Ask Away Blog: Recovering From The Loss of a Pet

Recovering From The Loss of a Pet

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Since you’re an animal love, I wanted to ask you this. We had to put our 15 year old lab Sammi down. She had cancer and was beginning to suffer. My 9 year old is having the toughest time with her death. We bought him a black lab stuffed animal for him that he named Sammi of course and takes her everywhere. It has been two weeks and he still cries as if it was yesterday. Anytime he watches a movie or whatever that has animals in it he gets teared up. We have talked extensively and let him share his feelings always but he is really taking this hard. If you or your readers have any advice on how to help him cope or what to say to make him feel better I would really like to know.    
Thanks,
Nkailihiwa

I know this is really sad for you but it’s normal.  I have always been the kind of person to mourn animals even longer than people.  I think it’s the innocence of the animals and the unique bond we have with them that no other person can relate too.  When I was 9, we also had to put our 15 year old mixed breed dog to sleep.  I was so distraught.  I drew pictures of him all the time, and stared at photographs of him.  I was truly heartbroken.  I have always been an animal lover and without an animal in my life I feel useless.  I love the idea of caring for something and forming a bond with it.  My parents got me a gerbil a couple months later and helped me refocus my pain. I also got a rabbit.  Within a year, we got a new dog, and it was then that I truly began to heal up.  The new energy of a puppy helps us move past the pain of losing a previous pet.  If it isn’t an issue to get a new dog, maybe you should start thinking about getting a new puppy.  I have three Chihuahuas, and although the puppy stage is tough sometimes, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I think it’s a great thing that he is so affected by the loss of a pet, because it shows that he really loved Sammi and is not afraid to show his feelings in that regard.  If you need help picking out a new edition or any advice on training, etc. I am always here for that. It seems like your son’s problem is the same as mine was.  I feel empty if I don’t have a pet in my life.  And while a hamster or rabbit somewhat did the trick for a little while, there’s nothing like the relationship you can have with a family dog.  I hope you guys figure something out! Keep me updated!!!
Ellen

2 comments:

  1. http://rainbowsbridge.com/poem.htm

    Also, let your son read this. It might help him to feel better about the loss of his friend. I lost my cat a year ago and still cry for her but this poem always gives me a smile, thinking about her.

    It is really heartwarming the relationship that your son had with his dog. Boys especially attribute a lot of their youth to their dogs they had while growing up. The dog is their faithful best friend at all times, no matter what.

    I remember an episode of the Soprano's where Tony meets his fathers long-time "gumare". He goes back to her place and finds a picture of her son with a golden retriever. He gets angry because he realizes that was HIS dog that his mother didn't want and made the father take it away. Tony was told the dog was put to sleep but in reality, his father gave the dog to his mistress' son instead. On one end, Tony was happy to know his dog was not put to sleep on account of his hateful mother, but on the other, he felt that was HIS dog and he had fond memories and bonds with him.

    Even in television, the bond between a young boy and his dog is priceless.

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  2. we just went thru the same thing with my 9 yr old daughter about 6 months ago, our shitzu passed away unexpectedly. she took it the hardest. its been 6 months and its almost like it just happened. on her christmas list she asked for santa to build her a flying machine so she could fly up to heaven to see ginger. so i know what you are going thru. hope things get easier for your son.

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