Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dealing with the Death of a Loving Pet

Sadly, our family has had to deal a lot lately with the death of special dogs in our life.  We personally do not have any pets, but have grown to love the dogs of our family and friends.  It's never easy to explain to a child that they will never see their furry friend again, but sometimes a little reflection on all of the happy memories helps to ease the pain.  In his book, I'll Always Love You, Hans Wilhelm talks about the love shared between pets and humans and reminds everybody how important it is to let people AND pets know, every day, just how much they are loved.  Even if you and your child did not actually state every day that you loved your special dog, this book can help to get a conversation started about all the things that you did on a daily basis to show your love...petting, playing, walking, cuddling.  This is a book that EVERY family should have on hand.  My husband and I never realized the effect that our family's and friend's dogs had on our little ones until they were gone and this book has been a tremendous help!  Have you read any other books that have helped you and your family cope with the death of a pet?  Please let me know. I'd love to pass them along.

Lesson Plans/Activities:
1.   After reading this book, create a book of memories.  For the little ones in your life, write a different activity that you and your pets shared on separate pieces of paper and have your child illustrate the pages.  To preserve the book, laminate the pages and bind them with metal rings.

2.  Head to snapfish.com and create a picture book of your pet so that you will always remember the good times spent with your furry friends.

3.  Create a memorial for your pet.  Purchase a stepping stone kit from amazon.com or your local craft store and design it as a memory of your pet.  Add your pet's name, date of birth and date of death.  Place it near your pet's favorite hangout in the yard.

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