Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Helping Kids When A Pet Dies

When Pastor Dean mentioned that his cat died yesterday, I thought it'd be a good time to put out a resource about pets. There are a ton of websites, though, so I'd encourage you to research them yourself if you're interested.

Many of the articles said something I'd never thought of: Do NOT tell a young child that the pet is going to be "put to sleep." Children take your words literally!

This article (see link below) has some good pointers and examples and it's relatively short. It is, however from a veterinarian website. I disagree with the statement that losing a pet is like losing a family member, but maybe the author never lost a family member. http://www.bestfriendsvet.com/pdffiles/HelpingChildThroughGriefWb.pdf

For a Christian perspective a couple good books are Heaven by Randy Alcorn, and The Wonder of Heaven by Ron Rhodes.

"Will my pet be in Heaven?" is a top FAQ by kids, and those books address it. For my own kids, I found great satisfaction in a quote I heard many years ago from a good preacher. It went something like this: "If you need Spot or Puff to be in Heaven in order for it to be perfect, then God will make sure Spot and Puff are there for you because Heaven is a place of no more tears or sorrow!" That explained it all for us and I hope it will help you as well.

If you come across other information or websites please feel free to mention them in the comment line. Or send me a picture of your pet. That'd be fun! (This is Elmer, one of my cats). Thanks! ferree

1 comment:

  1. My husband John was big on pets. But the boys and I are allergic to cats and dogs. So we had hamsters. They can get some nasty infections. and I was the one to find each of our three (at separate times) lying at the bottom of the cage, barely alive. The boys had been around John's parents' dogs (about six in all so far, I think) in sickness in and health, and knew what it meant when you had a responsibility to stop your pet's suffering. They understood it, and agreed it was the right thing to do when the time came because God entrusted us with the care of our animals. So when each of our three hammies became ill, John was the one who had to do the deed. I will spare you the details, but it was quick and humane. The boys didn't watch of course. John would put the little guy in a shoebox afterwards, we'd all gather and say a little prayer. That was our hamster funeral.


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