Today, I took Dodger for a walk. We don't go far. He's not a kid, and the block is long (at least, at his age). But he loves getting out, sniffing things and seeing people.
At the start of our walk, and again at the end, we spent time talking to the kids who live next door. They're 6 and 10 years old. They always want to tell me about things they know, and that's a joy. They also like to ask about Dodger. The 10-year-old girl has known Dodger since her family moved in when she was 2. Her brother has known Dodger his (the brother's) entire life.
They also knew Bernice and Mandy. After the girls died, we skirted the truth when they asked, "where are the other dogs?" From their mom's reaction when it came up in her presence, it seemed that they didn't know about death yet. So we'd say something like, "they're not here now" and then quickly move on to a new subject.
Today, she asked again where they were. When I said they're not here, she asked what happened to them. I said, "they got old."
"Oh, they died?"
"Yes, they died."
And her brother said, "oh, they're dead."
Then--and this is where things got much better and even funny--they asked what happened to the big red dog. She added, "the one my brother used to call 'the wolf.'" (That always made us chuckle--"the wolf" is Dodger.) And she indicated how big the wolf was--quite large. Twice her size!
I said, "he's standing in front of you, but you used to be this big," holding my hand at a level about half her height.
It's all about perspective, isn't it? :-)