Lessons Learned: The Death of a Pet

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The lessons learned from the death of a pet are not easy. Cookie, our cute little mutt, was hit by a car and killed on Tuesday. It was a terrible day as a mother. My babies took their little dog outside to play. He ran around a corner and didn’t come back. When the girls knew Cookie was hit I could hear their crying and screaming from inside the shower. I thought Taylor fell off her scooter. That would have been easy to fix. You can’t fix the death of a pet.


I jumped out of the shower and threw on my robe, running outside, only to find Bradley putting our little puppy into a black trash bag. My face dropped. I was hoping he just had a broken leg. Mexico has good vet clinics. Dogs are very popular in Morelia. But no, our Cookie was gone. It was very quick and he didn’t suffer. There is comfort in that.

What Do You Tell Your Kids About The Death of a Pet?

We tried to figure out why the car didn’t stop or if they were driving too fast. We don’t know many details. Maybe they didn’t even know they hit him. He was so small. Taylor walked up to Cookie’s body and saw he was dead. I hate that she has that gruesome picture in her mind. I felt helpless as I hugged them and told them I was sorry.

Sawyer is only three so he is still learning about what death means. I had to explain to him a few times that Cookie wasn’t coming home and we would not see him again. I am glad Sawyer was not outside at the time. I am a little afraid to send him outside with his big sisters now. What if it was a child and not a dog, that was run down by a car?

Mom Fail: Don’t Watch a Sad Movie On a Sad Day

We made sure to spend the afternoon together as a family and we tried to keep their minds occupied. I failed at this part. I thought, “Let’s watch The Book Thief together! It’s a good family movie about a young girl.” Oh my goodness…. That movie was terrible. In the first 60 seconds her little brother dies and her mom abandons her. In the last 60 seconds her best friend and both her adoptive parents die.

I mean, seriously! What kind of mom picks that movie to watch after her children’s pet gets run over!? The Book Thief was educational in that it showed the terrible effects of prejudice and war, but in my opinion, not worth the sadness factor. There is enough of that in real life.

How Are The Kids Handling The Death of a Pet?

Alexis seems to be dealing with the death of Cookie. She has tears and misses him but is moving on. Taylor is better too I guess, except that she can’t stop asking questions about him and his death. We try to keep answering them but sometimes it is a bit morbid and we say, “Enough! Think happy thoughts!”  Maybe it is her way of coping. Death isn’t completely new for the girls.

I miscarried a baby between Sawyer and Tristan, about two years ago. The miscarriage was early but our family views human life as starting at conception. It was a horrible time for all of us, except maybe Sawyer, who was too young to know what was happening. The girls cried with me, especially my sensitive Taylor. She also would not stop asking questions about the miscarriage and the baby for months, which was hard for me at times. I think questions and talking are simply her way of dealing with death.

Life After Cookie Will Continue

Cookie was a sweet, little dog, who loved my children. He slept under their bed every night. If they went outside without him, he would not stop barking till they came and got him. He put up with the rough love of a three year old, without biting him. Cookie was only with us for a few months but it was enough time for him to wiggle his way into our family and our hearts. My tough husband was even upset by the whole episode, especially knowing his kids lost a much loved friend.

The girls will move on and we will get another puppy. We will keep this one on a leash at all times. Bad memories will fade and good memories will brighten and sparkle. Unfortunately in this world, death is a fact of life that is unavoidable. It touches all of us sooner or later. This was a lesson learned, the death of a pet. I learned a mom lesson too. Read about the movie you picked for family night before you watch it, especially when it has already been a bad day. Signing off, Tina

12 thoughts on “Lessons Learned: The Death of a Pet

  1. anthony quinn photography says:

    :( so so sad! I’m so sorry for all of you! Cookie looks like a adorable puppy. It is so hard to loose a pet. They become part of our family. Give each other hugs from us all!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Your beautiful profound words touched my heart my Dear Tina.
    It is definitely not easy to deal with death; we are simply not built to do it, because it was not a part of our purpose to have to deal with it.
    I cannot begin to imagine the pain of loosing a child.
    But what I can see is a very strong woman and an amazingly kind mother who is raising 4 beautiful children.
    We love all your family very much!!!!
    We loved cookie very much to. I had the chance to spend a little time with him wend PJ was here, and I loved the sweet tenderness of the furry little one.
    Please give all your four children a hug from me, especially to Taylor and Alexis. Tell them I have cried very much when loosing a pet. Tell them I love them, and I will give them a big hug when I see them next Tuesday (next Sunday I am going to see my grandma).

  3. Prudence Clarke says:

    What a tragedy. I am so sorry for your loss.
    I can’t imagine how difficult it is to explain to children and in this I do not envy you. They are very brave to get through this awful event.

    Thank you for sharing and sending you all hugs.

  4. Create With Joy says:

    Dear Tina,

    What a profound and beautiful post! I am SO sorry for your loss. Cookie was such a beautiful dog – I can feel his spirit through your photo!

    I picked you as our “Featured Friend” at Friendship Friday this week because I really enjoyed reading about you and I am looking forward to getting to know you better through your blog.

    Have a blessed week and I look forward to seeing you at this week’s party! :-)

    Create With Joy

  5. Yona Williams says:

    Very sorry to hear of your loss. There is comfort in knowing that Cookie did not suffer. Losing a pooch is very hard – you just have to dwell on the good times and memories.

  6. Vashti Q-Vega says:

    Hello Tina. I’m so sorry for your loss. I know how heart-wrenching it is to lose a loved pet. I just lost my little dog to old age and illness. It’s hard. I’m so glad your kids are dealing well with the loss. It gave me some peace to read this post. Thank you. Cookie was an adorable doggie.

  7. Cat Ami says:

    I’m so sorry… the what ifs are hard and definitely best not to think about though our minds tend to wonder. Death can be difficult for kids to understand but it’s good that you and your family are spending time together and talking about it. Healing is a process. Hoping you and your family heal quickly.

  8. Mary says:

    I’m sorry for you losses, Tina. I understand your pain, miscarriage and all. Kids do tend to bounce back better than adults since it’s a new experience for them but as adults, we know the long-term consequences. You’re doing a good job talking with them and being open instead of ignoring it. That will help your kids the most in the long run.

    I hope you have a good weekend.


  9. Pam says:

    Oh I’m so sorry! You handled it well. We had a dog that looked very much like Cookie when I was about 12. Pets do wiggle themselves quickly into our lives, and I’m so sorry for your loss.

  10. Marcia Pilar says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Tina. I found out via Friendship Friday.
    We’ve said farewell to three of our beloved dogs, and one was quite tragic.
    Wish you peace.

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