When a pet is ill

Cocoa is nine years old. He is our second beagle. He was actually bought because my husband thought our first beagle Sheba needed a pet. Cocoa enjoyed seven years with Sheba, who at first was not too pleased he was there.

Tolerating the presence of Cocoa
Teaching Cocoa tricks
Sharing her bed with Cocoa
Sheba and Cocoa Sheba teaching Cocoa tricks Sheba and Cocoa sharing a bed

Soon after the loss of Sheba, Cocoa had his first stroke. The right side of his face drooped, he could no longer blink in his one eye, and every time he drank some water, it would fall out of his mouth. A bib was needed for the constant drool. After a few weeks though, his face seem to prop back up, and the drool stopped. A few years went by, and we noticed that Cocoa had developed a limp so off to the vet. After x-rays were taken, we found out that two chips of bone had broken off in both hips and new bone was now developing, making his hip joints quite stiff. The only thing we could do was give him medication for his pain. The medication seems to be helping Cocoa but a walk around the block is too much for him, thus off to the dog park, which is easier and of course more fun, there is water and mud!

About a week ago, it was necessary for me to go out-of-town, and on the one night, that my husband had to work, Cocoa was left alone a little too long for his liking. So when my husband arrived home in the morning, Cocoa followed him around for a good hour, not the least bit interested in eating. Then my husband noticed his face. Cocoa had had another stroke. The bib is back on to catch the drool and phone calls were made to our two children away at university. The phone calls did not go well. As you can imagine there were a lot of tears, on both ends of the call. I tried to explain to our kids that Cocoa had another stroke, his drooling was back, the right side of his face had dropped again, and his front legs didn’t seem to be working as well either. Jumping on the couch is near impossible, so I move the stool over for him. How much time Cocoa has left, we are unsure, but we will enjoy him.

Cocoa enjoying a swim
What do I do with this?
Cocoa enjoying a swim What do I do with this bone?

How do you tell your children, your pet is very ill?