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Our dog died yesterday...How can I help my 8 year old daughter cope?

Our dog died yesterday...I cried all day but I had to pull it together when I picked the kids up from school because they did not know yet. I have a 3,6 and 9 year old. My daughter is 9 and she took it the worst. She ran away in anger when I told her and was crying uncontrollably which I knew she would. Then she started asking all the questions like was it her fault? Was Morgan in pain? Where is she? and alot more. I answered her truthfully. Obviously she still hurts and cries on and off. This is the first time they had to deal with death....Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can make this easier for her? I appreiciate any help you can give.


Asked by Sunflower722 at 6:59 AM on Nov. 4, 2010 in Pets

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Answers (12)
  • was your dog sick? Iwas thinking you could say that she won't suffer anymore or if you had another dog in the past that also passed away , tell her that they are together now and they r in doggie heaven, playing and having a "great time!' It's gonna take sometime for her to adjust not seeing morgan anymore, keep her buisy and anytime she gets sad remind her that morgan is upstairs in heaven playing! Very sad for all of u!

    Answer by anichols1 at 7:17 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • Awwww... poor kid. My son was eight when his guinea pig died last summer. He took it harder than the other two kids (6 and 3 respectively.) We did a funeral for the piggie and let the kids share a memory of her... I also read the 'Rainbow Bridge' story about animal heaven to them and they like that. We knew we would be getting another piggie (if only to keep our other pig from being lonely!) and the act of going home and picking out another animal seemed to help as well. My son told the new guinea pig about Frenzy (the one who died) and said that she wasn't a replacement, but we would love her too... it was very sweet. Several months later they all still talk about Frenzy and sometimes say that they miss her, but they aren't sad when they talk about her anymore. Now it's just the happy memories that they remember.

    Answer by Freela at 7:51 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • Thank you anichols1. Morgan was old she would of been 10 0n Nov. 15 and for the past couple weeks she would not get up or eat. We took her to the vet, the ran tests and nothing came back abnormal so we think it was just her time. I told my daughter that Morgan is in doggy heaven and there is no more pain and that she is playing and running and the days are sunny, she has plenty to eat and drink. She asked if my old dog that passed before my daughter was born is with her? That chocked me up..I said yes Morgan has a friend.


    Comment by Sunflower722 (original poster) at 7:39 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • I would explain that how it is part of life. Talk about memories to keep close to her heart. Talk about Doggie heaven. Have a nice funeral together. I am not sure there is anything you can do to take away the pain except be there for her to talk and reassure her. sorry you lost your dog. :(
    Then go get another cute little puppy

    Answer by Momforhealth at 7:42 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • sorry about the loss of the family pet. it's never easy. time will help.just answer all of her questions truthfully when she asks.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 7:50 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • What a sensitive little girl! What a treasure for you. You are doing all you can and just keep talking about it so she can accept it. Maybe she could have a small picture of the dog to put where she wants.

    Answer by elizabr at 8:12 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • And I am so sorry to hear about the dog.

    Answer by elizabr at 8:13 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • I am so sorry for your loss! I grew up with cats and I know the pain of losing a pet/friend/family member. As the others have said, if your dog was sick, mention she is in a better place now (doggie heaven). Has she been buried or is she being cremated? I felt some closure when I gave the vet one of my cat's favorite toys to be cremated with him.

    Answer by Owl_Feather at 8:16 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • We had a funeral in the back yard where we buried our pet that died. We let the kids gather flowers, my son wanted to dig the hole, and they put a small speech to say when we buried him. We all cried together but it helped them. When ever they missed him they would go visit the grave. Ask her what she would like to do special to help her start accepting your pets death. sorry for your lost.

    Answer by suelo74 at 8:31 AM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • There is a book called dog heaven by cynthia Ryland written for kids about losing a pet. I got this when our 12 old dog died suddenly at home. Nick had been perfectly healthy in fact the day before he had been running around playing with us. It turned out he had an undetectable congenital defect in his heart. We were heartbroken especially my daughter even though Nick was definantly my dog Kylie considered him hers. He was her best friend though. Anyway, the book helped her deal with our loss. It won't fix it but it does seem to make it a little easier. I will say though it made me cry too. Give her time and plenty of support. She will be okay but it will take time to heal her broken heart. My daughter still misses Nick and talks about him from time to time but there is no longer pain.

    Answer by KyliesMom5 at 9:30 AM on Nov. 4, 2010