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children and loss of beloved pet- should they be present? - Page 2

post #21 of 24
The loss of a pet is no different than a loss of a deep friend. We lost our dog 2 years ago to old age- it was scary in the last month of her life as her body started to give out under her and she lost control of her lower body. My girls were confused and still had hope she would live forever. It took us nearly 2 years to get another dog- and I always knew that when the time was right the right dog would find us. We are happy to report we have gotten an amazing rescure dog- who was the same bread as our beloved Sea Jay. Becasue his background was not ideal (to say the least) he is beyond attached to us- it is amazing how much he becomes out of wack when anyone of us is not at home. It has been the best blessing we could have had. He has sealed a part of our hearts that was very very broken.

We still miss our sweet Sea Jay- and we have a huge picture of her in our house- out new dog has little moments where it makes you think Sea Jay is still alive in a little part of him.

We decided to have her cremated- I think for me at least- it was the only way I knew I could take her with me where ever I went. In the end- we will spread her ashes at our cabin, but still, I do not have the heart to part with her.

It will not be easy- it will suck- maybe even worse than you think it will right now. It is a death and you should know you will feel it- raw. It is ok to feel it. I still can tear up just writing about her.

I will say- from my life in putting a dog to sleep- it was the most kind thing to do. It was not painful (except for me) and for the first time in a year or two I could see her calm. Her body was not all knotted up like they get when they are old- she looked like a 4 year old dog in her prime. It gave me peace.

We choose not to have our girls with us- although they were close to her, I just could not imagine them seeing me in that pain or being confused about the process. It is a very deep personal choice.

I am sorry for your loss.
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to write an update for those of you who were so kind to share about your experiences and offer words of comfort and advice.

We did have to put our dog to sleep about 3 weeks ago. It became obvious that it had to be done asap, although we did have a day or so to make plans and prepare the kids. That was an extremely difficult day.

We asked our 7 yo if he'd like to be present, and surprisingly, he vehemently said "NO!" My dh took him for a long walk with her to say goodbye and he was so angry. We kept him busy all day, and as a wonderful coincidence he was already scheduled to have a playdate with his friend who's the same age, who just lost her dog to the same diagnosis, and it was the perfect place for him to be, with people who understood what he was going through and how to respond appropriately and compassionately.

I told my 4 yo earlier in the day and he didn't have much of a response, he just thought a minute, frowned, and said "you mean we won't see her again for a WHOLE WEEK?" (broke my heart) and never mentioned it again.

We had the kids with neighbors while we said goodbye, and it was the right thing to do. Dh and I could focus on what was happening and support each other. I feel good now about it just being us, it was very calm and peaceful and everything I would have wanted.

Our 7 yo was very angry at first, throwing things and screaming, and didn't sleep for the whole night, and then became manic and talked constantly for about 24 hrs. We all took a day off and just stayed home and rested and grieved. We printed out lots and lots of pictures of her with the kids as babies and as a puppy, and he carries a big picture of her around with him everywhere. the kids just talk about her all the time now and tell everyone they meet that our dog is a spirit now and in our hearts. The 4 yo still asks if she will come back when he's a grown up.

Overall I think things are as good as they possibly can be with such a loss, and I feel relieved that we made it through a tough time as a family and are continuing to help each other work through this.
post #23 of 24
I wanted to tell you I am so sorry for your loss. I really appreciate you sharing your story, last night it became clear that we were not going to be able to save our 8 year old golden retriever. We are having her put to sleep in about 20 minutes and because of this thread I was able to prepare our boys, ages 14, 12, and 5. We have decided to allow our older two kids to be present at their request. Our younger two children will stay with our neighbors.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
I am so, so sorry. I hope it went as peacefully as possible and you guys are doing all right today
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