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DH is taking our elderly dog to the vet today. She has been having issues with her backend for about a year now on and off. Arthritis meds make her sick where she can't eat, she has lost considerable weight and is now having more bad days than good. We are pretty sure they are going to end up putting her to sleep as she cannot walk and is in horrible pain.
My question is what do we tell Addy? She is very curious and I know she will ask question after question until Aleu's death, where Aleu is and how she got there makes since to her.
I don't want to tell her we are having her put to sleep as I don't want her afraid of the doctor/vet, but I don't want to lie to her either.
When my inlaws lost Jake suddenly last fall and when Luna (our betta of a few years) died the other week, we were simply straight forward with her and told her that they died and went to heaven. Reasons vary - with Luna and Jake "Old Age" seemed to work best. Jake she still asks about and wonders why he's still there. Luna she said a prayer for and asked if she could flush. I would tell her today that the dog was sick and went to the hospital, say a prayer tonight and then tell her tomorrow that the the dog didn't make it, there was nothing anyone could do and he asked to go to heaven so he/she could feel better, and the angels took him up, healed him and he is happy and will be watching over his family. I'm only suggesting how I would handle it for Maddie at this age. It will take some time and some tough questions, but you do have faith on your side to help you answer those.
I have been talking about this with Sydney a bit because we have a 14 year old dog who's health is failing. I am trying to prep the kids a bit for the blow so it isn't so hard or unexpected, if that is possible. I would just be straight forward, he is old and he is sick and he needed to be put at peace so he doesn't hurt anymore. I assure my kids that Bernie will always be a part of them and in their hearts no matter what, Sydney def grasps the concept that his body is failing, she seems to "get" it and knows that he won't be here forever. We aren't religious but if you are I think a prayer could help, certainly can't hurt! .....sorry you are going thru it, losing a pet is very hard