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Maria Milito Shares Stories on Coping with Pet Loss

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

Ever notice how strangers become friends when we exchange tales about our cats, dogs, birds, horses, and other pets? And when a pet dies, we understand the grieving process that each of us goes through. It’s a sad time that is made just a bit easier when someone shows us empathy. That is what Maria Milito’s book Clarice and Friends: How They Helped Mend the Hole in My Heart does.

Maria Milito with Clarice.

I’ve been a fan of Maria’s for 20 years—that is how long she has ruled the Rock ‘n Roll airways in New York City. She can be heard reaching millions of listeners at Q104.3 in NYC. Maria is also an animal advocate.

“Animals can’t speak for themselves so my microphone is often used for their advancement,” she says. “For 16 of those 20 years, my dog “Clarice the Wonder Pug” was a large part of my on-air conversation. From silly dog antics to her week spent in ICU at the age of 14, my dog’s life was shared with my listeners and they grew to know and love her as much as I did.”

Maria received hundreds of e-mails from her listeners asking about Clarice. “And they shared their pet’s life with me,” she says. “If I made a public appearance, it was always ‘How’s Clarice doing?’”

“When Clarice died in 2006, the outpouring of sympathy and care through their e-mails was astounding,” she explains. “I found myself comforted by them. Their personal real-life stories sent in e-mails helped me get through my grief and helped me realize I was not alone in my feelings.”

“Pet loss in our society is not understood the same way a family member’s death is; although sometimes the loss is even more devastating. Most pet loss books on the market are either from a psychologist’s or a therapist’s perspective, a religious angle, or aimed at children and how to deal with loss in their young lives. Clarice and Friends differs in that it is from people like you and me; people who loved their pets and lost them.”

This book is filled with heartfelt emotions that will make you smile and tear up. The opening chapter, How Do I Know When It’s Time? shares insights on how hard it is to let go.

The chapter titled, When Do I Get Another Pet? is filled with sincere advice from listeners who struggled with this question. Listener Noreen wrote: “No other pet could take the place of your Clarice, but one day perhaps there will be another to fill your heart with joy! Clarice would want you to share all the love you have for animals with another as you have done with her.”

Noreen was right. About a year and a half after Clarice died Maria adopted “Carmine the Big Ragu” from a city shelter. Carmine went from a sickly 11 pound dog with pneumonia to a muscular 90 pound Boxer/Bulldog/possibly Mastiff mix. Maria’s listeners hear about her antics from time to time.

Maria with Carmine who filled the hole in her heart.

A book about loss can sound depressing, but Clarice and Friends is filled with hope. The positive message of love is carried throughout the book. Maria’s listeners, like all pet owners who have gone through a loss, really care and understand how to move through the pain. Clarice and Friends provides readers with strength and wisdom—the wisdom of loss and the knowledge that one can love again.

A portion of the proceeds from this book benefits numerous animal welfare nonprofits. The paperback version retails for $9.95. It is also available for $6.95 through Kindle, Nook, and eBook. Click here for more information and to order the book.

Maria is collecting more stories for a second edition. To submit a story, contact Maria at Maria@Clariceandfriends.com.

12 comments to Maria Milito Shares Stories on Coping with Pet Loss

  • Patty

    OH my, I love this. Yet, am not sure I could handle reading the book. I don’t buy pet stories now. And avoid DVD’s for that reason. THAT THEY MAKE ME CRY….
    But, I do remember when my Peeps was put to rest. It was so painful and my very first pet to come to death. That I felt no one around me , who noticed the tears I couldn’t stop , Understood me , and was told IT WAS ONLY A DOG.
    That reading this book would confirm IT JUST WASN’T A DOG

  • It’s wonderful that she dedicates so much of her time to help animals. And books on pet loss are much needed. Lots of people around us just dont’understand how we can suffer so much because we lost a pet.

  • Thanks for sharing this deeply personal topic. As a dog mom who lost her baby girl, I eternally miss her.

  • Lin Penrose

    Having been a ‘drop-off’ point and rescuer of uncared for animals for most of my life (64), I have loved and lost many wonderful furry friends. It is always horrible and sorrow lasts, though eventually lessens with time. This book could help many through the pain and the future. Thanks for the article and information.

  • Robin Farris

    I’m a Q104.3 FM fan, and my dial is set on it. We listen to Maria Milito all the time. And we love that she is using her celebrity to help animals. She also plays great music.

  • Mary Viatrand

    I listen to Maria all the time. She’s on between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. And I love The Beatles Block.

  • Graham Darius

    We love Maria Milito at our house. We listen to her all the time. Thanks for this review of her book.

  • Delta Haden

    I got a copy of her book, and I recommend it to every pet parent.

  • Lester Clifton

    I listened to Maria when she talked about Clarice. Now she is a pet mom to Carmine. Carmine is one lucky dog.

  • Carolyn Morant

    I also have a copy of Clarice and Friends. It is so heartwarming. Thanks Maria for all you do for the animals.

  • Maggie Hernandes

    We like your other readers, listen to Maria all the time. I am going to order her book.

  • Nolan Siebert

    Thanks Maria, We recently lost our dog, Santos, of 14 years, and it still hurts. Your book is so helpful and inspiring.