The story of Pet Loss Help.Org really begins with Dickens, aka Blue Skye Christmas Triumph, a beautiful golden retriever and pioneering therapy canine. Dickens, who was Delta Certified and remains in the Hall of Fame for his groundbreaking therapy work, helped found psychiatric animal assisted therapy programs in three Bergen County Hospitals. As the first canine entrusted with this role, Dickens worked with patients in both individual and group capacities and also worked in nursing homes, with veterans, and families affected by 9/11. During his life, he appeared on many national TV segments educating the public about animal assisted therapy including "Inside Edition", "Pet Stop", "NBC News" and other cable channels.
Pet Loss Help. Org was founded by Susan Dowd Stone, MSW, LCSW who is the facilitator of the longest running pet bereavement group in Northern NJ at Oradell Animal Hospital, and a psychotherapist with a practice in Englewood Cliffs NJ. Ms. Stone is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Silver School of Social Work at New York University, presenting courses at the graduate and post master's level on CBT, DBT and IPT. Additionally trained in trauma, EMDR and bereavement, Ms. Stone has been providing grief counseling for those mourning human and animal companions for over two decades. She speaks at veterinary conferences on the human animal bond, compassion fatigue and forming and maintaining pet bereavement programs. She is currently writing a book on animal companion loss support which will be available on this website in the fall of 2017.
A former Delta Instructor, Evaluator and Pet Partner, Ms. Stone proposed and implemented Animal Assisted Therapy Programs in the psychiatric units of facilities which are still active today. Ms. Stone has been a public reviewer for the National Institute of Mental Health and is a well-known, award winning therapist, author and national speaker in the field of mental health.
If located in the tri-state area, individual counseling sessions are offered at her office.