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Helping 8yo dog get used to being an only dog

(17 Posts)
SnowsInWater Sat 25-Apr-20 02:46:49

Our beautiful Springer finally succumbed to her congestive heart failure two years after she was given three months to live. She was a gorgeous, gentle girl and we are all heartbroken despite being grateful for the extra time. Our other dog, an 8yo male Cocker, had only ever spent three nights away from her in his life, they always slept in the same room and got on really well. Apparently when we took her to the vet on Tuesday he went into the garden and howled for ten minutes and when we came back he was desperately trying to get into the car where she had been. He is obviously getting lots and lots of attention, he has four adults at home most of the time with him, but he seems to be getting mopier each day and heads to the sofa where he sleeps for a lot of the day. He has even stopped following DH around in the garden and no longer pushes his way into DH's office when he is working which is usually his favourite place to be. Any ideas on what we could/should do to make this transition easier for him? All ideas gratefully received.

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SnowsInWater Sat 25-Apr-20 05:24:18

Have just worked out how to add the obligatory doghouse photo 😊

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Girlintheframe Sat 25-Apr-20 05:32:12

I'm so sorry for your loss thanks.
Such a gorgeous girl.

I have real idea on this except to say like humans it maybe just takes lots of time. Dogs can get treated for depression so you could always discuss that with your vet?
I would maybe just give it more time though and try and engage your dog in the things you know he loves.

I've never experienced this so am just guessing. Hopefully someone will be along with some words of wisdom for you.

Peridot1 Sat 25-Apr-20 05:46:45

Aw. We are going through similar. We lost our almost 11 year old lab suddenly three weeks ago. Also have a ten year old lab who had only ever spent one night without the older one.

She is definitely moping a bit. Very clingy. Used to take herself off into the utility room to her bed or a spot by the door to sleep but doesn’t do that now during the day. Struggled to get her to go to bed for a few nights. Had to bribe her with biscuits to get her to go out into the garden and she wouldn’t go on her own. Previously she’d be last in and I’d have to go out and call her in a few times.

I think it will just take time. She’s getting lots of attention but is still quite unsettled.

I feel really sorry for her. And our lovely dog walker is obviously not coming now so we wonder if she thinks that our other dog is with her. Her world changed really quickly too. In the same week the dog walker had to stop coming and we lost the older dog.

SnowsInWater Sat 25-Apr-20 08:32:06

Sorry you are experiencing similar @Peridot1.

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Ellmau Sat 25-Apr-20 12:23:21

Sorry for your loss, and your poor lonely boy.

Are you considering getting him a new friend?

SnowsInWater Sun 26-Apr-20 00:26:15

No @Ellmau, which is why I am feeling especially sorry for him. Kids are older now, one has left home, and DH and I want to travel more when we can again. We have never put our dogs in kennels so relied on finding dog/house sitters we could trust. We basically couldn't go anywhere as a family in the past year as someone needed to stay at home with the dogs so we don't want to start the cycle again. On a positive note our Cocker was very happy this morning when we let him on our bed so maybe just spoiling him rotten is the way to cheer him up 😁

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Ellmau Sun 26-Apr-20 10:43:41

I think maybe you just have to give him time to adjust and, well, mourn. I know my brother's younger dog was very sad after her older 'sister' died - even though they hadn't been especially close.

Honeyroar Sun 26-Apr-20 10:49:31

It does indeed take time. Our second lab was absolutely devastated when our first lab died. He sat in her bed for a week looking depressed. We had a third little dog, who tried to console him, but he and the other lab were so close for so long that it didn’t help. We gave him lots of fuss and cuddles. He picked himself up after about a fortnight. He really came into his own when we ended up fostering another lab, who played the same games as him, whereas the little dog didn’t.

IlsaLund Sun 26-Apr-20 10:52:17

We ended up getting another dog after six months.

Our boy had become used to being an only dog but he had lost all sparkle and zest for life. He’d come on walks because we were going but there was no joy or bounce.
He wasn’t eating particularly well and just seemed so down.

Enter crazy rescue dog and our original boy has a new lease of life. He’s walking miles, eating well and loving life.

Newchapter2020 Sun 26-Apr-20 10:59:32

We had this, had a brother and sister. They escaped and the boy got run over by a car, the girl was sitting with him until someone found them. She had a mixture of grief and trauma, shes still scared of moving cars and it was 6 months ago. She wouldn't eat or drink and just played in her bed. We had to hand feed her water and food. It took time for her to move on, time is a great healer. We just spent time with her. She's now , I think, fully healed, she's actually a different dog for the better, her brother would often demand more attention and try and push her out of the way. She's now very affectionate. The grief for her was pure and real, it was heartbreaking.

Newchapter2020 Sun 26-Apr-20 11:00:05

She didn't play in her bed, she slept

Honeyroar Sun 26-Apr-20 11:03:31

@Newchapter that’s what ours was like. We came home to him sitting next to her body looking just heartbroken. 😪😪

Peridot1 Sun 26-Apr-20 12:23:19

Oh that’s so heartbreaking about the dogs who sat with their friends/sisters bodies. So sad.

Ours is still not herself. Came and lay on my feet last night watching tv. Which is unusual. Normally lies by dh. But she has been staying in the kitchen on her own by choice after dinner before she comes in to join us.

She barked at DH this morning in the garden as he wouldn’t let her play with the hose. Maybe that’s the anger phase of grief!

She is currently lying in the hallway sort of equidistant between me, DH and DS as we are all in different rooms.

I think ours will be much happier when our dog walker can resume walking. Although she may be confused at first and miss our other dog more I suppose.

Honeyroar Sun 26-Apr-20 12:27:06

We had a little dog years ago that, on losing our other dog, dribbled a football up and down the garden for hours. She was amazingly good. After two weeks she just put it down and never went near it ever again. Think that was a grief outlet too.

Peridot I hope you and your dog are soon ok.x

SerendipitySunshine Sun 26-Apr-20 13:19:33

We had the same situation and rescued a middle aged dog, slightly younger and more submissive than the dog we already had. It took a few weeks but they are now best friends. The new dog actually came as a foster dog from a breed rescue, but she fitted in so well she stayed. If you didn't want another dog full time, would a foster place be an option? Or maybe guide dog puppy walking?

SnowsInWater Mon 27-Apr-20 05:18:25

Thanks for the replies. That is so sad @Newchapter!

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