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|05-20-2009, 05:09 AM||#1|
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Las Vegas
How To Help Your Pet Cope With The Loss Of Another Pet
When our Spike died, unfortunately his mate, Gypsy, was at his side and had to watch helplessly as the only other four legged friend she had ever known drowned in our swimming pool. As if the loss of our little Spike wasn't already devestating enough for my wife and I, our hearts were once again broken as we watched poor 11 month old Gypsy watch and wait for the return of her friend, mentor and soul mate, Spike. For days she would lay on their blanket and stare out the door, or look hopefully into the pool or around the back yard for Spike. If a dog barked, she waited to chime in with Spike... but he never barked. So she would sit back down on their blanket and painfully wait... And wait... And wait... Not eating, barely drinking and mope...
Our family has been forever rocked by this accident and I have been searching for some intellegent advise to help us to help Gypsy get past this event... I hope this information may be of some help to others who are also in our situation.
I also would like to thank the many kind hearted members here at YT for their compassion and overwhelming support! Your thoughts, prayers and kind words have helped my family more than you might imagine possible and we want to sincerely thank you all from the very bottoms of our hearts! Carie - Tom - Gypsy & Junior...
How To Help Your Pet Cope With The Loss Of Another Pet
Coping with the death of a beloved pet is very difficult for all of us, requiring lengthy sessions of grieving, feelings of emptiness and not just a few tears. But we often forget that the struggle is also difficult for a surviving pet who has lost a companion. Even if your pets did not seem incredibly close, they undoubtedly formed a stronger bond than was visibly obvious. Very likely you can see signs of grieving and sadness in your pet's behavior. We owe our pets all the support and love we can offer in their time of need; haven't they been there to support and love us?
<LI HNmB1="0" w7RoC="1">Show the dead pet's body to your surviving pet, when possible. Allowing your surviving pet this opportunity can ease her potential anxiety and make the mourning period smoother.
How can you tell if your pet is grieving?
<LI HNmB1="0" w7RoC="0">You may notice a loss of appetite and enthusiasm for food and water.
<LI HNmB1="0" w7RoC="0">Some pets may wander the house restlessly. <LI HNmB1="0" w7RoC="0">Grieving pets may exhibit a lack of energy and spend more time alone. Often pet owners notice increased vocalizations that often sound desperate or mournful, as in a whine or a howl.
<LI HNmB1="0" w7RoC="1">Shower your grieving with loving attention. Now more than ever, he needs to feel loved by you. This is the most important step you can take to help your grieving pet cope with another pet's death. Spend more time with your pet. If the furry friend is on his own, sit down with him and pet him, or bring him to where you were and encourage him to stay. <LI HNmB1="0" w7RoC="1">Pets read and often adopt your mood. It's true - when you are sad, your pet knows it and your sadness might affect her mood. This is not to suggest that you try to circumvent your own natural grieving process. Grieving is a part of healing, after all. But when you talk to your surviving pet, be as cheerful and buoyant as possible. You are so central to your pet's life that this gesture alone can bring comfort to your pet's heart. <LI HNmB1="0" w7RoC="1">Should you alter your pet's routine? You might feel a temptation to do so, especially if your pet is eating less and seems sadly unenergetic. But try not to shake up your routine too drastically at this time, because the normal routine already isn't what it used to be. You should still offer food and water at the same times, and in the same place as before. You should also still make yourself available to your pet at roughly the same times that have become customary to your pet. However, there are some helpful ways to alter your pet's routine. Think about the activities that your pet has traditionally enjoyed greatly - perhaps going for walks, or playing with a mouse toy - and make an effort to entertain your pet with these activities on a daily basis. If they already were part of your pet's daily routine, then provide your companion with a little more of these activities. A pet recovers in similar ways as a person, after all; when stress is weighing heavily on our minds, don't we sometimes find relief in jogging, yard work or maybe even video games?
Should you get another pet to replace the other one? For some of the same reasons articulated before, this is most likely not the best way to comfort your grieving pet after the loss of another pet. Remember the rule about routine in this emotionally turbulent time. Introducing a new companion at this point could leave your old pet utterly confused and rattled. But beyond that, the decision to welcome a new pet is one to be made in the kind of sober, clear-headed state that's probably not possible immediately following the death of a pet. It wouldn't be fair for the new pet to be treated as a replacement, and could lead to heartache on your part when it becomes clear that there is no replacing a departed pet. Pets both new and old will detect that disappointment and not know how to make sense of it.
The best medicine for your pet's recovery is your loving attention. Provide love, stability and recreation for your pet as she naturally grieves for her lost companion, and you will discover that, just as naturally, she will emerge from that grieving happily by your side.
|05-20-2009, 05:47 AM||#2|
Donating YT 30K Club Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Blog Entries: 6
Thanks for the great information. I lost my 12 year old pom in February and my little Pixie came in from day one, 2 years ago and decided she as going to be Maya's keeper. Maya never liked other dogs and coexisted with Cali my other Yorkie but never let her get close. Pixie could and would always lay right in front of Maya with her little butt squeezed in between Maya's front legs. If Maya so much as moved Pixie alerted me by barking like crazy and kicking her back feet. Pixie always slept with an eye open and ready to alert me to Maya's slightest need. When Maya had to go to the Rainbow bridge it happened very quickly and I didn't have time to really figure out what to do to help Pixie. I thought of bringing her to the vets while we let her go, but was afraid Pixie would then associate the vet with Maya never coming back. For many weeks Pixie would run to the door everytime someone came home and when I came in she would be all excited and be looking in my arms to see if Maya was in them. She definitley went thru a grieving period. About 4 weeks after we started noticing changes in Pixie. She would sleep so soundly that we would have to gently shake her to wake her, we think she had not slept soundly since coming to us so she could watch over Maya. She started playing with toys and became very snuggly with me. Now every morning she comes over and lays her head next to mine and waits for me to open my eyes and then just snuggles up for awhile. Even today if we mention Maya's name she jumps up. I think it helped that when Maya passded we had 3 others so they were not only dogs all of a sudden.
It has to be so hard for Gypsy seeing her buddy like that and with extra TLC she will come out of this tragedy ok. My heart goes out to you as you continue your journey of grieving. Somedays I just get so sad when I think of Maya.
Cali Pixie Roxie : RIP Nikki; RIP Maya;RIP my sweet Dixie girl 1/17/08