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How do you tell kids dog is dead?

 
 
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 11:30 am
Our dog escaped last night. Animal comntrol picked him up, said he was walking fine and had a small cut on his head. They called me this morning to yell at us about it. Said they were taking him over to the humane society and that we could pick him up there. 10 minutes later they call and say that he is dead...

WTF?!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 3,109 • Replies: 24
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 11:31 am
Sorry 'bout your dog, McG. I have a real soft spot for animals, and I have no idea how to be the bearer of that kind of news. Did the kids have the dog for a long time?
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sozobe
 
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Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 11:32 am
Oh no!

Is there any chance of mistaken identity? That another dog that they thought was yours died?

On the other hand, it could have been that your dog was hit by a car and the cut was the only outward sign but there were internal injuries that caught up with him.

Have you seen the dog?
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 11:33 am
why did they yell at you? did anyone explain more to you? can you get more information from someone? that is twisted.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 11:45 am
I'm guessing your dog had some kind of internal injury. Animals are surprisingly good at hiding such things. Still, I would be asking a lot of questions about why he died.

How old are your kids?
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 12:36 pm
Post this on the refrigerator:

Dog is dead

- Nietzsche
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 12:37 pm
Sorry to hear about the poor guy, though. I hope your kids take it OK.
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 12:39 pm
This is terrible. How old are your children?
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Noddy24
 
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Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 01:15 pm
mcG--

What very sad news.

All you can do is give the kids the hard facts--and if you have tears in your own eyes, that is nothing to be ashamed of.

Was it one of the kids who permitted the escape? Will this card more sorrow at a time of great sorrow?

Will you be able to bury your dog nearby? Planning a funeral is a practical way of dealing with grief.

Don't talk about a replacement dog until all of you have had a chance to mourn the dog you lose.

Again, my sympathies. Hold your dominion.
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McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 01:26 pm
This is the whole story...

My wife and I had to leave town on businees so I left the kids, 8 year old son, 4 year old daughter and the dog with my parents.

We got home yesterday around 5 in the evening, my mom called to see if anyone had called about the dog because he got out.

This morning, the animal control people called to tell us they found our dog last night and that his license had expired. I had never received the new tag, but had a receipt for it saying he was legal. After going around with them for a bit, they finally agreed that we could come and pick him up at the humane society. There would be a $25 dollar fine.

Ok, so I call my parents and tell them they get to pay $25 and that they needed to go pick him up.

15 minutes later, I get a call that the lady went down to get him, but he was dead.

I got quite upset and yelled at her and wanted more information. Her supervisor, who picked him up, was out of state on vacation. I demanded that she gate ahold of the supervisor because I wanted answers! Had they called last night, my dog would still be alive.

She called back, saying she couldn't get a hold of her supervisor, so I got the name of her supervisors boss, the commissioner of public safety. He has called and is looking into what they were supposed to have done. I am still waiting to hear the legal ramifications.

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j79/McGentrix/MaxandAlly.jpg
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 01:32 pm
Well, he still might well be dead because of internal injuries, I think that happens a lot - but it's an especially painful situation because of these circumstances.
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cyphercat
 
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Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 01:33 pm
Oh, how awful. I'm so sorry, McGentrix, how terrible to lose a pet that way.

My parents had to tell me when I was five that our dog had been run over the night before while I was asleep. They just sort of slowly led into it. I just remember them coming into my room in the morning, sitting with me on my bed and saying something like that we wouldn't be seeing Megan for a while. I don't know if you encourage your children to have any beliefs in heaven or anything like that, but if you do then I think the old, "he's okay, he just isn't here anymore" thing is as good as anything.

Until I was a lot older, my parents had always assured me that pets were in some nice happy place playing until I got there to see them again, and it was pretty comforting to me to think that. So if you and your kids talk about that kind of thing, I think that's a good way to go.

When you're that young, as long as Mom and Dad say that the pet is still happy and is okay, it doesn't seem as awful.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 01:51 pm
Aw, man, this is so sad. The kids are young, but old enough to have lasting memories of the dog. They might react differently because of their age differences and because they cope with disturbing news differently. Let them each cope in their own way, let them talk about him if they want, or not talk about him if they don't.

Certainly let them know how much you hurt inside as well. So sorry to hear this news.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 02:10 pm
You might think about picking up that book by Mr. Rogers called "When A Pet Dies".

I have seen the book in the stores but I have never read it. Still, Mr. Rogers dealt with stuff in such a cool way that I'll bet he knows just how to handle this. He did, after all, write a book about it.
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jespah
 
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Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 03:22 pm
Oh, McG, I'm so sorry this happened. And definitely, investigate. The whole thing sounds, well, odd at best, and disturbing and possibly a sign of major incompetence on the part of Animal Control, at worst. Either way, it pays to know.

Now, as for your children. When I was 16, our dog died of cancer (we had him put to sleep) and that was awful and hard to deal with but at least I was able to fairly well process it. Then about 8 years ago the dog RP and I had died, probably of an undiagnosed heart ailment, right in front of us, and I completely fell apart.

Also, when I was a teen, my friend's dog ran off, she (the dog) was very old and probably left to die. And my friend's mother told my friend -- who was 17, fer chrissakes! -- that the dog had been adopted by some other family. Of course V__ and I both realized that was Mrs. P___'s way of dealing with it, but it was a big lie and none too comforting.

I like cypher's idea of talking to your children about heaven, if that is your belief system. A lot of people get comfort from things like Rainbow Bridge (google it) and it's comforting to feel that our pets are all right and safe and just waiting for our return. But that, I suppose, only works if that is your belief system.

If it isn't, then perhaps this is a time to discuss a lot of other things about eternity, of course from a child's perspective so only you can gauge how much your children are comfortable absorbing. If a beloved grandparent has passed on, or someone in the community, that can be a starting point for the discussion. Or perhaps if someone is terribly ill -- certainly (unfortunately) you don't have to be elderly to get cancer and that can be another starting point for talking.

Anyway, my sympathies to you and your family. I am going to shadow this topic in Parenting & Childcare. It will show up both here and there and I think it might be helpful to get perspectives from both types of people.
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flushd
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 05:12 pm
I am so sorry to hear this, McGentrix. I do hope you figure out the details of how this all came about. How horrible.

Beautiful photo. You've got me tearing up.

When I was young and a pet died (it happened a lot, I lived in a village in the country) - the ephemism was "He/she went to the farm". Some actually went to a farm, but I soon dreaded hearing of any creature going to 'live on the farm'! I suppose I was acquainted with death early on. I saw cats who had frozen on the street, baby birds that died because the mother was gone, that sort of thing. A pet is a different category though. When my dog died, I felt like I lost a human being. It was real.

You know your kids well and their level of understanding of death.
I would go from there.
It is a great opportunity to discuss some of the big concepts ; like others have said.

Best wishes to your family.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 06:07 pm
Oh, that's terrible McG.
How sad for you all!
That's a beautiful photograph. Just makes me feel sadder about the situation, though.
How do you tell a child such a thing? I really don't know. My hunch would be to be honest about what's happened, omitting the distressing details. Poor little boy. Sad
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 06:28 pm
McGentrix, you have my sympathy. I wish I had valuable insight into how to deal with your kids. The only thing I can say is that it would be best if you could be as honest with them as seems reasonable.

The photo is lovely. He looks like a sweetheart.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 06:51 pm
... and (harking back to my own childhood experiences here) Some sort of ritual "farewell ceremony", if it seems a good idea to you, can help kids accept something like this, too. I remember burials & "funerals" in the back yard in my childhood. Little graves with flowers. In your case, maybe a memorial plant in a special spot, or something like that? (I doubt you'd be burying your dog, yourself.) I hope this doesn't sound mawkish. I do remember gaining considerable comfort from such rituals as a child. Kids do mourn & it's a big loss to lose a beloved pet.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 07:02 pm
Yes yes.... Having some sort of ceremony is important.
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