Thursday, 10 November 2011

A 2 Year Old's Guide To Losing A Pet

It's been a week today since I was at that vets where they put my 15 year old dog to sleep.

This has upset me more than I ever imagined.

"I miss Betty"
But what about Mini Cheddar?

She had to come to the vets with me as I had no-one to watch her. Neither of us witnessed them putting Betty to sleep. We had all walked into the vets together - Mummy, daughter and pooch...and then MC and I left alone, me just clutching a pile of tissues the vet had handed me along with a lead and Bettys precious collar.

MC asked me as we walked out the vets "What about Betty?"

I couldn't answer. I could barely see through the haze of tears, let alone speak.

MC asked me on the way home in the car "Where is Betty, Mummy?"

I told her that Betty was going on a long holiday.

"When will she be home?"

"She's not coming home sweetie, it's a special holiday" I sniffed.

When we got in the house I was a mess. I dearly wanted to be strong. To hide it from her, but I couldn't. MC just handed me tissues and kept saying "It's okay Mummy, Betty will be home soon".

Then she started playing with her Duplo bricks and built a tall tower.

"Look Mummy, I've built this tower. When Betty sees it she will come home".

Now she still builds towers all the time and places them in front of the picture I have of Betty in the lounge. She talks about Betty a lot and I really hope it stays that way as I do want MC to remember her. She even asked for a photo of her and Betty for her bedroom.

Betty and MC - as seen on her bedside table
What breaks my heart is how our routine has changed and how much MC has noticed. Every morning we would go downstairs together into the kitchen and let Betty outside into the garden. Now, every morning without fail, MC comes into our bedroom and says "Is Betty Dogface downstairs?". She opens the cupboard in the kitchen which once housed 'Betty's biscuits' and says "But there's nothing in here Mummy!". She used to love feeding Betty her dog biscuits.

MC has been sad, standing where Betty's bed once sat and asking where she is but she's not been upset about it as she doesn't really understand.

Although, somehow she knows whenever I look sad or get upset that I need a cuddle and to hear the words "I miss Betty, Mummy" and then gives me a kiss and pats my back.

I think 2 year olds are far more switched on than we sometimes give them credit for.

I'm so thankful for my beautiful girl and how caring she is. I couldn't have got through the last week without her.


Working London Mummy said...

Oh Heather, what a tough thing to try and explain a bereavement to a child. I hope you are ok - MC will be fine, and sometimes children understand more than we think but I am sorry you have to go through this. x

Talesofataitai said...

Oh my gosh - you poor thing!! I remember having to put our family dog down about 10 years ago and it is just plain bloody awful. They are such an important part of the family. I really hope you're feeling ok and bless little MC for having such a big heart. Thinking of you xx

sarahdazjc said...

just over a year ago we had to go through the very same thing, I was devastated Dennis, was my first dog, yes I'd had family dogs when I lived with my parents but Dennis was MY dog and I loved him more than anything we had him from the RSPCA and he was such a character he'd been there before the children and always watched over them, there faithful friend and companion, my eldest was 8 when we had to have him put to sleep, my daughter 7 and Mikey 3. On the day we took Dennis to the vets I told Mikey who was also with me, that the vet would be making Dennis better, because I did not believe there would be nothing they could do :( when the news came Dennis had heart failure and I was devastated Mikey kept asking when the vet would be making him better, but I told all mine honestly that he'd died and now was at Rainbow bridge, and they still now look out at stars or when the sun shines through the clouds and say its Dennis, I miss him dearly but a few months after my mum brought me a puppy - Jackson and he has filled that gapping hole and made us all happy again Dogs are a huge part of your life and its natural to be devastated when you loose them. heres a post I wrote: much love to you and big hugggs :') xxx

Northernmum said...

Oh Heather, how utterly awful, sending huge hugs x

alysonsblog said...

its so very hard - I remember this with Chelsea and Megan - it was heartbreaking as they just cant grasp whats happened but know something is wrong. No advice - just a hug x

grumpinator said...

My heart breaks for you. I was 18 when first dog was put to sleep and I remember the pain well. It must be so difficult to explain that to MC but she will adjust and she is old enough to remember Betty which is lovely plus you can look back on photos of them together when she is older. Thinking of you. xx

jessies_online said...

ahh Heather, I had tears in my eyes & a real lump in my throat reading this, you are so lucky to have MC around, she sounds like such a lovely little girl

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Helen - she can be a terror as well as being a sweetie.  She had a bad dream 2 nights ago and I rushed in to hear her talking about Betty in her sleep - almost broke my heart :( xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Claire. It is so so hard. Betty was almost 16 and was my first dog - we'd had dogs before when I lived at home but Mum & Dad always dealt with the vets visits etc. This was just awful and having MC there too made it doubly traumatic. I'm feeling a lot better about things this week thankfully. Thinking of you and your big move this week! :) xx

SAHMlovingit said...

A much needed hug, thanks hun.  Hugs back to you, as always xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Jane xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Sarah. It is so hard isn't it. MC thinks Betty has gone to the stars for a special holiday so now when she talks about the moon and stars she always talks about Betty.  She even said to me the other day that Betty had gone to Mars! Made me giggle xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Bridget, they are such an important part of the family indeed xx

jessies_online said...

oh no, that's so upsetting, poor little thing x

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Nazima. I'm ok, much better this week.... looking forward to the 20 week scan tomorrow. Hope you are doing well xx

Susan Mann said...

So sorry it is so hard. I have tears in my eyes. I told my boys the truth about him being ill and him getting put to sleep. They said he was up in the clouds playing with their Papa who is my dad who they never met. Hugs to you all x

dreamingofbeer said...

Just catching up on blogs and having a good old blub at this one.  I really feel for you Heather.  I hope MC keeps her lovely memories of Betty. x


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