By Gary Kowalski, New World Library, 176 pages – Compassion and Comfort for a Difficult Time –

What a really difficult subject to address! However, author Gary Kowalski does an excellent job of it in Goodbye, Friend; Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who has Ever Lost a Pet. This is thoughtful, intelligent writing without platitudes. Among the points Kowalski addresses are; how to talk to children about death, letting the animal itself decide when it’s ready to go, and the benefits of ceremony or ritual to give honor, meaning and closure to a pet’s demise. Concepts of animal souls in major religions of the world receive in-depth review and though Kowalski refers to God any number of times, the book is not noticeably based on a particular religion. Rather, it is both spiritual and philosophical in nature and the only people who may not relate to it would be non-pet lovers and atheists. Fine black and white photographs displaying a variety of companion animals are included between the chapters and add finesse to a book that is both beautiful and helpful. In fact, in spite of its sad topic, Goodbye, Friend is a feel good book which this reviewer would highly recommend to anyone facing the death or imminent death of a pet. It would also make a fine and thoughtful gift for a friend in need.

Reviewed by Rosalie West