Pet Loss Care
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Pet Loss Support Group

Sadly our meetings are cancelled until further notice.

In the meantime, Dr. Corrinne Allyson is available for pet loss counselling.
Please contact her at: (250) 686-9601
Her website is: Victoria BC Therapy

Welcome to Victoria´s first Pet Loss Support Group, where you can share your feelings with others who are going through a similar experience. The group is an ongoing, informal support group led by a compassionate facilitator and provided to the public free of charge.

Whether an animal dies, is lost or stolen, or must be placed in a new home, sorrow is a normal and natural reaction to the loss of a beloved friend. But our culture doesn´t provide us with the rituals or the understanding and support we need to help us mourn the loss of a companion animal. Even your best friends and relatives may not acknowledge or understand the depth of feeling you have for a lost pet.
Corrinne Allyson, PhD - Support Group Facilitator
Corrinne Allyson, PhD - Support Group Facilitator
Our support group´s facilitator, Dr. Corrinne Allyson, has over 25 years experience as a  psychotherapist and counsellor.  She has provided grief and bereavement counselling in hospices in Toronto and Victoria and we are delighted she is willing to share this knowledge and experience with our support group.

Dr. Allyson knows what it means to lose a beloved companion.  She lost her 12 year-old standard poodle, Shanti, three years ago.  “Pets give us companionship and unconditional love. Our relationships with them are very special,” she says.   “For many of us, our animal companion is a member of the family, and when the bond we share is broken, the resulting sense of loss and grief is as real, and sometimes even more overwhelming, as when we lose a relative or friend.  Talking about the loss of a pet with others who understand can be an important part of the recovery process.”
Dr. Allyson and the Pet Loss Support Group can help you cope with any grief or bereavement issues you may have.

If you´d like, bring a photograph, tags or toy that belonged to your beloved companion.

Refreshments will be served - this group is free of charge / donations are accepted for a wonderful organization that has supported pet loss with a hotline - P.A.T.S - Pacific Animal Therapy Society of Victoria.

Please join us - as we mourn, memorialize and celebrate our precious companions!

Dr Corrinne Allyson with her beloved Shanti
Dr Corrinne Allyson with her beloved Shanti
Corrinne and Shanti...

For more than 12 years, Shanti was my best friend, my companion and my baby. Shanti means ´peace´ in Sanskrit and that was the essence she embodied.

Shanti was the sweetest, gentlest being.  I took her everywhere with me. We went to restaurants and the owner would hide her under the table knowing it was illegal to have a pet in there.  I took her to work and she would tell us when the 50-minute psychotherapy session was up so I didn´t even have to look at my watch!  I even took her to Pilates classes.

When Shanti had to be euthanized, the vet was compassionate and supportive. Shanti died in my arms with my hand on her heart.   And then....
I left the vet´s alone, Shanti´s leash and collar were all that I had.  I didn´t ask for her ashes because I didn´t know what to do with them and I didn´t trust I would actually get hers.  I went home to an empty house with no one to talk to and I grieved alone, in silence, for a very long time.

My support of Pet Loss Care Memorial Center comes from my wish that no pet owner need experience the bereavement in isolation as I did.  How I wish I had Jocelyne at that time to come and lovingly pick up Shanti´s body for me and guide me through a process that was completely unknown to me.

I offer the Pet Loss Support Group as my way of honoring Shanti´s memory and the memory of all the animals that have touched our lives.  I welcome you to join us and share your story.  You will be heard and you will not be alone.
                                                                              -Corrinne Allyson

For more information on Corrinne Allyson´s practice, please see her web site: Victoria BC Therapy

Monthly Pet Loss Support Group Meetings

Monthly Pet Loss Support Group Meetings

Subsequent meetings for 2011:
May 10  -  June 14  -  July 12  -  August 9  -  September 13
October 11  -  November 8  -  December 13

Questions/RSVP: 250-984-1933 or email us at:

*** This page will be updated each month with stories, recommended books, tips on coping with pet grief, and a FAQ section - we welcome comments! ***

Grieving the Death of a Pet

Every month, we will review and/or recommend a book on pet loss & grief.

The first one that I highly recommend is this one: Grieving the Death of a Pet by Betty J Carmack. I had the pleasure of chatting with Betty (who resides in the San Francisco Bay area) when initially researching the feasibility of a pet loss support group for Victoria. Betty has been facilitating pet loss support groups for well over 3 decades, and the experience, insight and ´love´ she brings to pet loss & grief is tremendous and inspiring. After reading her book, I understood - and so will you.

Praise for this book by Bernie Siegel, MD, author of Love, Medicine and Miracles, and Prescriptions for Living:
"This is a book that will touch your heart and help it to heal. I was crying before I finished the introduction. We all must learn to deal with loss if we are to survive. As a physician, I know how destructive it can be to deny the loss and bury it within one´s self. The death of a beloved pet puts us in touch with all our losses. Betty J. Carmack´s words of wisdom, coming from her experience with the pain of loss, can help you to heal your life and wounds. The wise know our bodies are impermanent and the only thing of permanence is love. Read on and help make yourself and your beloved immortal."

Grieving the Death of a Pet