Coping With A Family Pet Dying

July 30, 2018

Dreamstime

Lately, we've had quite few Y98 folks deal with the loss of a beloved pet. You just feel so sad for them.

I asked Dr. Kelly Ryan, Director of Animal Medical Center of Mid-America, why it hurts so much to lose a pet? She talked about how huge our animals are to us for so long and said “It’s such an innocent death, where as in life a person may have done something bad to you - a pet hasn’t to that extent.”

I totally get that. Such a huge part of you and you've never a bad, arguing or spiteful time with them like you could with a person. Unless you are CRAZY! Like, David Berkowitz the “Son of Sam” killer. In fact, I wonder how he reacted when his dog – STOP, I digress.

Pet grief for an adult is horrible, but for kids it can be so confusing. Dr. Ryan said you should probably stay away from the "gone to a big farm" thing. Just a bit too dishonest. "You adjust for their level of maturity and do what you think is best."

I asked Dr. Ryan “How about the temptation to replace the animal pretty quickly?” I expected a big “No” for this one. Dr. Ryan said “Well, actually some people might need that, it’s a personal thing and might be right for some."

We talked more about how kids cope with the loss of their pet and Dr. Ryan said “Passing away is part of the process with a pet.” That pretty much says it all. It comes with the responsibility and incredible joy of having a pet. Acceptance on that sure is tough though.

The Doc had many more useful things to offer. I promise to hit them in a video for YOU coming later this week.