... impeccably researched ... offers deeply personal stories about the many ways companion animals enrich lives and how animal lovers must ultimately cope with the pain of their loss ... This in-depth, splendidly informative narrative is replete with down-to-earth stories from Bartels herself and those of ordinary pet owners, pet care professionals, celebrities and historians ... Bartels thoroughly examines these and many other topics, including euthanasia, taxidermy, ideas about reincarnation and pet cemeteries ... Readers, like Bartels, who long to consciously comprehend the pet-human bond--why people care so much for their pets, in life and in death, and what makes the bond so worthwhile and why--will be well educated and find much to reflect upon.
Using her own experiences as a framework, [Bartels] provides perspective, offers reassurance, and does her best to convince readers they’re not alone — no matter how they’re feeling about or dealing with the inevitable end of a pet’s life. She wisely mingles heartwarming episodes among heartbreaking ones ... The final moments can be the hardest, but readers might find that this book helps make saying goodbye a bit easier.
These deeply personal and heartfelt stories will affect anyone who has had a pet and those that haven’t will better understand the bonds of those who do ... Providing touching and sometimes funny stories about pet love and loss illuminates our human desire to bond with and honor our fellow creatures.