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Advice passed away last Mon

(20 Posts)
iwantalittleone Wed 03-Apr-13 15:45:10

Hi all

Very sadly, last week our 10 year female Lab went in for an operation and didn't pull through. We also have a 5 year old male Cavalier King Charles who has always had his best buddy by his side, he's never been left alone.

Has anyone been in a similar situation, should we get him a friend? If so, help on sex, breed, age etc would be much appreciated. I don't want him to be sad but don't know what to do for the best.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 03-Apr-13 16:05:03

I would wait for a bit to see how he is. Some dogs are actually happier after their older companion has gone almost as if they always wanted to be only dogs.

MrsVamos Wed 03-Apr-13 16:07:36


I'm so sorry you lost your girl. (((HUG)))

I am going through the same thing. I had to have my old boy pts 3 weeks ago tomorrow, heartbreaking.

We started off with 2 dogs, girl and a boy, like you. Ours were 2 years apart. When we lost our old girl, 2 years ago, our boy really seemed to feel it. He looked so sad, and it was if a bit of 'life' had gone out of him. I suppose it's completely understandable, they had been together for over a decade !

Our instinct was to get another dog, but not immediately, and not just because we felt he needed a friend. We did feel he needed a friend, but we were also very cautious as he was getting older himself, so did not want to upset him in his later years.

It's hard to explain, you can only do what's right for you, and your dog. We got a puppy, who is a completely different breed about 14 months after our girl died. We had a lovely breeder who completely understood our situation, and was more than prepared to have pup back if she didn't get on with our boy.

She settled in really well, and our boy was very accepting of her, and was actually very helpful in teaching her how to behave ! They certainly didn't have the relationship that the original dogs had, but I never expected them to, they did get on really well, it wasn't just a tolerance thing, I think she perked him up a bit, and he realised life can be fun...

As I said, we lost him 3 weeks ago, quite suddenly but half expected, if you know what I mean...puppy is now over a year old. I think she misses him, but not as much as he did when we lost our original girl...I'm sorry if I'm not making much sense ?

Because we have only had her a relatively short time compared to the other 2 dogs, and because her time with him was shorter, I don't think she feels his absence so much, as she has us all to herself the gap that may have been left has been filled, but by us.

We're not getting another dog, not just in relation to her but expenses etc as well, I really wouldn't want to encourage you one way or another, just say that it has to be your decision, as long as you are aware of all the pitfalls that can happen, then only you can decide what's best/right.

Your boy might not want to accept another dog, and may grow to love being the only dog ?

It's such a hard decision, because some people will say yes, with good reasons and some will say no, with good reasons. Only you and your family can decide, and perhaps try and see what happens ? You know your boy best, his temperament etc...would he tolerate a new face ?

I would also say, allow yourselves time to grieve, fluffy boy included. It may be that you are thinking about it too quickly, and bad decisions can be made, which then become a nightmare !

It may be that over time he will give you the answer you are looking for ? He may be perfectly thrilled to be the only dog, and have you and the family devoting yourselves to him ?!

I'm not sure I'm best placed to advise about breeds/sex etc, I can only offer an opinion, but if you want to chat further I'm here.

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 03-Apr-13 16:10:12

I am sorry for your loss. How does your dog seem? I think my two sort of tolerate each other, although only had JRT2 for a year and JRT1 is 6. I think if YOU want another dog then get one - what about a rescue? So not a puppy that will be too much for your older dog. I think if i lost one of mine i would get another dog fairly promptly. I always only had single dogs before this pair and they really enjoy each others company (well they SEEM to enjoy the playfights!) so i feel less guilty when i have to go out.

How about walking him with a friend who has dogs to see how he gets on with another dog?

EyePad Wed 03-Apr-13 16:12:47

Sorry you are going through this OP. In answer to your question, we were in a similar suitation ourselves. We had to get another dog. There was no way we could watch the pining from our remaining dog, and it was the best thing we ever did. A new lease of life, for everyone.

MrsVamos Wed 03-Apr-13 16:19:53

It's hard, isn't it EyePad ?

Our boy cheered up when we got our pup, but now I feel guilty that getting pup was the wrong thing, during his last couple of years, did he feel pushed out etc...

I know that's the grief and all that, and the way old boy went was in no way related to pup, but it doesn't make the feelings go away. sad

I also waver with regard to another dog. The expense, for one is a huge factor, and I'm hoping that as our girl is still young, she won't be so bothered, as she has us. But I do worry that perhaps she should have a friend, and then I think, blimey, the heartache you are setting up for dog and yourselves when they then go.

Maybe I'm too soft, and think too much in relation to human feelings, and not dog ones ?

iwantalittleone Wed 03-Apr-13 16:20:36

Thank you for your replies.

MrsVamos. I completely understand what you mean about the 'life' going out of him, it feels as though he has aged over night, he's totally lost at the moment without her. I wish he could tell me how he's feeling! I keep thinking that a puppy would show him he can still have fun but I know we mustn't rush into anything.

The worry about him plus grieving for our big girl is really difficult, I never imagined this would affect me as much as it has!

iwantalittleone Wed 03-Apr-13 16:25:25

Lucy...95 - Thank you, he seems so sad and lonely. He doesn't really want to go for walks and sticks close by when off his lead rather than running off like he used to. It's hearbreaking to watch. He was such a cheeky little thing before. He meets other dogs on walks and seems timid more than anything, he doesn't have his big sis as back up anymore and he knows it :-(

Eyepad - How long did you leave it before getting another dog? How did you decide what to go for? We can't stop debating about puppy/ younger dog/older rescue....boy/girl...etc...

MrsVamos Wed 03-Apr-13 16:32:48

It's just like that, iwantalittleone.

I think that's what pup did for our boy, let him see that life was fun again...yet....(see second post !)

The grief is immense, it affects you hugely. That's another thing putting me off getting another dog, the heartbreak.

Our house just isn't the same without either of our older dogs. I suppose you have to just get on with it, and remember them with fond memories, but my word it's painful !

I feel a bit daft saying things like that, I had a stillborn little boy nearly 10 years ago, and the grief is akin to that. It's very real, your pets are family members. I know some people say that you cannot equate human loss with pet loss, but very often pets are much closer to you than humans, they don't ask for anything other than to be cared for and fed and walked...

I think as far as your boy goes, let him grieve, but also remind him that life can be fun, make extra fuss of him, maybe go on a different route for a walk, who knows what dogs think ?

Did he see your girl after she died ? I know that it's recommended, so that the pets 'accept' the death, but it's not always possible. That's what I mean about a different walk, maybe he thinks he will find her ?

It's horrible. Lots of love to you all. xxx

Floralnomad Wed 03-Apr-13 17:12:20

My mum had a slightly different situation as she had 2 rescue puppies that grew up together ( totally unrelated but couldn't choose between them so had both) . The boy unfortunately died when he was 11 and the girl did seem quite sad . My mum decided to get a puppy ( again ended up with 2 but for a different reason) and the elderly dog hated them . We ended up with the puppies only being allowed in the living room when they could be completely supervised and the elderly dog living in the living room and only venturing into the puppies part if the house with a human companion . The old dog eventually had to be PTS about 3 years later because of an invasive lung tumour but it was a nightmare trying to organise them all for those few years but was unfair to make her put up with them when she obviously didnt want to . Perhaps you could give it a while and then perhaps foster a dog for a while and see how it goes ,at least that way you could give it back if your dog doesn't like it .

EyePad Wed 03-Apr-13 17:19:48

We lasted 2 weeks. I thought my old dog would die of a broken heart, he constantly looked for the other dog and it was awful to see. So, 2 weeks later we chose a pup, but then had to wait a further 4 weeks to get him because he was only 4 weeks when we chose him. So all in all, my old dog was on his own for 6 weeks.

He adored the puppy from day one, and although he is now an old man, he loves his walks and sometimes just enjoys watching the young one being mad in the garden. It was the right thing for us. (springer spaniels)

iwantalittleone Wed 03-Apr-13 17:59:17

Yes MrsVamos we took him to see her, after the vet advised us to, he sat on her head! No change from the usual :-) it's little things like that that ease the pain! Thank you for your kind words and I'm so sorry I haven't said this already...sorry for your loss.

Fostering a dog sounds a good idea too Floral, thank you.

Eyepad, that is honestly how I feel too, although we have just been for a walk and the little fella had a slight trot in his step again. Good signs!

EyePad Wed 03-Apr-13 18:51:33

I think every scenario is different. And you both need to play it by ear really, sort of watch and wait kind of thing.

It is an awful time though and I really feel for you. I originally had 3 dogs all from a young age and they were all together for 10 years, we lost one, and the 2 remaining ones seemed to get over their grief, but when the second one went, the remaining dog just didn't seem to want to carry on, so our decision was swift, and the right one for us.

Hope you are both ok, mrsV and Iwant x

iwantalittleone Wed 03-Apr-13 19:19:50

Thank you, I will let you know what we decide to do. It's really helped being able to type it out, just un-jumbled my brain a little! x

Scuttlebutter Wed 03-Apr-13 19:28:01

Just seen this OP, and just wanted to post. We lost two of our three elderly greys in rapid succession last year, and the remaining boy was very forlorn. We ended up with some new dogs coming in but we were very worried about him for a while - he was definitely grieving and he was quite depressed until about Christmas. Then he began to turn the corner, and we had a lovely breakthrough a few days ago in fact - he was trying to get our other male to play with him (lots of play bows, running in circles etc) - so nice to see. As others have said, just give it time, and if at all possible it's nice if you can find a doggy friend or two to go on walks with, play with etc. I think you will know when you are ready for another dog. smile

MrsVamos Wed 03-Apr-13 20:15:45

Thanks so much for your kind words, iwant and EyePad. <wipes tears>

It just feels so strange being a 1 dog family, having always been 2. It also feels very odd after nearly 15 years of being owners of a certain breed to now not be. It's one of those things that I cannot see myself ever having another of that breed, as illogical as it may seem, the new dog/s may not live up to what we had. I know that's probably daft, and that my feelings may change, but my old girl and boy really were dogs is a million, and it would feel too much like we were 'replacing' them.

I know it would be unfair, but I also know I would also be thinking "ooh, she/he isn't like girl/boy was" and comparing them. That's why when we got pup we went for a completely different (but just as lovely) breed.

She is helping to ease the loss, she is brilliant with all of us, adores the children, so hopefully we go into a new stage of dog ownership with a bright future.

Time is a healer as they say, and maybe one day we may re-think things, we'll just have to see. You may at some point in the future be telling me off and recalling that I said no more !

EyePad Wed 03-Apr-13 20:24:14

I know exactly what you mean about feeling you are 'replacing' them, which we know deep down is not what we are doing. Our friends are irreplaceable. I went for the same breed, just because I love the breed, and the love I have for the younger one is now as strong as the love I had for the 2 we have lost and the one who remains. It took a while (especially through the pissing everywhere and chewing stage!), but here I am again, besotted and full of love for yet another one!

MrsVamos Wed 03-Apr-13 20:33:17

See, you shouldn't say things like that, Eye, I shall be contacting breeders and things before you know it. blush

I feel awful that I don't feel for pup what I felt for my first girl, don't get me wrong, I love her dearly, and she is a delight, and blimey, she does as she's told, which is a novelty ! but she's not 'my' girl, if you know what I mean.

Maybe it's because me and my girl went through so much together, I don't was always my girl and DH's boy, although it was very odd that towards the end, all old boy wanted was Mum - me !

Our pup (whose not so much a pup anymore) was brilliant at the toilet training etc. I have to say though, we did have a lovely wooden bed frame until pup came along, and I also have chairs around the dining table that were clearly perfect for teething troubles. grin

She has stolen my heart, just not quite in the same way. I am sure she will though, given time, she is a lovely little soul, very noisy expressive, which helps !

iwantalittleone Wed 03-Apr-13 21:45:40

Scuttle - it's so nice to hear your dog has turned the corner, it must be a brilliant feeling, I must say after this evening's walk, seeing a little trot in his step has made me feel a bit better!

MrsV - I understand what you mean about going from a 2 dog to a 1 dog family, very strange feeling! For us the big girl was always DP's, he had her since she was a puppy, I met her when she was 4 and the little one is a real mummy's boy. DP has already said he will never have the same connection with another dog, but I've explained that's not what another dog is for. We have brilliant memories of our girl and if we do get a new dog plenty more memories to make, not to replace.

MrsVamos Wed 03-Apr-13 21:58:31

I like that, iwant. smile

"More memories to make, not replace".

It's the fact that their presence is gone too, I think. You get so used to them just being there, it feels so wrong when they're not.

The house has more room, but feels smaller. Daft.

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