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Forever Friend

A children's guide and activity book for saying goodbye to a special dog (Geriatric Dog Care)

by Dr Mary Gardner  (Author), Coleen Ellis  (Author), Dusan Pavlic (Illustrator)

The hardest part of loving an animal is having to say good-bye. This activity book helps parents have conversations with children about their love and feelings regarding the death of a beloved dog. Dr. Mary Gardner and Coleen Ellis have not only taken their personal experiences of losing a pet into consideration for the 23 activities in this book, but they have also taken a peek into the child of today and how they would express their grief, to include technology ideas.

Use these activities to not only help your child, and family, in expressing the various emotions felt with the loss of a pet family member, but also as a way to normalize every one of those emotions. This book is the perfect resource to give everyone permission to share their story, and memories.

Activities included are:

  • Story about my dog
  • Write a blog
  • Create a video
  • Emotional word find
  • Crossword puzzle
  • Maze of feelings
  • Craft projects with dog collar
  • Shadow box creation
  • Paper bag scrapbook
  • Seed paper creation
  • Favorite things list
  • Bucket List
  • Tribute table
  • Shoebox memory box
  • Memorial light
  • … and more

After a child creates a blog, video story or other craft projects – they can share them on the Forever Friend platform.

Dr. Mary Gardner is a small animal veterinarian whose professional goal is to increase awareness and medical care for the geriatric veterinary patient and to help make the final life stage to be as peaceful as possible, surrounded with dignity and support for all involved. A University of Florida graduate, she discovered her niche in end of life care and is the co-founder and CTO of Lap of Love which is a national organization dedicated to veterinary hospice and euthanasia in the home.

Dr. Gardner and Lap of Love have been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, The New York Times, the Associated Press, The Doctors and numerous professional veterinary publications. She is co-author of the textbook “The Treatment and Care of the Veterinary Patient”, and the author of a book dedicated to pet owners It’s Never Long Enough: A practical guide to caring for your geriatric dog.

Coleen Ellis is a pioneer in the pet loss industry. Her foray into helping grieving pet lovers started in 1998 with a chance encounter with a pet parent facing the death of her beloved pet. It was the beginning of a vision of how to best meet the needs of pet parents in their desire to mourn, memorialize and pay tribute to their beloved pets when they die. In 2004, the experience of the death of Mico guided her in starting the nation’s first stand-alone pet funeral home. Soon, publications such as Kates-Boylston’s Pet Loss Insider deemed her the “most well-known pet funeral director” and a true “pet loss pioneer.”

Two Hearts Pet Loss Center was founded in 2009 to guide people who wished to do the same in providing meaningful pet death care services in their communities. Two Hearts was also started to aid in being an educational resource in the pet grief discipline. In 2009, she received the first Death and Grief Studies Certification specializing in Pet Loss Companioning by Dr. Alan Wolfelt as well as releasing her first book, Pet Parents: A Journey Through Unconditional Love and Grief. She is also Certified in Thanatology and is a Certified Pet Loss Professional.

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