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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
about 2 years ago we lost one of our dogs "bailey" to cancer, during that same year we lost both of our cats "tubbi" and "rhody" to old age. when i was pregnant with my now 6 yo dd we lost our beagle " pete" to cancer.<br><br>
my 6 yo knows bailey was sick, she remembers, she knows the cats were very old and she knows they died. she was 4 at the time we lost these pets.<br><br><br><br>
so recently she keeps asking me "when are petey, bailey, tubbi, and rhody coming back?".........she must ask about petey because there are many pictures of him around the house.<br><br>
so i explained ( like i did at the time) that they were sick and the doctor tried to make them well but he couldnt and they went to kitty and doggy heaven.<br><br>
so not too long ago she asked me where their bodies are.<br><br><br><br>
we had all our pets cremated and i have all their ashes, they are in containers with their names on them, and they are on a shelf of this corner hutch thing in the living room.<br><br>
so i showed her, i figured i needed to be truthful. so she seemed to accept that and seemed satisfied that "petey, bailey, tubbi, and rhody are angels now"............( thats what she said)<br><br>
so she has started asking me again, when are they coming back, and she gets all teary and starts crying.<br><br><br><br>
i think she is realizing there is a thing called death, and animals and people dont come back, but im wondering if any of you had to deal with this and how you did it? can you recommend any good books on the subject even?<br><br><br><br>
also do you think i should remove the ashes from the living room?<br><br>
maybe i handled this all badly, i dont know. but i need help in this department!<br><br>
thanks.
 

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Check out a book called The Loss of a Pet... there is a section on kids...<br><br><br><br>
And kudos to you on being honest!! I hate when parents lie to their kids about death.
 

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I agree being honest is a good thing, my mom would tell us our cat ran away, and we looked for him for years.<br><br><br><br>
Death is a hard concept for kids, but I think if you keep explaining that they can't come back she'll eventually understand.
 

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Check out "The Forever Dog"...<br><br><br><br><a href="http://web.mac.com/thebillcochran" target="_blank">http://web.mac.com/thebillcochran</a>
 

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My little sister was just like this when one of our hamsters died (the only pet she'd ever known). She cried and everything, then the next day asked when he was coming back. We bury our hamsters, so she was able to see the body which I think helped. She was still confused for a while and asked questions like yours is, but she came to terms with it eventually, an hopefully your daughter will too.<br><br><br><br>
The fact that you cremate your pets might be confusing her, since she's quite young she might not be able to connect her dog with the ashes, but do what you think is right with them.<br><br><br><br>
It's good you're being honest, my dad told me some serious crap about our dog when he died and it left me confused for years.
 

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I guess this is a little late, but Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant is a cute book for kids. There's also a Cat Heaven. You can get it from amazon.com.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone, I haven't checked out any books yet, but i will look for those recommended.<br><br>
it seemed to quiet down a bit, but then it started again when she found out our friends dog died!<br><br>
She drew pictures of all of our deceased cats and dogs, as well as our friends dog, and hung them on the wall.<br><br>
she occasionally asks still when they will be back but seems more accepting of the fact that they wont.<br><br>
she keeps saying "they are angels now"<br><br>
and a week ago our fish died, so now the fish has a memorial picture on the wall too.<br><br>
my dd also put together her own little picture book of photos of all our pets.......she calls it her angel book.<br><br>
uggh, i never realized how hard this would be, but i am trying to remain honest about it all.<br><br>
the latest thing is she is asking me how long cats and dogs live. she wants to know how many years ( we have 3 dogs and 1 cat)......
 

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I think you handled it well. You need to be honest with kids. Never relate death with sleeping because then kids get scared of sleeping.<br><br><br><br>
A book I'd suggest is The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst. I also have a big long list of books on grief, loss, and healing (for children) from my Grief and Loss class last semester if you need more suggestions. The only one I recognize on the list that is appropriate for small children and pet relevent is the one I suggested.
 
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