We sat the kids down the day Bumper left and told them about him. Before we said anything, Stephen said, “this is about Bumper isn’t it. He’s not here..” Then he started calling for Bumper, then he started crying. So we told them the whole thing. It was not what we expected. Kassie and Stephen both were quiet and had tears running down their faces the whole time I told them about how God sent that nice man to us… that we didn’t have anything advertising we were giving our dog away, but the man just saw Bumper this morning while we were having our garage sale, and he asked about him and said he’d love to have him. As we talked to the kids, Kenny was rolling around on the floor (waiting to start playing his WII again, since we asked him to pause it while we talked), and the other 2 kids just listened. Then Daron and I cried, and finally, Kenny looks up at all of us and says –
Kenny: What’s going on? Why is everyone crying?
Kassie: Because – Kenny – Bumper is with another family.
Kenny: WHAT? He’s with another family? Why?
Stephen: I don’t want to go on living (choked out thru his full-on sobbing).
Kassie: I just feel… my heart just feels… blue. (Teary, but more melancholy. I really thought she’d be the most upset, but it was Stephen by far)
Daron/Me: (more explanation – he’s with his 4th family now – he had his 1st family, then he got lost, and the Rescue Society family had him 2nd, then us 3rd, and now his 4th family will love him…)
Kenny: Stevie, why are you sad? I can make you feel better if you do what I do. Take a breath and count to 3. That’s what I do. You’ll feel better.
Kas: Kenny, that’s not going to work this time, but thanks so much for your suggestion. (Honestly, word for word – as she’s crying).
So then we told them about how it’s natural to feel sad, that we’ve been crying all day, but feeling grateful that we found a good home for him, with loving parents who will keep him indoors, who don’t already have another dog – that we fully explained about his meds and bathing him regularly, and everything. Then we asked the kids to make sure and talk to us about their feelings. I promised them that the FIRST thing we’ll do when we return from Switzerland is to all go pick out a dog together – whatever they want. Kas bounced right back and wanted to take Bo on a walk to get the mail. Stephen went upstairs and kept crying and played a computer football game. I just went up and offered to take him with us on our date tonight and he was very happy about that. So I think all is well.
We also purchased Rosetta Stone and the kids have each been spending an hour every night sitting in front of the computer with their headset and microphone - it's hilarious - they're already learning French so quickly!