How Do You Tell Your Six Year Old His Dog Has Cancer?
For those of you that know me I am the proud father of a six year old boy and a two and a half year old girl. I also have two other kids in my house. Maggie and Sadie are our dogs. Maggie is a ten year old yellow lab, she is our shelter rescue dog and as we call her the 'momma' dog. She is the one who will follow my daughter around to make sure she is OK when she falls and she is the first one to check on all of the kids first before she goes to play with us or Sadie.Sadie is our eight year old Rottweiler, who was my wedding gift from my wife.
Some folks wonder why I got a dog for my wedding gift. Well to make the story short when my wife and I were dating I got a Rottweiler puppy from a friend and Laura helped pick her out. Chloe was a part of my household for a short time before she died as a puppy. Sadie came from the same folks as Chloe, my first Rottweiler, and that is the small story behind why I got a dog for my wedding gift.
Sadie has been the dog that provides us the most entertainment, from the chasing of the bubbles, to the biting of the wagon wheels in the backyard with the kids, She has always been the protector of the kids and the house letting us all know if someone or something is coming to the house.
Monday I noticed that Sadie was limping. Not bad, but a small limp. Later that night when we were feeding them dinner I noticed a knot on her leg and it looked like it was rather painful. But Sadie never made a sound, no whimpering, no crying. She just acted like nothing was wrong.
Yesterday afternoon I took her to the vet to make sure there was nothing serious like a sprain or a break. After x-rays I got the worst news I could have received. Sadie has bone cancer. It was the cause of the small knot on her leg and now I have the tough decision. Our options are to have the leg amputated at the hip. Even with the amputation there is still a less than 60 percent chance she will live, or treat her with medications until the time comes to [let her go to doggy heaven] put her to sleep.
As I picked up my kids from daycare, that afternoon there were very surprised that Sadie was with me. The dogs do not ride in the Jeep that often, so to them it was a treat.
I am now to the point in the story with trying to tell a six year old boy that his dog is dying. I am not sure how he will handle the news. Surprisingly, Grant did so good when my dad died last year from a stroke. I think he will be OK. with the news. But he sees her every day and seeing her in a state that her health will be deteriorating, I am not sure how he will handle it. I am scared that this may be too much for a six year old to handle, but I don't want to keep it from him since it is one of his pets.
I am now faced with one of the toughest decisions ever. Do we tell him, or do we act like it is not a big deal until the effects of her illness begin to appear?