My son’s dog died over the 4th of July. He was away visiting family when it happened. We are not even sure what younger son and I left for the day and out all three of our dogs outside. We have an older dog and then two 1 1/2 year old brother and sister dogs. The two pups as we call them are pretty good escape artists so on that particular day do to them escaping twice from the yard as they learned to climb our wood fence we tethered them off. Mind you we separated them, moved any object they could get wrapped around or caught on. Well the male pup somehow got under a section in our yard that is chain link....he somehow pushed through the bottom portion where there is only dirt. When we found him there were no signs of distress, the tether was off and he just appeared sleeping. Upon discovery I checked for signs of strangulation, open his eyes no redness, no bulging eyes, body was not distorted in any way. I spoke to neighbors as most where outside the majority of the day and they report nothing unusual, no distressful sounds from our yard. One neighbor right next to us says he was out back all day and heard nothing. I am so perplexed of what happened and the guilt of his passing is overwhelming me. My son is completely devastated, places blame on himself for not being here. My youngest who is with me places blame on himself because he was the one wanting to go out for the day and I place blame on myself for all of it. My biggest concern at this time is how to help my son’s through their grief, I am beyond worried about each of them. My oldest came home yesterday and is showing signs of anger towards me, having a hard time eating, and withdrawn. My youngest is sad and feels guilt. I know these are all signs of healing and I feel the healing process would be easier if we understood what happened which what makes this even harder.
Any insight anyone could give would be immensely appreciated. My oldest is almost 18 and youngest is 13.
I found this sight this morning and will be talking to my boys about it and see if they would like to join.
Thanks in advance-
Grieving pet owner and mom
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I am really sorry about the sudden loss. It is always hard when the death is unexpected and too soon. My 8 years old son had to deal with our recent loss too. He was crying a lot the first few days, but our situation was different. Our cat was old and sick for a while. We knew that he was dying, but when it happened, it was still heart breaking. As for me, I just explained to my son that all lives eventually die and that animals don't live very long, especially cats and dogs. i am sure your sons already know this since they are much older. Just let them know that accident happens, and no owner is perfect. I am sure the dog knew that he was very much loved. And that's what matters the most. He had a good life even though it was short. Dealing with loss is also part of growing up. Give them a lot of hugs during this difficult time.
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I am so sorry for the loss of your pup and the grief you and your sons are experiencing. It is normal to feel anger and guilt. From your description it seems that even if you were all there you probably would not have been able to save him.

Perhaps you could have a ceremony and allow the boys to participate in any way they want by writing a prayer, sharing a remembrance, burying his collar or planting a tree or flowers.

Perhaps allow them to choose pictures and stories to post here.

My condolences,

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Dear Kricket,

I am so, so sorry to have learned of your boys and your recent loss of your pup. I think many here would agree that "Freak accidents" are probably one of the most difficult types of grief that one can cope with and try to overcome.

We all struggle here with the "What If's?" Those whose beloved pets pass away naturally, or those whose pet's have to be put to sleep, often due to a myriad of health issues, but "Freak Accidents involve" an even deeper level of "What If's?" as they seem so, so avoidable when second guessing. "What if I were there when it happened? and stopped it from happening?" "What if I had installed a safeguard?" etc. etc. etc. 

But the truth is, with "the law of averages"?, the fragility and vulnerability of our little ones? and their often completely, unpredictable behavior? and often wild antics? accidents ARE going to happen. It's the sad truth. No matter how many safeguards are installed, no matter how many personal or family policies & procedures and safety protocols are enacted, whether someone is home at the time of the accident, or not. It doesn't matter. It only takes a matter of minutes or even seconds for an unforeseen accident to occur. I've seen it time and time again posted and shared here on Grief Forums like this one and on others. I personally experienced it with my cat Marmalade. He easily used up 9 of his 9 lives directly in front of me. So your two lads and you are NOT alone in this experience or your grief. 

Dogs are going to dig, dig, dig, as we all know they are little excavation machines. They absolutely love doing so! And your families young pup was having the time of his life no doubt, excavating and playing, when he simply got carried away in the moment and that accident unfortunately befell him. He passed away while "playing." That is the simple truth of it.

I am glad for a time the pup that you lost, experienced being a part of a loving, affectionate, adoring and caring family. Which you can easily see by the words and concern you have expressed in your sincere post. I hope your boys and you continue to travel through time and heal, and that soon, only good memories of your beloved pup shall remain.

Kind regards & my sincere condolences,
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Thank you for your words they brought some much needed comfort in a time where other family and friends don’t understand why we are so upset😞 I’m very thankful for your reply. May your day be truly blessed.
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I heard on the news that each year on the 4th of July a lot of dogs escape due to the sounds of fireworks . It freak them out and they panic.
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So sorry to read about your loss.

So,sorry to read how you and
your sons are hurting.

Well,what is done is done and
it cannot be changed.

So,we are here for you and
your sons. We care!
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