Younger Dog Bereft at loss of Older Dog.

(19 Posts)
Crunched Fri 27-Dec-19 15:34:47

Our gorgeous springer was necessarily pts on December 8th. It has hit the whole family badly but, in my head and heart, I know it was the right decision for him as he was confused and beginning to struggle physically. My problem is my 5 yo dog. He came straight from his mother/siblings to our springer and they were always together. Until now, I have been able to ensure he is never alone in the house.However if we leave him to go to another room he charges backwards and forwards, howling and scratching at any closed doors. From Monday I will have to return to my normal routine which means he is alone for two hours in the morning and an hour and a half late afternoon. He is crate trained but now, when I close the door, the howling begins.
Any tips to lessen his loss and save my neighbours sanity? I am still somewhat liable to bursting into tears with missing our old boy, he was 14, but at least I understand he is gone forever.

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AvocadosBeforeMortgages Fri 27-Dec-19 16:26:37

Would doggy day care be an option?

It feels too soon to say this, but do you envisage yourself getting another dog in the medium term?

SlidingIntoForties Fri 27-Dec-19 17:00:55

I'd just take it easy for a bit yet. It's early days, it's been Christmas and you're all still (understandably) upset. I wonder if your dog will settle to single life in time once things start to get back to normal a bit?

Crunched Fri 27-Dec-19 17:18:08

Thanks both. I really want to get to a place where he feels secure, albeit for short periods, alone, as sometimes that is going to be inevitable, so would rather not go down the daycare route.
DH is not keen on committing to another dog, as you say, it is a bit early to think about and, to be responsible owners, we would need to ensure we had the time to introduce a new dog properly.
Perhaps I was being unrealistic about how long my youngster would grieve for. It is heartbreaking to watch him searching.

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IlsaLund Fri 27-Dec-19 22:06:18

We had this situation when our lovely dog was PTS in June.

Our other dog developed separation anxiety and cried and howled when he was left alone.

We used a combination of doggy day care and leaving him for lots of short periods. Luckily it was the start of the summer holidays and we were both off work for 6 weeks.

6 months later he is fine to be left alone for longer periods and has stopped following us around the house.

momtoboys Fri 27-Dec-19 22:08:51

We had the same situation when we lost a dog a few years ago. Our second dog who didn't ever seem to give a darn about dog #1 when he was alive went into mourning. He lost weight, he didn't want to play or eat. It was awful. We went out and got another dog to keep him company and he has been like a young dog ever since (he's 11). He adores this new one and he is so happy.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 27-Dec-19 22:16:26

Would a cat be an option if you can’t commit to another dog?

We got a kitten after older dog died and the younger dog and the kitten are best friends now. Snuggled up on the sofa, etc. They play together, chase each other round the house.


Aardvarkitsabloodyaardvark Fri 27-Dec-19 22:28:40

We lost my gorgeous springer cross this time last year. My young cross breed has adapted well, however we also have a cat that thinks she's a dog brew
I'm thinking another dog too, however, it's not easy to find the perfect mix for a family.

Crunched Fri 27-Dec-19 23:01:14

I’m sure another dog would solve the separation anxiety but I just can’t see that happening for the foreseeable. I never imagined a cat might fit the bill but those examples from VivaLeBeaver and Aardvarkitsabloodyaarkvark are lovely.
I think I will have to expect a longer adjustment period and keep him company wherever possible. I have two friends who went through similar in the last year or so and their remaining dogs apparently sailed through the experience showing no signs of distress. I think this lulled me into a false sense of security.

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VivaLeBeaver Fri 27-Dec-19 23:03:59

They’re honestly fairly besotted with each other. Best buddies. Kitten is now six months old and will be a house cat.

mumofthree321 Sat 28-Dec-19 00:46:52

Dogs grieve loss in the same way we do and it's very easy to forget their are mourning the loss too. Lots of familiarity will help him so when you can try walking him with dogs he knows and in areas he's familiar with. Leaving music on such as a radio with Classic FM can help many dogs as well as settling him with a distraction when you leave the house such as a Kong frozen with yoghurt / dog peanut butter equivalent. Chewing is very calming for dogs and may help keep him busy / settle him whilst you leave. I personally don't use one, but you can get interactive dog cameras so you can keep an eye on him when he's out. This may be a consideration if he is barking/howling when you're out. I'd start with mentally stimulating walk before you leave the house with familiar dogs, then before you leave turn the radio on and give him the Kong. Doggy day care is another great idea if it's a possibility for you. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss for you all x

Crunched Sat 28-Dec-19 18:19:39

What a great photo VivaLeBeaver.
Thank you mumofthree321,I will certainly try those tips.
Here are my two in happier times.

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VivaLeBeaver Sat 28-Dec-19 18:22:23

Oh lovely. Is your other dog a cavachon? Cavapoo?

Crunched Sat 28-Dec-19 18:27:01

He is a Spanish Water Dog.

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IlsaLund Sat 28-Dec-19 19:19:56

What lovely dogs.

We have cats and after years of ignoring them and occasionally growling at them lonely-dog has now tried to befriend them. Sadly for him they remember his distain and growly puppiness and don't want anything g to do with hum

Crunched Sat 28-Dec-19 22:41:18

My heart bleeds for lonely-dog IIsaLund but I guess we can’t really blame the cats for having long memories.

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BiteyShark Sun 29-Dec-19 07:29:09

So sorry OP. It must be heartbreaking to see your other dog so sad as well as your own sadness.

Think about a small doggy daycare or a group walk. I know mine has his pals there and maybe that might be enough for yours to get over losing his friend.

IlsaLund Sun 29-Dec-19 13:58:40

Don't worry crunchy - it's all his own fault and he is very much loved and spoilt by us.

Last night DH broached the puppy conversation and I did laugh and say that all the animals (cats and dogs) would be disgruntled and hate us.

It's been 14 years since we last had a puppy but I remember that for the first few weeks she was so bouncy and relentless that the pets who were already in the house used to hide from her and look at us as if to say what have you done.

Crunched Tue 31-Dec-19 00:41:58

Thanks BiteyShark .
Laughing at “the puppy conversation”, like the “shall we have another baby” chat.

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