PAWS at Peace
Our pets mean the world to us and those that train and visit with us form an even deeper bond that cannot be equaled. And once that pet is no longer by our side, the loss is a particularly deep and heavy one.
PAWS for People has created a way to ease some of that grief – a multi-faceted support service for you – PAWS at Peace. Let us explain how this can help you.
As soon as we are notified of your therapy companion’s death, PAWS will offer support in the following ways:
- We will call you to talk and share stories and to see how you’re doing.
- We’ll make arrangements with PAWS' bereavement counselors, Diane Mayer or Cathy Toner, to visit you in person or speak with you on the phone, if you so choose. PAWS will provide up to 2 in-person sessions with Diane or Cathy, as well as 2-3 subsequent phone or email conversations. (Additional time will come at Diane & Cathy's regular rates.)
- If welcomed, we’ll visit you to talk in person about your pet and your feelings. During this visit, we will give you a special memorial charm, crafted by member Cindy Baker, as a keepsake.
- We’ll also bring the beautiful Old Friends Memorial Plaque to show you where your pet will be remembered with an engraved plate
- You will be offered the option to have a pet memorial stone created and sent to you, compliments of PAWS and Peternity. Memorial stone options will be sent to you via regular mail.
To recognize your therapy companion’s valuable and good service, an obituary will be printed in our PAWS to Consider newsletter. And if you agree, we will have an obituary printed in your newspaper of choice.
Special “Gatherings” will be offered twice a year – this is a time when you and anyone you chose to bring with you can join with others anywhere along the grieving process and, under the guidance of Diane Mayer, find ways to prepare for an impending death, honor your pet, or heal your heart.
And to help us prepare for the death and loss of our pets, we are offering PAWS at Peace workshops quarterly. During these 2-3 hour sessions, any of our members and their loved ones may attend to learn more about anticipatory grieving, preparing ahead of time both physically and emotionally, and see the support, knowledge, and companionship of others experiencing similar things. All of these services, whether you choose to take advantage of one or all, are part of your membership benefits and are at no cost to you.
Testimonial on PAWS for Peace from member Karen Kohler:
"Shortly after the passing of our dear Yellow Lab, Gunner on July 3, 2013, I had a very special visit with Diane Mayer, the PAWS for People Bereavement Counselor. The visit was very nice and took place at Diane's lovely Gentle Spirit Farm in Pennsylvania. We talked about Gunner, his special friendship, companionship and therapy dog skills. He had a wonderful relationship with me, our family and friends. Diane told me she felt Gunner's spirit in the room with us and that he is still working in our lives. She recommended that I write about Gunner, my relationship with him and all the wonderful things he did in his 14 years of life. I'm still working on that project. Diane was comforting and very insightful which was helpful for me to understand all the joys I had with Gunner and the loss and sadness I was experiencing.
I've displayed many pictures and reminders of Gunner throughout our home. I'm making a shadow box with his plaster paw print from Delaware Pet Crematorium, his collar with "Gunner" embroidered on it, his PAWS for People business card and photos to pay tribute to him in our home.
I want to thank the wonderful staff of PAWS for People for all that the Bereavement Program has offered me. It has been very helpful with the healing process of saying goodbye to a very special dog, my best friend, Gunner. Thank you for the bereavement visit with Diane Mayer, the obituaries in the News Journal and PAWS newsletter, the wonderful visit with PAWS Director, Lynne Robinson at my home and the beautiful Memory Stone. All of these things have been very therapeutic and helpful to me. I encourage all PAWS members to take advantage of all that the Bereavement Program has to offer should the need arise."
Pet memorial stones courtesy of Peternity.com
Honoring your pet for eternity