I have just finished Pet Parents, by Coleen Ellis [http://www.amazon.com/Pet-Parents-Journey-Through-Unconditional/dp/1462035485/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329664836&sr=1-1]. This is really a sweet—and at the same time, a practical—book for all pet lovers. Coleen´s inspiration to establish Pet Angel Memorial Center came from her relationship with a feisty Terrier/Miniature Schnauzer mix who, after 14 years of companionship, finally succumbed to cancer. This was at a time when veterinarians had little to offer, other than “disposing” of the body. But her love for little Mico compelled her to found the first stand-alone pet funeral home in the nation.

This experience will give you an idea of the book. It is full of love and understanding, while at the same time offering sound advice on how to plan ahead for–and how to deal with–that sad day that is sure to come. In between these two goals, she has sprinkled in wonderful stories of inspiring pets and their loving owners.

So, you can look upon this as a guidebook for a time in your life when you may definitely need an understanding hand to guide you along. But it is also more than a guidebook: you feel as if you have gotten to know a fellow pet lover who understands what you are going through. Colleen, her husband, and her family share a love for the animals who enrich our lives; they have created a special place, and an ongoing resource.

This is a book you should have, even if you have just brought your puppy or kitty home. You don´t have to wait until you heart is breaking to appreciate the kind words and the wisdom of the author.

Coleen has taken an additional step forward: in 2009 she founded the Two Hearts Pet Loss Center [https://twoheartspetlosscenter.com], which offers counseling and educational services. I urge you to visit her site; it is a wonderful resource.