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Old 10-22-2006, 11:58 AM
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What to do for the surviving pet who is grieving?

I am not sure what to do with my surviving 8 year old chihuahua who is grieving the death of his 13 1/2 year old uncle. Jet-Bo became violently ill about a week ago and we put him to sleep on Tuesday, 5 days ago. Poncho, his nephew just mops around and he will not eat. I have been giving him treats, which he will take, but it isn't good for him. Today I decided to stop giving him the treats, with the exception of when I have to give him his anti-biotics so that maybe he will get hungry enough to eat. The second problem is that Poncho is a daddy's boy and daddy works 3 1/2 hours away and can only come visit every so often. He plans on coming in tonight. I hope that will improve Poncho's spirits.

I have read that if the surviving animal never sees the deceased pet, there is an uncertainty. Jet-Bo will be cremated and is in the freezer at the Vet's office. I am wondering if I should call the Vet and see if Poncho can see Jet-Bo for closure or what else I can do to help him. It is totally crushing me to see Poncho like this. I know he is hurting emotionally. The only thing I have been able to do it hold him, kiss him, pet him, and give him treats. I don't know anything about animal psychology, but with humans, the best thing is to get them to exercise to get their autonomic nervous systems working to release "feel good" chemicals.

I basically need ideas on what to do. I have never lost a pet that I loved as much as this pet. Poncho is a follower and he would never go outside and potty unless Jet-Bo would go with him. He would also wait until Jet-Bo ate to eat himself. I don't know if this means anything or not. I'd appreciate any advice.
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Old 10-22-2006, 12:14 PM
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DeBora, I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this. I know that your dogs are your kids too.

I am sorry that I do not have any advice to give to you but I wanted to give you a hug and let you know that I am here for support.

Hugs,
Tami
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Old 10-22-2006, 12:27 PM
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Thanks Tami. It is very much appreciated.
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Old 10-22-2006, 04:23 PM
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DeBora - I had two thoughts. One is kind of extreme and I don't think you can do it in the trailer court but the other might help.

I used to have a follower dog. The only way I could teach her to pee outside (in the rain or otherwise) was to go myself. I had to wait until the dark of night without a moon rise but once or twice and she got the idea. Sorry I know this is odd but she was a really messed up dog because of the previous owners' abuses and this was a last resort to help her.

The second thing is that once the ashes come home, Poncho will get it. Dog's noses are really sensitive. Could Poncho get some comfort until then from sleeping with Jet Bo's blanket or wearing his coat, using his leash? the familiar smell thing would be with him all the time then.
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Old 10-22-2006, 04:35 PM
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I actually do not think your ideas are weird. I have given Poncho, Jet-Bo's blanky and he refuses to go near it! We brought home from our trip with a new blanky for the boys (which Jet-Bo never got to use). That is the only blanky Poncho will lay on. We had 3 blankies that the boys used. Jet-Bo is with one and the other 2 are here. I have been sleeping with the one that has the Jet-Bo odor. The other blanky had to be washed as there was a lot of vomit on it. I am going to call the Vet tomorrow and see if she thinks that Poncho would be allowed to smell Jet-Bo before he is taken to the crematory (sp). I am also hoping that Poncho will perk up when his daddy comes down tonight.


Ellen, do you think that the ashes will still have Jet-Bo's odor on them? That has been my fear is that they will no longer smell like him and after Tuesday morning, we will no longer have the chance to smell Jet-Bo. Does that make sense? Then again, the Vet may not want us up there to sniff around their freezer. lol Thanks for the advice. I sure am open for ideas.

Out of curiousity, what is your extreme idea? We are going to Carlsbad the week of Thanksgiving and if Poncho doesn't get better, I may send him home with his daddy since he is such a daddy's boy.
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:08 PM
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Oh I thought peeing outside to show the dog how to do it (where and that the alpha female says it is okay) was odd enough!

I think you might express to the vet your concerns. I bet it isn't the first time he has heard it and they might just let you rub something on the urn or let Poncho smell the freezer....ask them what they recommend.
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:41 PM
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Ellen, thanks. I plan on calling her first thing in the morning. DH will be here in about an hour. I have already told Poncho and he has perked up a little bit. I know "Daddy" will be good medicine.
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Old 11-01-2006, 02:44 PM
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Humble

I'm so very sorry to hear about your loss. I have 2 elderly pets of my own, and I often wonder what will happen when one of them passes on.

My suggestion sounds a little radical (although not nearly as strange as teaching a dog to pee outside), but I wonder if you should get a puppy. Many older animals get very maternal (whether or not they are female) with a "baby". Although your dog definitely misses his uncle, he is probably more lonely than anything else. A puppy (I would suggest a small breed, since your dog is tiny) is naturally affectionate and distracting -- which might be just what your dog needs. Puppies are not usually viewed as a "threat" by an older dog -- which is why I wouldn't suggest adopting an adult dog.

I hope that time makes the loss easier to bear for you all. Good luck.
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Old 11-01-2006, 02:57 PM
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Thanks. I got a chihuahua (same breed that passed away and that I have surviving). He is very outgoing just as the last one was. Poncho initially liked him, but is not just putting up with him. Poncho has never liked to play even with Jet-Bo, so you can imagine what he is like with an ever energetic puppy! lol I know that the puppy, that I named, Bonte, has helped me as I cuddled with Jet-Bo when I got home and now I have someone who loves to snuggle with. I also have been giving Poncho as much attention as possible.
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:13 AM
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We just put one of our dogs to sleep on the 21st. It was an unexpected event and very hard to do. Our remaining dog, Blair, wouldn't eat her food and just laid around all day. Didn't even want to chase birdies. We have kind of spoiled her, giving her more attention. Lots of walks, cuddling. hard to do with a 70 lb. dog! She also wouldn't eat, so we mixed canned food into her dried and she loved that. Little by little she is coming around. This morning she wanted to chase birds! I would recommend speaking with you vet. He/she will have some ideas for you. Our vet told us to call is we needed any help with Blair. So far we haven't had too.
I feel for you. This is the 2nd time we have had to put a dog down due to illness in the last 7 years. Never easy. My sympathy to you and your family for your loss. It will get better and shower your remaining pet with as much love as you can possibly give.
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