17 answers

My Son's Dog Died :(

My son, who is 18, has a dog that we were watching while he visited family out of state for 3 weeks and it DIED yesterday on our watch (nothing we did wrong--long story). He loves this dog like a child and is going to be devastated, as are we. He has 2 weeks left on his trip. Do we call and tell him about the dog now or continue to say the dog is fine when he asks (he will) and break it to him gently when he gets back home so that he can enjoy the rest of his trip? My husband and I slightly disagree about the right thing to do, so I thought we'd get your input....
My husband thinks my son will be mad that we "lied' to him.
THANKS FOR YOUR ADVICE...WE MADE OUR DECISION, SEE "SO WHAT HAPPENED" BELOW.

Additional info:
The dog died yesterday and we buried him on our property next to our kitty who died years ago...we are sure that's where our son would have wanted him...

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the great advice...there was enough to convince us that we should tell him. My husband called him and explained what happened. He cried and is very upset of course, but doesn't fault us at all. He is just broken up about it. We were all crying by the end of the call. Hopefully, his heart will heal over time...
He thanked us for telling him now instead of waiting so I'm sure this was the right decision. He is still grieving...he only had the puppy since May, but they were constant companions and he loved him so much.
thanks again...

Featured Answers

This is not like he is 2 he is 18. My vote is easy tell the truth about what happen. Life goes on no matter how much we may not like it death is a part of life.

Added, I have received an e-mail stating my post come across the wrong way. I thought it best to say I am sorry to anyone it made upset. That was not my intent at all. I was not clear it seems on that point. I just mint that it was best to tell the truth because he was older and would understand.

3 moms found this helpful

That is a tough one. Would he be mad at you for keeping a "secret" Hopefully he would understand why you waited if you choose to do that. For me personally, I would want to know sooner than later. Not that the situation could be changed, but I would just want to be prepared before I came home and be able to make decisions about his remains.
Good luck--hugs to you!

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I would tell him. Yes, it will be hard and it might take away from his trip some but to lie to him for 2 weeks would be much worse. I would want to know. I know I worry every single time we leave town and leave someone with our animals.

5 moms found this helpful

I would want to know if I were him. Thinking back to days when I was 18, I was very mature and responsible. I get the feeling that your son is as well due to the fact that he is away and has his own dog. I recall my mother keeping several "secrets" from me to "protect" me and I was always disappointed with her decision not to tell me something.
I think he would be hurt that you didn't tell him, and that he didn't get to decide what to do with the corpse, where to bury, cremate etc... Personally, I understand your why you don't want to tell him, but he may not see it that way. Like you said, he loved that dog like his own child, and if it were his child you wouldn't wait two weeks to tell him about it.
I'm so sorry for your and his loss.

5 moms found this helpful

I think I'd want to know if it were my beloved pet. This would be like losing a best friend, and well-meaning adults won't tell you because they think you can't handle it. That would have infuriated me in my teens. He may also want some say in how/where you bury or otherwise dispose of the body.

So sorry.

5 moms found this helpful

The 3 of us here have all agreed, we would want you to tell us..
(Our daughter is 19)

We would not want you, to have to lie to us, because we could not handle the truth.. That would be too stressful for you.

This was a good conversation here. Our daughter says if our cat dies while she is in college she wants us to tell her right away, even if it is finals and she is already stressed out.. (We wondered how we should handle this)

4 moms found this helpful

I think you should definitely tell your son. Bad news is not like wine and cheese, it does NOT get better with age. My parents had to tell me that my cat had been run over and killed (right after she had kittens) while I was in my first summer as a cadet at West Point. It broke my heart, but that was far better than them telling me all was well with her and then coming home to no cat.

T.

3 moms found this helpful

I see you already made a decision. I believe you did the right thing and I send my heartfelt condolences to you. We dearly love our pets and so understand. I am so sorry for your loss.

3 moms found this helpful

That is a tough one. Would he be mad at you for keeping a "secret" Hopefully he would understand why you waited if you choose to do that. For me personally, I would want to know sooner than later. Not that the situation could be changed, but I would just want to be prepared before I came home and be able to make decisions about his remains.
Good luck--hugs to you!

3 moms found this helpful

No question in my mind...tell him. I have been on the other side and it is a horrible feeling to think that your parents knew this secret and didn't tell you, perhaps even talked to you like nothing was wrong and when it was.

3 moms found this helpful

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