There are so many mixed emotions when we lose someone to a debilitating disease - we grieve hard up front when we get the diagnosis and then we grieve loss but also feel relieved when they are done suffering. So, I guess it isn't unusual that I had mixed emotions about how the loss would effect my son.
Troy just turned 2 years old when we put Ares to sleep. He wasn't quite attached to Ares which gave me great relief and sadness at the same time. I figured he wouldn't be hopelessly searching the house for his dog which was a great thing. It also deeply saddened me that he wouldn't get to know Ares the way I did. I always imagined Troy and Ares running and playing together.
Troy and Ares did have a relationship - Troy harassed Ares and even though Ares quality of life wasn't what it used to be, Ares obliged the ear pulling and silliness. He was such a great sport. Troy wasn't quite speaking yet when Ares was put to sleep. So, although we repeated the his name to Troy several times, he couldn't say it before Ares passed.
It's been two months and in that time, I've put up 3 pictures of Ares on an end table in our living room. Yesterday I see Troy standing at that end table and pointing to one of the pictures "Ares, Ares, Ares" he said. It's not something he's heard frequently since Ares has passed but I guess he remembered it from us repeating it to him a few months ago. My heart hurt and smiled at the same time.
How did you handle the loss of your dog with your kids?
PS: I had to share a pic of baby Ares is this post about my human baby and fur baby.