Still Saying Goodbye

Last September we sadly and suddenly had to put our puppy Claire to sleep. She was only 2.5 yrs old, but she got really sick and after numerous tests and watching her health dramatically decline in a matter of a week, we were left with no other options.

My husband was heartbroken. He is an animal lover through and through. The kids took the news pretty well. The girls really didn't notice because we had two dogs and so it wasn't like suddenly they were left without a dog to play with. Our son took the news very matter of factly. He told everyone we saw that, "Claire died" (SS teachers, supermarket cashiers, librarians, anyone that came over for a visit). He'd just abruptly announce, "We used to have two dogs, but Claire died." Every time we pass by the Animal Hospital that we took her to he still says, "That's where Claire died," or "I miss Claire." He's gentile when talking with "daddy" about it because he could tell how sad Scott was but he didn't seem that upset over it himself. Just a little bummed.

Then, earlier this week (8 months later) he came out of his room after nap time and he looked really sad. I asked him what was wrong and he started to cry saying, "I miss Claire." He sat beside me on the couch and just wept. He said he wanted to "go to the hospital and dig her up." He wanted Claire. It was so sad. He did it again later that day. I held him and told him I was sorry he was so sad. I felt really awful. I have no idea where this grief has come from, but watching those tears pour down his face just broke my heart. We talked about how fun it was to take her on walks. He mentioned how she let him walk him (She was well behaved enough that our son could walk her when he was only 18 mths old, our other dog is too apt to run off at the sight of another dog). I told him maybe we could teach Maggie to be better about being on the leash. I then mentioned how I wished his Daddy was home because his Daddy really missed Claire too and they could talk about it. (I am not the animal lover in the family, that role belongs to my hubby). He then asked, "Why don't you miss Claire Mommy?" Talk about heart wrenching.

Today when we drove by the animal hospital on the way home from grocery shopping, my son said, "Goodbye Claire."

I guess he misses her more than I realized.


  1. It is so sad - how can I contain the tears. It is also a very hard lesson at such a young age. He also has lost two great-grandparents. But God is merciful and loving, and gives us peace. Your little guy knows that very well.

  2. Wow, that is SO sad! Poor guy. It's so hard losing a pet at any age, and he's coped surprisingly well. It sounds like you handled that situation well. I hope he feels better soon!

  3. Wow, what a moment/day. As I type this I can only see it through teary eyes. This was so hard to read (in a good way) because I remember that week so well. Our Grandson is a very sensitive man. It's interesting that something triggered all that emotion today. Pop and I love you all so much.

  4. Not to dishonor the past pet...but sometimes healing comes when we move forward and embrace the next best thing.

    Get him another to love and care for and I bet this wound would be healed up sooner than later.

    My oldest has had times with pets and has loved many times.
    He has a really come to understand that life is precious in this way and looks forward to having the ones he lost reunited.

    Just my humble opinioun.


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