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Posts: 2

Hi, I am  new to this board.  my 11 1/2 yr old shar pei, ping, was recently diagnosed with malignant throat cancer.  the oncologist told us not to do anything further and truthfully we don't want to put him through any further pain and discomfort.  He isn't showing pain but is coughing and breathing very heavy.  The vet said he might go fast.   I'm most concerned about my children.  Does anyone have good advice on how to tell my children that he will die?  thank you


Posts: 65
There are a lot of books out there that deal with children coping with the death of a pet.  Some are non-fiction and some handle the subject through a story. 

Your librarian should be able to help you and perhaps your veterinarian has some books in the waiting room.

Moira Anderson Allen in her book "Coping With Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet" does devote a chapter to children and family.  She suggests preparing the children if death is imminent.  She says it will help your child observe the animal's condition and develop a better understanding of the dying process.
She says honesty and openness will pave the way to coping and open up discussions.  She says if you fail to be open, children may hear things from other sources that will give them confused ideas and without communication, you won't know what these ideas are.

I am very sorry about your dog. 

Posts: 72
I am so so sorry to hear about Ping. I just wanted to offer a few words about telling your children. Have they experienced any other death during their lives? A grandparent or fish or anything? Also it depends on your belief. When my sister lost her baby at 18wks pregnant, her eldest child was 6 and was soo looking forward to having a baby brother or sister. My sister told him the baby had been chosen by God to live with Him and this was only chosen for the most special babies. He was obviously still heartbroken but he accepted that was the way it was. How old are your children? You could tell them he is tired and poorly like people are when they get old and the vet says he is coming to the end of his life on earth, and when he goes he will go to be with God and Jesus and all of the other dogs in Heaven.

I am not a parent myself (except to my beloved Megan who passed on 3 weeks ago today) so if you dont agree with any of my sugestions, that's probably why.

Sending you lots of hugs for the coming days, I will be thinking of you and Ping xx 

Posts: 116
Lois, I am so sorry. I really don't have any advise for what to say to the children as I don't have any. I can say whatever you you decide to do, know your baby ping loves you. It will be the hardest thing you have ever done, come here and talk about it anytime. Its safe here and no one will judge.

Aprils dad, Bob

Posts: 21
Lois, I am so sorry. I understand how hard it is to see your loved furbaby ailing.

How old are your children? I suggest speaking with their school--teacher, principal, school nurse, or counselor--for advice. The school also should be made aware that your children may have some difficulties with grief after, so it's a good idea to speak with them.

I agree with Bob--it's the hardest thing you have ever done and will go through a turmoil of ups and downs. Be there for your kids when they cry, and when they need a hug. Also, don't try to hide your grief from them, as children need to learn that it's okay to feel sad and grieve over the death of a loved one.

You're in my thoughts during this difficult time.




Posts: 2
thank you everyone for your kind words.  they mean a lot to me!  I was also told to tell me children and ready them for ping's imminent death.  I feel like that is such a huge job and that there is no proper time to do it.  It will affect every inch of our lives.  my kids have had experience with death when I lost my father but I think they were too young to truly feel the loss.


Posts: 328
I am so very sorry for your Ping, and your family. Perhaps you should tell your children about where Ping will go, a place just this side of heaven, called Rainbow Bridge. There are some words that may help you with the journey that Ping will make:

“I will send you on a journey to a land free from pain, not because I did not love you, but because I loved you too much to force you to stay.”


Godspeed to you and your family




Posts: 555
I join with the other kind hearts here to express how sad it is that your little  Shar Pei is so ill and very soon you must lose him. This will be such a hard and sad time for all your family.
 At the age of 11 1/2 years he may well have been in your children's lives since they were born. How to tell children a pet is dying depends entirely on the age of your children. Older children and pre adolescents will have different emotions than those of a teenager.  All have a different type of response and those responses will be dictated as to how attached the child or young person is to the pet.  Honesty is always a must, it is very unwise to say that the pet is just gone away or is staying elsewhere for a time, the children will then be anticipating its return. When telling the children that Ping is very sick, don't go into too much detail of what is wrong ,gently explain that you and the kind vet don't want little Ping to suffer anymore and he should be allowed to go to play the Rainbow Bridge. You'll find the explanation of the Rainbow Bridge on this web site. It is very beautiful and comforting to us all, especially children.  I would agree with the others here too that it would be good to let the teachers know as your children may be upset at school and could be teased by other children who do not understand the sadness the loss of a beloved pet can be.
You are obviously a wonderful mother to be concerned for your young ones  but take care of yourself too tears, hugs and the sharing of grief will help you all though.
JanH...across the water 

Posts: 11,059
I am so sorry your precious Ping is so ill. You have been given great advice from other posters on how to tell your children. I know you and your whole family are heartbroken over the turn of events. All of you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

precious Christoph ~ 2 years at the bridge ~
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