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My DD has been obsessing on our dog that passed almost two years ago.

I have no idea how to deal with this. I seem to have had a much easier time letting go of pets when I was younger.

She was 5 when he passed. He was old and sick and didn't play with the kids much. He more or less tolerated them. He liked their petting, but never sought them out for attention. So in other words, they weren't close or didn't have much of a bond. Anyhow, fast forward a year and a half and all of a sudden she is crying at night because she misses our dog. She keeps asking me for a pet, but I really don't want one. Losing him was hard enough, not to mention I know it will be ME that ends up training and taking care of any pet we get.

I explain to her that he is in a better place and that he doesn't have pain and doesn't have the huge tumor on his side.  I don't know what else to say.  I just don't know how she feels so sad about it out of the blue and nothing I say helps.  

Any suggestions?  And by suggestions I mean anything that doesn't include buying or acquiring a new pet.


Asked by QuinnMae at 11:37 PM on Dec. 7, 2012 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • I know there are books out there geared toward children of her age to help her deal w/ the loss of her pet. If you are against her getting any other type of pet to fill the void, then are there friends or relatives who would allow her to co-parent one of theirs? She could visit once a week to get her animal fix. :) GL


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 9:17 AM on Dec. 8, 2012

  • cats are really easy... or fish .... or a bird lol i don't know sorry to hear about your loss but ive had my problems with dogs and just come to find out that their cute but to hard for us to keep up with so my kids have fish ...

    Answer by tonipaffel at 12:01 AM on Dec. 8, 2012

  • Maybe this is her way of asking for a pet? Or maybe she just really has questions about death?

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 12:24 AM on Dec. 8, 2012

  • This is a tough one. My middle daughter had a similar experience (not the death of a pet, but the death of a relative) and it was odd because, at the time of the death, she wasn't close to her great grandmother at all and seemed pretty accepting of it. But a couple of years later it was all she talked about for several months, at bed time.

    I think you're right. I think the whole death concept kicks in about that age. They start to realize what it is in a less abstract way and then latch on to something they can identify the concept with. So, death = dog = "I am sort of scared of this thing". Maybe just more communication about the idea of things dying will ease her mind a little but I bet it's more of a maturity issue, time wise.

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 1:07 AM on Dec. 8, 2012

  • It could be anxiety about the concept of death. She does want a puppy. She has asked me and went through the list of all of the things she will take care of, none of which she will actually follow through with. It doesn't help that all of her neighborhood friends have pets, and it seems that there is a new addition every month or so of some new critter. Plus any new pet won't be as well behaved as our dog was. That's going to require a lot of training and time.

    Comment by QuinnMae (original poster) at 12:41 AM on Dec. 8, 2012

  • It could be. I just hate that she seems really upset about it. I end up feeling like an uncaring and selfish mother for not wanting to get them another pet. I've asked her if there is more to her crying and being upset and she says no, but my sense is telling me there is more to it. Of course it doesn't help that DH is out of town, which I suspect makes these episodes more frequent.

    Comment by QuinnMae (original poster) at 1:16 AM on Dec. 8, 2012

  • I wish she would be happy with a co-pet-parenting thing, but she plays with these kids almost every day and it's never enough. She has it in her head that she needs an animal. Two of her friends have a constant stream of animals going through their houses, which makes me think that they get them when they are 'cool' and then when it comes to taking care of it the animal ends up being neglected. Not only am I not ready for a new animal, I don't feel like she is mature enough to take her responsibilities seriously when it comes to having a pet. Nobody really helped with our last dog, I didn't expect them to because he was sort of my guy but they never showed interest in helping give him a bath, picking up after him, taking him to the vet with me, etc. He actually seemed more like an inconvenience to them at the time.
    I like the suggestion about a book. I will check our library website and see if they have one.

    Comment by QuinnMae (original poster) at 11:03 AM on Dec. 8, 2012