Here’s how we told our son Elliot that our dog Phoebe passed away.
Jess: So something happened last night at Gram and Papa’s house.
Elliot: What happened?
Jess: Phoebe got sick and went away.
Elliot: Phoebe went away?
Jess: Yeah, like Dado went away and like Jumpy your frog went away.
Elliot: Phoebe died?
Me: Yeah, Phoebe died last night.
Jess: The next time you see Papa you need to give him a big hug because he took care of Phoebe for a long time. He did everything with her.
Elliot: Why was Phoebe always at Papa’s house?
Jess: Well, Phoebe used to live with us, but when you came along she got really jealous. She didn’t like that I gave all my attention to you instead of her. So she went to live with Papa.
Elliot: And Gram?
Jess: Yeah, Papa and Gram.
Me: We adopted Phoebe when mommy and I lived in California. She was running around the streets of Oakland and was very sick when we found her.
Jess: You know Phoebe had worms so bad when we got her that she would only poop in the middle of the street? She would just stop while we were in a crosswalk and go right there.
Elliot: What would the people in the cars do?
Jess: They would stop and wait for us while Phoebe just squatted and stared at them.
Me: Phoebe was scared of everything when we got her. Any noise would make her jump. She came a long way, though she was always a bit quirky.
Elliot: I really liked Phoebe.
Me: Yeah, she was a good girl.