July 30th, 2012
The death of a beloved pet can be a very sad and scary time for children. Pets are more than just animals. They are family. Helping children cope with the loss of a pet in a healthy way can set the stage for other losses in their lives. Here are some key thing to think about when a pet dies.
* Be honest, as hard as it is. It really is the best thing to do.
* Avoid saying that the pet “went to sleep.” This can be confusing to the very young.
* Let them ask questions and answer as honestly as you can within their age range.
* Help the child cope. A memorial or a scrapbook is a good way to help them remember the good times.
Recent events in my own family have reminded me of how a pet's death affects children.
Eight months ago, my dog gave birth to nine puppies: two long-haired brown ones and seven short-haired black and white ones. My kids wanted to keep one so badly, but we already had three dogs and keeping one more just seemed like overkill. My 8-year-old daughter thought otherwise.
She adored them so much that my husband and I decided to give her one as a birthday present. She was so excited to come home after spending the day with her sister to see one of the pups dressed in a cute little bow with a brand new collar. Things progressed, she worked with him, trained him, and really surprised me with how involved she was with him (usually the hard work ends up falling on me).
At about 6 to 7 months of age, however, he contracted Parvo, a pretty deadly disease in dogs. For a week straight, night and day, we traded off taking care of him. All that hard work paid off when on about the eighth day, he perked up as if nothing happened. This brings me to yesterday, about a month after the Parvo incident. I was awoken by my husband, who said it was important and that I needed to come outside right now.
My daughter's pup was on the ground, barely breathing. You really had to look to see any movement in his chest.
I did not know what to do. Did I wake her or did I let her sleep and just tell her later? I ended up going to one of my older girls and asking her what she would want me to do if the situation were reversed. This wasn’t the first animal we have had that died, but usually they were older and it wasn’t a surprise. We also had time to prepare the kids. This time it was so sudden.
We decided to wake her. It was heartbreaking to watch her cry, kiss, and stroke her puppy one last time. She was with him till the end, then she went inside and cried herself to sleep.
My husband and son dug his grave, wrapped him in a blanket, and laid him to rest. They didn’t throw the dirt over him yet, though. I am a little strange that way, but I always like to wait a few hours. We covered the hole with some wood and came in the house, checking often to make sure that our other dogs left the area alone.
Approximately two hours later, my older daughter went outside to go for a little run. When I heard screaming, I thought something had maybe happened to one of our other dogs. To my surprise and horror, however, I saw the dog we just buried stumbling around the yard! It was completely disoriented and not steady on his feet at all.
Honestly I cannot say what was running through my head. We were minutes away from completely burring him! I gathered him up and placed him on a blanket and then called a 24-hour vet hospital that was over two hours away. The vet at first thought it was a prank call. Who can blame her? I couldn’t believe it myself.
To make this rather long story short, within 4 hours he was back to his normal self, as if nothing had ever happened. Within 6 hours he was back to driving me crazy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Talk about an emotional roller coaster!
32 comments on "Coping with the death of a pet"
OMG. That is heart breaking yet, a great ending. I have put down a lot of aged pets, cats, dogs, hamsters etc. But always let the vet do it. Thanks God you did not cover the puppy.
Yeah, it was a very emotional day, but as we speak he staring at me hoping for a little sip of my iced coffee lol
Oh man, we had a little bird die this spring and my daughter is still not over it. She had a meltdown for days, and still cries about it occasionally. Any time a sad song comes on, she says it reminds her of Tweety and she cries, and keeps asking why it had to die. I don't know if she'll ever get over it. I can't even keep pictures around that feature the bird, because she loses it. She was so attached to that bird. We didn't even have it very long. So when the second bird died, we never told her and she thinks it's living in the garage. I guess she just wasn't ready for pets yet.
Sad songs kill me too. Sarah McLaughlin's "Angel" is used by the Arizona Humain Society to promote adoption of pets through sorrow. They show deplorable living conditions and very pittiful pets, injured and ill pets too. While they play that song. I dislike that song so much, I don't let my staff at work play it.
Yeah we know the feeling of loosing a family pet Sam (our oldest) grew up around the dog me and Charlotte got about two years before Sam's birth, Charlie as he was called was the thing that bought the family closer. Charlie was always full of life and i'm sad to say full of naughtyness but he was part of the family. However about four years ago Charlie sadly died he was 15 and had been Sam's fondest memory. One thing that kept Sam going during this time was his childhood video (we have a video for each of our children that is a montage of their childhood) a lot of the photos and video clips on this montage included Charlie. This has helped Sam remember the good times with Charlie. Hope this helps. The picture is of Charlie
We had another experience with this today. about four years ago we got four rabbits in our family. They were beautiful, there were three boys and one girl - Jessica and Alfie were fully white, Bilbo was all black, and Oreo was black and white. sadly however this morning I woke up to find the hutch destroyed and our prized family rabbits were no more. Today we had a two minute silence for our four rabbits which were a part of our family just as much as any of the kids or other pets. I have attached some photos of our troop of rabbits. (thats our maddie with Alfie and Jessica)
We had to put down our 15 year old pug Hobbes this past summer. My oldest son who is 13 years old was besides himself. Our youngest son was only 6 years old at the time and really didn't know what was going on. When we decided to put him down and the doctor was going through the options my youngest screams out, "I pick the option where he is in heaven with his mom and dad!" It was so sad even the vet started to cry.
So happy for your ending of the story!
Excuse me? Irresponsible owners? I choose to not spay my dog because we wanted one litter from her. It's not irresponsible when we knew what we were getting into, it's irresponsible when your an asshole owner, but I assure you that isn't the case.
As to Parvo, they were vaccinated...and it obviously failed. Do some research, as I did, and you'd have known that there is a high failure rate in the vaccine, just as with humans nothing is 100%. If we are such an irresponsible family we wouldn't have cared, instead we gave 24 hour care for over a week. Yeah, that's irresponsible.
Originally Posted by keljo76Harsh... get the whole story first before judging the OP...
I am just...........shaking my head here. This story would be better titled "How to teach children to be irresponsible pet owners"! Spay/neuter your dogs, vaccinate them properly so they don't get Parvo, and if you can't tell if they are dead or not Take Them To A Vet before burying them!
It's hardly irresponsible to not desex a dog you intend to breed. In fact, that falls into the "common sense" category.
Originally Posted by cybeleNice one Cybele lol
It's hardly irresponsible to not desex a dog you intend to breed. In fact, that falls into the "common sense" category.
Originally Posted by keljo76You know what...you're just a pretentious ass. I could say that your reputable breeding program is nothing more then a puppy mill.
I have been a registered breeder for 20 years. I have never, in 20 years, had a puppy get Parvo. Not at my house, not after leaving my house, because I follow protocol and use good vaccinations, of which there are many available. What you did is called backyard breeding. I've heard the "we wanted her to have just one litter" so many times it makes me want to puke.
So I'll say it again, we wanted her to have just one litter, not for fun or for profit, but because we wanted a pup or two from here. None of them were sold or given to strangers, they all went to family and friends...where guess what? I see them at least weekly. Can you say they same for every dog you have ever bred? If you've been doing this as long as you claim...I highly doubt you can, so I doubt that you really know what has become of these purebred pup's, because as we know purebred is so much better then any other dog, and have absolutely no problems of any kind ...laughable. Oh, and she's fixed. No more babies for her.
As to Parvo.....in my 21+ years of owning more then 2-3 dogs at a time. I have never had Parvo either, but it does and can happen, especially in an area that was having a big outbreak. Not because I didn't vaccinate, but because others didn't. Again, just like in humans vaccines have a failure rate, and according to my vet and the research I did it has a pretty high failure rate.
So Mr. Know it all, unless you actually know me, know my animals and know my intentions, your opinion is just that your opinion. Snotty, snobbish and know it all, but your's. Good luck with that.
Originally Posted by keljo76See here's the thing, we wanted puppies from her, we wanted to keep one or two, but then I didn't and her dog already had a home...from birth it was claimed, but she really wanted it, so we gave it to her for her birthday. It's a thing called...change of heart, changed our minds.
"Eight months ago, my dog gave birth to nine puppies: two long-haired brown ones and seven short-haired black and white ones. My kids wanted to keep one so badly, but we already had three dogs and keeping one more just seemed like overkill."
"So I'll say it again, we wanted her to have just one litter, not for fun or for profit, but because we wanted a pup or two from here."
SO which was it? You intentionally bred an entire litter of puppies because you wanted to keep one or two? Or you had no intention of keeping one more because you already had three dogs?
Originally Posted by keljo76Not a lie, just more to the story. I could also say the same about you. For every pup you breed there is one sitting in a shelter or rescue waiting for a forever home. Mutt or purebred, doesn't matter, there are to many dogs in shelters...I'll agree with you there, but my one litter is nothing compared to your 20+ litters of dogs that could have been saved from shelters and rescues.
Either way you look at it, A) you just lied, and B) for every mutt you produced, there was a mutt in a shelter that ended up dead. And then you traumatized your kids by nearly burying their not-quite-dead puppy! It's like watching a train wreck!
Originally Posted by keljo76So you know exactly where over 100 pup's are today. Yeah, that's believable.
And yes, since I only breed 1 or 2 litters a year, I know where each and every puppy is. I speak to more than half the owners on a regular basis, get Christmas cards from the rest. I've taken dogs back any time owners were unable to care for them any longer (2 deaths of owners, 1 permanently disabled, 1 divorce), fostered a couple times for owners making big changes, rescued/fostered more random dogs than I can count.............
So I guess from your view I do look pretentious.......but I'm guessing a lot of people look pretentious from your trailer door...........
As for my trailer door, it was just painted and quite pretty. I look out onto rolling hills, a beautiful river and mountains that are starting to green up with just a hint of snow on them. I'll take my 'trailer' door, although I think my house would be slightly insulted by you calling her a trailer, any day of the week.
Here is the deal.
You have made three post. All of which are insulting a respected member of the forum.
You are entitled to have and share your opinion. It not only is unnecessary it negates any points you have to make. Not to behave like an adult.
If you would like to contribute something positive or helpful to the forum. Now is the time.
Another post like the last three will result in the deletion and your removal from the site.
Thanks in advance
I had to reread the OP. It reminded me of a couple of things.
The first would be when I took off work and spent the entire day and night with Chip on the bathroom floor when he had Parvo. He pulled through.
The second when another family pet we had when I was a kid ate a whole bottle of Valiums my mom had laying about after she broke her legs (skiing accident). We were sure he was a goner.
It also occurs to me that you should post some sort of sign. Reminding the kids friends: is probably not a good idea to pass out on the couch at your house. Especially while there is an extra hole in the dirt still in the yard.
B, your poor dog! Although is right up there with our Zombie dog.
As for friends, after this happened Mimi's boyfriend came over and took a nap on our couch. That boy always comes over and passes out on our couch. How is beyond me with all the little ones, even sometimes jumping on him, but we did make a joke about that very thing.
Sounds to me like someone is feeling threatened because people get puppies for free, instead of buying your so-call "pure-bread" ones...
Anyway, good riddance - you have four posts and about as many personal attacks to your name. I highly doubt you would ever have made a positive contribution to this site...
This is hilarious. I love it when people just show up and start insulting people, especially people with "moderator" under their screen name.
Are we supposed to all stop what we are doing and go "Golly gosh, this strange individual who has offered up nothing but rudeness is right! Let's all band together and turn against someone who has been nothing but lovely and helpful to everyone here... BECAUSE SHE BRED HER DOG!"
Darn you B, I was hoping to do it.
Now I will head back to my trailer, where I'll probably change my mind about what color to paint my walls..again, and snuggle up with my mutt dogs and trashy kids.