|THE NEIGHBORHOOD ARCHIVE - All Things Mister Rogers|
When a Pet Dies
When a Pet Dies is a publication from the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood First Experiences series (originally published in 1988). In this book, real life photos are used to help young people feel more comfortable with the feelings they may experience when a pet dies.
A Note From Fred Rogers
When I was little and didn't have a sister yet, my best friend was a brown, wire-haired mongrel named Mitzi. We shared joyous times, exciting times and sad times. We got scared together when there was thunder and lightning, and together we crawled under the bed until they went away. When I wasn't scared of them any more, Mitzi still was, so I comforted her and felt all the braver.
When Mitzi died I was very sad, and so were my parents. We had lost a member of the family. My parents encouraged me to talk about how I felt, and they let me know that grieving was a natural, healing thing to do. In grieving, we try to fill the empty space that was created in us by the loss. Because of Mitzi I discovered it was all right to cry when somebody you love dies. I learned, too, that loss takes time to understand.
Like other First Experience books, this one is created to encourage family talk. As you and your children look at the photos and read the text, I hope you'll find it possible to share your feelings about a pet's dying. As for what happens after death, I believe that's best discussed in light of each family's traditions and beliefs. Those traditions and beliefs are important things to share with your children if and when they ask!
Since all living things die at one time or another, I trust that this First Experience book will be of service to you beyond the death of a pet.
Appearing In This Book
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Corner image by Spencer Fruhling. Used with permission.
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