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Helping Mourning Greyhound


Guest mdc
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Earlier this week, we lost our sweet Deidre. While my wife and I will likely never get over the grief we feel from losing her, her (adopted) sister, Mickie, is beginning to clearly show confusion over Deidre's prolonged absence. She seems to be constantly looking for her, especially when outside.

 

Frankly, we don't know what to do to console her other than to spend virtually every waking moment with her. She doesn't want to leave our side and for that, we don't want to leave hers. I hoping anyone with such unenviable experience might be able to share their experiences or provide some advice on how best to treat and work with Mickie through this difficult time.

 

Many thanks.

Edited by mdc
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Do you know anyone else with greyhounds that you can spend time with? Sometimes just getting the pet that is grieving out there with other hounds or even other breeds will help them through the grieving process. It takes time and all hounds are different just like people, some recover quickly and some grieve for a long time. Getting her out for walks, or rides in the car may help also. It's going to take time but the more occupied she is the better at this point.

 

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Guest Swifthounds

IME, the best thing you can do for Mickie is to work through your own grief. Dogs live in the moment. They will initially "miss" a dog that has passed, but they don't tend to exhibit long periods of grief. They do, however, pick up on the moods and feelings of the human around them. You're undoubtedly displaying signs of your grief. It's normal and a part of the grieving process. As with other feelings and moods, your hound picks up on them. The best thing you can do for her is to allow yourself to work through your grief in your own way.

 

One caveat would be if you have gone from having two hounds to having just one. In that situation, because as much as we might be companions for our hounds we are not actually hounds, they do experience the loss of a type of companionship that they cannot get from us. This can be especially hard if the remaining hound has never been an only hound in your home or if the remaining hound was not the alpha in the household. Moreso than other breeds, greyhounds were really never bred, nor ever intended to be only dogs. I, personally, would never have a greyhound as an only dog and have always tried to keep my pack structured with that in mind. If she's now an only hound, Mickie is dealing with a big adjustment of her own.

 

Grief is a very individual thing. You'll all go through it in your own way in your own time. No one can tell you the right way to grieve; only that eventually you'll get to a point where when you think of Deidre, you'll think of the good times and not the sadness. Be good to yourselves.

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It's so difficult to watch this type of thing. Not only are you dealing with your own grief, but Mickie's as well.

 

I so agree that they pick up on our emotions and act accordingly.

 

I am probably one of the few, if not the only one who does not believe they live in the moment, too much evidence to the contrary.

 

Give her time and be close when she needs you.

 

You will all be in my prayers

Claudia-noo-siggie.jpg

Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12

 

 

:candle For the sick, the lost, and the homeless

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Thank you for your feedback. Mickie is indeed the lone remaining hound and was not the alpha. She had a tendency to look to Deidre for everything. Mickie is a bit of free spirit but she still relied on Deidre for leadership with so many things, which obviously is going to make it so much harder for her.

 

My wife and I would love to welcome another hound into our home but it simply isn't in the cards at the moment as we are renting and looking to make a long distance move in the very near future. We will work hard to keep our moods positive and light hearted around Mickie.

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Guest Swifthounds

Thank you for your feedback. Mickie is indeed the lone remaining hound and was not the alpha. She had a tendency to look to Deidre for everything. Mickie is a bit of free spirit but she still relied on Deidre for leadership with so many things, which obviously is going to make it so much harder for her.

 

Not everyone who loves a hound is in a position to adopt again soon, and not everyone is ready to do so. Some people wait months or even years. What's right for someone else may not be right for you.

 

When I lost my benevolent natural alpha, Prancer to cancer at age 10 he was a well muscled hard running, happy hound. He went downhill in a matter of weeks and once we were able to confirm the diagnosis, I let him go. That left his littermate brother, Comet, and Vixen, whom Prancer had raised from 10 weeks old. Comet had always been frail, arthritic, and relied on Prancer. Vixen had spent 8 years as the only girl in the household and had been babied by Prancer. I had always thought we would lose Comet first and wasn't prepared for the huge blow of Prancer's loss.

 

While the humans in the household were each grieving in their own way, the hounds found their own way. Vixen went from sassy and spoiled, to assume the position and responsibility of the alpha. It didn't come naturally to her as it had for Prancer, but she had had years to learn from his example. Comet had difficulty at first, but settled in well.

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when emily died on jan.2nd we watched secure, happy 3 year old felix change and become depressed. he eventually started to pee in the house when left alone and was hang dog all of the time. felix came to us at 7 weeks and always had emily, the alpha bitch, around.we tried toys, more training(agility) and even more outings than usual. he just wasn't the same. felix even stopped hanging out in the studio while DH painted.

 

so, we decided to foster. since DH is unemployed and now is resuming his antique business(i am not too optomisitc in this economy)& painting the thought of another mouth to feed and vet bills were out of the question. felix picked up, perked up and returned to his old self with the foster dogs.

 

well, the second foster has stuck around, she was too good a match for felix and had 3 of emily's and 1 of felix's ancestors. as DH has stated, "we fed 2 dogs before, so why can't we do it now?" annie was DH's birthday present and the best present of all to our mourning pup. when ever he sees a black greyhound(emily's color) he is sooo animated and yodel's like mad.who said they don't remember?

 

if you are planning on moving, were you planning on moving while you had 2 greyhounds? what's the difference on moving w/ one vs. 2? basically the same question that DH asked when felix found the right partner in crime?

 

sorry to hear about your loss, i remember reading your post. her death was so sudden and even when you are prepared(emily had osteo) it really hurts.

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Guest ishapespace

If you cannot adopt another now, I would consider fostering. If your dog was never an only, it COULD be an issue. Some can make that adaptation, some cannot.

 

As cleptogery said, you were going to move when you had two before, so what changed? I would do as other's said, try to temper your mood for your remaining hound, but if her behaviors changes in negative ways, you may have to find a friend for her, even if it's a friend that changes because it's a foster.

 

Good luck and sorry for your loss.

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Guest sheila

Difficult as it may be, the best thing for the dog is to find her a companion. I know you say that is not in the cards for you, but that doesn't change the reality of what your dog wants. I agree with the thought of trying to foster if nothing else.

My Sammy cried and moped for weeks after we lost Kiowa. Though the crying waned, every time we walked she would whine and pull towards any and every dog we saw/heard on walks. She craved another dog the way a drowning man craves a life raft. I was really ready to be a single dog household, it just wasn't in the cards for us.

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I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Please try to maintain your regular routine and allow your mourning dog to be with other dogs as much as possible; and as someone already said, see if you can go on long walks and gain new shared experiences. It can also help to reassure your dog if you send Calming Signals (quick lick of your tongue towards your nose and look away, accentuate a yawn etc. You can look it up on Turid Rugass's web site.) Adopt another when you are all ready and allow your dog to participate in the choosing process. Greiving takes time.

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I think loss is as individual in dogs as it is in people.

 

When Batman died, Zema didn't want another dog, she wanted him and would accept no substitutes. She started to resume normalcy after @ a week to 10 days. We just kept up with ordinary routines.

 

Hugs to you and your pupper.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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