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Hi

It's been a rough year at our house and the stress is wearing on all. My husband died last September following a long battle with cancer. Our two border collies were a huge source of comfort and normality for us during his illness.

Following my husband's death our male dog, one we'd had since he was a pup, developed a tendency to wander away, usually staying within the neighborhood. I assume we was looking for my husband. We recently went away for a couple of weeks leaving both dogs with a family friend. After we left the wanderer seemed fine and the other retreated to a closet hiding out for a few days until she became comfortable with the situation. This one was a rescue and had a pretty tough life prior to coming to our family. She adapted well to us and while she has a few residual habits from her prior life (she licks when she's nervous) she loved having another dog around.

Sadly our wanderer got away while we were gone and the pet sitter wasn't aware that it had happened until the following day (wont get in to the details as there are a LOT of unaswered questions). As hard as it was to be out of the country and unable to search myself, An army of friends and family members raced to find for the missing pup. After two days he was found deceased, apparently struck by a vehicle not far from the house where we was staying. We were heart broken and coming home to retrieve only one pup was difficult for all of us.

Since we arrived home our remaining pup has becoming increasingly timid, often shaking. There is a lot of distruption in the house as we have workers in doing some repairs and we have temporarily moved to the lower level while the repairs are completed.

It seems that the cumulative effect of losing my husband, heading off to the pet sitter, losing her companion and moving to the basement has been too much for this little girl. We are moving in a few weeks and I am concerned about how she will take this additional transition. What can I do to help calm her down now and to assure she recovers after the upcoming move?

Worried pup parent
 

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I'm so sorry about the loss of your husband and your dog ((((HUGS))))

It sounds like your other girl is having a tough time coping with so many changes in her life, it would be hard on any dog but for a timid one it is eve worse. She may also looked to your other dog for cues on how to behave in different situations so the loss of him is making everything especially tough for her.

I'd talk to your vet about getting her medication to help, at least temporarily with the construction and moving. Here's a website where medication for fearful dogs is discussed Medications for fear & anxiety | Fearful Dogs . Keep in mind that some medication will take weeks to make a difference, and others are used on an as need basis. I have my boy on the later for his thunder and fireworks phobia, and it works fast but the effect is not long, if I needed something for more severe anxiety and fear I'd be discussing one of the other medications with my vet.

I know it may be too soon at the moment but also consider getting a second dog, if you get one that has a stable temperament, that gets along with your girl, she may start taking cues on how to act from him or her. If you decide to try that choose carefully because the last thing you need it two dogs with fear and anxiety.
 
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