View Full Version : grieving dog

21st August 2008, 05:25 PM
Hi folks
I'm getting quite worried about Dougal. As many of you know our beautiful Ruby lost her battle with MVD last week. We had her before we got Dougal, so she's been with him constantly this past year and 8 months. He's never been a single dog... he went straight from his litter mates to us and he and Tandie were joined at the hip. They haven't been separated for more than a few hours (when Dougal was neutered) since they met (and he was knocked out for most of that!).

Anyway at times he can be himself. But mostly he just lies around looking depressed. On walks he's much more placed, although he does get somewhat excited for other dogs. He's also started barking mysteriously on walks, when there doesn't seem to be anything to bark about. He's not too bothered about food. He eats it, but when I'm getting it ready he doesn't look very interested. This dog would ALWAYS bounce off the press before doing circles around and around.

What I'm most worried about is that he doesn't seem to be drinking much at all. Tandie used to drink gallons in her last few months, after she was put on the diuretics. And they'd often fight each other for the bowl if they'd been out in the car, or first thing in the morning or if it was hot. But we came back from a LONG walk today and it was definitely warm and he didn't drink anything. That was two hours ago and he's had his tea and he STILL hasn't drank anything. He doesn't drink in the mornings either.

Finally I'm really distressed about going back to school. I've been on holidays since the end of June and he's been around either dogs or adults 24-7. He has never ever been left on his own without another dog for company and I'm feeling quite panicky about it. We'll be gone from roughly 8:30am to 3pm, which didn't seem to be a problem when we had 2 of them, but I'm so worried about him on his own. There's nobody close by that I would trust to call in on him. He's such a sociable dog and loves company. Of course we'll be getting another cavalier, but not until the right one comes along, which could be a while.

I know some of you may have been in the same situation once, and I'd so appreciate any advice.

Cleo's Person
21st August 2008, 05:31 PM
Cecily, I don't know what to day. Cleo is an only dog so I have no advice. I just want to say :hug: :hug: to Dougal.

21st August 2008, 06:22 PM
Im sure Dougal, like yourselves, is feeling the loss! He will be more placid on walks if it was Ruby he used to run around with. Before we got our rescue boy Murphy, Holly was very placid and walks, but she has since perked up as she now has 'a big brother' to run around with. They don't like being apart from each other and wonder where the other one is if they are.

Dougal is probably just grieving. I'd like to think that when he barks at what looks like nothing when on a walk, it is because he still sees Ruby there... out walking with you all.:lotsaluv: He's just trying to tell you that she's there!

Hugs for you and for Dougal :hug: :hug:

21st August 2008, 06:31 PM
Dogs can be very sensitive and I'm sure he knows you're missing a family member.I expect he's also sensing your mood as well. Allow him time to grieve and acclimatise to the change.
Are you considering another rescue cavalier?

21st August 2008, 07:23 PM
Cecily I started a PM to you and then have had so much on post the BBC film and a heavy workload that I haven't had a chance to finish it. I will give you a ring tomorrow -- have to go out now.

Dogs can get depressed when a companion disappears from their life. He may not feel like eating or drinking. If he isn't drinking much and you get a bit worried, try adding a small amount of a stock cube to his water (low sodium is best but just a small bit of anything will do). This makes it smell and taste more interesting. If he really seems odd you might want to visit the vet just to make sure it isn't a coincidental health problem.

Also I may have a new companion for him and will have a chat with you. :)

Claire L
21st August 2008, 08:48 PM
I'm sorry we don't live closer to you Cecily, otherwise, Dougal could come visit with us. Poor little guy is probably still wondering where his big sis is :(
I hope whatever Karlin has in mind, works out for you :hug::hug:

21st August 2008, 09:37 PM
Cicily, So sorry to hear of your loss and Dougal is having a rough time of it. Years ago, we had 3 shih tzu's, mother, father & son. The father went 1st, then the mother and the son had always been inseparable from the father, not so much from the female she was a loner. he was totally lost, then when the mother died and he became an only dog he went through a long greiving process that lasted a couple of months. Sometimes he would not know what to do by himself, he did not know how to eat with having anyone to scrap with. He finally came out of it but it was a long time and required a lot of attention. funny, he knew they were sick and even though they went pretty fast, it was evident that each knew when the time came and they weren't coming back. I think he will be fine in time and just needs some extra love right now.


21st August 2008, 10:43 PM
Thanks everyone for the replies. We had him over at my in-laws house tonight and he spent a little time with their dog, and granny fed him scraps from the table (even though he's on a diet... but 82 year olds don't seem to see the sense in this) and we wandered up the fields picking mushrooms and he seemed a bit brighter. He's becoming a bit clingy though, which is a bit of a worry.

Ashley he _definitely_ misses someone to bounce off. He and Tandie would both dance for their food, and compete with each other on walks etc. You're so right about that :)

Also thanks Karlin, stock cube a great idea. And luckily us health conscious people (:badgrin:) only have the low salt variety! And thanks for the phone call...
Hopefully we'll have a companion for Dougal soon :D It will be so lovely to have something so positive to focus our energies on.

Cathy T
21st August 2008, 11:17 PM
Oh I am so hoping Dougal gets a new companion soon. He sounds like such a sensitive boy...bet a new buddy would pull him out of his funk.

21st August 2008, 11:32 PM
Hopefully we'll have a companion for Dougal soon :D It will be so lovely to have something so positive to focus our energies on.

How exciting, this will make both you and Dougal happier. :hug:

21st August 2008, 11:43 PM
Poor Dougal lets hope he can get a new companion soon....You can never replace Tandie for him as they had a special bond but it will help him to have a playmate.

It will be good for you too...Hope it all works out. Give dougal a big hug from me.

Chelle & Rex
22nd August 2008, 12:19 AM
Cecily I cant offer any advice but just wanted to send big :hug:from myself and Rexy

Cathy Moon
22nd August 2008, 02:01 AM
Cecily, sometimes the vet will give a vitamin B injection to perk up a depressed dog (cannot remember if it's B12). It happened to my first dog long ago, and she improved immensely afterwards. Hope this helps. :flwr: