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Losing a loved pet is so hard for us as adults. What about our kids? They lack the maturity and experience to deal with pet loss on the same level as us. How do we explain this to them? Many times this is their first experience with death. The child may blame you or believe that you will die soon too, creating feelings of anger, confusion and anxiety along with the inevitable sadness. Parents who deal with the situation with honesty and transparency will likely help their children cope with the loss of a pet better than those who don’t talk about it at all or invent a story such as “the pet ran away.” If not truthful with the child, the child may spend years waiting for the dog to return, may believe they are responsible for the pet running away and develop feelings of guilt and may not be able to develop a relationship with any future pets. Let’s look at some positive, healthy ways to approach this difficult time with our little people.
What about our seniors? We are all affected in different ways when we lose a beloved pet. Seniors have a whole other set of issues to address. Let’s take a look at why seniors are a little different.
As we age, we lose more and more loved ones. Family members and life-long friends depart and we are left many times living alone with only our dogs for companionship. As retired individuals we no longer have a work-life to act as a distraction. When our dogs pass at this stage in our lives, it presents a new challenge to our sense of self-worth as caring for the pet was a major function and purpose in our lives. So, how do we help seniors through this trying time?
If you truly love another, you will feel the pain when they pass. The joy your relationship brings to your life far outweighs the grief when the inevitable occurs. Lean on each other and know that better days are coming. Love to all who are walking this path.
We recently lost these beautiful souls:
Crazy Bronson. This nutty guy loved to chase bubbles, jump and play. We remember him leaning into our legs with great drama waiting to get the attention he so richly deserved. He was so gentle with the children in his family and full of personality. We’ll miss you, buddy!
Tiffany was independent and wouldn’t take any nonsense from the other boys (doggies) in the family. When she would show her feisty side, they would back down. After all, she was a whopping 6lbs! She and the other dogs roamed the fields during the day, demanded to be in front of the gas logs every night and in Mama’s bed when it was time to snooze the night away.
Sweet doggies, you add so much to our lives. The pain we endure when you leave us is no match for the love and joy you provide.
Tell us about your sweet babies and what they meant to you. We would love to see photos too!