A couple of old dogs

A number of years ago, one of my Grade 1 students came into my classroom and announced that he had something to show me. It was a photo of his dog.

“Nice dog,” I said, smiling.

“Oh, he’s dead,” replied the boy, nonchalantly.

“He’s dead?” I squeaked. “Was he very old?”

“No, not really. But he had blood coming from his bum, so we took him to the vet, and then he was dead.”

Oh. Was the cause of death the blood from his bum or the vet, I wondered?

Then this week I heard the following conversation between three six-year-olds. They were busily colouring in their phonics booklets, chatting as they worked. I was sitting across the table from them.

Child 1: My dog is 100 years old in people years.

Child 2: Wow! That’s really old! He should be dead by now.

Child 3: Everything has to die, you know.

Child 1: Well, my dog’s not dead.

Long pause …

Child 1: But he is pretty shaky.

Yes, but is there blood coming from his bum? If not, he’s good for a few more years, I should think.

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10 responses to “A couple of old dogs

  1. Interesting how matter of fact you can be about death when you don’t really understand it, isn’t it?

    • XUP – I read somewhere, sometime that the death of a pet should a child’s first, gentle introduction to the finality of death. Grandparents should come next, then parents (then, I suppose, one’s contemporaries and oneself). This would all be logical, I guess – experiencing the death of loved ones in increasing order of their importance in one’s life – but as adults, we all know that life isn’t always so logical and neat and organized, don’t we?

  2. Pauline – It was just the way the kid said it so matter-of-factly and how he equated that with the vet and the dog’s death that cracked me up. I’m sure it was a lot more traumatic for the kid when it actually happened.

    Jazz – I know! Didn’t you get a wonderful picture in your head when you read that?

  3. He’s pretty shaky… I love that!

  4. Yeah, rectal bleeding is never good! LOL. Poor pup!

  5. VioletSky – Of course I don’t mind! I did notice that I was getting some hits from a site I’d never been to, so I checked it out and there you were, linking to me yet! Thank you for the nice mention, and great interview! xo

    Irene – I think everybody should spend time with little kids on a regular basis. They’re just so entertaining!

  6. Kids say the darndest things! That’s why they are so cute. I miss that.

  7. this is when I miss being around little kids!
    (and, hope you don’t mind, but I’ve given you a mention…)

  8. lol. Kids are great 🙂

    • Bevchen – One of the biggest reasons that I love teaching is definitely how funny the kids are. Their hilarious comments have made my day more than once!