Children’s Books: Dear Brave Friend by Leigh Ann Gerk

Dear Brave Friend

The death of a pet can be devastating to a family. Parents are often unsure how to help their children understand and process this grief, which is typically their first significant loss. Leigh Ann Gerk, a certified Pet Loss and Grief Counselor, wrote Dear Brave Friend to help pet families work through the deep sadness they feel after losing their treasured family member.

This heartwarming, gentle story is about the deep sadness that is felt when a family pet dies. Creatively written in the form of a letter from a beloved dog to the young boy who lost him, Gerk describes the feelings the boy may be having by using relatable, real life examples while adding comforting suggestions and hope on how he can get through this most difficult time. Although written with children in mind, Dear Brave Friend is a meaningful and helpful book. Story starters, drawing pages, and a place to add pictures are included in the back of the book.

Having grown up on a farm, Gerk’s playmates included baby calves, horses, bunnies, dogs, and 32 cats that set up house in a boxcar that also served as her playhouse. This upbringing introduced her, at a young age, to the human-animal bond and instilled in her a deep understanding of, and love for, this extraordinary relationship. ◊

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