August 27, 2008,
S.S. asks from Walton, KS on August 25, 2008
Any Ideas on Helping Kids Cope with the Loss of a Dog?
We worke up this morning to find our dog, Harley, was gone. She was a black lab and my husband has had her since she was a baby. She would have been 18 in November. I mean we knew it was coming but it was hard for the kids. My youngest is taking it the hardest. Anyone been thru this and have any advice? Something we can do in "memory" of her? How can I explain to my children that we can't get another dog right now? My husband (their step-dad) says he does not want another one, but I think he will come around he is just upset right now.
G.N. answers from St. Louis on August 25, 2008
Sorry to hear about the passing of your dog. Its always hard when you lose an animal, try this link and it may help.
1 mom found this helpful
S.L. answers from Kansas City on August 25, 2008
You will all miss the dog and nothing can change that. But it stings a lot less when you go and get a puppy :) Maybe you could have them go with you to the pound and pick out an older puppy.
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P.H. answers from Wichita on August 25, 2008
S.! I am so sorry. This is always a hard loss, we've been through it several times as we rescue our dogs from Shelters and often we get the older dogs that we love well, but aren't here for long. The hardest loss was when one dog we'd raised from a puppy died at the age of 10. My son took it the hardest because he grew up with Charlie and he was his buddy. He still talks about him and likes to look at the pictures of them together.
We had a funeral in our back yard, (the heck with code, we did it) we also put up a plaque on our fence right above the grave area with his name on it, and my Dad made a little limestone head stone with a router for him.
My son really cried alot at first, especially at night, and it just took time for his heart to heal. But we talked about it alot. I would never not talk with him when he needed reassurance that God has a plan for all his creation, and that Charlie wasn't lonely somewhere without him.
It teaches them compassion, and grace. It teaches them about how fragile and precious life is for all of us, because we will all go this way, some just sooner than others.
Having pets blessed us in many ways and my kids eventually wanted another dog. Which we now have.
bless you and your children.
R.K. answers from St. Louis on August 26, 2008
When we have lost pets, we all cried together as a family. I never told the kids to stop crying and get over it. The kids will get over it quicker than the adults. We were forced to give our cats away because my daughter became deathly allergice. We loved those cats like family and it was the hardest decision ever. When I told the kids, we cried and cried, and when they stopped crying they asked if we could get another pet. My mother adopted the cats, and she lived 4 hours away, so they got to visit. But a year later one of the cats died. So, grief, round 2!
When the gerbils died, what I found was very healing, was at the funeral (behind the house) I had each kid tell what they loved about the gerbil...which led to funny stories and feeling good about the gerbil's life. It really feels good to talk about the good times with the pet and takes some of the sting out of the loss.
A friend of mine lost her dog after over 10 years and she could not bring herself to get another dog for at least a year. She decided that when the time was right, another dog would come into her life. She couldn't bring herself to "replace" the other dog. Well, one Christmas, her adult son gave her a puppy. She instantly fell in love!
M.F. answers from Kansas City on August 27, 2008
i haven't encountered this one, yet as i got my first dog when i was 33! (last year) we did watch our best friends and thier children go through this w/ thier 14 y/o rottie. they made a garden in thier bakyard. like a memory garden, i guess. it has a headstone, type thing and beautiful flowers. they also made a scrapbook of her, for the kids to look through, whenever they'd like. i'm sorry for your loss. M.
S.P. answers from St. Louis on August 26, 2008
Hi S.. We lost our 11 year old Lab/Shepard mix almost 2 years ago. Bear suffered from diabetes, arthritis and the start of cataracts. We helped her with insulin for three years until we knew that the time was right for her to go to heaven and be pain free. We got a beautiful photo album and filled it with pictures of her. The kids also wrote letters to her that we keep in the album along with condolence cards we received--she was a big part of our family. The kids love to show their friends the album and remember all of the good times we had with her. I sit here crying as I write this just remembering what a great dog she was.
We have since gotten another puppy (I wish we had gotten a 2 or 3 year old dog) that has started giving us lots of laughs and love.
Hope this helps,
K.B. answers from Austin on August 25, 2008
When our dog passed away(she'd been my companion for 15 years!)we had a "memorial service" for her and we made a garden stepping stone that we got from a kit at Hobby Lobby. We got some pictures out of her, lit a candle and talked about what we loved about her and said prayers and goodbyes. We made the stepping stone with her name on it and put it out in the garden.
Nothing can take away the pain but it made it a little bit easier saying a formal goodbye. I swore I'd never get another dog and have to go through that again but alas, about 4 months later I went out and got another dog! Sorry for your loss. I know how much dogs can be a true part of the family.