September 18 2018
Written By
Barbara Karnes
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Explaining Pet Death To Children

Explaining Pet Death To Children


Beverly - September 21 2018

My dog is 13 years old, his health is noticeably failing, but his personality remains strong . My grandchildren have had him in their lives since they were 11 and15, ,they are still "expecting "to have him around for another 12 years. It has been very helpful to me to read about how to handle the situation when it ( the death) happens.

Sharon Riek - September 20 2018

Barbara, Thank you SO much for addressing this issue of how to tell children. I mentioned to you that a neighbor had a 14 yr. old. dog declining and young children & didn’t know how to deal with it. I haven’t seen them walking him lately so will check with them as soon as I can. I might order one booklet for them if I think they need it.

We’re 70 now and rarely have interaction with folks with younger children unless they are neighbors.

I thank you so much and will always come to your site when I need to help a friend or family through something – you are the BEST!

Big Hugs, Sharon

Cathy - September 20 2018

Dear Barbara,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this timely message. Last Thursday, September 13, we had to put our 15 year/4 months old yellow lab Bailey down. Now I am a full grown adult with 2 full grown children (30 & 35). Your comments were so helpful to us so I KNOW children would also benefit! My friend’s 4 children ages 8,7,3 1/2, 2 were very close to Bailey. Then surprise-visited to bring me flowers on Sunday when I was still grieving “heavily”
I tried to hold my tears in but could not and was worried they either wouldn’t understand my tears, but they reacted appropriately with hugs, kisses, flowers, and asked where Bailey was😢 I wasn’t technical with my explanation to the kids, but I didn’t paint a rosy “All Dogs Go To Heaven” scenario either! I met them where they were and gave them the amount of info I felt was age appropriate. Today the kids were over again. They happily played with the stuffed puppy dogs I have resembling Bailey & her brother Bogart who passed 2 1/2 years ago, looked at pics of Bailey & Bogart, and when playing”puppies”, the kids all wanted to be named Bailey. What a healing day for me from children💕❤️

Donna Gustavson - September 20 2018

As always, I appreciate the subject and your thoughts. I spent a moment thinking about my earlier life, my children (now 34 and 33), the variety of critters that lived in our home over the years and there are some that were far more difficult than others. Memories attached to saying goodbye to the goldfish via the white porcelain bowl, the hamster in the box buried in the backyard, our first family dog’s body (14yrs) leaving with the vet and other pets were met with varying degrees of grief.
I would respectfully suggest that the term closure may be too final a term for some….. I believe some grieving may never ‘finish’, for me personally, I think I’ve simply adjusted my life to support my losses – if that makes sense.
With gratitude for your work to enlighten on this tough topic,

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