How to prepare dog for loss of companion

Go Back   Dog Forum > Keeping and Caring for Dogs > Dog Health

How to prepare dog for loss of companion

This is a discussion on How to prepare dog for loss of companion within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi all I have 2 dogs - a 6 year old female and a 15 year old male. The male has today appeared confused and ...

User Tag List

Like Tree2Likes
  • 2 Post By Lin888

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-14-2016, 11:22 PM
  #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
How to prepare dog for loss of companion

Hi all

I have 2 dogs - a 6 year old female and a 15 year old male. The male has today appeared confused and a bit unsteady on his feet. I will be taking him to the vet shortly, but I do believe the end is near for him. Even if it is not now, it can not be too far away.

The young female is very attached to him. We have always joked that he is the only dog we know that has his own dog. What is the best way to prepare her for his loss? Getting another dog is not an option that I want to consider.
Lin888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2016, 09:53 AM
  #2
Senior Member
 
annageckos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 917
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I'm very sorry. I know how you feel. Last year I had to put down my GSD, Nevada. Shorty was attached to her, her constant shadow. I brought Shorty with us when we had to put her down. He was there in the room with her and even nuzzled her ear after she was gone. It was really heartbreaking. I was surprised that he didn't look around for her. I really believe he knew. Once he did look, after the snow melted there was a clump of her hair out in the yard, when he found it he got very excited. Tail going, ears up looking around. I felt my heart break for him all over again. He was also very interested in her ashes when I got them back.
I did get another dog, as much for him as for me. He did not like Freyja much when she first came home, but it did perk him up. And now so many things she does with him reminds me of Shorty with Nevada.

I don't know if there is much you can do to prepare your younger dog for the older one's passing. But I do believe they know, they know death. If you can, take the female when the it is the male's time.
annageckos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2016, 11:27 AM
  #3
Senior Member
 
Laco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,092
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I really believe they do understand death, at least on some level. Without a common language, there is really no way you can prep her for the inevitable loss of her best friend. She will, I'm sure be depressed for a period of time, but life does go on, and she will in time cope. You are in a difficult spot, and I wish you the best.
Laco is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 03-15-2016, 11:44 AM
  #4
Senior Member
 
traciek88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,208
Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Dogs understand what death is but you can't really...prepare a dog for the loss of a loved one the way you can a human. They don't understand the complexity of that, and it's possible they might not understand the inevitability of death unless it's super inevitable, like within a day.

But I personally think the best thing to do when a dog dies is to allow his canine pack members to see he is dead. This could involve bringing your other dog with you to the vet to have him put down, or just showing her his dead body before you bury/cremate it. When I had two Doxies who were bonded since puppyhood I knew that when one died the other would be devastated. I've heard of heartbreaking stories about dogs looking for their dead companions (human and animal) for a very long time, and being driven somewhat crazy from the confusion and grief. So when Teckel had to be put down, I made sure to bring his body home and show it to his brother Barney. Barney sniffed him all over and kept pushing him with his nose, as if trying to rouse him. It was sad, but he could smell it and knew Teckel was dead. The rest of that night he sat by the door and ran to and from us to come back as if saying "Why aren't you bringing him back in the house?!" But after a while, he moved on. He DID suffer separation anxiety and a lot of issues, but he was elderly, had never lived without another dog but hated other dogs so we couldn't get him another friend.

I hope this wasn't just me going on about my own experiences, and that it helped. If your younger dog does well with other dogs it might be good to get another companion a few months after this one passes. *hugs* I hope this experience goes as well as possible. We'll be here if you need support when he does pass.
traciek88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2016, 12:44 PM
  #5
Senior Member
 
agility collie mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Mt Lebanon, PA
Posts: 379
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Unfortunately as others have said you cannot prepare your younger dog for the older dogs passing. Although I believe that dogs sense when their companion's health is failing. The communicate with each other in more than words. Something we will never understand. Preparing yourself is important in helping your dog with the grieving process. Knowing that her world has changed forever. My heart goes out to you and your family.
It as been almost two years since I lost my Rio to a tragic hit and run accident. Savannah was present when it happened. I have never seen or heard (and pray to never again.) the frantic running and screaming Savannah did when Rio was hit. She did not eat much, go out in the yard to potty (would go out and sit on the hill where her and Rio would sit together) and didn't want to play. I could not stand to see her like this my vibrant, happy dog. Within a month we got a puppy. I was not ready but, she needed a companion. Slowly she started to return to herself. Now her and Firefly are best friends. They run and play together. I know Savannah is ok she has taught Firefly to sit on thd hill next her. I can almost hear her telling Firefly "you know my big brother Rio taught me ...."
agility collie mom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 01:41 AM
  #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Thanks for your advice. It is cancer and he may only have a few weeks left. I shall ensure the girl is with us when the time comes, and hope that is enough
Lin888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 03:22 AM
  #7
Dog Forum ModeraTHOR
 
ZoesMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 4,351
Mentioned: 158 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I'm so sorry about your dog!

I would probably do some sort of separation protocol with your younger dog. Start taking her on her own outings, start training her separately from your other dog and maybe enroll her in her own classes. Make sure she has a lot of positive experiences away from him. I would also treat it like she has separation anxiety and just start separating them while you're home and feeding her treats for staying calm that sort of thing.

If you plan on euthanizing your other dog, I would take her with you and bring her in to see him after it's over so that she can say goodbye. We did that with our family dogs and it seemed to really help our other dog to understand that she was gone.

((hugs))
ZoesMom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 10:41 AM
  #8
Senior Member
 
jaragr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 103
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I know I sound selfish, but I am trying to prepare myself for the loss of my companion. Since I have 5 dogs, I'm grateful they will have each other. My 12 year old is having seizures, so I am preparing myself for the worse. I am so sorry for the predicament you're in. You can cry to me when the time comes - I'm already doing that.
jaragr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 10:44 AM
  #9
Senior Member
 
jaragr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 103
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
That's good idea. Then you can cry in to her fur and hold her tight. Sorry - I am so emotional as I just watch my dog go through another seizure this morning.
jaragr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2016, 06:03 PM
  #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Thanks all. I haven't stopped crying since i found out - I kind of wish I had not found out. Other than the symptoms he had the other day - which lasted for about 3 hours - there has been little sign of any illness. He coughs in the evenings - but it is only a couple of coughs. Til 6 weeks ago he was doing a 3 hour bushwalk every day, but I noticed he was stumbling half way into the walk, so have reduced it to an hour and in the park not the bush (I live in the hills so a bush walk is quite arduous)

I now have to decide whether to put him on steroids. I am worried that the steroids will kill him before the cancer. As he has no symptoms I am worried that the advice of my vet -medicate- will shorten his life. What an awful decision to have to make on my own.

My heart goes out to you jaragr. And ZoesMum, that is great advice, I will definately try that.
jaragr and ZoesMom like this.
Lin888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Dog Stairs - Dog Steps - Quality Pet Products
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Not emergency. I am a first dog owner. Want to prepare myself. thaianh Dog Health 4 01-21-2016 12:30 PM
Breed for sea kayaking companion? Buck13 General Dog Discussion 8 12-07-2015 09:46 PM
URGH! (Long vet rant! Prepare yourself!) cos General Dog Discussion 36 12-06-2015 02:33 PM


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.