Friday, September 25, 2009

Need support and advice...

After much pain and discussion my husband and I have decided we need to put our dog to sleep. He is not well, and is 15 years old, becoming mean and snappish with us at times, among other things. He is just not happy anymore. My 10-yr-old daughter knows of our decision and understands, but how do I deal with it with my 4-year old? He is not especially close to our dog but I am sure he loves him nonetheless. Do we tell him ahead of time? Or do we tell him after the fact, that Wolfie was sick and now he's in heaven? I just want to make it as easy on him as possible. I don't know that he is old enough to really want to "say goodbye" or anything like my daughter might. Has anyone been through this? What did you do? Any help/advice would be so appreciated. A link to my email is on my profile page if you prefer to email me privately rather than leave a comment.

11 comments:

Kathy said...

I am so sorry to hear about your poor old pup. :( That is always a difficult choice to make. I've been there and done that.
I don't have children but do have lots of nieces and nephews. I never told them until after. And that would be what I would recommend.
My sympathies to you and your family.

Tommye said...

I am so sorry you have to make this decision. I've done it and know how hard it is. WRT telling your son, I have not been this position so I can only tell you what I think I'd do. I'd tell him gently that your dog is not well and God wants to take care of him in heaven. He may not understand, but it will give him a chance to pet the dog and say goodbye if he wants to. He may even be a comfort to his sister. The really young ones have a way of easing others' pain with their innocent compassion.

Tracey said...

Tracey I have not been through this with my own children, as my son is allergic to dogs so, unfortunately, we can't have one. So sorry to hear about your dog, they really are like family members. I hope everything works out for you in telling the children...my sympathies to your whole family.

T

Sadie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. My MIL just had to have one of her dogs put to sleep this week. My kids (8 & 5) were okay about it. my daughter,8, was a little upset but my son, 5, was not really too bothered. They did both know that the dog was very ill and very old (15) and that he was at the vets so I think that helped them and it wasn't as much of a shock. I hope this helps and my thoughts are with you x

Sharlotte said...

Oh Tracey I'm so sorry! In our situation we always sit down with our son and let him know what's going on.He usually handles things pretty well. He's 12 though so a lot of age diffence and being able to comprehend between a 12year old and a 4 year old. I wish I knew what to say really. Kids are pretty resilient ( sp?) though so in time your daughter and son will both be fine.My dad just recently had to do the same thing and it's a tough decision I know. My sympathies go out to you and your family.

Carolyn NC said...

Just a suggestion - maybe telling him that your dog is really sick and he needs to see someone (without really telling him who, I think) and let him tell him goodbye without it being forever in his mind. Then later, you can tell him Wolfie is gone to a better place, etc. So sorry.

J Rae said...

So sorry to hear about your dog. I know that had to be a tough decision.

I don't know what to say about telling your son. When our son was 5 we had to go through the same sort of thing. We told him beforehand and it was not a pretty scene. But, I thought it was the right thing to do. One reason we made the decision to tell him is because he was very close to the dog. Since your son is not close to the dog, you might not want to. Very had to say what to do. Each child is different.

Michelle said...

I don't have children myself, but I would give him the opportunity to say goodbye, pet him, etc. And explain that he's sick and going to Heaven. I think it will make it easier than if he is just "gone". This is a painful decision, and I'm so sorry for you. Big hugs.

Micki said...

Isn't there any other way? Is he really ill? I know this will be hard for you all, and I would let everyone say goodbye to him.
Micki

g-girl said...

so what did you end up doing? david would've totally understood. kids don't get enough credit where credit is due.

Judes said...

It is always heartbreaking to have to go through something like this...regardless of how it is handled...it is never easy...Death is a part of life...these types of circumstances really prepare us for the death of family members...and our little furry friends are family members as well..I have 4 dogs...I just lost my 12 year old Cocker Spaniel a year ago...I still miss him. My sympathies go to you and your family.