Oh, I am so sorry to hear this. I had to say goodbye to my boy a few weeks ago. He came to me when he was about 18 months old in 2000, so he was almost 14 (approximately). We thought he had been developing kidney problems as he got older but it turned out to be Cushings Disease, which is often difficult to diagnose. By the time, the vet found out what it was, it was too late to do anything. It all happened over two days. I took him and brought home the first day and then back again the next day. As I was driving him to the vet, I could see how poorly he was and, in my heart, I knew. I received a call from the vet to tell me that afternoon and then I went with a very good friend and we said goodbye to him and sat with him until he went. It was terribly sad to lose him. He had been such a big part of my life for so long. My poor maid, who is Buddhist, wailed when I told her. Trying to explain to someone who won't use Pif Paf to kill an insect that you are going to do this was one of the hardest things I have ever done. We had to make her sweet tea, she went into a state of shock. Thankfully, she has been able to rationalize it and now says that she knows it was his time. Out of all this sadness, however, there was a little girl who had been rescued from one of the palaces because she was so malnourished (she was too small to get to the food at mealtime) so we have now welcomed this bundle of boundless energy into our home. She is the brightest, cutest little thing. She schnuffles, schnorts and talks all the time and everyone who meets her is smitten. I am having huge separation anxiety while I am away. But one of the first things I did here was to go to a particular shop that has these fab pet beds, which are like houses, and buy her one! As I have written this, I have gone from being choked up with tears running down my face as I think about Max to having a smile when I think about Lola. I feel almost disloyal that I could love another dog so quickly but writing this has been quite cathartic for me because it has made me realize that that's not so.
I think children should be given the chance to say their farewells to family pets. I can't think of anything worse than coming home from somewhere and the shock of not finding your beloved pet there. I think if a child understands that an animal is not well and the vet cannot make him or her better, then the vet can help by making him or her go to sleep and where he or she wakes up, they will be in a place where they are better and not in pain. I would like to think there is a doggy heaven, where my boy is bouncing around like a pup and stuffing his face full of all the things he was not allowed to eat when he was alive, as he got older and that he has all his teeth back too .
Sorry, I have rambled on for far too long, but I truly am thinking of you and hope that something in here will go some way to help you.