Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Saying Goodbye to a Pet

Thank you SO MUCH for all of your kind comments and messages about our Christmas puppy yesterday.  It really brightened my day to hear that many of you had been through similar situations, could relate to us or just had sweet words for us.

I've been looking forward to sharing with you some of the ways that we helped our family say goodbye to Cooper.  Granted, we only had him for a short time, we still loved him lots.  Our kids are young (5 and 2) so all of our activities were geared toward connecting with young kids.

// Stuffed Animal Look Alike //
We found these brown Boston Terrier beanie babies on ebay for the kids.  They're really sweet and both kids love them.  They've been sleeping with them at night and both named their puppies Cooper.  Each kid really connected with their beanie baby and are still sleeping with them. 

// Photo Album //
I had a lot of sweet Cooper pictures so I hopped on the Walgreens app one evening and printed them all out.  I stuck them in an easy photo album and put it on our coffee table.  We've all enjoyed looking back through pictures of him.  The kids seem to really enjoy seeing pictures of themselves with Cooper.

// Puppy Conversations //
We talk about Cooper regularly.  If something reminds us of him, we talk about it.  If the kids have questions, we talk about them.  Our hope is that we teach the kids that it's okay to be sad, it's okay to miss someone and that we're all here for each other.

 // Make Donations //
We had purchased a lot of puppy supplies in preparation for a new puppy.  We returned Cooper to his original owners with a bag full of his favorite things - his new bed, his favorite toys, food and treats.  It felt good to keep his favorite things with him.  We had several things we were able to return to Petsmart and the leftover puppy supplies we have plans to donate to a local shelter.

// Letter to the Family //
My brother in law suggested we write a letter to the kids to help them understand the situation.  So that's just what I did.  I pretended to be Cooper's puppy parents and wrote a letter to our family.  They were checking in on Cooper, wondering how he was doing and then asked for him to come back to live with them.  The kids completely understood the letter.  We cried while reading the letter, but it made sense to them for him to go back to his dog family if our family wasn't a good fit for him. 

The letter was also accompanied with a scooter for each kid.  Our thinking was that they'd get a fun gift to enjoy and they could think of Cooper when they played with them.  The kids loved their scooters and it's been a fun new toy for them to learn.

// Keepsakes //
We kept Cooper's collar and decided to hang it on our Christmas tree.  The kids have been playing with it since we took down our decorations.  Their stuffed animals have all taken turns wearing it.  I also bought a photo frame ornament for Cooper's picture.  It's dated 2018 so we can always remember our sweet times with Coop.

// Puppy Art //
Olive loves to draw so I wasn't surprised that she asked if she could draw or color pictures of Cooper after he left.  It really helped her to feel better to color pictures with him.  She asked to hang them in her room so she's got a Cooper gallery wall going on.  She drew a lot the first day or two after he left and now is just enjoying her art work from those first few days.  Fletcher colored one boston terrier picture and was done.  He hung it in his room and forgot about it.

And that's a wrap!  Lots of puppy love in one post.  I think most of these things could be used if your beloved family pet passes away or if you ever find yourself in a similar situation as us having to return a new pet.  We did these things for the kids, but all of this really helped the whole family.

I'd love to hear anything you've done to help remember a family pet in the comments.

PS Starting this year I'll no longer be cohosting the Welcome Wednesday link up.  I'm sticking to just one link up to simplify things for myself and that'll be High Five for Friday on Fridays.  These blog friends are still participating in the link up so head to see them for link up details from now on:


  1. These are all so sweet and you handled it all with such grace and love :) Big hugs!

  2. You are amazing! Seriously, what a great mom! All of your efforts will pay off and your kids are going to look back and remember all the good times with Cooper :)

  3. I'm sorry that you had to go through sadness over the holidays but it was so sweet and thoughtful how you handled it with the kids!

  4. Choosing and caring for a puppy means a lot, taking care of them is like a child, very tough to say goodbye.

  5. What a wonderful way to handle a very tough situation. I am sorry that it didn’t work out for you, but sometimes it is best to recognize that and do what is best for the pup and for your family. The kids will remember sweet Cooper fondly.


  6. What great ideas to help with this transition!


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