Pet Death

[deleted account] ( 5 moms have responded )

My parents take care of my daughter every afternoon so that I can get some time at the gym. They have a basset hound named Lola that has been very sick recently. They are taking her to another vet today for a second opinion and possibly to put her down. My daughter has seen this dog everyday since she was born and she is very attached to her. How should I tell her that Lola is no longer alive? She will be 3 next month and does not know what death is.

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[deleted account]

Thank you moms for all your advice. I told my daughter that Lola got old and that she got very sick. I told her that she could not get better and that she died and went to heaven. I told her that she is now happy and healthy, but that we will not see her everyday. She asked me a few times where she is, but I think she understands as much as she can. Thanks again moms!

Jennifer - posted on 11/06/2009

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we actually went through this early this summer we told our daughters who are 4 and 5 that bridgette the dog died. we explained that she was old and that her body just couldn't go on anymore. We should them were grandpa burried herand let them pick flowers to put on her grave. We try to keep an open dialog about death in our house on all forms of death so that they are not overly traumatized when it happens. They kept asking were she was for a few days and we had to remind them that she was gone but they understand it as much as they can at that age.

Susan - posted on 11/06/2009

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When my daughter was 3, our cat died. She loved the cat and it seemed difficult to explain it to her, but she seemed to grasp it somewhat. Three months later, my husband's father died unexpectedly. Because she had learned about death with the cat, she handled her grandfather's death surprisingly well. I think people tend to underestimate what a 3 year old can understand and grasp. We found that losing a pet was good preparation for losing a family member. Good luck!

Rashmi - posted on 11/06/2009

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I've had dags all my life............and can understand what you and your parents must be going through. I guess the best way to do it is to say that she is now going to God in Heaven............to let your daughter understand that she will nt see lola again........but lola will be around. The best thing would be to get her a puppy........if that's possible. When I lost our first dog.......and I was 8 that time.............I greived for months..........then my parents got a pup............and I stopped crying...

[deleted account]

I'm sorry to hear about your parent's dog. I know how much they can become a part of the family. When our cat died my parents told my brother (who was much younger than me) that she died which means she will no longer be living with us but she will be living with God in heaven. I remember my dad saying that God would take care very good care of Midnight and she would be happier living there with him. Dying means you can't see the animal or person anymore and it's okay to miss them. Your local library may have some children's books on the subject. Just ask the librarian to help you. I think it's important to avoid using the word "sleep" when describing death. A lot of people say they went to sleep and never woke up. I think that is too confusing and even scary for children to understand.

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