Ostensibly, this is a book for people grieving the death of a beloved animal companion. But we see more in it than that. This is a book of hope, nurture, and making connections.

Author Barbara Allen lives in Australia where she started the country’s first animal chaplaincy program. She’s also a Protestant minister in Melbourne.

Chapters address topics such as “Feelings in the Wake of Pet Loss” and “Pets and the Afterlife,” as well as how children grieve differently from adults, and suggestions for “Rituals of Remembrance” and how to memorialize grief and gratitude for the loved one who is now gone.

Allen does an excellent job selecting sources from religious traditions, Indigenous cultures, and countries (e.g. Japanese Buddhist temples designed with pet cemeteries and funeral rites for animals). Throughout, the guiding adage is: “Although your loved animal companion’s earthly life has ended, yours has not.”

The author also knows how to ask questions that permit the reader not just to listen and learn, but to discover through reading:

“Think about how your animal companion changed you. Have you become more patient? Less judgmental? Are you able to live more in the moment and fret less about the future?”