My mom's dog is dying - do I bring my kids to say goodbye? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 06-16-2009, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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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?
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#2 of 2 Old 06-16-2009, 08:23 PM
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mama either way it is going to be v. hard.

i would talk to both your kids and ask them what they want to do. i think both your kids are old enough for you to ask them. and both are ready for you to prepare them - irrespective how the end happens.

the most important i think is to have closure. so make some sort of ritual to say gbye when he is gone. at 5 my dd needed a ritual to say bye to gpa and gma.

i think they will need a lot of empathy from you for the first few days.

or they might smilingly ask your mom when she is going to get another dog - in which case you might need support. because initially it might be shocking for you, but its their way of coping.

the grief can usually last a while and they might bring up pieces and parts of it over time.

awwww hugs mama. the death of a pet is so so so sad.

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