Wednesday, December 31, 2008

RIP Penny

Well, about 6 months ago our family got our first pet, Penny. I had a bird named Willy growing up, so I knew we could handle a parakeet as a pet. Some kids would not think a bird was cool, but I knew Claire would love Penny because she's such a gentle soul that I knew she'd take to a bird, and she did.

Every morning Claire and Sam would run to uncover Penny's cage. They talked to her, held her, pet her tummy, fed her, brought her millet treats...the works.

Her proper name was given to her by Claire: Princess Penelope Harris.

But then Christmas came and we took her to Grandma and Grandpa Harris' house while we traveled to Kansas (we're still here). But yesterday, Grandma called to say that Penny died. We don't know why. She did everything right with feeding her and all. It's not her fault. But I was devastated. I was about 5 when I learned about death and other dark spiritual subjects like hell and I have been trying to put all of that off for Claire for as long as possible. I feel like I've been slightly depressed ever since then.

And now I have to tell Claire. But I don't want to. I've contemplated getting a fake Penny, but Matt thinks she'll know. So, now I'm thinking of getting a puppy. I never had one and I never intended to get Claire and Sammy anything like a "real" pet, but I feel like I need to make it up to poor Claire who loved her Penny so much. I won't suprise her with a puppy, but I might let her decide when she's ready for one. At her school, there are two little Shar Pei puppies which are just really cute.

They look like this. So wrinkly and precious.

But I've also found a local breeder who has some little golden retriever puppies. They are pretty darn precious too. I'm well aware of the fact that offering to get your child a dog when they are mourning their bird is probably not the healthiest idea. If I was a really healthy mom I'd let her mourn the bird and just teach her about life and move on...I guess. But sometimes you have to know your child. And Claire takes things deeply and very internally, so I feel like it's my job to help her see that there is life beyond Penny. So maybe we'll get a dog, or maybe Claire will feel like she's not ready for another pet for a while. But say a little prayer for me because I haven't told them yet (we're due to go home on Friday) so I'll tell her later. Maybe tomorrow. Damn. Being a mom is hard.

We loved you Penny. Thanks for being our first pet.


mimi said...

Oh -so sad! I'm sorry about Penny. You seem like such a good mom, I have no doubt that you will figure out the best thing to do.

jenn said...

So sad Suze! Poor sweet Claire. It's amazing how attached we get to our pets. (just ask Ryan how much he loves the kitties :))