Before Death Behavior

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Before Death Behavior

This is a discussion on Before Death Behavior within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; My dog died today--he died because of internal bleeding into his lungs, but the cause of the bleeding was unknown. I'm not here for sympathy ...

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Old 02-01-2011, 12:15 AM
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Before Death Behavior

My dog died today--he died because of internal bleeding into his lungs, but the cause of the bleeding was unknown. I'm not here for sympathy or anything, and this is probably the only post I will make--since I no longer own a dog. But I am curious about the behavior my dog displayed last night--I feel that knowing a little more about it might bring a bit closure since his death was so sudden.

My dog had always been more attached to my parents--they are around the house more often, and would mostly be the ones to give him food. He would always follow my mom around, and watch my dad as he did the dishes. But last night, he would not leave my side. No matter where I would go, he would come and sit next to me or on my lap (he was a Chihuahua). If I tried to lift him off of my lap, he would back into me again and sit down.

I seriously have no clue as to why he did this. I'm pretty sure he knew his life was coming to a close, but wouldn't he want to spend his remaining hours with someone he was closer to (like my mom)?

I know this section is more for dog training behavioral type questions, but this seemed to be the best place for my question. I'm not totally sure my question might have an answer either.

Anyway, if any of you know why my dog might have clung to me in this way, please post a response. For some reason, it feels like knowing more about it might bring about some closure....
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:23 AM
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I have found that when a dog does not feel well, he/she generally seeks comfort from one of their humans... that is if they have good relationships with humans.

It's quite a complement your dog wanted to be on your lap. I'm sure it made him feel better in his last hours. I'm so sorry for your loss.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:39 AM
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I realize you said you are not seeking sympathy, however I must say I am very sorry for your loss.
As Tess said, take it as a compliment that as he sensed something was wrong you were the one he felt he could turn to for comfort. While you may not have sensed having as strong of a bond as he had with your mother before, it seems clear that he valued you more than you thought. Animals do have a sense of when they don't feel well and when they are dying - it's well documented that in various species animals will leave their group and go to a specific place to die, many domestic pets are known to do the opposite of what you experienced and "sneak off" to find a quiet, private place to await their passing (or, as you experienced seek the comfort of the presence of a loving/trusted human - depends on the individual animal).
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