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Thread: death of a pet

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default death of a pet

    our kids are young, and i'm wondering how you have dealt with the death of a pet? we had to put our dog down late last night and I know there will be a lot of questions, especially from our 4 year old Connor. DH and I are very sad and upset, and I just don't really know what to expect from the kids or how to handle the questions. any advice is appreciated, thanks ladies.
    Angela (28) DH, Pat (30) DS Connor (4), DS Leo (2), DS Nathan



  2. #2
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    Jun 2009
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    I'm so sorry for your loss. It's incredibly difficult for adults, and I think, confusing for kids. IMO, giving it to them straight is the way to go.

    I lost both my dogs last year. In between FIL died. I basically told DD that they died, their body breaks up into itty bitty molecules, and went on to become one with the universe (I don't believe in God or heaven, but if you do, you can use whatever line of thinking aligns with that philosophy). That they will always be all around us, which is true, from a physics standpoint (law of conservation of matter and energy). DD understood that to be 'Khan's body broke up into tiny little pieces, and WOOSH! went up into the sky'. Which is probably as well as she could understand it conceptually, at the time.

  3. #3

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    We've lost 3 cats over the years and Josh took all of them pretty well, even being kind of nonchalant about it. When we had to put the first one down, he asked if we could get a hamster now.
    After a while you could tell he was kind of sad about it, and he will say he misses them sometimes. We were just straightforward about it like Suja and we are also not religious so we didn't talk about any of that. Two of our cats were sick, so we told him that they were very sick and the doctors couldn't do any more to help them. One of them just passed away suddenly. She was old. (I would try to stress to them that there is a kind of sick that can't be cured, and that it's not the same thing as when they get sick with a cold or anything)
    We buried them all in our yard and once in a while Josh will go talk to them. It's sweet.
    I'm sorry about your dog It's so hard to lose a pet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Very sorry for your loss. Losing a pet can be so hard because you love them like any other family member. It's also a way to introduce kids to death and grief in a way that is personal to them, and so they can be better equipped to deal with those situations later on. I wouldn't try to make it too mysterious and stick to your philosophy or religion and be prepared to answer lots of questions, even the same ones over and over.

    Natalie [31] DH [40] 9/01, 1/06 NaturallyNatalie's Hair Accessories!

  5. #5

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    Your child may have a lot of questions or may just go about their business until they think of it later.

    We've had two family dogs pass and an elderly family friend. I kept it very simple. Despite our Christian beliefs, I read that heaven is not a term to use right now or the word "sleeping." And I agree with a PP to make sure if you use the words "sick" or "illness" that you clarify that your pet was very sick, not simply a cold.

    As morbid as it might sound, it's best to keep it simple and say that your pet died. Let them know that it's ok to be sad and answer their questions as best as you can.

    I think it's just one of those things us parents figure out as we go. Just wish we didn't have to. Hugs to you and my condolences for your loss. So sorry!

  6. #6
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    Apr 2009
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    thanks everyone. we told them and Connor was very sad and he cried a bit. Leo didn't fully understand, he thought she was outside or something. We said she was in doggy heaven (Connor understands this a bit, my grandmother died last year and we went through it then) and Leo said he wanted to go there too. Connor had a few questions through out the day yesterday, he asked to see her and today he asked about getting a new dog. This morning Leo came into our bedroom looking for her - she always slept on the floor in our room- and he asked where she was. I did overhear Connor sitting with the baby and telling him the story of what happened to Mazie. Overall they are doing alright. It will just take time for them (and us) to adjust to living without her.

    here is a picture of her and Leo, he was very close to her, always laying with her and playing with her. I wish he was old enough to understand what is going on, but am also kind of glad he isn't. it's just sad to think that he won't remember her when he was so close to her.
    1975034_746716377916_1378579559_n.jpg
    Angela (28) DH, Pat (30) DS Connor (4), DS Leo (2), DS Nathan



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