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How do you help family members cope with the death of a pet?

We were at my dads house last night sitting around a fire in the backyard. It was really dark out and you can't see anything outside of the fire glow. We needed more wood thrown on the fire so my DH went and got more wood and threw it over the fence. We got the fire going again, and then my dad was wondering where his dog was. We started calling for her because she likes to go out to the woods behind the house and sniff around. My dad got a flashlight out and started looking for her. He saw her laying in the grass, dead. When my DH had thrown the wood over the fence, the log fell on her head. My dad is in a dark place and my husband feels so bad he cried all night. My oldest DS kept wishing that he could've died instead of the dog. The kids didn't see her, but my oldest knew exactly what happened. How do you cope with something like this?

Answer Question
 
thomasfam14

Asked by thomasfam14 at 5:17 PM on May. 9, 2010 in Pets

Level 3 (14 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • For the kids, you might look at the book Dog heaven by Cynthia Rylant. that book helped my daughter cope with our dogs sudden death almost 3 years ago. As far as your Dad, all I can say is just be there for him. Right now, he may just need time to himself to grieve.
    KyliesMom5

    Answer by KyliesMom5 at 5:52 PM on May. 9, 2010

  • I'm so sorry, my heart goes out to you all.
    QandA

    Answer by QandA at 8:08 PM on May. 9, 2010

  • That is INSANE. Your dh KILLED your dad's dog? Wow... I say get him a new dog. It could never replace the old one but he'll have something to dote upon instead of being heartbroken.
    SinaiJ

    Answer by SinaiJ at 6:04 AM on May. 10, 2010

  • How old are your kids? Our bunny died a couple weeks ago and my 5 year old dd took it hard. I told her about the Rainbow Bridge. She wanted to know what it looked like so I googled imagine and the very first picture we saw had a grey bunny in it. She sot so excited and said Look, it;s Thumper. She is happy now that Thumper can run around and play all he want and he doesn't have to be in a cage anymore.

    Shaylyn318

    Answer by Shaylyn318 at 10:02 AM on May. 10, 2010

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