In a recent episode of All My Children Wear Fur Coats, we met up with Erika Sinner from Directorie to learn about her philosophy on pet bereavement, and her advocacy for increased empathy in the workplace.

Erika Sinner worked in pharmaceutical marketing for over a decade before she founded Directorie. Directorie is a marketing agency that connects in-house teams, contractors, and external partners in the device and pharma sectors. As a self-proclaimed “Chief Empathy Officer,” she created a company culture that celebrates authenticity, vulnerability, and hard work.

Erika Sinner experienced profound grief after the loss of her Shar Pei, Kingston in 2023. A cancer diagnosis for her other dog, Edmond, soon followed. These devastating events inspired her to write “Pets are Family,” a book that aims to promote a compassionate approach to workplace culture. In her book, she calls for company leaders to implement pet bereavement policies. According to Sinner, even a single day of bereavement can make a significant difference to employees, because it is an acknowledgement of their hardship.

In addition to bereavement, Erika Sinner shared other suggestions to support employees who are mourning the loss of a pet. She emphasized the importance of preparing management to react appropriately upon the employee’s return. In her eyes, the way an employee is welcomed back to the workplace is critical to their wellbeing and quality of work. She also noted the significance of breaking the news to the team in a considerate and tactful manner.

Having experienced the loss of her beloved Kingston, Erika Sinner detailed the ways in which one may honor a deceased pet. Whether it entails taking time off from work, planting a tree, or getting a tattoo, it can all be part of the healing process. She stated that you will know you are ready to adopt a new furry friend when you are no longer looking for a replacement for the departed pet but a new relationship.

“Pets are Family,” is not only written for employers. It is also intended to assist employees in navigating the bereavement process and fostering a more emotionally supportive workplace for one another. If you are interested in ordering “Pets Are Family”, head to or purchase a copy on Amazon.