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Remembering Ruby

By Jess D'Amico in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 21, 2007 6:48PM

2007_11_RememberRuby.jpgDealing with the death of a pet is never easy, but it can be especially crushing for children, since it's probably their first experience with death.

When Naperville freelance writer Melissa Wells' beagle died at age 13 from cancer, she found there were no words for her to console her young sons. As part of her own healing process, Wells decided to write her story down to help her family, and others. The result is Remembering Ruby: For Families Living Beyond the Loss of a Pet, the story of a boy whose beagle, Ruby, becomes terminally ill, and how his family copes together through finding ways to remember her. Wells uses pictures of Bijoux (the real Ruby) to illustrate the book.

We liked Remembering Ruby for its message of never-ending friendship, even through death, and for the guide for parents at the end of the book on how-to deal with a pet's loss. At 60 pages, it might be a little long for younger readers and sometimes the format and pictures seem more like a work-in-progess than finished product. Overall, though, we commend Wells for tackling such a difficult subject, and wish that we had something like Remembering Ruby the first time we had to deal with loss.