When I was in elementary school my puppy, Kerry, died unexpectedly. I sat on my bed and cried inconsolably. She had been there when I left for school and then she was gone. That’s how it felt, that she no longer existed because I couldn’t see her.
My experience of loss would have been greatly helped if I had had a copy of God Needed a Puppy, Emmy Award-winning TV journalist John Gray’s newly released book that helps children (and adults) see their pet’s death in a different light. A wise owl named Edgar reveals the healing idea that the pet was needed by another child in heaven and that those two are now playing together and happy. If I had been able to think of Kerry this way I could have pictured her everyday in her new life and she would have lived on for me.
Gray was prompted to write God Needed a Puppy after he experienced the unexpected death of his six-month-old puppy named Samuel. He teamed up with Shanna Brickell who created lovely colored illustrations of woodland critters, domestic pets and their worlds. They lend a gentle, comforting feel to the book.
At first Gray envisioned the project as a modest venture that he would self-publish. He held an event in an Albany, NY, mall and 850 people waited in line to buy copies. Eventually he sold 14,500 copies before signing with Paraclete Press, which releases the book today.
A portion of the proceeds will go to animal shelters around the country. Gray says everyone has a purpose.
“Maybe Samuel’s purpose is this book.”