DEAR DEIDRE: MY daughter is inconsolable because our dog Lulu is very ill and staying overnight with the vets.

The vet warned us that if our dog doesn’t rally tomorrow we will have to consider putting her to sleep.

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My daughter is eight and keeps asking me if that ­happens, will Lulu wake up again.

I’ve swerved the question and keep saying “maybe”.

I can’t bear to upset her. Lulu is 12 and has kidney problems.

She has always been in my daughter’s life.

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DEIDRE SAYS: It is wonderful that your daughter has that special bond children can have with family pets.

Our natural instinct is to protect our children from hurtful feelings but by avoiding her questions, you teach her that death is something we don’t discuss.

This won’t help her deal with the pain.

Start by explaining how Lulu is hurting and it may be kinder to put her down, which means she will die a peaceful death.

Help your daughter to mourn her by talking about her and putting up a special Lulu corner featuring photos and memories.

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