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Advice please...what do you do when your child accidentally kills a pet. Not a joke.

(19 Posts)
RubyRioja Sat 01-Sep-07 17:39:59

DD has been picking up her sister's guinae pig (despite being told not to) and I am pretty sure it is mortally injured. I am so upset as she knew she was not supposed to. The poor thing scratched her and she threw it down as best I can make out.

Right now I cannot speak to her as I am so cross.

Does anyone have any calm rational advise about how to handle this?

fillyjonk Sat 01-Sep-07 17:43:27

oh crap


sympathy vibes

RubyRioja Sat 01-Sep-07 17:46:47

I am so angry. The last guinea pig came to a sad end (2 weeks ago ffs) when the baby got into the run and stepped on it. We bought a new lockable run and now dd1 has killed another.

Christ, no reputable breeder will sell us another.

Would it be awful to suggest that dd1 give her pig to dd2 ?

2shoes Sat 01-Sep-07 17:48:24

i think rehome the last one and wait untill they are older.

NAB3 Sat 01-Sep-07 17:49:07

No. It was awful what she did and it is said that the punishment fit the crime. Interesting that she has picked up her sister's guinea pig.
Clearly she wouldn't have meant for it to die but she has to learn consequences.
How old is she?

callmeovercautious Sat 01-Sep-07 17:50:12

I think maybe they are too young for guinea pigs? Perhaps something they can look at rather than hold next time? Goldfish?
Sorry about the poor piggies though sad

Make them share the other one and only handle with your supervision.

RubyRioja Sat 01-Sep-07 17:50:31

she is nearly 8. I think she went for that one becuase it is slower,r ather than anythign sinister.

NAB3 Sat 01-Sep-07 17:51:34

I think at 8 she is old enough to know that you shouldn't drop guinea pigs. It is such a shame. How old is your other daughter whose g pig it was?

RubyRioja Sat 01-Sep-07 17:55:02

Other dd is 5. It was her pig on whom the baby stepped. So a double blow for her. I told elder dd only this morning that she was not allowed to handle them unsupervised.

NAB3 Sat 01-Sep-07 17:56:21

I would let your younger child have the other guinea pig and agree with not going near them without full supervision.

jaynehater Sat 01-Sep-07 17:57:01

Handle with care, ruby, my cousin trod on his hamster (Sorry, I know this isn't funny, but as a family we didn't handle this one particularly well, snigger) and honestly, aged 33, he still isn't over it.

I think although they have to learn that their behaviour has consequences, it's a bloody heavy load to carry, the death of another creature. Maybe you could say "The way you handled the piggy has made her sick, what if that was to happen to your piggy too?" then if said guinea does shuffle on (although to be fair, guinea pigs are not the best patients, they do seem to die rather than fight on manfully) at least she won't feel so directly responsible?

I don't know, if it were me I would want her to learn from the experience, but not in a way that's never going to leave her... it's unlikely she threw the guinea out of malice, isn't it? And it's a hell of a load to carry, when you're little, the death of a pet.

Maybe switch to something with less personality, goldfish, etc, or something more robust, cat/dog?

They need to learn the nature of responsibility, and death too, but I think kids don't need to carry the pet-killer label if you can help it, too horrible.

RubyRioja Sat 01-Sep-07 17:57:41

Trouble is, that was the deal we had - do not touch unless a grown up is there. sad. Don't feel the others are safe, unless she really learns her lesson. And hopefully without being scarred for life as pet-killer.

Tamum Sat 01-Sep-07 18:05:14

Oh, how sad- poor you, Ruby. I agree that 8 is old enough to know better but I'm sure she will be really upset when she knows. Might it survive, do you think?

cornsilk Sat 01-Sep-07 18:10:00

That's awul RR. Don't be too hard on her, she's probably very upset. Chn do drop animals if they scratch them, it's just a reaction. I also killed a hamster by standing on it and it's an awful feeling.

RubyRioja Sun 02-Sep-07 12:51:54

Dh returned from the vet with bad news. We have held a small burial.sad All the dds seem happy as larry and pretty much unconcerned. Am still mightily p'd off myself though.

Decided not to replace as do not want Toys R Us feel to animals iyswim. Thanks for input - vuseful to vent without causing psychological damage to dd!

callmeovercautious Sun 02-Sep-07 15:44:48

Very sad Ruby. Think you are right not to replace it though.

Spidermama Sun 02-Sep-07 15:50:18

Sorry Ruby. How awful for you all. The dd concerned may appear fine but remember kids operate differently from us. They go in and out of troublesome feelings as a way of dealing with them.

I remember when my hamster died my mum looking at me accusingly, tears in her eyes, saying, 'YOU didn't feed it and water it'.
Looking back I most certainly did but perhaps not as often as I should have done. Anyway it really stung and I felt like a murderer for years. So as others have said, go easy ... she was disobedient and held it despite your telling her not to, but she certainly didn't mean to kill it. Anyway it's so tempting for kids to touch fluffy animals and they need to learn how. I don't think they're capable of being gently at that age. sad

Spidermama Sun 02-Sep-07 15:51:58

I also remember dh bringing back a fish he and the kids had caught to put in our pond. I told the kids to stop taking it out and handling it but it was dead within 24 hours. I knew when he brought it home in a bucket of water that the poor thing was a goner so I deliberately didn't meet its eye so I wouldn't have to grieve.

wannaBe Mon 03-Sep-07 17:31:07

I have to say I would rehome the remaining guinea pig. Of course the accidental death of a pet is tragic, but the accidental death of two pets within as many weeks would leave me wondering whether the children were ready to have those types of pets.

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