How to Cope with Losing Your Dog | Teach toddlers about Dogs dying

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to our most loyal and ever-loving best friend. And it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve done in my adult life. Right up there below saying goodbye to my grandmother.

As I write this, with tears streaming down, I wonder why we as humans inflict this pain on ourselves. We knowingly enter into a relationship with a dog that we will almost always outlive. We will have to deal with a family member dying every 10 or in Haley’s case 16 years. Why?!

How to Cope with Losing Your Dog | Teach toddlers about dogs dying

How to Cope with Losing Your Dog | Teach toddlers about dogs dying

The only reason I can come up with is that they are truly the most loyal and loving creatures on this earth. She would never stop loving Chris or Crosson or I. She loved that I came into her life and welcomed me in without hesitation. She willingly broke the rules to become a furniture dog. (I later regret this decision in her older days….)

She spent days laying by the toilet next to my when pregnant with Crosson and would lay her little head on my belly. Friday nights up until a few weeks ago she’d get so excited for us to get home from the lake that she’d run in circles around the house like a puppy. No matter how long we were gone for she’d peep her head through the window and welcome us back home, even if it was just to the mailbox and back.

How to Cope with Losing Your Dog | Teach toddlers about dogs dying

Haley made friends with our neighbors and we let them chase her around the culdesac. Her and I loved when they would knock on the door to ask if they could come and pet her. The kids would get excited when we’d let them give her a treat.

Along came Crosson and we were so worried that she’d get jealous and take anger out on him. She could care less. She loved him and the food and pacifiers he’d leave on the floor but besides that she still got her bed, her love from mom and dad and as much food as she wanted. Crosson’s first crawl was from one side of the playroom to meet Haley at the other side of the baby gate. This memory makes me cry all over again.

How to Cope with Losing Your Dog | Teach toddlers about dogs dying

I hurt knowing that Crosson won’t grow up playing fetch or running alongside our best friend. It eats me up that she had to get sick. She fought cancer for four years and she fought hard until she was just too old to continue.

Crosson is two and a half and I knew wouldn’t grasp the concept of his dog dying so I came up with a way to have him say goodbye in a way we say goodnight. I asked him if he wanted to read her a book. He picked out my favorite book we read, a book I have to fight tears back reading on a daily basis because I love it so much. I don’t know how he came to pick that book and I’m sure I never will. He jumped up ran to the door and we walked down the stairs to read our dog this book on how much we love her.

How to Cope with Losing Your Dog | Teach toddlers about Dogs dying

He knelt down next to her, leaned his head in for her to kiss him and my heart about burst. I never want to forget this moment. (Thus this blog.) Sweet baby patted the floor for Chris and I to sit down and we read through three or four pages. That was the moment Chris and I knew it was okay to let her go.

“I’ve loved you all your life, every single day. I love you oh so much, I’ll tell you all the ways.” – Elmo

I love you sweet girl. I miss you so much already.

So tell me dog-owners… how do you do this again?