Final Gifts: Lessons Children Can Learn from Dogs About End-of-Life, Loss, and Grief

  • Mary-Ann Sontag BowmanEmail author


The death of a dog in the context of family offers valuable learning opportunities for children in the areas of end-of-life care, death and/or loss, and grief and bereavement. However, in order to maximize the opportunities presented, adults must engage thoughtfully in the process. Death, dying, and grief are not areas in which most develop expertise, and so families may need assistance in understanding the significance of a dog’s death, and the opportunities for growth and learning that are presented by the event. In this chapter, we will examine each of those areas (end-of-life care, death and/or loss, and grief and bereavement) as it relates to the death of a dog, and identify the implications for children and families.


Children and grief Children and loss Dog End-of-Life care Human-Animal bond 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of MontanaMissoulaUSA

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