Gransnet forums


Grandchild losing a pet

(12 Posts)
pinkyponk Wed 19-Jun-13 16:20:15

My dear GC have just lost their beloved dog and are absolutely distraught. How can I help? My own children never had pets so I never had to deal with this myself and when my own goldfish died my mother flushed it down the lavatory and we all moved on. I do of course appreciate that a short-lived relationship with a goldfish is not even in the same ballpark as a dog you have loved and petted and walked for years on end!

HildaW Wed 19-Jun-13 16:35:40

As with all deaths that children have to cope with, let them deal with it how they want to. If its having a cry and a cuddle, then be there for them, If they want to talk, then listen. You wont have to say much, infact its probably best just to acknowledge the feelings and just add the odd soothing word. We all suffer from the odd moment of 'foot in mouth' and when a child is grieving its far better to say nothing that say the wrong thing. Just be there, as a safe haven for them to cry or talk - its often the best thing. All the best.

Deedaa Wed 19-Jun-13 17:44:05

So far GS has only had to cope with dead goldfish, which haven't bothered him at all. Not sure what will happen when the cat dies - although that shouldn't be for a few years yet.

My daughter and I still get upset about our two dogs after eight years so I think they are bound to be distraught and there is not much you can do but sympathise and don't say anything to belittle the loss. To them it is probably like losing a person.

yogagran Wed 19-Jun-13 21:00:05

I completely agree with Deedaa and please don't suggest getting another one to replace the lost pet. You cannot just replace a beloved dog as you would replace a broken toy.
They all need time to grieve in their own ways

HUNTERF Thu 20-Jun-13 20:05:02


I think you have to let families deal with the loss of a pet in their own way.
The way we see it is we have done our best to give our old dogs a good life and we can do nothing more for him and they have loved us for years.
We just think that the best way to reward our old dog for his love is to get a new dog and to try and give him an equally good life and be loved by him.
I agree that you will never fill the hole in your heart totally caused by the loss of a dog but a new dog will take you 99% of the way.
I think the maximum time we have been without a dog was 5 days.


Nonu Thu 20-Jun-13 20:20:18

I feel it is best to get over the loss of the beloved pet , ^ then ^ get a new pet, otherwise it seems as though the lost pet is just "replaceable" IMO

Aka Thu 20-Jun-13 21:24:23

Dealing with the grief that comes with the death of a beloved pet will be hard. Good advice above, everyone grieves differently.

Deedaa Sun 23-Jun-13 17:09:24

Remembering the webchat with Judith Kerr coming up this week I would recommend Goodbye Mog to anyone faced with a small child losing a pet. It is very simple and suggests that death is a natural process and that life goes on. Admittedly my daughter, at nearly 40, was quite unable to read it aloud to her little boy and had to hand it over to his dad but it is very good.

gracesmum Sun 23-Jun-13 17:31:33

Isn't one of the reasons we have pets for our children, to help them to cope with the pain and loss of death as a preparation for grown up life?
Reading about "Goodbye Mog" had me rushing straight to Amazon to look at the book and I thought you might ike to share the beginning of one of the reviews:

"When I first spotted the hardback edition of this book in the shop and registered the title, my heart gave a sickening lurch. When I picked the book up and turned to page one, I almost collapsed in shock and grief. It took several minutes before I was composed enough to take the book to the tills. And I'm a grown man. "

Oh dear, it doesn't really get any easier does it?

LizG Sun 23-Jun-13 18:06:33

I have just gone into shock, I agree with Frank. I love my pets and the children have always been besotted but we tend to go straight out to 'rescue' again when it is time for them to (with apologies for this) 'cross the Rainbow Bridge'. We never re-home similar breeds. We had a Westie and now have a Lurcher. All of them had/have a special place in my heart and some I still miss to this day.

york46 Mon 24-Jun-13 14:26:53

We have had cats and/or dogs all our lives and grieved for each and every one when we have lost them, so much so that we always said "Never Again". And we stuck to that - until the next time ....................!

HUNTERF Mon 24-Jun-13 15:08:36


I can see your point to some extent about not having the same breed.
All of our family are fans of Scottish terriers.
Often when we look back at holiday photographs we ask ourselves which dog was that.
In our case we don't think that matters as we have loved them all and we have always looked after them.
Dogs in our family do not belong to a specific person.
My granddaughters have a cairn named Dougal but when we meet Dougal always wants me first and Addie wants my granddaughters.