Today is a sad day in the Sullivan/Stockwell family. Six-year-old Courtney's pet gerbil passed on to its larger reward...it died.
This marks the first time that I know of that one of our grand children has had to deal with the loss of a pet. Cole & Nicholas had a fish die a short time ago but they didn't even notice it.
My sister and I have a lot of experience dealing with the loss of pets. First, we had a lot of them and second, my father didn't believe in vaccinations or pretty much any other kind of medical care for an animal (in fact I guess we were pretty lucky that WE got to a doctor from time to time). The logical consequence of this was that we frequently arrived home from school only to be greeted with the news that our pet _____ had to "be put to sleep."
Like every other family, when Peter and Becky were little, they too had to deal with the loss of a pet. If I recall it was either a guinea pig or a rabbit or a squirrel we rescued but not dogs or cats.
We handled it by saying things like it lived a good life and it was old anyway and it was now in a better place. Whether or not they really bought that is anyone's guess. The only time we used the "it's at a big farm now where it can be much happier" was when we had my mother's basset hound put to sleep because he was very mean and unpredictable. The last thing it did was threaten Sandi one night when she got up to go in the kitchen for something. That was it for him. Big mistake.
Anyway, it's a situation every family with pets has to face at one time or another. Some loss is gotten over fairly quickly. Others won't be. For example the loss of the two dogs, Sadie and Lacey, in my son's and daughter's families are going to be very sad just as it was for us when we lost Frankie and Brandy.
But that's life...and it goes on...regardless.