You guys, Gromit doesn’t have much longer. A week (I hope longer) a month? Two? He had toe cancer last year, and because it was localized, just lobbed off the offending dew claw, and life went on. And we all had a good laugh, because dude, you can’t even get CANCER the right way. You’re just going to live forever and shed in ever single baseboard crevice I own, aren’t you? But the Meester noticed a lump on his paw again, this time on his paw, rather than a dew claw. Off to the vet he went. They didn’t think it was anything more than a fatty lump, but they’ll scrape and aspirate it just to make sure. Code for “we have to make money somehow.” I figured it was most likely another fatty lump, which dogs are just prone to in old age. We get liver spots, dogs get lumpy. It’s gross. When they said it was cancer again, we had already decided before the results came back that this was it. It’s on his actual foot. He’s 13. Surgery would just tell us how long he has, and he’d most likely lose his foot. That’s not quality. He’s was an intergal part of my blog early on, before the kids were born. He’s been a champ. Moving several times (and getting so sick of it, that he actually unpacked my dishes once, not breaking a single one), getting divorced, getting re-married. Kids. Through it all, he’s been great. He wasn’t fond of the kids for encroaching on his space and devoted attention, but he’s good with them and now loves their attention. Since we don’t know how long he has, we’ve been spoiling him with various meats, cake balls, and whatever else he wants. Mia is pretty pissed. It’ll be weird not having my deaf, smelly dog around. Like an empty hole. What’s worse is that we’ve been trying to explain to the kids what’s happening, so that they’re more compassionate and patient with him when he just stops in the middle of the room for no reason, or steps on their legos. And I don’t want them to come home one day and ask where he is, and have him not be there. Can I tell you how hard it is to explain to a three and five year-old this whole process of dying? We’re trying to keep it as simple as possible. ”Gromit is sick, and won’t be around much longer. Soon he’ll go live with Adonis in dog heaven, and he’ll be able to run and play.”
Mini: But Gromit can’t run, his legs are bad!
Me: Yes, but in dog heaven, his health will be restored, and he’ll be able to run and play again.
LG: But I don’t want Gromit to go away!
While LG is still too young to understand the concept of death and dying, she knows that she doesn’t want him to go away forever. I know this is because we’re all creatures of habit. Her family consists of her parents, her brother, and her dogs. It’s a comfort thing. However, the Mini understands the concept and has been obsessed with death for the better part of a year. Not long after he turned four, he developed the anxiety surrounding all things death and dying. It’s been incredibly hard to watch him get upset over knowing there’s mortality and an end to everything. We try to keep it light, but I get it. That fear is so real, and I hate that he gets it so early in life.
And when the time comes for them to say goodbye to Gromit, I’m debating on whether or not to tell them when it’s time, so that they can say their goodbyes beforehand (I won’t be bringing them to the vet, because they’re way too young to handle that). Anyone else deal with this sort of thing at such a young age? What happened to telling kids their beloved pet went to live on a farm and having that be the end of it?