R.I.P. Elizabeth, beloved pet and bearded dragon.

Ok. Now what do I tell Mui? On Sunday, I noticed Elizabeth was not doing too well. She was scrunched around the log with legs splayed. I thought for sure she was dead. But when I picked her up, she opened her mouth as if to say goodbye because she was dead within the hour. Mui doesn’t know. She saw me pick up the lizard. She saw her open her mouth. I told Mui Elizabeth was sick and that I would bring her to the vet the next day. I also suggested that we find Elizabeth a new home. One where she could be cared for the way she needed. (Bearded dragons are super fussy and have very specific needs to thrive.) Mui cried. But she agreed that it was best for Elizabeth.

The next morning, I got rid of Elizabeth and her tank. When Mui got home from school, she immediately asked where Elizabeth was. I told her at the vet and that the vet would find her a new home. She asked what happened to all of Elizabeth’s crap. (Her words not mine. Speaking of which, I really need to watch my language around the kids. But I digress.) I told her I left the stuff with the vet for Elizabeth’s new family.

I lied to my child. Because it will be easier for her. And because it will be easier for me. She knows our cat will die. He is old (14). And I am not looking forward to finding him when that day comes. But Elizabeth was less than 2 and she died from lack of proper care. How do you explain that to a child? Especially one who has already experienced the death of her best friend?

I consulted with other moms and even her pediatrician. (I happened to be there for Didi’s 18month exam). They all agreed it was the best way. She’s six. And even though she seems mature for her age and I don’t sugar coat reality for her (do well in school and go to college or you better perfect “Do you want fries with that?”). This reality is too grim. It’s like telling your child the truth, that the dog died because he accidentally hung himself (true story from two of the moms I know). It’s better to say they ran away and may have been hit by a car which is why he didn’t come home.

So Elizabeth is in a new home. With a loving family. One that will care for her the way she needs.

And we will miss her.

1 Comment

  1. melanie gao Said,

    November 11, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

    I would do the same thing you did, seriously. Mui’s had enough encounters with death lately. That story about her friend still makes my heart skip a beat.

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