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Old 11-13-2012, 09:07 PM
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Need advice from dog lovers

Hi,

I am hoping for some advice from pet owners.

I have never had a pet since my family never had much money and my exposure to pets is through my friends. Recently, I started dating a man with a pet dog. He grew up with pets since childhood. But, more than that, he suffers from a chronic illness (since he was 12) and his pet was literally his savior in healing from surgeries and not letting his depression get the best of him.

His pet, Sweetie, is an elderly sweet dog who is easy for even a person who has never had a pet connect to. Plus, she is an emotional dog who has PTSD, a rescued dog.

Anyway, I need advice...

We just came home from Vegas with his sis and dad. He left Sweetie with his brother in law and warned him about how she will be upset about being left and is an escape artist. She needs to be watched like a two year old. For example, we were napping once and she got bored and kept sticking her face in ours. So, he led her out of the bedroom and closed the door. She still managed to open the outside door and ran away! we had to chase her for one and a half blocks!

Anyway, the bro in law agreed to take care of her. However, as one might expect, she ran away and we haven't found her yet. To make it worse, she is old and on medication.

My boyfriend suspects that she is dead because of her health, the fact that she didn't know her way home, and that we live in one of the dog friendliest cities in America, Portland, OR.

He is wracked with guilt, plus a complication is that his family hid it from him for four days. eventually, though, much grief is also going to set in.

I believe that losing a pet is different from losing a human loved one. People haave conflicts, even in the healthiest of relationships, plus the nature of the relationship must be different in ways that I can't even begin to understand as only a friend of other people's pets and not having one, myself.

If anyone has any advice, at all, for me on how I can support him and help him with his pain, I'd be grateful.

Thank you for your time.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:56 PM
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I am so sorry to hear that! Honestly, losing a pet brings the same emotions that losing a beloved friend would because they are beloved friends. Especially when they bring us through difficult times in life. The best thing to do would be to keep looking for her. And if you don't find her, honestly, getting a new dog can help to heal. There is no way that you could EVER replace a dog, but getting a new one can help to fill a part of you that is missing. If you have such a deep connection to your dog, then having another deep and meaningful connection can help ease the pain. I sincerely hope that you find her. Post everywhere, craigslist, findfido, forums, facebook... everywhere that you can. And call every shelter/rescue/vet to see if they know where she might be. Good luck.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:45 PM
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I am so sorry to hear that! Honestly, losing a pet brings the same emotions that losing a beloved friend would because they are beloved friends. Especially when they bring us through difficult times in life. The best thing to do would be to keep looking for her. And if you don't find her, honestly, getting a new dog can help to heal. There is no way that you could EVER replace a dog, but getting a new one can help to fill a part of you that is missing. If you have such a deep connection to your dog, then having another deep and meaningful connection can help ease the pain. I sincerely hope that you find her. Post everywhere, craigslist, findfido, forums, facebook... everywhere that you can. And call every shelter/rescue/vet to see if they know where she might be. Good luck.
Thank you so much for your reply!

I'm glad to know that I'm not overthinking the difference between losing a pet and a friend.

He has posted ads, notes at all the vets, went to the shelter, etc. We're hoping but it's been five days

He is pretty resigned, tortured, in fact, that she's gone. If no one found her and called him, his number is on her collar, she has either been readopted, but more likely, dead in a ditch. It sounds realistic, what he is saying so I don't know what to say to make him feel better. Hopefully he is wrong but that is kind of insulting to say when faced with the facts.

I am glad you brought up the idea of a new pet. I was afraid that it might be an ignorant, insensitive thing for me to think that getting a new pet might help. I think it is too soon to suggest that now, but i'd love to hear what you think...how to bring it up, when to even suggest it.

In the meantime, we can't think of anything that may help other than distraction through TV while hoping to hear something.

By the way, if there is anything you can suggest as far as finding her goes...

We checked the animal shelter, posted ads, went to local vets to post signs, and checked the section of a paper that reports deceased pets that were found. I'm going to look at findfido.com because I haven't heard of it. Feeling like we've done everything we can to find her should help, hopefully.

Thanks for your sympathy and suggestion about another pet.

Last edited by Belladonna; 11-13-2012 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:15 AM
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I am so sorry that this happened.

How long has she been gone? Was she chipped or wearing tags?

I guess I would just make sure you covered all the clinics, and that you keep checking at the shelters. Sometimes people keep a dog for a while to take care of them but then decide it won't work out and take them to the shelter. And canvas the neighborhood again and expand the perimeter--they can travel far, fast. I would also check at nearby cities since sometimes people who pick them up live elsewhere.

Also, I hate to suggest it, but maybe shelters will check their euthanasia lists for you.... I don't know what policies are on that.

There are some "amber alert" like pet services available, too.

Good luck. I hope you are able to find. And in the worst case scenario, you might at least get some closure.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:50 AM
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It is hard because it has been five days now, there isn't anyway to guess where she might've gone since she was in an unfamiliar neighborhood. She is chipped, but it is unreadable now. I'll suggest not giving up looking in shelters, I hadn't thought of how someone might return her after trying to take care of her, esp since she has trouble walking without her medication.

Thanks!

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I am so sorry that this happened.

How long has she been gone? Was she chipped or wearing tags?

I guess I would just make sure you covered all the clinics, and that you keep checking at the shelters. Sometimes people keep a dog for a while to take care of them but then decide it won't work out and take them to the shelter. And canvas the neighborhood again and expand the perimeter--they can travel far, fast. I would also check at nearby cities since sometimes people who pick them up live elsewhere.

Also, I hate to suggest it, but maybe shelters will check their euthanasia lists for you.... I don't know what policies are on that.

There are some "amber alert" like pet services available, too.

Good luck. I hope you are able to find. And in the worst case scenario, you might at least get some closure.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:43 PM
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It is a miracle! We found Sweetie today, over a week!

I want to thank all of you for your advice and support!
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:06 PM
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Oh wow! That's amazing! How did you find her?
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:12 PM
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That is AWESOME. So glad.

Where did you find her?

(Thanks for not giving up on her!)
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:59 AM
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That is AWESOME. So glad.

Where did you find her?

(Thanks for not giving up on her!)
She was found at a construction site. She had probably stayed in the brush area so no one found her now. Many of the workers who found her own dogs so they fed her.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:25 AM
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Well I'm happy she's safe and sound at home again.

And yes, people finding and keeping strays happens, which is why I always suggest an extended period of time for checking at shelters.

Btw, you mentioned her chip doesn't work. Do you know why? I have never heard of them going bad.... Wonder if I should have our oldest dogs checked/scanned.....
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