Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dogs Do Not Equal Babies

Of all the topics I've blogged about here on Cora's Story, I've gotten the most hate mail and messages for standing up and saying that the loss of a dog is not the loss of a human baby. 

I'll probably get more messages after this. But, I'm firmly standing my ground on this one. Stop comparing the loss of your dog to the loss of my baby.

I lost a dog in my arms. I had her from fifth grade until college. I cried for days. We drove two hours to bury her. I still miss her. 

However, it's not even remotely the same as losing my baby. It hurts when people bring up their dog when I talk about my baby. It hurts other moms that lose children as well.

I'm not discounting the pain from losing a dog. Doesn't mean it hurts less, but it's not the same. 

It's frankly offensive, and I'm an animal lover. 

I blogged on this site several months ago about a Facebook event for losing children where someone wrote they were lighting a child for their dog and how that was upsetting. After that I post, I got angry messages, of course from people that have never lost children that I was wrong. 

A few days ago, I wrote a post on Cora's Story including ten things not to say when someone loses a baby. Comparing your loss to a pet's loss was one of those. 

Anonymous had this to say:

I think anonymous is pretty self centered. You cannot empathize when someone loses a child unless you've been there, so don't even try. It sounds like anonymous is telling people about losing their dog to make themselves feel better. Also, to post that on a person's blog that has lost a child is just rude. You have no right to disagree with me unless you've lost a child, and then I fully realize everyone is a bit different. 

I'm standing firm.

Losing a dog is nothing like losing a child and saying it is riles me up. 


  1. Totally agree with you on this one ... and i think it is great that you are standing up for your beliefs... i am sorry but by no means is this equal. <3

  2. Anonymus is an idiot! -Niki Wilson Cochran

  3. I'm sorry, Kristine. I've never lost a child, but I definitely agree that there's no comparison. Not all loss is the same. I'm not saying that the loss of a pet is not a valid loss by any means, but it's apples and oranges.

    I have both pets and children. My cat Molly is 4 years older than my oldest child. I will be very sad when she dies - probably sad enough that I will have to miss a day or two of work over it. The thought of it makes me sad too. However, just the mere thought of losing one of my children frightens and saddens me to the point of sobbing. I would be DEVASTATED if I lost one of my girls.

    So, as a parent - even one who is fortunate enough that I've not experienced the loss of a child - I find the comparison insulting as well. I'm sorry if you get hate mail over it too, but good for you for standing up for your belief.

  4. Amen. It drives me insane when people compare their cats, dogs, and other pets to children. You can call your pets your children but it's not the same thing. I love my cat too but he is nowhere near the same thing as my kid. I'm sorry that people are such idiots and said such an insensitive thing to you.

  5. Once again I agree with you 110% Kristine. To anonymous, how about you empathize and sympathize by simply saying "sorry for your loss". I have yet to come across a grieving parent who is not insulted by the pet comparison. And I know A LOT, sadly. I know many in fact that are animal lovers. I mean extreme PETA animal lovers. They refer to their animals as their fur babies and will do any and everything for them. Even they recognized that losing a pet and a child are no where in the same ballpark. So if you are trying to "say the right thing" and we (the baby loss community) have mentioned to you several times that the pet comparison is not helping, its insulting, its hurting us... well then you are not then looking out for the bereaved parent. And you are not empathetic to their loss. For if you were, and you knew that saying that causes more pain you would stop saying it. God forbid you should come to know what its like to loose one of your children. Then you will learn the hard way.

  6. I love animals also and I agree that a loss of a pet is not, and never will be, equal to the lose of a child, ever.

  7. I have never lost a child, but I have had miscarriages. I have also had a pet die. She was my best friend all through my teens and some very tough times. There is no comparison. Both are loss and you grieve over both, but it isn't the same. I'm a huge animal lover and advocate when I can, but it is not the same. To compare them is definitely offensive.

    My sister (I love her dearly, but this was annoying) told me the other day that she now understands what it's like to raise a baby since she got a kitten. Uh, what? No. Just no. Not the same. I've raised kittens and puppies. Not the same. This post made me think of that (on a non-upsetting level (don't get mad at me!)).

    I love my pets dearly. We have two cats and two dogs. They are family. But they are NOT on the same level as my child and never will be. It isn't the same and I think if people really thought about it, they would realize that.

  8. Good for you Kristine! Cannot believe that a) someone would think that I pet is on par w/a child, but even more so that b)they would defend their "right" to "empathize" in a way that knowingly hurts grieving parents!
    I love you and stand by you!

  9. I just want to say I'm deeply sorry for your loss. And I tell you this from the bottom of my heart. I never saw my babies' faces but I feel that loss almost every day. I am so glad you wrote this and someone shared this on Facebook. Stay positive.

  10. I just found how I found this link and I went to your Facebook and looked through your photos. Wow. I haven't been touched like that ever. When I lost my first baby (due to miscarriage) I was ridiculed by some mean people on a message board one in particular who told me that losing a baby at five weeks was not the same as having a baby stillborn. She was saying that my child was less important. But your photo where it said "A person is still a person no matter how small" really helped me feel justified after all these years. I just want to thank you for posting that. Through your loss maybe some healing. I never let myself feel anymore but that shook me deeply. Thank you.

  11. well, well, well, "Anonymous," if that IS your real name... kudos to you for standing up for yourself and feeling indignant when a grieving mother tells you that what you said was offensive. [disclaimer: this is oozing with unadulterated sarcasm]
    No, really, I have lost a child, as well as a pet that I loved so very, very much. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOT EVEN AN IOTA OF COMPARISON!!!!! Who the hell is so flipping self-centered that they would 1. try and even compare the two. 2. have the audacity to post such a comment on a GRIEVING MOTHER'S BLOG!!! Wow, just... wow. Talk about narcissism...
    Thank you for posting this... you are absolutely RIGHT, and they are absolutely stupid :(

  12. OMG! NOTHING in this world can be compared to losing a child. NOTHING.


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