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