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Sad q: One dog to be PTS. Should other dog be allowed to see the body?

(9 Posts)
Quodlibet Tue 16-Nov-10 11:01:47

I don't know if anyone will have any advice on this.

We have two very old dogs, both over 14 years who have lived together their whole lives, although they have become quite independent of each other in their older age. One of our lovely girls is finally to be PTS at home tomorrow, as been suffering for a long time with bad arthritis, and now she's stopped really eating and my parents (with whom the dogs live) think she has had enough. I'm going down to say goodbye too.

We won't let the other dog be present while she is being PTS, but would it help the remaining dog make sense of the loss/death/absence if she is allowed to see and sniff the body afterwards if she wants to? Or am I over thinking this? It's possible she won't really be affected by the loss but we'd like to know what the best thing to do is.

Thanks for any advice in advance.

FlameGrilledMama Tue 16-Nov-10 11:15:09

No advice but I am sad for your situation.

WhereTheWildThingsWere Tue 16-Nov-10 12:53:42

I knew I had read something about this so I have just been to check.

I have a book written by APBC member Sara Whittaker and she reccomends that when two dogs have been very close it is helpful to do as you suggest and allowing the remaining dog to see the body.

I would think as you will be at home too this wil be fairly easy on the dog. I would suggest though that the people present when you do it are as calm as is humanly possible (I realise this will be hard) and that anyone who is very distressed at the dog's passing leaves the room first.

Sorry for your sad situationsad.

notapizzaeater Tue 16-Nov-10 12:57:14

sorry for you situation.

My cat had kittens many years ago and the kittens all died (virus - night was OK - woke up and all dead) We immediatly removed them (to the vets to see what had happened) and the mummy cat went nuts for weeks looking for them. With hindsight I should have left them for her to see and understand.

frostyfingers Tue 16-Nov-10 14:26:55

Yes, I think it's the right thing to do. I've done it with horses and I may be anthromorphising (spelling?) but I think it helps them make sense of where their companion has gone.

dreamingofsun Tue 16-Nov-10 15:15:09

vet advised what you suggest for someone else i know. i guess that they accept death as part of the natural scheme of things and pine that the dog is just lost otherwise

poor you.

minimu1 Tue 16-Nov-10 16:06:08

Yep if the dog is being pts at home I would let the other dog see the dog. It is very likely that if the dog is old the other one will not be affected by the death - they seem to have a sixth sense about this.

So sorry for you sad

Quodlibet Tue 16-Nov-10 20:31:20

Thanks for all the advice, it makes sense to me to do this but my dad is not sure if seeing would just upset the other dog.

Thanks too for the support. It is made a bit more bearable by it being very clearly the right time to let go - she has deteriorated quite a lot since I last saw her and we've all agreed the light has gone out in her eyes. We've all agreed 'better a week too early than a day too late' and it's very obviously now the kindest thing to do for her.

WoodRose Tue 16-Nov-10 22:07:09

Firstly, I am so sorry for your situation.sad One of our elderly collies died at home this summer. She had been unwell -although not in pain - for some time. She and our remaining dog had lived together for 12 years. We encouraged our remaining dog to sniff our dead dog's body. He was quite subdued for a few weeks afterwards, but he didn't search for her.

I agree with Minimu that dogs sense when their canine companion is ready to die. Recently, we experienced another loss when the dog we rescued after our the death of our collie died suddenly. He was a young, seemingly healthy dog. Although we had him only for 2 months, his death seems to have affected our remaining dog much more. Again, he was present when our young dog died and although he has not been searching for him he has been uncharacteristically clingy with us and keen to sniff and snuggle on our young dog's blanket.

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