A PLACE IN MY HEART, When a Pet Dies

I’ve written a new booklet. A Place in My Heart, When a Pet Dies.
A booklet to guide pet owners through the challenges of a pet’s final illness, approaching death, and the grief that follows. I’ve thought about writing this booklet for several years but it didn’t get written until I got a very sad letter from a gentleman telling me about the death of his beloved dog and his difficulty understanding his grief. As I wrote back to him I decided now was the time to write the booklet I had thought about for so long.

We can be as much at a loss when our pet is dying as we are when a person is dying but there doesn’t seem to be the support and guidance available for when a beloved pet is dying hence this new booklet.

I see A Place In My Heart as being the Gone From My Sight for families with animals. A booklet to guide someone through the dying and grief experience when an animal is involved.

We humans when we are dying a gradual death from old age or disease go through a process--not eating, sleeping more, withdrawing. Animals do something similar. With animals there is the issue, unlike humans, of euthanasia. When is suffering and treatment enough? Then there are burial decisions to consider and finally grief.

Grief presents itself in the same manner as grief for a person but often there isn’t the same support from others that is given when a person dies. Many think “it is just an animal. What is the big deal?” Grief for our animals is a “big deal”. For many of us our animals are family, an important part of our lives and we grieve for them deeply. Often our animals take the place of children, they become our children. Our animals give us unconditional love, unless they are cats then we give them unconditional love. Animals are our port in the storm as we face life challenges. They bring us joy, humor, and comfort. They focus our attention outside of ourselves and make us less self centered.

I’ve written A Place In My Heart in the same thorough and direct yet gentle manner as my other booklets on end of life. My hope is that it will bring direction and comfort to those facing the death and grief of a much loved pet.

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Cindi Maher

How can I get a copy of the booklet about when a pet dies. I just read Gone from my sight … a beautiful guide through the dying experience. I wish I would have had this when my dad passed … reading it takes me back with a understanding of what I saw. Thank you for your crafting of words on a topic that we never really want to face … but understanding what is happening sure helps.
BK Books replied:
Hi Cindi, about how to order my pet booklet go to my website
or call 360-828-7132. Thank you for asking. Blessings! Barbara


Thank you for writing this. Pets are wonderful.

Judy A Fauth

I have lost 4 “special” family members through the years. Each holds their unique place in my heart and memories. Sir Winston Churchill (Old English Sheepdog), Mr. Apricot Rags (Llaso), Brandy (Jack Russell) and Mitzi Marie (Rat Terrier). I have mourned my losses). Don’t let anyone say, “they were just dogs” to you. Untrue! Thank you Barbara Karnes for helping us understand we can grieve for our pets; that it’s alright.

Stephanie Stipp

Your book Gone From My Sight was for me extremely helpful at the right time. I am so happy you’ve written this new one for our pets. You nailed it right away by saying people more or less think you should just get over it because it’s just an animal. I’ve sent for your book and I know it will be very helpful. My 20 year old Siamese is on her way out any time. Perfect timing on your part. Thank you so much for who you are!


Dottie shared Dr. Walter Coleman’s blessing with me and I share it here for the comfort that some will find. All we have to do is add our own pet’s name to make the message personal. Blessings! Barbara

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