A child s bond with a beloved animal is a powerful one. The loss of a pet due to illness or trauma can be a troubling time in a child s life. When You Have to Say Goodbye: Loving and Letting Go of Your Pet gently describes the why s surrounding end-of-life issues with animals and details valuable ways for children to move through this experience in a positive fashion. Written by veterinarian Dr. Monica Mansfield, the book s compassionate wording is brought to life by the poignant yet charming artwork of Lennie Peterson. The loving bonds between children, their animals, and family are illustrated throughout.
Dr. Monica Mansfield knew she wanted to be a veterinarian since she was five years old, always attracted to animals and interested in how the body works. She grew up in Bowie, Maryland, and has several old family photos with the latest stray or injured animal she was helping rehabilitate. She devoured the writings of Dr. James Herriot as she grew, inspired by the heart and honesty of these books. The scenic Virginia Polytechnic Institute was her undergraduate college. The happiest day of her life at that time was when she received her acceptance packet to veterinary school, proceeding to hug the surprised postman. She attended Cornell's New York State College of Veterinary Medicine for her D.V.M. degree, graduating in 1987. Dr. Mansfield currently works in a four doctor small animal practice in Massachusetts. This is her first children's book, though her first book, a heartwarming veterinary memoir titled The Black Panties: Tales of Animal Mischief and Veterinary Intrigue, was published in 2006. Dr. Mansfield considers the nurturing of children and animals among life's most important goals.