Facing the death of a beloved cat is heartbreaking, and Two Hearts Pet Loss Center is trying to help us all in that journey. It was launched by Coleen Ellis in 2009, who previously founded Pet Angel Memorial Center in 2004 due to the personal experience and death of her beloved pet Mico.
Coleen saw a growing need for formalized pet loss and grief help, so she launched the virtual center to be a mentor and coach to pet professionals providing dignified death care services to their community. And Coleen knows what she is talking about — she’s the recipient of the United States’ first Death & Grief Studies with a Specialization in Pet Loss Companioning Certificate from the Center for Loss (centerforloss.com).
“I am bringing much-needed educational forums to the veterinary industry, so that they too can more peacefully and skillfully guide their pet parents who are experiencing the death of the beloved furry friends,” she says.
The Two Hearts Pet loss Center offers learning opportunities, such as the three-day Pet Loss & Grief Companioning Certification program. Clinics and their staff can share other online courses, check out printed resources or connect with other end-of-life professionals on social sites.
“I am also looking for other ways to bring grieving pet parents together with a very active online pet loss support group,” she says, with her forum Your Companion.
For those who go to Two Hearts Pet Loss Center, Coleen says, “They will find a safe place. A place that gives them permission to honor the journey they shared with a beloved animal. The permission to grieve, to mourn, to memorialize, and to remember the life they shared with a precious pet.”
I asked Coleen for some tips for those of us suffering the loss of our beloved furry friend. She advises:
“And, when I hear from a family that is on their final walk with their beloved pet,” she adds, “the advice I give to them is to step back a minute and put into effect the 6-Month Goal. The 6-Month Goal is what should you do now with your special pet that you will look back on 6 months from now and be able to say, ‘The end was perfect.’ What will you do to create a truly memorable end-of-life walk and journey that honors you and the cat you have loved so deeply?”
Going forward, Coleen continues to increase the learning opportunities with end-of-life professionals plus speak nationally and internationally on pet loss. She’ll launch a Facebook page for those who have attended the Pet Loss & Grief Companioning Certification classes and will also be working on a follow up to her first book, Pet Parents: A Journey Through Unconditional Love and Grief. More at twoheartspetlosscenter.com.
Covering the pet world for more than 25 years, Melissa L. Kauffman has been an editor/writer for a wide variety of pet magazines and websites from the small critters to parrots to cats and dogs. Her advisory team of rescued pets — dogs Tampa Bay and Justice and parrots Deacon and Pi-Pi — help keep her on top of the latest and greatest pet health research, training and products, anything to give keep them in the high life they are accustomed to. Follow Tampa and his crew on Instagram @tampa.bay.pup.report while Melissa can always be found working on the next issue of Catster and Dogster magazines at caster.com and dogster.com.