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explaining death

family pet, dog, death of a pet, family, children

family pet, dog, death of a pet, family, children

She was never just a dog

It’s been a really hard weekend, we’ve lost a member of the family, our sweet dog Saffaron. I still can’t believe she is gone. Everywhere I look, I see her. Every time I look at her spot on the tile in the kitchen where she used to lay while we ate dinner or in the hallway in front of our bedroom door or on the floor in front of the television in the living room where she spent her last days, my heart hurts a little. The girls are trying to be strong but it’s still too soon for any of us to suffer another loss. It’s all too fresh, couple that with the first week of kindergarten and my 5-year-old is a complete wreck.

Our Saffaron died on August 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm. She was 2 days shy of being 13 years old and 1 month. She lived a very full & happy life and was loved by everyone she ever met, especially the Big Guy and myself and our little girls. The Big Guy and I have loved her since the first time she looked up at us with her gorgeous big brown eyes, she was 6 weeks old. She was no accident. We specifically sought her out from a breeder. She was all we ever wanted in a pet.
When looking over the litter, upon picking up a fresh newly born Saffaron, whose eyes were barely open, Saffaron promptly shat on me and the Big Guy fell in love with the runt of the pack. We could hold her in the palm of our hands. She was so tiny that we could lose her in the deep blades of autumn grass. No dog has ever been more wanted or loved. The Big Guy and I were newly married and little Saffaron was our first baby girl. She taught us to be parents. She taught us to unconditionally and selflessly love a helpless little girl. There is nothing we wouldn’t do for that girl and she loved us so fiercely that she would protect us with her life.
No matter where we moved, or how our lives changed, Saffaron was always by our side, in our bed snuggled in the blankets and curled right between us. When I was sad, Saffaron came and sat by my side while I mourned. When I’ve been sick she’d walk in and climb on the bed & lick my face with all the love she can muster.

No Dog was ever more loved

Later, when we had the girls, each time the Big Guy would bring the baby’s blanket home so that Saffaron could smell our sweet baby’s scent. Every time, Saffaron tenderly welcomed our newest additions with no jealousy only love. As I breast fed my babies in the middle of the night, Saffaron was at my feet. Sure, the attention and playtime suffered but Saffaron didn’t seem to mind making way for each of her sisters. As the girls grew, Saffaron loved them as if they were her own; ever protective and always loving. The girls used her as teething toys and jungles gyms, pulling on her ears and tail, headbunting her when she least expected it and not once did she ever snip, bark or show her teeth. She simply waited for them to tire of playing and then she moseyed off to another childfree room. She knew our girls loved her and that she was a part of our family. Saffaron was an amazing dog but she was so much more than just that, she was our first baby and we loved her unconditionally and we miss her awfully.
Friday night, our beautiful brindle boxer went to heaven. It was not peacefully or in her sleep as we had hoped, she was in excruciating pain in spite of her pain pills. She had, what appeared to be, a heart attack in my in laws living room floor, surrounded by the people who loved her for so many years. We tried to resuscitate her and performed CPR but it was all just too much for our sweet, sweet Saffaron. She went on to heaven to wait for us.
We are all devastated; completely heartbroken. My 5-year-old is having a really hard time with it. She woke up Saturday morning, after saying good-bye to Saffaron the previous night, and asked where Saffaron was. We explained again that our beloved friend has gone on to Heaven to be with God. She seemed satisfied until an hour ago, while her and I sat quietly in her room, she asked me what happened to her Saffaron. I said again that she’s gone to heaven to wait for us and she’s with God. Gabi looked at me & said I know that but what did they do with her body. My heart is exploding. I told her that her soul is in heaven and her body is being prepped for cremation. I didn’t explain cremation. Then she said, ” Mommy, I hope Saffaron is with our baby and there is a Mommy up on heaven to love our baby and our Saffaron until we get there.”

Me too baby, me too.

family pet, dog, death of a pet, family, children

Our Sweet Girl

Saffaron Zeta Beck
7/19/99- 8/17/12
Beloved girl
You will always be in our heart
May you be eating bacon and chasing rabbits in heaven waiting for us
You will be forever missed sweet baby

Have you ever had to explain death to your child? How do you tell your child the dog they loved has went to heaven and isn’t coming back?


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