Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Advice for Moms Advice for Moms

When would you tell the kids?

Posted by on May. 12, 2014 at 1:18 PM
  • 28 Replies

We have an elderly (almost 14 yo) dog.  For the last few years her health has been deteriorating.  She is to the point where she struggles to walk and you can just tell that she is tired.  She rarely eats.

We will be moving to another city in just over a month.  I really believe the move would be too stressful given her condition. My husband and I have decided it is time to let her go.

Our children, 14, 12 and 9 are not aware of our decision, as of yet.  I have been giving gentle warnings about her getting older, not feeling well, etc.  We want to pick a time that isn't "too long" but also doesn't fall near important dates (upcoming dance recitals, a birthday, the last days of school with their friends, etc.)  Additionally our 12 yo's best friend is currently fighting cancer and numerous other health problems and so we are already facing a tough emotional time.

Additionally, our children have been fortunate to have not yet lost anyone close to them, beyond a couple of fish.

So....how much warning would you give the kids...the day before? two days?, longer? (concerned they will dwell and it will be harder for them).  I recognize the grief is going to be difficult, confusing and stressful given everything else going on in their lives, but I also don't want to make it harder on the front end of the process considering how hard I know it will be afterwards.

by on May. 12, 2014 at 1:18 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
atlmom2
by Ruby Member on May. 12, 2014 at 1:25 PM
1 mom liked this

That is so hard as I look at my 5 year old dog here and dread that day. 

I personally would say not much time.  I would say a day at the most.  Don't prolong the agony.  It isn't ever easy.  If the dog is having trouble walking I would do it soon. 

Roo1234
by Bronze Member on May. 12, 2014 at 1:31 PM

It is so hard to decide the when....She rests a lot, but it is obvious that she puts all her energy into the moments that matter. (the kids getting home from school are still greeted joyfully, etc.)  I really think that she is living for us.

It is even more complicated because my husband actually lives and works in the city we are moving to and so the day chosen will most likely have to be a Friday so that he can be here with us.  This coming weekend is dance recital weekend for two fo the kids, the following weekend is the other child's birthday.  The next week is right up against the last day of school.  

We are really thinking is is going to be the first Friday in June.  I just have been trying to figure out how to prepare the kids so I have a plan in mind.

Quoting atlmom2:

That is so hard as I look at my 5 year old dog here and dread that day. 

I personally would say not much time.  I would say a day at the most.  Don't prolong the agony.  It isn't ever easy.  If the dog is having trouble walking I would do it soon. 


christina122952
by on May. 12, 2014 at 1:36 PM
That is hard
trin123
by Member on May. 12, 2014 at 1:38 PM
1 mom liked this

They probably will handle it better if they can say goodbye. In my opinion.

mommy2boys03
by Bronze Member on May. 12, 2014 at 1:46 PM

My kids were younger than yours when we had to put our dog down.  There are those who will probably disagree with what we did but it worked for us.  We had been boarding our dog when we went into see my parents as we thought the trip would be too stressful for him as sick as he was.  I took both my boys to school and then brought the dog to the vet and I was with him when we put him to sleep.  When we came home on Sunday I told the boys there was a message from the vet and our dog had died while he was there. They knew the dog was sick but my boys I don't think were able to understand that it was time to let him go and not suffer anymore.  You know your kids and how they would best handle it.

atlmom2
by Ruby Member on May. 12, 2014 at 1:50 PM

I kinda agree with this too if you think it will be way too hard to actually say goodbye.  Nothing is easy.  My best friend had 5 dogs.  Recently one was put down and the another died on the way to the vet to be put down.  Sadly, at least they knew it was the right time for the 2nd one. 

Quoting mommy2boys03:

My kids were younger than yours when we had to put our dog down.  There are those who will probably disagree with what we did but it worked for us.  We had been boarding our dog when we went into see my parents as we thought the trip would be too stressful for him as sick as he was.  I took both my boys to school and then brought the dog to the vet and I was with him when we put him to sleep.  When we came home on Sunday I told the boys there was a message from the vet and our dog had died while he was there. They knew the dog was sick but my boys I don't think were able to understand that it was time to let him go and not suffer anymore.  You know your kids and how they would best handle it.


mumsmusingmind
by New Member on May. 12, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Give them about a week.  Let it set in and say goodbye.

New mommy blogger!  Recipies, reviews and life stories.  Follow our journey on becoming a family.  Mumsmusingmind.blogspot.com

ArtsyMomma83
by Member on May. 13, 2014 at 10:08 AM
1 mom liked this
Hard to say. Young kids wouldn't understand a decision like that but your kids are older. So they may need time to say goodbye but not giving too much time to dwell on the inevitable is a good idea. Wish I could be more help. Hugs!
martini8787
by Member on May. 13, 2014 at 10:24 AM

They need to be able to learn to grieve in their own way. I would say a 3 days to a weeks. I lost my grandparents before I lost my dog and we don't always get time time to go through the process when a loved family member passes most of the time. Being able to say goodbye is a blessing even if it is hard in the moment. 

ceciliam
by Cecilia on May. 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM
1 mom liked this

I'm sorry to hear about your dog.

Nearly 2 years ago we lost one of our GSD's, very suddenly. He was perfectly healthy and then just like that gone. They think he had a stroke. Unfortunately, my son was home to experience this, since school was not in that day,, and he was very upset about it for awhile.

Last May, my 13 year old cat was diagnosed with mammary cancer. She had surgery and we hoped for the best but her results came back as being terminal. Knowing that, my son and I would talk about how Angel would not be with us much longer, and she would be going to be with Tahoe. She hung in there until September, when we had to let her go and it wasn't nearly as traumatic for my son, because he was prepared as much as he could be.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)