HELP! Explaining dog passing away to Sammy!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Dara, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. Dara

    Dara New Member

    Hi everyone. One of our dogs, Sasha, who lives with mother in law passed away this morning. It is quite complicated but, He was my husbands dog. The joke of the family is I married my husbad for Sasha! He was 12 yrs old. He had his teeth cleaned on tuesday and yesterday was taken to the vet for not responding well to the anesthesia. At 1:30, he was fine and mother in law was told to come get him at 4:30 or so. My brilliant mother in law never has her cell phone on so is unreachable and at 3:45 I get a frantic call from the vet saying no time to explain we need someone who can make a decision. After speaking to my husband, since mother in law is nowhere to be found, I was the closest to the vet. I grabbed Sammy and off we went. I learned on the way there, that I was going to have to transport Sasha in the car with me to an emergency vet abuot 45 minutes away and they werent sure that he would make the drive there and told me he had seizures. At which point I am like oh my goodness I have Sammy with me, he cant witness this! Point is, Sammy saw way more than he should have and I got him out before he needed to witness anything else but how do I explain this to him. He isnt going to understand! Last night he said "Sasha sick, he feel better soon" ANy ideas what to do?
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Use language that won't be easily tranferable to humans so as not to create anxiety. Use words like "doggie sickness" so he doesn't equate sickness with not coming home again or be fearful if he or a parent gets sick they will die. Don't say he "went to sleep and won't wake up again" because that can be very scary to a child with anxiety, but tell him that Sasha has died and won't be around to (play, eat, etc) any more.

    When I was young we had pets and horses that we adored and my parents used the term "animal heaven". I never thought about it till now since we don't have pets but I know it was more comforting to think of an animal spending its time romping in "doggie heaven" than in a hole filled with dirt in the back field.

    Sorry about the loss of your pet.
  3. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    We just had to deal with telling my four year old about g-ma's passing. I just said she was old and had been sick for a long time. Her body just got really tired and gave out. She went to live in heaven with God and her family.

    I know it's hard. It was tough to watch my little guy get so upset. It's hard to explain death in 3 or 4 year old terms. I hope it goes well for you and him.
  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I am so sad for you! I can't imagine how upset you must be! Sending hugs................

    As for Sammy, I agree with the others, on just tell him the truth in the easiest, most kid like terms.

    "Sasha won't be coming back, he was sick, and now he is in doggie heaven."
    There actually might be some excellent kids books on this. Maybe go to the local library and check some out? It might be easier for Sammy to understand a book, and make him feel like this happens to his friends too, if you have the conversation, and then read a couple of books on it.

    Good luck.
  5. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    Sending hugs. I'm so sorry. I think you got great advice, so I just wanted to send my prayers and thoughts.
  6. Dara

    Dara New Member

    Thank you so much. He hasnt asked about it today so I am kind of holding off as long as possible. We are all heartbroken because it came out of nowhere and we are all shocked! My heart is truley aching today. Sasha was a very unique dog. I am still convinced that if he could speak, he would have a proper Brittish accent!
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I am very sorry about the loss of your dog.

    I agree with the others, and I am sure that when the time comes, you will do just fine with Sammy.

    Don't forget to allow yourself time to grieve.

  9. Dara

    Dara New Member

    I had no time to realize what even happened yesterday. Sammy was horrid. Partly because he new something was going on andpartly because it is his normal behavior. By the time he went to bed and I had taken 2 aleve, I lost it for about 30 minutes.I dont think it has really sunken in yet. I still am in shock. I know there was nothing we could have done it just came out of nowhere!
  10. I'm going crazy!!!

    I'm going crazy!!! New Member

    we had to have our dog put down a few years ago due to cancer and difficult child is just now realizing that she won't be coming back
    the most heartbreaking part of it all was one day he came in with a ball of her fur in his hand and said he wanted to keep it so he would have something to remember Cheyenne now we have it framed on the wall and he always includes her in his account of pets and then says but she's gone now good luck with Sammy and my prayers are with ya
  11. CookiesKid

    CookiesKid New Member

    I am so sorry about Sasha passing away. I have had several pets and it was extremely sad when each of them passed away. People here have given some great advice about helping Sammy with Sasha's death.

    I just wanted to say that there is a book I like called "Dog Heaven" that has a lot of very colorful, nice and happy pictures of dogs "in heaven". They look happy and are having a lot of fun. Even if your son doesn't know what heaven is, or even if your beliefs don't include heaven, this book might be helpful because it shows a lot of dogs playing together and having a happy and peaceful time together. It's really a lovely book. (There's one for cats, too, called "Cat Heaven").

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this. I'm sure it is very hard. Best wishes to you and your family.