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July 07, 2006



I recently had a neighbor loose their first pet. It got me remembering the way my family handled the loss of our 17 year old cat, lil' jean. We used the animated story "All dogs go to Heaven". The movie may not be appropriate for all families, but we found the story to be comforting.


When our newly adopted senior Peke died, we told our then 4 year old that she was a very old dog and we gave her a great 4 months for the end of her life. He was very very upset, but it helped to bury her in the backyard, where we made a headstone that he painted with her name and helped us dig a small hole. Now all most two years later he will sometimes wander back there and talk to "Yuki", and when we adopted a new lab Pup he took her back to the "Yuki mound" and introduced her. It mostly comes up now when he is sad for some reason, and he will then talk about her for a couple days at a time, but we just tell him that she is running and playing in heaven.

I am sorry for your loss, multiple ones, and will hope that your daughter will adjust to the situation with ease.


my daughters were 4 and 5 when my husband came home to find our 12 year old dog Comet had died.

We managed to keep the girls from upstairs where the dog died and when I came home we sat them down and told them what happened.

I didn't want them to be upset by death (like I am) but wanted them to understand that it is ok to be sad. We told them that her body was old and could not work anymore, and now her spirit was up in heaven with their grandpa and our old cats. She was now a star in the sky that would watch over them as they slept.

We were all very upset, but I asked them if they wanted to say good bye. They said yes. One of them petted her, the other said her good bye from a distance.

Every so often, even after 2 years, one will see a star and say 'there Comet and our kitty's with grandpa joe!'

Amanda Cowan

My daughter is not quite old enough for that just yet, and we've not had the unfortunate luck to experience that (though our dog was just diagnosed with what is basically canine epilepsy..which will be a hard conversation some day), I lost several pets as a child. Each one was harder than the previous. Thinking ahead to the future, I'm sad already for the time that we'll have to go through that.. I'm so sorry about your loss.


I'm so sorry about your loss of Isis. The loss of a pet is horrible, and many people just don't understand. Two weeks ago, we put our beloved 12 year old Golden Retreiver, Sedona, to sleep. My daughter is 5, so she is a bit older, but I know she would have felt a loss at your daughter's age too. I think all kids react differently, so be prepared for anything. My daughter was absolutely devestated - she cried for hours and laid in bed that night talking to the dog about how much she loved and missed her. After a couple days, though, she was ready to talk about her without crying. She will say "Let's talk about Sedona. I know it will make me sad but it makes me feel better, too." So we tell happy, funny stories. We just got Sedona's ashes - I'm not sure what we are going to do with them or how I will explain that to my daughter, but I would like to have some kind of ceremony. Sorry I don't have any great advice for you, but I do think it is a good life lesson for kids, although a sad one.


My daughter was 3 in April. My cat died in November. She still asks why isn't he coming back every few weeks. I would have thought that she'd have forgotten by now, she was only 2 1/2 when he died. When she sees a picture she says "There's my cat! Lets pick him up now!" It breaks my heart every time.

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