John W. James, co-author of “The Grief Recovery Handbook For Pet Loss”

John W. James— founder of the Grief Recovery Institute and co-author of newly-published “The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss—recalls the personal circumstances that led him into this field more than 35 years ago. 41XhaSGuDTL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Noting he wrote his first book dealing with grief recovery in 1984, he addresses some of the so-called Grieving Myths most germane to pet loss, including “Give It Time” and “Replace The Loss.” Particularly in expounding on the latter, he notes that each griever—say, in a family—has a unique relationship with the animal that has died, so each of them will grieve differently, and be ready (or not ready) to welcome a new animal into the family at different times. Whatever the rate, the fundamental tenet of recovering from grief, James notes, is becoming complete with the relationship of the animal that one has lost, referring to Grief Recovery Method measures—creating the Pet Loss History Graph, Reviewing Your Relationship, writing the Completion Letter—to help accomplish that completion. (

ALSO: We spoke briefly with Matt Ellerbeck, a salamander advocate who discussed a deadly salamander fungus that is rapidly spreading across Europe, and the petition created to halt the import of salamanders into the U.S., unless screened for the fungus. The petition is available on the Save The Salamander Facebook page. (

COMEDY CORNER: Maria Bamford’s “Vegetarian Oscar Schindler” (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Andrew Bird’s “Frogs Singing,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Al Stewart’s “Year Of The Cat”


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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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