Need Recommendations for Childrens Book Dealing with Loss of Beloved Dog

Updated on January 17, 2010
K.H. asks from Swords Creek, VA
11 answers

On December 3rd, we lost our beloved Reuben. He was a happy, healthy 2 year old white boxer. He became very sick very fast and we had him treated by 2 vets that were unfornately not able to save him. My 3 year old daughter was able to tell him goodbye before we had him euthanized. The vets only gave him a 10 percent chance of him making it through the night.

This has been one of the hardest things we have had to deal with. He was her little love. She asks about him on a daily basis and wants to go and visit and play with him. We have discussed many times that he is no longer with us.

I am looking for recommendations for a book or any other information that will help her and myself deal with his loss. Yes I know it has only been a little over one month but it is a very heartbreaking experience on a daily basis to tell her again and again that she is no longer able to play with him.

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answers from Nashville on

When my mom lost her 14 yr old dog, Bear, we explained to my 3 yr old that he went to "Doggy Heaven." That seemed to work for us.

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answers from Nashville on

Have been in the same situation as you. My 2 children were a bit older than your daughter when we lost one of our beloved dogs. The vet suggested a wonderful book called "Dog Heaven" which is written and illustrated by Cynthia Rylant. My girls loved this book. Helped them as well as my husband and myself. Is a perfect book for a 3 year old.
I am sorry for your loss.



answers from Lexington on

how about telling her that she can play with the dog in her imagincation, and that because the dog loved her so much, he is always going to be her guardian angel dog.



answers from Wilmington on

You have just lost a member of the family. We lost our German Shepherd, years ago when my now 19 year old son was in elementary school. There isn't a month that goes by that we aren't reminded in some way of her. It may take a year for the pain to go away like with any death, but, again, like with any loss, you will never forget him. There is a poem called "Rainbow Bridge" that you may google on-line to find. Pre-read it to see if it will fit your daughter' age. It is a good poem for adults but not sure if it is too heavy for a child. Deepest sympathies for your loss.



answers from Jacksonville on

When my daughter was 3 we had a cat that had to be put to sleep due to bladder issues and a grandmother that passed away. We explained that they turned into a star so they could watch over us all the time. We would look (and still do) at the stars and night and mention midnight and great gram. For some reason, this worked and she seemed to understand it.



answers from Nashville on

My son was 4 years old when we lost his grandfather this summer. He has had a really hard time with it. He is still talking about how much he misses his grandpa. He will still get little tears in his eyes sometimes when anyone talks about him. He was at my mother's yesterday and all he wanted to do was sit in grandpa's chair. I consulted a therapist about it and she talked to me about the stages of grief and that a child goes through them just like an adult. She told me the best thing to do was to let him talk about it and heal in his own time. When a child has a good grandpa it takes longer to heal because they have a lot to miss. I think it is the same with a good dog. The better dog you had the harder it is without them.



answers from Houston on

Dog Heaven. Author Cynthia Rylant. Check out

Losing a dog is the worst. Just a heart breaker. I just dealt with it this past year with an 11 yr. old lab. and I have 2 daughters.

It will be harder for you than your 3 yr. old. She is too young to understand the finality of it all even though she misses him.
I know you can't replace Reuben, but there are soo many dogs that need homes, if you visit a shelter or two, you could instantly bring joy back into your daughter's life and save a dog's life.



answers from Nashville on


I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our boxer Koty to cancer 3 years ago and we still miss him. I don't know of any books, I just wanted to express my condolences. Losing a family member is rough.




answers from Raleigh on

The tenth good thing about barney is beautiful.
It is the story about children who loose their beloved cat, and how they celebrate his life, and find answers.
The other is dog heaven. It is also wonderful.
I am so sorry for your loss. I too, lost my lab suddenly last year. My sugg is to get another dog as soon as you are able.



answers from Nashville on

We just went through this - so sad for you. Dog Heaven by Cythia Rylant is so sweet. I tear up reading it but my 4 year old loves it and always talks about our dogs doing the same things in heaven.



answers from Chattanooga on

I am so sorry about your loss. Losing our pet was like losing a member of our family. It took me a long while to fill the empty place in my heart with a new little one yet once I did, I wish I had done it sooner.


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