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Let the kids say goodbye to the dog or no?

 
 
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 03:02 pm
My dog is almost 13 years old, has poor eyesight, poor hearing, and I think his "sniffer" is going as well. He is unable to be in the house due to his inability to "control" himself, and it's getting into winter. My family and I have decided to put him down. His quality of life is just not as good as it once was. My question is... Do we tell the 8 and 6 year old kids that he's going and let them say goodbye? Or do we just go to the vet while they're at school and tell them the dog is gone when they get home? My 8 year old is EXTREMELY sensative and cried for hours when we were just talking about how the dog wasn't going to be here forever. My 6 year old is a brute and keeps everything inside. I know either way will be very difficult and heart breaking for everyone involved. The dog has been here since before the kids were even born, he's been their pal all their lives. What should we do?
 
Princess18
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 03:32 pm
@froggylady4020,
I know it's hard and confusing but I think u should let the kids say "goodbye". It would kind of unfair on them. I lost my dad also ( i knw it seems like i am comparing my dad with my dog. bit that's not the case. To me that dog wasn't a pet but a family member. So as important as my mum, dad, brother and me. So he's a family member) I had to give my dog away who grew up with me. It's hard and I still miss him. Do u really hav to take him to the vet? Can't u like "spoon feed" him and stuff until he goes on his own.
Wow I really don't knw. It's a bard decision to make. Sorry
Doogeedu
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 03:56 pm
@Princess18,
i agree with princess 18. I did not have a chance to say goodbye to my dogs because my uncle was supposed to take care of them but he sold them. they were gentle, loving, caring dogs. they were completely overprotective of me. If i were a dog, I would want to say goodbye to my family if neccesary
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 03:58 pm
Yup, death is part of life. They should have the opportunity to say goodbye, to hug him and give him some last minute love.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 04:05 pm
@froggylady4020,
It's a hard decision either way.
Our last dog was very old (15) and ill and my daughter also grew up with him, he was her "brother".
At first I didn't know what to do either, then I decided that I didn't want her
burden with it and called a mobile veterinarian to the house and he took care of everything. It was heartbreaking enough without the kid knowing,
I cannot imagine how it would have been, had she known beforehand.

When she got home from school, I told her that he peacefully left us. She cried of course but I still think it was a better solution than having her think we should have maybe waited another day, or week or ........

One is always riddled with self doubt, I didn't want to spring this on my child too.

Either way, it's a difficult decision, you have all my sympathies.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 04:06 pm
@froggylady4020,
Definitely tell your kids.

They need to know how the family handles things when you're having trouble hearing/seeing and staying continent.
0 Replies
 
Princess18
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 04:11 pm
@Doogeedu,
OMG that's soo mean. I would have never forgiven him. :X I feel so sorry for u.
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 10:08 pm
@froggylady4020,
Let the children say goodbye. Make that day one of celebrating the life of your dog and all the love and devotion your dog showed to your family. Honor his devotion and read the following to them so they can realize how lucky they have been to have their dog share his life with them.

Quote:
Tribute to a Dog.

The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son and daughter that he has reared with loving care may become ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has he may lose. It flies away from him when he may need it most. Man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees and do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our head.

The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his DOG. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground,where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wing and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens. If fortune drives the master forth an outcast into the cold, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard him against danger, and to fight against his enemies. When the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws and his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.

-Senator George Vest, 1870.

0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  3  
Reply Tue 1 Nov, 2011 10:53 pm
I wouldn't lie to my children about what happened, so yes, I would help them understand that the dog is old and sick and not ever really having any good days anymore and it's the kind and merciful thing to do for this animal who you all love so much and who is depending on you for his care these last days of his life.
I wouldn't be able to look my children in the eye and lie to them about something like that. That's a lie you'll have to repeat to them for the rest of their life and that they'll grow up with, 'Remember the day we went to school and we came home and the dog had died...' If you slip up and they find out you lied to them about that - they might start thinking, 'What else would she lie about?' No, I wouldn't lie.
Dogs die - people die - and the people who take care of them have to make hard decisions sometimes.

In terms of the kids being there when the dog is put down, I'd leave that up to the individual. I had to have the first dog I owned as an adult put down because he developed severe seizures - I mean like overnight. One day he was normal and the next he was seizing every ten minutes and losing control of his bladder and bowels. I took him to the vet and he tried a phenobarbitol drip to stop the seizures but nothing worked. He said he's have to put him down, and would I like to be there to say good-bye. I was an adult and I couldn't go. I laid on the couch and cried while my husband went to be with the dog. My kids wrote me sympathy cards- they were seven and three at the time.
My second dog was a german shepherd and she lost the use of her hind legs - as is common with them. My kids were eleven and seven. I thought my son would be fine and my daughter would be distraught- but they both said they wanted to go to be with her as she died.
Their reactions were the opposite of what I thought they would be- my son wouldn't leave the room after she'd died - he was sobbing uncontrollably and kept saying, 'It's cold - I don't want to leave her here.' My daughter took it very stoically and philosophically- she barely shed a tear, so you can never tell how people will react.

When/if my present dog has ever has to be put down, I would like to be able to be there for her, but I don't know if I will be able to-I might have to ask my kids to be there for her as I'll be too upset.

But no - I wouldn't lie to my kids. I'd tell them the truth and let them say goodbye.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 02:08 am
@froggylady4020,
I'm with the tell them folk. It's part of life and they ain't gonna escape it. You need to be ready to really help them though however they grieve.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 08:45 am
You have to let your children say goodbye – it would be wrong on so many levels. They need that opportunity even if it is hard for them. I know I have a sensitive 9 year old – she was 8 when something similar happened to us. It is definitely better for them.

My cat that I have had for longer than I even knew my husband – was very sick and old. It seemed she was slowing down more and more. I have two girls 9 and 12. The younger at the time was 8 – she knew and could tell without us saying anything and she would cry and say I going miss Lily, I don’t want her to die. My older one would hold it in. Each morning I would pet her and say my goodbyes just in case as she got weaker.

The kitty was getting so weak she would only drink water so we called the vet. We had an appointment in the next few days. Well the next day, it took the turn for the worse while I was at work. My husband with the kids brought her to the vet and they had to put her down. The kids got to pet her and say their goodbyes. They weren’t in the room when the vet actually put her down, but they were there right before so they can comfort her. I think although it made them cry and sad, it allowed them to let her go.

My more sensitive daughter – it was definitely better for her – you could tell it gave her a sort of closure and comfort.

You could also ask them. Do they want to be there? In what way – maybe just to say goodbye right before or at home before you bring him. I think giving them a choice allows them some control over a situation where they have very little control.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2011 08:50 am
@froggylady4020,
My vote for what it may be worth is to let the kids say goodbye.

0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  3  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2011 06:45 pm
@froggylady4020,
I'm also with the "tell them" side.

I also think it's important for them to spend some time with your dog after he has died.

I did this with my highly sensitive daughter and our beloved cat, and I'm very glad I did. The lack of suffering is the first thing you notice. The visceral awareness that comes with seeing that what you loved is no longer inside the body, the future of burial or burning is no longer a horror (or at least less so). Also it helps to create an awareness of death as an inevitability for others and herself, and will hopefully make future deaths easier and less shocking.
0 Replies
 
Doogeedu
 
  0  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 06:54 pm
@Princess18,
that's ok, thet was 6 yrs. ago and i'm over it. by the way, im 12
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jcboy
 
  3  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 07:11 pm
My cats must be 14 and 15 by now. One of them hasn’t been in the best of health lately. Our little child is five years old and I’ve already had the talk with him about kitty not being around very much longer.

When the time comes to have him put down the three of us will be there and I will be holding Lincoln in my arms to the very end.

Lincoln

http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/3792/dsc00077da.jpg
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 07:32 pm
@jcboy,
Good for you and I never could understand people not being there to offer love and comfort to their pets during their last moments on earth.

When I was trying to made connection to my vet to get my beloved cat Blue Eyes put down the office girl keep telling me I could just drop him off as if I would dream of not being with him and letting him die surrounded by just strangers.

PS that is a good looking cat.......
0 Replies
 
Princess18
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Nov, 2011 04:33 am
@Doogeedu,
That's so mean and wrong what ur uncle did. I hate how when u r a kid and grown ups think that thy can do watever thy want. Even if it's wrong just cos u r a kid...so unfair... That' would hav been hard ..Sad
0 Replies
 
Princess18
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Nov, 2011 04:36 am
@Doogeedu,
I would have never forgiven him. It's irritating how people have an explanation for all the wrong they did with ideas like "being practical, grown up..."
0 Replies
 
susiesoo
 
  2  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2015 03:17 am
@aidan,
Hi I don't know how long ago you wrote this i cant see date on post, but this advice has been invaluable to me, thank you every word yo write is so true, susie x
0 Replies
 
HesDeltanCaptain
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 24 Aug, 2015 07:56 am
@froggylady4020,
Have always felt the sole purpose of pets that don't live very long was to teach children compassion, empathy, and about death. Sounds like they got the first couple of things down, now it's time to teach them why death sucks.
0 Replies
 
 

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