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How to break the news to our children....

(12 Posts)
JohnCusacksWife Thu 13-Feb-14 13:09:02

Our old dog has taken a turn for the worse today and we're on our way to the vets to see what the prognosis is. I have a horrible feeling that he is going to suggest that the time has come to say goodbye to him. We have two DDs (9 & 7) and wondered how people had handled this situation with (relatively) young children. Did you give them a chance to see the dog first and say goodbye? If so did that help them or was it just too upsetting? Or did you just do it and then explain to them after the fact? My instinct says in the long run the former approach is best but I know they will be devastated....what to do??? sad

offblackeggshell Thu 13-Feb-14 13:12:20

After the fact for us. We said on both occasions that we took her to the vet to see if the vet could make her more comfortable, but that the vet wasn't able to make her better, and so helped her to die in the most peaceful and pain free way.

There were tears, but to be honest mainly mine. It's horrible having to tell them, but being honest really helped. Sorry you're having to do this.

Countrywalks Thu 13-Feb-14 14:16:21

Sorry I have no experience to advise you of what's best. So very sorry to hear what's ahead. It is the pain that goes with the joy of having our dear pets I guess.

AwesomeMrsFox Thu 13-Feb-14 16:04:40

It's a horrible situation. We had to tell the DC before she was put to sleep. Our dog had been collapsing for a few weeks so we knew it was coming, but one morning she had a major fit and couldn't get back up again. The DC were there (5 and 7 at the time). I told my DC I would take her straight to the vets and it was likely that the vet couldn't make her any better and would put her to sleep. DD (7) gave the dog a hug and said goodbye, DS (5) chose not to say goodbye - he was very upset. That was 2 years ago, we've spoken about it since and DD was pleased she was given a chance to say goodbye.

I think however it happens they will be very sad and probably won't make much difference in the long run, do whatever feels right to you.

After our dog was put to sleep DC made a scrap book of her which helped and I bought a book called 'Heaven' by Emma Chichester Clarke(although may be a bit babyish for your DC?).

Rowgtfc72 Thu 13-Feb-14 17:26:33

I took 6 yr old dd with me when we had the old dog put to sleep. She kissed him goodbye and gave him a cuddle and we left the room while he was put to sleep.
We went back in to say goodbye after and give him a last cuddle. She wrote him a goodbye letter that the lovely vet nurse said she had read to old dog and would keep it with him.
I wanted her to see him as I wanted her to think it was just like sleeping not anything else she would imagine they would do to him. Yes she sobbed, I just about held it together, but she knew he was old and sick and now he wasn't hurting or tired anymore.
She still talks about him but she's not sad now.
Sorry to hear you're facing this.

sewingandcakes Thu 13-Feb-14 17:32:43

We knew we had to do it, so we told our 4 and 2 year olds first, and then afterwards we let them see her at home, and say goodbye. The 4 year old put some flowers on her.

We had her cremated and then dig her ashes into the soil around a new tree that we planted for her.

It was all really sad but the children understood and accepted it (as much as they are able to at their age). How are you? Did you go to the vets? Best wishes if it's sad news thanks

sewingandcakes Thu 13-Feb-14 17:33:40


JohnCusacksWife Thu 13-Feb-14 23:24:14

Thanks all. He's had a reprieve and been prescribed antibiotics and sedatives to try and get him over whatever it is he's struggling with at the moment. He's not been great tonight but we'll see what tomorrow brings. Fingers crossed.

TheBookThief Fri 14-Feb-14 07:29:39

Really sorry to hear this hmm

We have been/are in a similar situation with our dog & a few weeks ago warned the children she was off to the vet & may have to be pts.

They were utterly & completely distraught which was heartbreaking but we felt it was important they were warned of what might happen rather than be shocked when DH returned without her. I also didn't want them then worrying every time one of the animals went to the vet that it may not return.

As it was she also got a reprieve but sadly I am not sure how long term that reprieve is & she has a check up again today so we will have to see hmm

JohnCusacksWife Fri 14-Feb-14 10:06:50

BookThief, hope you get on ok today. We discussed it with our DDs last night and there were a lot of tears but I think they're beginning to understand he's an old boy and is not going to last forever. We've agreed that when it looks likely that he may have to be pts we'll tell the girls first and let them say their goodbyes rather than present them with it as a fait accompli.

Weegiemum Fri 14-Feb-14 10:15:09

We'd a sad death a fortnight ago - our house bunny.

He became very ill overnight, we made a vet appointment for the Saturday. Sadly, Speedy died on my dd1's (she's 14) lap just before we had to leave to get there.

It was hard, but also very helpful for us all.

TheBookThief Fri 14-Feb-14 12:00:04

Sorry about your house bunny Weegie hmm

Turns out our dear old girl is doing ok, she's had a small set back but vet seems happy enough grin gringrin

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