‘I’m hiding my dead dog’s collar from my daughter – I feel so guilty but I want it’

Losing a pet is like losing a member of the family – it’s gutwrenching for all who loved the animal.

The joy that animals bring us is incomparable, and the grief hits when they’re suddenly gone. There’s a gaping hole in our lives, and some of us choose to keep their memory living on with little tributes.

That’s what one little girl did when their family pet died – she created a shrine to their late dog and wanted to use all items that had belonged to the pup for it.

However, little did she know, her dad was keeping an integral part of the shrine for himself, because he was grieving too.

He took to Reddit’s ‘Am I The A**hole’ forum to ask whether he was a bad person for keeping the collar for himself, as he wanted his own way to remember the pooch.

He wrote: “My (35M) dog, daisy (15F) just died. Daisy was my dog before I met my wife (34F) and before we had our daughter (8F). My daughter has taken daisy’s death really hard, and has made a shrine for daisy in her room. To make the shrine, she has taken every one of daisy’s possessions and placed them as part of her memorial.

“She asked me and my wife for everything of Daisy‘s that we have so that she could use them as part of her memorial. We gave her just about everything but there’s one thing I kept for myself: daisy’s first collar.

“This collar is from when she was a puppy (years before I met my wife, or our daughter was born). I know it’s selfish but I can’t give it up. Back then I was in a really dark place and daisy was the only reason I got out of bed most days.

“She completely saved my life and I’ve kept that collar over the years as a reminder to myself that the darkest days don’t last and that a little bit of kindness and love can change someone’s life for the better. I know this makes me a terrible father, but I haven’t told my daughter about the collar and I didn’t plan to.

“Yesterday, my wife was looking for our extra set of car keys and found the collar. She flipped out on me, saying that I’m an awful father and that I need to confess to our daughter and give her the collar or she will tell her the truth.

“I know that what I did was wrong but I don’t want to give this collar up. My wife is saying she’s going to tell our daughter. Am I the a**hole if I talk to my daughter and explain this to her?”

People commented on the thread defending the dad, saying he was entitled to keep one part of the dog’s life for himself.

One wrote: “You’re entitled to keep just one piece of the doggo you adored that saved your life, your kid doesn’t need every bit of it and she didn’t even know it existed, meaning she wouldn’t even be worried or upset unless your wife decided to open her mouth.

“Maybe talk this out with her and if she refuses then guess you’re gonna have to talk to your kid and let her know how much it means that you keep that small part of Daisy.”

Another said: “Your daughter can ask for everything but that doesn’t mean you have to give her everything, and you should be allowed one item to yourself for a dog that predates them that means that much to you. It does NOT make you a terrible father.

“I do think for damage control though, you should talk to your daughter first, explain to her how much Daisy meant to you, and that you wanted the one item to keep near you. I bet if you just tell her that you loved her a lot too and your own tiny shrine makes you feel better just like hers makes her feel better, she’ll understand and maybe even feel closer to you.

“Side note: I don’t know your wife so I won’t make any major judgement, but that behavior is pretty sh**ty of her from the context given.”

Someone else commented: “You keeping a part of Daisy doesn’t take away from your daughter’s grieving process. That’s a scarcity mentality perspective. You are absolutely not the a**hole, but your wife is by trying to guilt you and invalidate your feelings.

“Your daughter can and should be given the opportunity to understand that everyone can have a part of Daisy.”