My family and I lost a special four legged friend last week.
You know, I knew he was getting old and I knew the time would eventually come but I don’t think anything truly prepares you for the loss of a furry family member. Even more so, NOTHING prepares you for your children’s reaction to the loss. 🙁
I, unfortunately, had to take my two year old daughter with me to the vet when our dog got really sick. She was so innocent and when she saw me crying, she kept hugging me. She had no idea what was going on.
When we walked out of the doors, she said “wait, we need to go back to get Oliver.”
I told her he was going to the doctor’s for awhile. I, honestly, didn’t know what else to say.
And then we had to tell my six year old son. That was the hardest moment as a mom. How do you tell your child that the dog they grew up with isn’t coming home? How do you tell them that he isn’t alive anymore?
Moms are supposed to fix things. And this is one thing that moms can’t fix. Luckily, my husband was there with me and we did it together. There were a lot of tears. We hugged for a very long time and then my husband told funny stories of our dog.
So, I posted of our loss on facebook and received an outpouring of love. I am so lucky to have so many special people in my life who took the time to give me ideas on how to make this a little easier for my kids. I have made a list of all of the things people said to do. They were too good and thoughtful to not save and maybe someone can pass this on to someone who experiences a loss as well.
- We told them our doggies went to heaven and will be watching over you.
- When my dog passed away while we were gone visiting family, we got a balloon and wrote a message on it so he’d get it in doggy heaven.
- Explain to them about the rainbow bridge : )
There’s even a print out that they can do. So sorry for your families loss : ( hope this helps! https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/…/Chrildren_and_petloss.htm )
- Get a stuffed animal
- We look at pictures of her and talk about the good memories that we have had which seems to bring some smiles. Also, we are doing things to honor her memory. My youngest daughter is getting a memorial necklace and my husband, my oldest and I are getting pawprint tattoos.
- We burried the dog and let the kids draw pictures or write a letter to the dog and my husband put it in with the dog. We also let them talk about it, let them get the feelings out and let them know it is ok to hurt.
- We talked a lot with our kids about dog heaven and we would look out the window and say goodnight to her (buried out back). We often look for clouds that look like her and when we see sunbeams reaching through the clouds we know that’s her coming to visit us.
- Put his collar on a stuffed dog.
- I read him a book called I’ll always love you. Talked to him about him being sick and going to heaven.
- We planted a dogwood tree in honor of our two dogs that passed away.
- I had my son draw pictures of his dog and put a picture in a frame of them together that he could keep in his room.
- We bought a necklace locket that our daughter could put a few charms and a piece of her blanket it in it.
- Gather up some pictures of happy times with the pet and talk about them.
- We had her paw print casted and hang it on our Christmas tree at Christmas time and in our hutch all other times – that way she is always with us.
- Read The Tenth Great Thing about Barney by Judith Viorst.
And a dear friend of ours made the time a little less sad by sending us the perfect book, “Dog Heaven.” This was perfect for my son and daughter who needed more closure.
Thank you to all the people who commented on my post and sent so much love our way!