11:19 5 November 2009

Breaking the News to a Child

Pet MemorialThe hardest part about the sudden death of our family dog, Juniper, was breaking the news to our 4-year-old son. Those two had been inseparable for the past few years, with Juniper always being kind and gentle to the boy, even when he played rough with the dog. I had always imagined the dog being there by his side even into high school, but it was not to be.

My husband and I determined that honesty was the best policy in this case. Rather than telling our son that Juniper had gone to a farm or to the moon, we told him the truth. We had a special  pet memorial made for our fireplace mantle,  and had each family member share their favorite memories with Juniper.  In the end, I think we made the right decision.  This personal tribute we made for him will bring back so many memories.  Even if we do get another dog, he will never truly take Juniper’s place.  This photo of Juniper has brought peace and comfort to our toddler even though Juniper is no longer with us.  It has made his death easier for all of us to accept.

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