Lost Friend

A few weeks ago we had a very traumatic event happen in our family.  This was one of the saddest days in our little girls lives, and ours. Our dog of nine years passed away.

Everyone says that pets are part of the family but I never really understood that until she was gone.  Raven was our 80 pound Black Lab.  She was a wonderful dog. She loved our girls and our girls loved her. They hugged her, kissed her, dressed her up in princess attire and loved taking her on walks.

She was about 14 when she passed. We knew the day it was going to happen and we attempted to explain it to the girls. We said she was going to live with God in Heaven and the girls broke down in sobs. They did not want Raven to leave. They went on and on about what a good dog she was.

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Since that time, Emily saw the moon shaped like a smile and said it was Raven smiling down at her.  Morgan’s heart started beating really fast after a run and she said it was Raven in her heart. Although they do not understand death fully at this age, it is precious to hear their understanding of the situation.

Anyone have a celebration of a pet’s life and passing that they would like to share?  How did your kids react?  How did you explain such a traumatic event?


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. selenalore
    Mar 02, 2012 @ 18:49:50

    I don’t have kids, but I did have a cat that had lived for 11 or 12 years.

    I got Deamon a month after the tornadoes touched down in Arkansas on March 1st, 1997. She was a good mouser and she was a Torte. She’d also been almost a year old and had just weaned her first litter of kittens all Calco :).

    I lived next door to the people who were fostering her, both my father and I. It didn’t take long for dad to agree when he knew we had a mouse invasion problem, especially in the winter lol!

    She lived until 2007, when sadly I had to put her down cause of breast cancer that was to far along the line. I miss her greatly even to this day.

    I’ll do a post on my own blog about things :). I know Deamon is up in the enternal catnip fields and is in good company up there :).


  2. juliaras
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 08:28:20

    Losing a pet is tough. It sounds like your girls are adjusting well. I like the way they see her in their lives still.
    Thanks for sharing your story and the photos.


  3. irishsignora
    Feb 08, 2012 @ 20:59:52

    We lost our beloved Plott hound, Gretchen, last February; it’ll be a year next week. Both of our daughters learned to walk by holding onto her tail while she padded, ever so slowly, down the hallway. If they lost their footing, she would patiently stand there and let them haul themselves aloft on her tail.

    It was a long goodbye for Gretchie, and the girls were just barely old enough to understand what was happening. I remember explaining to our oldest, as we were leaving for that last trip to the vet, that doggie doctors are very special people because, when a doggie is so sick that they can’t see Jesus waiting there, the vet puts the doggie in Jesus’s arms for the trip to Heaven.

    We acquired a puppy, a St. Bernard mix named Smudgie, a couple of months later, and this same wee girl (she had just turned 4) insisted on coming along to the vet for Smudgie’s first puppy visit. My husband and I figured she just anted to make sure that this puppy would come home as a puppy, not as a little wooden box, so we agreed to take her. When the vet came into the room, our daughter ran up to and hugged her as hard as her little arms could manage, declaring, “Thank you for helping Gretchie find Jesus, Dr. Kensek! Jesus must love you a lot. I love you, too, because you made it so Gretchie could chase the angels instead of being sick.”

    Yeah. The good doc and I both had to scoot out the door of the exam room and have a bit of a cry before she could pronounce Smudgie sound, fit, and most definitely at least half St. Bernard. She also took the time to reassure our little girl that Smudgie would spend a long time playing with her and her siblings before Jesus had need of him in Heaven.

    I hope your Emily and Morgan always have Raven in their hearts 🙂


  4. talesfromthemotherland
    Feb 08, 2012 @ 20:23:11

    Oh how hard this one is. Our 15 year golden died nearly 2 years ago, and we still miss her terribly. It’s not as bad as it was at first, but so sad. Some days, I swear I still see her coming over, when I drop some food. We got her as a puppy and she was one year older than our youngest child. I learned so much from our sweet girl in her last (elder) years. Sorry for your loss; it’s a tough one.


  5. Momma E.
    Feb 08, 2012 @ 12:48:11

    We lost our sweet brindle greyhound Nellie last November when she was 15. It happened quickly – one day she was OK and the next she couldn’t get up at all. I will have to post about her soon. She loved the girls’ Rabbits (? right?) and thought she was their Mom. Even elderly – she could make it to the back fence in under 3 seconds. My boss saw what a wreck I was and made me go home on “the day’ My older girl and her boyfriend went with me (my hubby was working) and thank god they did because I couldn’t drive. Our other dog (chocolate lab) was literally screaming when we took her out the door to the vet that day. That was the worst part for me. We all miss “Nellie- Boo” every day.


  6. Bringing Up Beasts
    Feb 07, 2012 @ 18:40:49

    Raven is beautiful. She looks just like my Molly – our black lab is 15 about to turn 16 in March — I know, doesn’t seem possible. She is actually my first born. I dread the day she is gone because we’ll all be lost and the home will be a little empty without her. That is one post, I am not looking forward to. I love your pictures! Such a sweet face.


  7. klrs09
    Feb 05, 2012 @ 21:39:00

    So sorry for your loss. Dogs are such an amazing part of family life, and they are more than just a ‘pet’. When I lost my last sweet girl, Tess, it just about broke my heart. I’m glad, though, to hear that you approached Raven’s death with your girls in such a realistic fashion. Often, so many don’t for fear of hurting their children. It’s more hurtful to tell lies than to help them face the truth. Death happens, just as life does. Great post. Beautiful pictures.


    • MamaMoo
      Feb 05, 2012 @ 21:53:50

      i totally agree that it is more helpful to tell the truth. I have found time and time again that kids see right through the sugar coating and desire the truth. thanks for the comment.


  8. pjMom
    Feb 05, 2012 @ 01:03:12

    I am sorry for you all. I lost my labrador when I was 24. He was born on my 10th birthday, and though he had an extraordinarily long life for a lab (especially in the heat of the south), I still miss him over 10 years later. I tell my daughter (nearly 4) about him quite a bit. We can’t have dogs because of my DH’s pet allergy. Well, we could, but I’m a lab gal and any of the “hypoallergenic” breeds aren’t … labs. Hugs to your girls.


    • MamaMoo
      Feb 05, 2012 @ 16:39:26

      Wow, 24! what a gift for you that he had such a long life. I know all about allergies in this household but the girls grew up with Raven so they never had any issues. They are severely allergic to cats though.


  9. MamaMoo
    Feb 04, 2012 @ 12:19:22

    My thoughts are with you, Leisa. Never would I have known how hard it is to lose a pet. As the anniversary of your dogs passing approaches isn’t it wonderful to remember all the happy times? I hope those memories comfort you.


  10. Leisa
    Feb 04, 2012 @ 11:25:27

    Our dog Oscar died on Valentines Day last year. He was 17. It was miserable. My daughter Ellie was only 3. We told him Oscar was in Heaven with our Heavenly Father. She always asks God to watch over him in her prayers and still says he is part of our family, but that he lives in our heart. Writing about this makes my throat tighten and chest hurt all over again, as it is coming up on Valentines Day, also.


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