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Welcome to How to Love Your Dog!

Sad boy

When You
Lose Your Dog

You can lose a pet in many ways:

Your dog can die.
Your dog can run away.
Your dog can be stolen.
Your dog can be sold or given away.

 

 When your dog dies, it hurts.
If your dog runs away, it hurts.
If your dog is stolen, it hurts.
If your dog is sold or
given away, it hurts.
It's the same...
It hurts to lose your dog.

Sad young girl sitting on grass.

 

 LADY
by Cecilia, age 12
Oh, puppy Oh, puppy
Your heart is so sweet.
When I hugged you good night, you fell asleep.
By the time you left me,
I felt lonely in my heart.

 

 

 Feelings you might have when you lose your dog:

mad
surprised
sad
lonely
scared
guilty
relieved
numb
Sad boy on skateboard.

 You could have some or all of these feelings when you lose your dog. They are all very normal and you shouldn't feel different or strange because you have these feelings. There are things that you can do to help yourself adjust to life without your friend.

 

 

  Doing these things might help you with your feelings:

Have a funeral or memorial service for your dog.
Keep something special of your dog's, like his collar.
Look at pictures of your dog.
Put your pictures into a special photo album.

Write a story or poem about your pet.
Talk about your dog to family and friends.

 

 

Remembering These Things May Help

 Dogs don't live as long as people do. Their lives are much shorter than ours.

 stars

 Your dog knew that you loved him. Your dog loved you back, too.

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 Sad feelings are normal when you lose your dog. You may start to feel better soon and it will be okay to go out and have fun with friends again.
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When you are ready, it will be alright to get a new dog or another kind of pet. If you don't want one, that is okay, too.

 stars

If you made mistakes caring for your dog, it's alright. At times, everyone makes mistakes.

 

 

Leash

Having a Pet
by Elizabeth, age 13

Once I had a pet, a real pet, that was very wonderful.
I remember those beautiful and wonderful times
we used to have playing together. Now we don't.
I knew he had died, but not in my heart.
In my heart, that wonderful pet keeps on living
because he was and is the best pet dog I ever had
in my whole life and in this world.
Farewell, Pal, till we meet again! 

Leash

 

 

Click on the arrow to see Trouper's Page:

Kids' Memories of their Dogs
A Time To Remember
Arrow

 

 Here are some excellent books to help kids better cope with pet loss:

Pet Loss

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The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, by Judith Viorst, Aladdin Books 1999
For kids and adults who have ever lost a pet. This book, although the main character is a cat, stands as the all time favorite for elementary-aged kids. Add this book to your library! Ages 9-12.


Seeing Zach by Bebe Kemper
It can be hard to lose a family pet. When Timmy's Golden Retriever, Zach, dies, his grandmother helps him to understand the continuity of love and goodness -- and finding healing by putting this knowledge into practice. What he learns may help readers of any age address the challenge of losing a loved one.

When A Pet Dies, by Fred Rogers, A Mister Roger's Neighborhood picture book 1988
In this useful book from the First Experience series, the affable star of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood helps children share feelings of the loss of a pet while offering reassurance that grieving is a natural, healing thing to do. A sensitive and sensible first book about death.

I'll Always Love You, by Frans Wilhellm, Dragonfly Books; (December 12, 1988)
From an Amazon.com reader: As a little girl I read this book when my dog was dying. It truly helped me deal with his death and realize that is okay to be sad. It is a wonderful tool to help children understand death a bit better. Few books since my childhood have made such an impression on me as this one, and it is the only book from my childhood I still keep on my shelf as a college student. In fact, my cat grew very sick of cancer and I read this book again to make myself feel better about the situation. And I have never forgotten to utter Hans Wilhelm's words into my pets' ears. And right before my cat died, I whispered "I will always love you" just as the little boy in the story did. Ages 4-8

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Dog Heaven, by Rylant, 1995
In Dog Heaven, dogs play with angels, run, and sleep on clouds. This is a sweet story for children or adults dealing with the loss of a pet. For ages 3-6.
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Pet Loss, A Thoughtful Guide For Adults and Children, by Nieburg & Fisher 1982

 

 

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