Book Review: When A Pet Dies by Mister Rogers

I love cats. Maybe a little too much. And while it hasn’t come up in any previous book reviews it is relevant to this one. I warn you, this is a bit of sad post.

This week I am reviewing a book called When A Pet Dieby an author you have likely heard about before: Fred Rogers. He often goes by the name, Mister Rogers. Yes, I’m a reviewing a book by the soft spoken, sweater wearing Mr. Rogers of PBS fame. I have four cats. Well, I had four cats. Now I have three. My friend for 16 years passed away last week after a prolonged struggle with kidney disease.

old cat Samantha
I will miss you, friend.

Her name was Samantha. And I knew it was coming but that doesn’t make it much easier.  And it sadly isn’t the first cat I’ve lost. But it is the first cat that my 5 and a half  year old daughter has lost. While we were nearing the end, I asked my veterinarian, Dr. E, what her advice was for dealing with grief and the loss of a pet when it comes to young children. I figured if anyone had experience with this, it should be a veterinarian. She pointed me to When A Pet Dies and mentioned it was by Fred Rogers. The name didn’t click for me at first but then she explained that it was the sweater wearing gentleman from the neighborhood.

book recommended by veterinarian about pet loss. When A Pet Dies by Mr. Rogers
As per usual, don’t judge it by its cover.

After a bit of back and forth, she assured me that this was the book to read to my daughter, Lindsay.  Well, I should trust the veterinarian right? So I ordered the book and had it in hand before any final decisions were made for Samantha. A few days later, I went back the animal hospital but this time not for book recommendations. Sadly it was time. My little feline friend stopped eating. Something I had never seen her do before. In fact, my little cat Samantha had one of the most voracious appetites of any cat I’ve had before.

My veterinarian was great throughout the process and made it clear from the beginning that I knew Samantha and so I knew when it was time.  As a side note, (and I realize most people don’t live where I do) but if you are anywhere near Aurora, Colorado I highly recommend Dr. E and Parkside Animal Health Center. Because of how great they were throughout the process, because of how kind they were to my cat and for the book recommendation that made things easier for Lindsay for myself, I have to give them a plug. If you need an Aurora vet, please see Dr. E and her animal hospital team. They made the impossible, manageable. Because in a situation like this that’s really all you can do: try to manage.

The Good

Right away, I liked the book and knew it would be great for Lindsay. Hell, it helped me! Everything was very simple and basic (of course) but no punches were pulled. We are a secular family and so it was important to me to find a book that had a nonreligious viewpoint. I didn’t want anything even remotely religious either. Stories like the Rainbow Bridge (which is the story of pet heaven basically) cover up the reality of the situation. If you are raising a young skeptic, they will eventually call you on your stories. But even more important, a story like the rainbow bridge is basically like Santa Claus. While you can believe in the idea of heaven or some variation of it, for your entire life,  you won’t believe in Santa Claus forever. So either commit to handling grief within your religious perspective or take a secular approach but creating a child specific version of either can be counter-productive in the long run.

This book does not do that. It gently and carefully tells children the truth. Your pet is gone. But your love isn’t. Its okay to be sad. These are all basic concept that we know but the book handles them in a way that anyone can understand. It also preempts many of the questions that children can have. As is so often the case, language is the barrier and this book gives parents and children a simple language to explain some very heavy concepts.

The Not So Good

The book could some updating from an aesthetic sense. The images are from the late 70’s and some of them will be considered too heavy for our current times of hyper political correctness. There is an image of parent digging a grave for their lost dog. There are images of veterinarians having serious conversations with an older cat in the exam room. All of this is real and all of this happens but if the book was printed today there would be a lot more cartoons and sugar coating. For some this is negative and others a positive. While I think there is little to sugar coat when it comes to death, I do think some lighter imagery would help kids related a little more. Black and white photos aren’t common but when this book was first printed it was the standard. These images can seem even more confusing to a young child who won’t’ understand why the photos don’t have color.

Others may be uncomfortable with how cut and dry the book lays it out. However, I don’t see this as a problem. The experience is emotional enough. My veterinarian (and various animal hospital staff) are some of the few people to ever see me really cry. I mean sob. Weep, even. The last thing I need is a book injecting additional emotional stress into the situation. When A Pet Dies keeps the conversation factual and almost unemotional.

Veterinarian Approved, Codices Endorsed

At the end of the day, I believe this book is well worth the time if you are going through the loss of a pet. It should go unsaid but realize this book is not a replacement for tough conversations. I would only even let my child see the book if she was old enough to process some of the pictures. The real value of the book is in giving you a language to communicate death to young children. Mister Rogers was the best at relating and communicating with young minds. This book is a tool that allows you to try and communicate powerful and sad concepts with the same grace and simplicity as the child television pioneer.

You can pick up When A Pet Dies and other books from Mister Rogers at Amazon.com. 

5 Books That Will Lead You to Better Personal Development

No matter the career, the key to success is through self-development. With plenty of books that discuss self-management and transformation, we’ve narrowed down the best that will help you gain better knowledge on how to improve yourself.

Here are 5 books that will lead you to better personal development.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

As a best-selling author, Don Miguel Ruiz discusses the self-limiting beliefs that create suffering rather than building positivity. The book is about the ancient Toltec wisdom, where the Four Agreements provide a powerful code that will transform lives into experiencing the sense of true love, freedom, and happiness.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Explore the personal self-discovery of author Elizabeth Gilbert, who made a mission to find herself in travel. As an established American woman in her thirties, she thought she had everything a woman could want – a husband, a house, and a successful career. However, it was her inability to feel satisfied that led her to journey of self-discovery. She left everything behind to explore the aspects of eating and pleasure in Italy, having mindful prayers and devotion in India, and love in Bali.

 Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

The beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert talks about her process to share her perspective and wisdom about creativity and how to gain inspiration. The book discusses empowerment and using creativity beyond the boundaries. With a sense of empathy, Gilbert gives us insight into some of the many mysteries of nature.

Daring Great by Brene Brown

The author talks about the center of fear and how vulnerable the human emotions can be. Author Brene Brown talks about the emotions we feel from the beginning of love to disappointment and belonging. The book provides useful into in the best behavior and attitudes we must live by.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo writes about her revolutionary method that has shown detailed results with guidance and organization. Kondo discusses the various attitudes and behavior that we must stop and what we need to get the most out of our lives.

Have you recently read a book on self-development? Do you have any that you can recommend? Comment below and share them with us!

Top 4 Business Books To Read Now

When it comes to being an effective business leader, there are many skills that you must use to reach success. Aside from the actual understanding of the business, there are other roles to improve. Becoming a successful business owner is more than just owning an MBA. It is about various aspects of the business that will help you move towards your goal.

Here are the top 4 business books to read now.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Published in the early 90s, the book is now known as a timeless piece that has to be proven over with 10 million copies sold across the globe. Written by author Stephen R. Covey, the book explores the effect of daily life and positive thinking in business. This book is ideal for readers interested in breaking the habit of unproductive activities.

On Becoming A Leader

Written by the renowned guru in leadership according to Forbes, Warren Bennis discusses the details of how leaders are to be leaders and simply not born. Bennis talks about the qualities in leadership development and those few great examples to lead as motivation. You will find useful strategies that will help you grow in a stable position in business.

Growing A Business

Entrepreneur and New York’s best-selling author, Paul Hawken wrote his thoughts on growing a business. With over a million businesses opening each year, many of them fail due to the wrong use of resources and concepts. However, small businesses are actually bringing in more jobs than losing them. This book was written for readers who are interested in turning dreams into reality.

What Management Is: How it works and why it is everyone’s business

Whether you are looking to explore business education or want to fresh up your skills on entrepreneurship, this book provides you with useful tips on what you need to know to make your organization perform at its ultimate best. The book discusses the core principles of business management and why it is important to create a model and strategy for success.

Courtesy of https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/best-business-books#sm.00004qpsj5xk5dnfyvw12j35ons3j

Got any books on business that you would like to recommend to us? Feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us!