Archive for March, 2010

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10:53 25 March 2010

Children Understanding Euthanasia

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Children don’t always understand Euthanasia and why it may be necessary.  They need to be offered age-appropriate explanations and as a parent you need to be available to answer their questions.  They need to know that is it NORMAL to feel sad when someone we love dies, and that the pet’s illness is not something the child caused.

For young children you may need to explain death, especially if they have not lost a loved one, whether human or companion animal before.  You need to let them know that death and sleeping are not the same, since “put to sleep” is a common term for Euthanasia.  It is much better to say that the pet will be helped to die peacefully and without anymore pain.  Explain that either the pet is very, very old and it’s body has worn out and will stop working.  Or, that your pet is very, very sick and may be suffering.   You need to prepare ahead of time as to what to expect, and talk about your Veterinarian’s diagnosis and the pet’s prognosis.   You may want to talk about the cost of the teatments and the care, and also the side-effects and your pet’s quality of life.  You may even want to schedule an appointment with your Vet so he/she can explain the euthanasia proceedure to your child, and answer any questions they may have.  Never Euthanize the family pet when the children are away, they need to be a part of the decision and also need an opportunity to say good-bye and make the most of whatever time they have left with your pet.  You may also want to include your children in choosing from a variety of Pet Memorials of which would be the most appropriate and fitting for your family pet.

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9:24 18 March 2010

Telling Young Children

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As a parent, one of the most challenging things you will ever do is try to explain to a young child that his/her pet has or is going to die.  Here are some helpful suggestions:
1. Offer age-appropriate honest explanations.  Don’t try to distort or hide the truth to protect them from grief.  It will make it worse, and they need to trust you right now.
2.  Make sure they know it was not something that they did or or failed to do that caused the pet to die.
3.  Help them understand that death is not the same as sleeping.  It can trigger sleep problems and intense anxiety over surgery and anesthesia.
4. Don’t use the terms “Passed away”, “left us” or “gone on”.  This can leave children feeling abondoned and rejected, waiting for the pet’s return and may even encourage them to go looking for their lost pet.
5.  Explain “Old Age” and what happens when a pet gets old.  That his body wears out and stops working.
6.  With especially young children, avoid telling them that God wanted their pet in Heaven because it was so special.  This could make the child angry with God and fear that he or you may be chosen next.
Let the children in your family be a part in making decisions about how you will intern your lost loved one, and  in choosing a proper Pet Memorial to celebrate the life you spent together.

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10:55 11 March 2010

Children and Euthanasia

bunny 12x8 simIt is very hard for parents to try to explain to their children, and accept the fact that is it time for their beloved pet to die.   Many parents make the mistake of trying to protect their children from grief, and make many mistakes by doing so.  If you try to minimize or avoid the pain caused by the death of a companion animal, you will miss the opportunity to teach your children a very powerful lesson in coping with the painful reality of death.

Children can be helped to cope effectively with difficult life experiences, provided we take into consideration what the pet meant to the child, take into account his/her developmental understanding of death, and carefully plan how your family pet’s euthanasia is presented to them.  Here are some suggestions:

1. Be open and honest.  If the pet is terminally ill and death is pending, do not wait to tell your child.  Let them hear it from you, not from someone else.  If they ever discover you distorted the truth or lied to them, they will have a hard time trusing you again.
2. Let them know that grief is normal and explain to them how they may feel after the pet has passed.  Let them know it is alright to feel sad.
3. Tell them the reason euthanasia is necessary ie. the pet’s body is worn out, there has been an accident, the pet is very sick.  The pet’s body cannot be fixed.
4.  Don’t use the phrases “passed on” “left us” or “gone on”.   Such phrases imply the pet is on a trip and will return, and may leave the child feeling rejected or abandoned.
5. Include the children in the euthanasia decision.  Let them help you create a personal tribute to your beloved friend.  Having a Pet Headstone made in the pet’s memorial gives a child the opportunity to say good-bye.

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3:20 9 March 2010

Honor the Memory

Leaf swirl locketTo properly memorialize our beloved companion animals, is to honor and acknowledge the important role they played in our lives.  It is to bring comfort to ourselves and others, and to help keep their love and presence in our hearts. 

There are many ways we can memorialize our pets.  We can write about them in a journal, or make a scrapbook  or photo album full of pictures of them and the things we did together.
We can plant a living memorial in their honor, even if it is only in the backyard.  We can have a meaningful memorial service, funeral or ritual – simple or elaborate in nature.  Or we can simply make a donation to a charitable animal organization in our pet’s name.

Each person, each family, will honor the life of their pet in theri own personal way.  One way to keep your lost loved one close to your heart is by putting your pet’s ashes in a beautiful piece of Pet Memorial Jewelry.

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10:29 9 March 2010

Bonds with Companion Animals

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The human-animal bond is much stronger than most  people can describe in words.  It goes way beyond the life you have spent together, and is usually much stronger than any human bond you have experienced – except perhaps with a child. 

How attached we become to our animals is as individual as we are, but the deep bonds we develop are vailid, worthy of understanding and  explain the intense pain we feel when our beloved pet is gone. 

When a cherished companion animal is taken from you, take some time to think about and remember how closely you were attached to one another.  It is only after we identify how much our friends mean to us and recognize how much we’ve lost, can we begin to understand why pet loss hurts so much.  A Dog Cremation Urn is an appropriate,  personal way to memorialize your lost loved one.

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10:14 9 March 2010

Pets – a Healthier Lifestyle

73832862Beyond companionship, pets add so much more to our lives than we realize.  Medical researchers are finding that people who own a pet are healthier and happier.  Touching, holding, stroking and caring for a companion animal – even just watching an animal in their natural habitat has many health benefits.  It can lower your blood pressure, decrease your heart rate, alleviate stress and loneliness,  and encourage regular exercise.  There are many other too, none of which are trivial or without value.

For shy or awkward people, pets act as a conversation tool and help them adjust to social situations.  Patients in rehab units who are comatose or autistic have responded to visiting animals even though humans were not been able to reach them.  Companion animals lift the spirits of the ill, the elderly, and those in hospitals and nursing homes.  They also serve as the eyes and ears for the handicapped.

A pet lover has well coined the phrase:  “Pets are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.”  As you bid farewell to your companion animal that has greatly enhanced your life and health, consider a personal Cat Urn as a proper way to say “Good-bye”.

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9:56 9 March 2010

Why am I so Attached?

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With their constant presence, availibility and devotion, pets become to us the best source of unconditional love.  They are to many our ideal mate, child or friend.  Animal companions weave themselves into the fabric of our daily lives.  We live and relax in each other’s company.  They are always there when we awake in the morning, at our side in every room, and they greet us joyfully when we return home at night.  We pet them, stroke them, hug them and kiss them, and many even sleep in our beds at night.  We tell them our deepest secrets and share with them our wildest dreams.  They listen without judgement and never give advice.  The forgive us readily and never hold a grudge.  They don’t care what we wear, what our hair looks like, or even how we feel or behave.    They depend on us for food, water, shelter, and exercise and in return give us unfailing devotion.

Studies prove that we are even more attached to our furry friends if we have nursed them through a chronic illness, or rescued them from certain death.  As your time gets small together, consider a personal farewell to your beloved companion by purchasing a special Dog Urn that will remind you of the happy days you spent together.