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I've been called a relationship "expert" because of my focus, throughout my
career, on intimate relationships. That includes our deep relationship with our pets. Studies show that when a beloved companion animal dies, a surprising number of us grieve intensely ... more so, even, than when a friend or relative dies!


Society doesn't deal well with pet grief. It doesn't deal well with any grief, offering us one meager year, after which we're to "move on," ready or not. Many grief-stricken people who have lost their adored cat, dog, or parrot feel embarrassed by their pain and don't get help; and when a friend says, "Hey, sorry about your dog; why don't you go get a new one? ", they despair of ever being understood. This is why we refer to pet-loss grief as "disenfranchised" grief: Because the griever is so often made
to feel shame over the intensity of his
or her feeling about this most
important relationship.


Photographs by Pam Barkentin


Click on blue button to hear my interview
with Tracie Hotchner on  her NPR show

Finding peace after the loss of your beloved pet, like finding peace after the loss of any loved family member or friend, is crucial to your emotional health, and to that of the whole family. As a pet­loss grief specialist, It's my job to help clients plan for and manage the death of their pets as carefully, knowledgeably and lovingly as I would help them through any other heartbreaking loss. I help children as well as adults work through this very real and often agonizing sadness. I am certified by The American Institute of Health Care Professionals and The American Academy of Grief Counseling.


Contact me at

Click here for my blog on pet love and pet loss on the Holistic Actions website

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Thrilled to be  awarded  this
seal of approval!  --DH

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