My 17 year old dog passed away this past weekend. She died peacefully in her sleep, thankfully, and my family was spared the agonizing decision of whether or not to have her put to sleep. 17 is old for a dog, I know, but that doesn't make her death any less sad for me. I bought her in 1993 when I was 10 and she was 8 weeks old. When I think about how much time has passed and how long she has been a part of my family, it takes my breath away. She was there for it all- The transition from middle school to high school. My first boyfriend. Getting my driver's license. Proms. High school graduation. Going away to college. Graduating college. Finishing grad school. Every single milestone, she was there with a wagging tail and a slobbery lick on the face. I'll miss her. It can be tough getting a family pet, because it will inevitably pass away and your children, depending on their age, might not understand. How many of you had a childhood pet growing up? And how have you explained a pet's passing to your little ones?