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How do I let my son overcome his grief of parting with our dog?

Q: My 8 years old son is really upset and having trouble dealing with the fact that we had to give our family dog away. We had the dog for about 8 months and he left us 4 days back. The dog has gone to a good home with another dog, but my son just starts crying sometimes out of the blue. I feel terrible guilt about the whole thing. We just could not keep our dog with us due to certain reasons. However, we can go and see the dog this weekend and I need to know if it is the right thing to do.

A:It would have been a good idea to take your son into confidence, before giving away the pet. He is old enough to be told the reasons why you could not keep your dog and to be part of the decision-making. Even for this visit, ask your son what he would like to do. It will be painful for him to part with the dog all over again, but at least he may have a sense of closure. As far as the child is concerned, it is like going through a loss, almost bereavement. Support him and make sure to have activities planned that will take his mind off his loss.


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