Other than a fish, we've never dealt with any family pet issues. My mom's dog, however, has been around since the kids were born. Both kids adore the dog, but my older son in particular is very, very attached to him.
He's been having health issues, and is now in the pet hospital. There is a chance he will be coming home, but we don't know the results of all the labwork yet. Either way, he is definitely dying, it's just a question of whether he is put down in the next day or two, or if he hangs on for just a little big longer.
If he comes home, I will tell my kids that he is sick and let them go over to spend time with him. But what do I do if we find out that he is going to have to be put down at the hospital? Should I bring them over there to say goodbye? Or do you think that would be more upsetting than just telling them what happened? Do I bring both, or just my older son? (My younger son will be 5 in a few weeks.)
I tend towards bringing them there to say goodbye, but I remember doing that when I was a teenager with our family dog, and it really freaked me out. I knew she was sick, and I had resigned myself to the fact that she was dying, but when I went to go see her she looked so normal that it was really hard to accept that I was walking out of the room leaving her there to be killed. I felt very haunted by it.
Has anyone else dealt with this? How did you handle it? How can I help my kids through it?