A. Katz, MD. (No relation to the author.) Could be very helpful for those who have just lost a furry best friend, or for those who know they will sooner rather than later. If you are one of those rare animal owners who does not love your pet/s as much as (if not more than) some of the people in your life then this book is not for you.
ellenflorman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book and deserves a place in the home of everyone who has ever loved and lost a pet. I have read several of Jon Katz' other books about his farm in Upstate New York (Bedlam Farm) and the animals who have come and gone through his life there. He is an excellent and entertaining writer and I have enjoyed his stories. This book is a powerful look at loving and losing animals that we love. It also offers ideas for how to deal with the grief, including stories of Mr. Katz' own experiences. Be prepared with a box of tissues, but don't let it stop you from reading this beautiful book.
pasha992 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Jon Katz's previous books and enjoyed them all. This was hard one to read because it made me think of all of the animals I have loved and lost over the years. My favorite chapter was Perspective. I appreciated his insight on what to say when it is time to say goodbye to your animal - "Thank you. I let you go and I celebrate your time with us." You couldn't ask for anything more when it is time to say goodbye to your dog or cat.I would recommend this book to anyone who is an animal lover.
TimBazzett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was looking forward to reading GOING HOME for a couple of reasons. One, I had read a couple of Katz's books (RUNNING TO THE MOUNTAIN and A DOG YEAR) several years ago and enjoyed them very much. Two, I have recently lost two very dear dogs. Barney died suddenly just over a year ago of an apparent heart attack at not quite ten years old, and the other, who was fourteen, I had to put down less than two weeks ago. It's probably not necessary to say, but yes, I am grieving for both of them. Putting Daisy down was of course a very difficult and painful decision. So getting Katz's book in the mail a week ago seemed fortuitous and timely. I was ready for another good story from the master of Bedlam Farm. Unfortunately what I got was not much of a story at all. It seemed more of an extended Hallmark-type sympathy card, made up of very brief anecdotes of pet deaths, drawn from Katz's own experiences and from those of his readers. Katz made sure his book appealed to all pet lovers, including not just dogs and cats, but tales of pet chickens, sheep, steers, donkeys, etc. These mostly unsatisfying litle stories are combined with his own advice about how to cope with loss and grief, as well as quotes from great writers, psychiatrists and other "experts." There is a lot of white space in the book's format, and its "chapters" are headed with two-page photos, mostly of the soulful faces and eyes of a dog, cat, burro, etc. The truth is, I didn't feel the book hung together very well. It read - and was constructed - very much like one of those self-help books that I generally despise. On the other hand, I must admit that I teared up often while reading GOING HOME, mostly because I'd just recently buried my best friend of the last fourteen years, an event which made me miss our other dog, Barney, too. We do have another dog, Mac, who is three and has been with us for nearly a year now. Katz gives good advice here about opening yourself to another dog after losing one - not a replacement, mind you, but another someone to love you and be loved in return. My feelings regarding GOING HOME are very mixed. While it probably helped some in clarifying my feelings about my lost dogs, it also to a certain extent angered me. It seemed just a bit too pat and glib in what it had to say and more that a bit opportunistic and commercial in the way it so obviously targets a ready made audience of people who love animals and who may be grieving the loss of one. I'm sure plenty of people will admire this book and perhaps take some comfort in it. For a writer of Katz's ability though, I found this book to be just plain disappointing. Sorry, Jon. (Or maybe I should say, Shame on you.) I know you could have made this a lot more personal and resonant than you did. Instead you opted to give your readers 150-odd pages of Hallmark and repetitious psycho-babble.
cal8769 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was a very good basic guide on allowing yourself to grieve your pet's mortality. I felt the stories that he included were very helpful to show that we indeed love and miss our furry family members and that we should be allowed to show our emotions.I also loved that Katz reminded us that animals are animals. They can't be made into little people and they don't have the emotional compacity of humans. I think people need to be reminded of that before they get pets.I enjoyed this book as much as a weeping, nostalgic woman could. I also belive that even though I have pets who have been gone for many years, I felt comforted my his book. I will try and keep this book on hand for friends and family who lose a pet.
4daisies on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jon Katz has written a simple yet wise book about grieving the loss of a pet. It covers a range of situations of loss that pet owners might find themselves in offering suggestions on how to deal with them based on Katz's own experience. He also provides many examples from others who have shared their experiences with him. He talks about letting go of guilt. He gently suggests how to talk to a child about the loss of a beloved pet and respecting their right to grieve as well. For fans of Mr. Katz's work, the reminiscing about the various animals that have passed through Katz's life and books is like a loving memorial to old friends. I recommend this book to all those who have lost a pet and are struggling with their emotions, as well as those who may want to prepare for what inevitably lies ahead for most pet owners - the day a decision must be made.
nightprose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jon Katz is a well-versed expert on dogs. He has shared many of his experiences with many readers over the years. He writes from Bedlam Farm of his many dogs, and the many stages of life with them.In this most recent book, Jon Katz addresses the inevitable final stage. He writes of Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die.This one is of particular meaning for me. I have lost many pets over my lifetime. I miss every one of them still. I have had an especially difficult time losing my Shetland Sheepdog, Maisie (in 2010). I have shared pictures of her, written about her, and still grieve for her.Jon¿s book is understanding and compassionate. He understands dogs and their people. Jon understands the bond between them. In this book, he gets it right with his words of advice and comfort. He honors this bond, this relationship between pet and person. And he respects the undying love.In addition to his books, Jon Katz has a website and a blog. I recommend Jon Katz, his books, and his sites. He understands the special bond of ¿Furever Friends¿.
khiemstra631 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having just lost a pet a couple of weeks ago, I have anxiously awaited the arrival of this book. I found it well worth the wait. One of his Katz's contentions is that people need to think about and prepare themselves for their pet's death before the time comes so they will know how they prefer to respond to serious illnesses, etc. rather than being forced to make hurried decisions in the vet's office. He also discusses how to know when it's time to euthanize and why owners should not feel guilty about making the decision. He emphasizes that we must be advocates for our pets; that pets think differently about death than humans; and that the death of a pet does not equal that of a human. But, he also talks a lot about how to deal with the grief that comes from the death of a pet and that it must not be ignored. It's definitely a tear-jerker of book, but it also has some humorous moments, too. And, it's not that long so it would not be intimidating to those who don't regularly read books. Highly recommended!
marsap on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Written by Jon Katz, the author of the Bedlam Farm stories--this book deals with the loss of a pet, through his personal experiences of loss. What I particularly liked was his discussion of not just the loss but planning for the loss--so that when the time comes, which it will, there will be a plan. This could almost be an advanced planning or end of life planning for our pets. The stories are sweet and sad, and the advice well thought out. 4 1/2 out 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A couple weeks ago, We had to put our only "kid" our "Fur Boy" to sleep. He was our constant companion by our side 24 hours. As any animal lover knows, losing a pet is very painful. He was our dog since he was 4 years old and he did liver over 16 years. This book did make me cry; but also is helping me deal with the loss of our beloved dog. It also has parts that address love & death in general which I found helpful. The only part I did not like was the section about the cow and that is why I gave it a four star. The rest is great, especially the list on "the good life" which we definitely gave our dog!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If we can post anout our pets...for theboet of the day, this is my post. Jasmine! Shes my black labrador retreiver(lab for short) and shes FAT! LIKE A WALRUS! She wears a purple flower collar around her neck, she has a son that she like to nplay with, and she has a long tounge that she likes to give kisses w ith! She has floppy ears, and bounces around. She loves to play with the horses at the barn she lives at!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Parts of this book was good. But i was hoping for more. I like his other books better.