Friday, June 14, 2013

Playing the what if game

The girls are still struggling with Oreo's sudden death. They spend a lot of time talking about their dog and how much they miss him. They spend a lot of time playing "what if" to understand why he died.

Oreo died from something we could neither prevent nor predict. Less than a week before he died we had him at the vet for a follow-up. She said he looked so good she didn't need to see him again until he needed shots in September.

Now the girls are trying to figure out if they could have done something different to prevent his death. This morning the blond twin said, "What if he ate something out of the garbage he always ate when we walked? What if that made him sick and killed him? What if someone switched our healthy dog with a sick Husky who looked like Oreo? Maybe we just need to go out and find him?" A few days ago she asked if he died because she didn't play with him enough. The brunette twin asked if they didn't tell him they loved him enough and that killed him.

It's so hard.

We've told them both that Oreo knew how much they loved him. A dog who doesn't feel as loved as he did doesn't let little girls use him like a pillow when they read their books. He doesn't sit under their feet when they eat breakfast just in case they want to pet him. He doesn't position himself under their swings so he can be close to them.

The real problem with the "what if" game is there isn't an answer that will make them feel better. If we had been in the vet's office she still couldn't have saved him. Knowing this makes the grown-ups feel better, but not our little girls. They still want to believe that doctors can fix everything and there's an answer to every question.

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