A Special Place for Charlee: A Child's Companion
Through Pet Loss
Debby Morehead, Karen Cannon (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Elementary School Age
Floppy-eared Charlee was already part of the family when the narrator of the story, Mark was born. The boy and pup grew up together and were best friends and playmates. Years later, when Charlee needed to be euthanized because of heart failure, the entire family mourned the dog's death. Charlee's vet encouraged Mark to share his feelings of sadness and grief with those he loved. Mark's family set aside a special time to sit together in the backyard and remember Charlee. They made a scrapbook to collect their memories and planted a flowering bush near Charlee's favorite backyard spot. But Mark's sadness continued until, finally, time and an understanding neighbor helped heal his pain. This simply told story is right on the mark in legitimizing a family's, and particularly a child's, grief over the loss of a pet. Its sound counsel and suggestions for coping are gently incorporated into the straight forward story line, and understated black-and-white drawings eloquently reflect the characters' emotions.