Healing From the Pain of Pet Loss

Farewell, Friend: A Gentle Guide to Saying Goodbye to Your Dog

The grief, loneliness, and regret of saying goodbye to a beloved dog or cat is surprisingly painful. You never “get over” the loss of a pet! You shared your home, heart and life with this animal – who gave you unconditional love, joy and trust. You’ll never forget, but you will feel better. 

It hurts to say goodbye. You’re not prepared, and you feel worse than you ever imagined. I’ve lost two dogs and four cats, and each goodbye was uniquely painful. But I learned how to soften the pain and heal the jagged bits of my soul. I’m here to help you.

Kitty Comfort Coping With Cat Loss


Life without your pet is a sad adjustment of heart and home. Whether your loss was planned or accidental, you’re grieving the end of a season of your life…and you’ll never be the same.


You’ll find companionship, hope, and healing here. You’ll hear from fellow animal lovers who know exactly how heartbreaking pet loss is…and you’ll be comforted with reassurances that your dog or cat is resting in peace.

Take heart, for you are not alone.


These comforting, encouraging guidebooks are pdf files that are easy to read on any device – and they’re only $2.99 US.

Buy Now


Farewell, Friend: A Gentle Guide to Saying Goodbye to Your Dog


A gift for you: when you buy one of my pet loss ebooks, you get the other one at no charge. Simply send me an email and tell me which one you bought; I’ll send you the other one for free.


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Kitty Comforts: Help and Hope for Coping With the Loss of Your Cat


It’s time to start healing and letting go. You’ll never forget your beloved dog or cat, but you will feel less alone. You won’t “get over it”, but you will feel less burdened by grief, guilt, or regret. Your heart will heal, your spirits will lift, and your soul will lighten.

When you order your copy, you’ll get my personal email address. You can contact me directly with questions or concerns. I also offer a money-back guarantee – so if you aren’t happy with your ebook, I’ll refund your money.


Table of Contents


The three most important parts of recovering from pet loss are accepting, remembering, and healing. Each section of this ebook contains 5 chapters of fresh insights, suggestions, and activities. You’ll learn how to accept your loss, remember with less pain and more acceptance, and heal your heart.


Part 1: Accepting Your Loss

  1. Reject the Myth That “Time Heals All Wounds”
  2. Understand Why Pet Loss Hurts So Much
  3. Explore Practical Ways to Cope With Regret
  4. Learn How to Deal With Guilty Feelings
  5. Surrender to Your Emotions – the Whole Catastrophe


Part 2: Remembering Your Pet

  1. Honor Your Pet’s Memory
  2. Choose Your Companions Carefully
  3. Say Goodbye to Your Pet Without Falling to Pieces
  4. Create Peace and Comfort in Your Home
  5. Listen for the Roar of Something Greater


Part 3: Healing Your Heart

  1. Learn How to Forgive Yourself
  2. Face Your Grief and Let Go of the Pain
  3. Pay Attention to Your Progress
  4. Rest in the Peace of a Healing Heart
  5. Find Out How the Story Ends



Buy Now


Farewell, Friend: A Gentle Guide to Saying Goodbye to Your Dog



Buy Now


Kitty Comforts: Help and Hope for Coping With the Loss of Your Cat



About Me

Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen She Blossoms blogs

My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; I’m a writer with 25 years of teaching, social work, and counseling experience. I created the “She Blossoms” blog series in 2008 and have been earning a living as a blogger and writer since then.

As an experienced freelance writer, I’ve been published in magazines such as Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest, Women’s Health, and More. My undergraduate degrees are in Psychology and Education, and I have a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of British Columbia. I also have a great deal of professional and personal experience with loss, letting go, and Blossoming!

Take good care of yourself, for you are worth taking good care of.



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23 thoughts on “Healing From the Pain of Pet Loss”

  1. March 11th I had to put my cat to sleep. A very demanding tortoise shell cat named Tsumi. She had only been mine for 6 years. Inherited from my mom when I moved in with her, who inherited her from my sister when she moved out. She was 18. I knew she was dying, told her goodbye and that I loved her and that I’d see her on Rainbow Bridge some day. I was fine. I had another cat at home after all. Fast forward to a month. My baby doll of a 5 1/2 year old long haired Siamese had developed signs that she was dying, ie not eating or drinking for days, but other than that she seemed perfectly fine. I told my sister she was sick. Because of coved I was in lockdown and couldn’t go to the vet with my sister. The day after she took her I get a call saying she WAS SICK, incurable virus that the vet had said had been there for awhile, so she was put to sleep on April 23rd. I didn’t get to say goodbye or say I love you & I’ll see you on Rainbow Bridge with Tsumi. I’ve been crying ever since. In the span of 34 days I lost both of my babies. And to top it off my birthday is tomorrow & we are still in lockdown & I don’t want to go into my bedroom because Tribble is not there on my bed waiting for me. I know I need another cat but how am I supposed to get another cat without feeling guilty for getting 1.

      1. What a sad birthday it must be for you, Alexis. I’m sorry you lost your babies and that today is a painful day 🙁
        Thinking of you with love,
        – Laurie

  2. For 17 years, since she showed up on my doorstep at just 8 weeks old, Pfeiffer was my constant companion. At only 11 weeks old she had to spend 3 days at the vet’s: she became deathly ill due to a parasitical larva under the skin of her neck. But they saved her, and her purr was powerful when she saw me arrive to retrieve her and take her back home. Never did she cause any kind of trouble, and she wished nothing more than to be near me. The arm of my recliner, between my feet on the floor, snuggling up to my side in bed to have her tummy rubbed and fall asleep. If separated by a door, she would sit just outside and wait for me to emerge. When she became ill with either IBD or lymphoma at 16 years, she would even wait in the kitchen for me to administer her compounded liquid meds. Not so much as a fuss during the week or so I had to give her sub-cu fluids with her sitting on the kitchen counter. Twice she went downhill, then bounced back. Was it for love of me? Even on her last day, she just wanted to be with me. That was then. Now…. I begin crying anytime my attention isn’t wholly consumed by something else; I am constantly expecting to see her when I round a corner in the house; my entire routine at home was built around seeing to her needs first. I know I’m lucky to have had a year to prepare, but the reality is absolutely crushing. I have no more dreams for the future, no enthusiasm for anything I used to enjoy, no interest in being awake at all: I would rather the oblivion of a dreamless sleep. And I’m second-guessing every decision I made that brought her and I to that point when her life ended. I used to tell people I wanted to live forever, there was so much of the unknown in life to explore and learn; now I couldn’t care less. I’m just hoping the grief and debilitation will ease someday, while simultaneously fearing I will feel even more guilty when/if it does. This is nothing like the loss of family that I’ve endured before, it’s so much worse. I wish I could believe in an afterlife, but haven’t for a very long time. Judge me if you will, and believe it or not: I’m a GUY. My license plate frame says “Real Men Like Cats”. And I’m just trying to cope. To anyone reading who can identify with this: I cannot profess to believe in anything after passing, but please say a prayer for my sweet Pfeiffer. And thank you, Laurie.

    1. John, That just made me cry. You Pfeiffer sounds wonderful.
      My Simon disappeared one night after I came home from work. He talked to me as Siamese breeds do. I had him for 13 years. He was a crazy kitten and I swore I would never have another Siamese. As the years passed, Simon proved to have the most loyal personality. He would walk with me to my mom’s house. He would go check out noises and alert me if something wasn’t quite right in the house. He was a cuddle monster and loved all other animals. Even the neighborhood children would come over to play with Simon for the afternoon. I still hope for a day where he will come wandering up to the porch.
      After a few months, I went to volunteer at the SPCA. I was about to leave when I saw a tiny seal point kitten going into the display cage, fresh out of surgery. The kitten reminded me of my Simon. I immediately adopted the kitten. I tried a variety of names, but he answered to Puff. So, Puff it was. He was an ugly duckling. He grew into a gorgeous Birman cat. He must have been surrendered because he was not up to breed standard. He was so sweet. He loved cats, dogs, people. He was not once mean or aggressive. He was super lazy and loving. He quickly became my everything. He was so beautiful that I would tell him that he was the “Burt Reynolds of cats”. After taking a much needed vacation, I came home to find that my beautiful 2 year old baby had passed away and was under the guest bedroom. The person that was going by my house did not notice that he had been trapped in the room. I do not know exactly what day he passed, but I found him on August 31, 2018. I am shattered over it all. I do not even know how to forgive myself. I feel so guilty for being gone and having fun, while my baby was dying. I do not even know how to move forward from this. I feel robbed. 2 years was not long enough with him. A part of me died with him. I feel like a shell of myself.

  3. Mac, was only about 5, He was the sweetest boy cat ever and i hurt so much. He died on Christmas morning, 2017. We were later told, maybe, something called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. it was much to fast, At 6 am Mac was happy and purring his little butt off and at about 7:30 am he was gone.

  4. My puppy go hit by a car while going after a deer , her leg was broke in three places and the money they wasted I couldn’t afford so I surrendered her and I can’t quit crying when I think of her I feel like I deserted her.

  5. Laurie,

    I ordered your Farewell Friend PDF for use with clients as a social worker and wanted to reach out to you as it notes that you will send Kitty Comforts for free.

    Please let me know if this is still the case.



  6. What a joy to read your article. I very seldomly comment on articles I read but your words are powerful and inspiring. I have had a very difficult 6 months. I left my partner with our baby boy as our relationship was not working and I needed support of family. Sadly my family life overseas so I left the home and my beloved dog, Charlie with my ex. He couldn’t manage our property or the dog without me so rehomed him and has since moved out the home we had. I am devastated and never thought my leaving would result in our beautiful boy losing out and now with a new family. It’s been a difficult journey coming up terms with the break up and life in general but I feel so guilty for leaving Charlie but I had too get out the house to recoup . I struggle to come to terms that’s he’s elsewhere, he was my other baby and only 2 years so still a pup. I need to accept that he’s happy,I probably need to visit him in his new home as I had no input in the rehoming process so I don’t have closure . It’s made an already challenging time just so much harder .. the pain is excruciating. I need help to move on and face life without Charlie.

  7. HI thank you for your excellent readings here… I had abby 3 my third old English sheepdog and I surrendered her to the shelter… I feel so sad it took me 2 weeks without her and really hit me. My father died sept 12 ,2017 and I was so sad and stressed out I for sure was not thinking straight.. now here I am feeling horrible I rehomed her.. I have some macaws I rescued and abby always wanted to go after the birds and she would of killed them I could not risk it… I had this dog since she was 8 weeks old I thought she will be fine if she grows up with the birds… she was not… Abby was 16 months old… and not slowing down.. I did it for Abby 🙁 I know she would get a family who loved her and maybe some kids she loved children to play with her.. she was a great girl but I had my birds for 14 years…. missing her terribly,… hope I will get over this losing my father and now abby.. it is close to 3 weeks without her now… It is like a death to me but I know it isn’t but still feels like it.. I will have to start to Pray about this…. really hit home past 3 days when I cleaned under my bed and found all of her favorite toys… 🙁 God Bless you all and good luck healing….

  8. This year my health has been bad and unfortunately i’m rehoming my 11th month old standard poodle and it brakes my heart so bad because i love her so much but i feel like i let her down and i’m disappointed in myself for not being able to give her the life she deserves so the family that is going to take her is picking her up tomorrow and i feel so bad and guilty but reading this really helped me understand that yes it hurts but she will be happy and knowing that she is happy is all that i want even if it’s not with me because she deserves that.

  9. Last year was filled with loss, fiancee, left me for a very rich woman on Valentine’s Day, my American oriental kitty Jasper, due to kidney failure, (he was the joy of my life.) A boyfriend due to health issues (surgery), a gentleman due to his ED, an old friend (deceased), the home I worked so hard to complete when husband of 28years was ill and died, this house I sold to please my fiancee. Loss of money, A dear friend that is moving to Mexico for a low cost life. A friend due to political differences. My heart is heavy, looking for joy. Loss is a learning journey. One that friends help u through the dark cloud.

  10. Thank you, Laurie for your blog and words of wisdom,
    It has helped me to know that it is ok to still cry and be able to just be myself
    I miss my cat, Lucky very very much, she was 17 and passed away August 2017
    She was my life and my best friend
    She made my life better,
    Thanks again

  11. Bhola my male siamese spent 10 and a half beautiful years with us before crossing over to the Afterworld on 18th November. He slept with me, didn’t let me shout on phone, played with me, in short loved me.
    There is not a single moment when I don’t think about him. I know my Allah is helping me but am I making enough efforts? Can I let the beautiful 3780 days and nights spent with him let go?
    People advise me to have another cat. But who can replace Bhola?

    1. Hi. I just wanted to say I understand. I had to put my cat Ziggy to sleep on April 1st. He had kidney failure and quit eating. I had him for almost 16 years. He was the light of my life. I just wanted to say I’m sorry for your great loss. I’m also sorry others telling you to get another right away. Those folks obviously have never had a “soul mate” animal. I hope you are feeling less pain, but I know you will always miss your special relationship.

  12. Hi Laurie,
    Thanks for your inspirational words.
    When my dog died I cried daily for a month, and I’m not a crying person!

    Getting another dog is a good idea in some cases, it may help the feeling of loss.

    I’ve lost two Rottweiler lady doggies – Tootsie and Cara.
    Although I’ve made peace with it, the feeling of loss will never go away.

    I’ve learned that that guilty feelings about the dog plays a major part in getting over it. So, appreciate and enjoy every moment with you beloved pet. Treat it the best you can so that you can know it’s had a good life once it’s gone. That’s the best you can do for you furrry friend.


  13. Thankyou I can’t accept my dog is gone. this is about haylie the wishing and wanting her still here .I can’t accept it yet that she is gone

  14. Somehow, after traipsing all over the internet I discovered yr site. I enjoy yr uplifting messages as I am nothing but a lost soul living in this crazy world. I think I should start to listen to podcasts too but first need to figure out how to. But keep sharing & caring – it does filter thru

    A lost soul Derah

    1. It would be so nice if more landlords would accept animals BUT, don’t blame the landlords, blame the disgusting humans that don’t take care of their babies.

  15. I am having a hard time leaving. My cockapoo Gunner is my baby but I am having a hard time finding an apartment that I can afford. I don’t like how my abuser treats him, yelling at him putting his hand up like he is going to hit him. Gunner sleeps with me and stays by my side all the time. I take a shower and both dogs are waiting for me outside the door. Brady the English bulldog has critical heart problems he will be 12 in Nov. I have PTSD Gunner immediately barks when my abuser comes near me when I am sleeping. He is my hero! I don’t think I can just leave him behind.