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Uggh, Grey Losing Her Buddy

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My Grey, Kasey, has a Swissy sister, Sierra. Sierra is 10 and has been diagnosed with Cancer of the spleen. She is home in a "Hospice"type care until she lets me know she is ready to go. Kasey loves her sister and will be absolutely lost without her. She, of course, was around tons of dogs racing and then came here 7 yrs ago and her sister was already here so she has never been alone. If I walk her alone she stops and doesn't want to move, she turns around looking for her sister who can no longer do walks. They have such love for each other and as much as I am grieving about Sierra's diagnosis I am equally worried about how this transition is going to go as being an only dog isn't going to be easy on Kasey. When it is time to let Sierra go do I sneak her out of the house or let her see us leave? Long ago I said to my hubby, when one of them has to go I hope it's Kasey cuz Sierra would be fine but Kasey needs her sister, uggh.......and here we are :angry: Anyone been through this? Any advice on helping Kasey through it? We won't be getting another dog but we do have a cat but there is no bonding there, Kasey is scared to death of the cat :P

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I am sorry for the diagnosis. When we brought Paul home, he was the third grey to two seniors. They were together only a short time and both seniors passed. I thought Paul would be lonely as he had never been alone, track kennel, foster and then to us. We got Fuzzy within a week and they have been together since.


Paul is getting frail and is now 11-1/2. We had added Idol to the mix about 4 years ago. She passed last September at only 7 years old. So you never know. Is there a reason you won't be getting another dog? Or, she may just prove you wrong and be fine. Some dogs do grieve.

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul, Fuzzy and Shine
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
Zoom Doggies-Racing Coats for Racing Greyhounds

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Guest PiagetsMom

When Piaget broke her leg, we lost her suddenly. Mirage did see us take her out of the house for the vet trip, but I do still think he was confused somewhat later that she was not there, so I'm not sure how much difference it made that he saw her go. I know that the fact that DH and I were so upset made the first couple of weeks hard for him.


Mirage had never been an only dog, and I was concerned about that, but honestly he did fine by himself and I do believe he would have been happy as an only dog. We did add Maya a few months later, but not because I felt that Mirage needed the companionship. I think you'll just have to give Kasey a little time to adjust to the change and see how she does.


I'm sorry that your Sierra has been diagnosed with cancer :grouphug

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I wouldn't recommend sneaking Sierra out of the house when it's time to let her go. In my experience, dogs who get to see their friend's body after they've passed seem to get more closure and don't continue to search or grieve quite as much. Here's a previous thread you might find helpful. I posted there about a case of littermates who were inseparable, and the owners were sure the remaining dog would not do well. She took one quick look and sniff after her sister was euthanized, seemed to realize she was gone, and has done better than any of us expected. I hope Kasey is able to handle Sierra's passing as well.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice


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Dante broke his leg at home. The dogs all sniffed him and seemed to say goodbye as I carried him out the door to the car. Zoe and Indy grieved tremendously and Indy gave up after that and I lost him 3 weeks later. Zoe was depressed, so I did bring another senior home for her and it was a fabulous match. They bonded quite well and quickly. When, I suddenly and unexpectedly lost Zoe 2 months later at a dental, Brady was very confused and upset - too many changes within his last 4 months. I actually sat down with him and talked with him about Zoe, using her name and telling him she didn't want to leave but she had too. I think the time I spent with him on his bed and using her name helped to calm him. He improved quickly after that and is content with the two, who have never needed anyone but each other.


I wish you peace and comfort as you travel this path. I never got to plan or worry about a death - they snuck up on me.


Cindy with Miss Fancypants, Paris Bueller, Zeke, and Angus 
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe), Maggie (All Trades Jax), Sherman (LNB Herman Bad) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

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I'm sorry about Sierra.


I have not been down to one dog, but I have lost several over the past few years. The grief of the survivors has varied a lot. In general, though, I'd say it has been easier for the dogs when I just continue as normally as possible.

Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13); Greys Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10), Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07-7/21)

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I'm sorry. I've been in this situation several times. Last week Treasure was sent to the bridge due to osteo. I was really afraid for Iker, who is a traumatized, very shy galgo. With some extra attention, he's doing much better than expected.

Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Guest Scouts_mom

I really want to stress that you should let the surviving dog be there when you let the Sierra go. Otherwise Kasey will not understand and will search for Sierra. But if she sees the body it will help. I think dogs instinctively understand what death is when they see their buddy gone. I've had to do it both ways and it is much better if the survivor is there. Also, if Sierra is at all nervous at the vets, consider doing it at home. Most vets will come if they are given enough lead time, or they will know someone who will. Letting your dog go while he is sleeping on his own bed, or lying in the sun in their backyard is a gift we can give them.

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i've have watched 2 dogs (at different times) become solo dogs. that didn't last for long. poor willie lost velcro and just sat and stared at the floor. even strangers at antique shows would remark that he looked like he lost his best friend(which he did). it took us 9 months of waiting to see if willie was going to snap out of it to adopt our first grey- he picked her out. then when our first grey died and left 2 year old felix along he just missed the company. we fostered, not wanting another dog due to economic difficulties....that foster is still here 2.5 years later. time will tell, you will know what's really necessary and what you need to do. it stinks, we all outlive our dogs. :grouphug

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I've very sorry for your situation.


When we lost Sobe - I was worried about Diana. She did amazingly well. I made a point to maintain all routines - and I didn't remove Sobe's bed or dishes or toys for a while. Diana did get a bit "quirky" - she tried to fill his spot for a while - doing things he would've done - but we just rolled with it, and she went back to normal.


I think every dog deals with it differently. The best thing you can do - is carry on. Make the remaining dog knows you're still there. You've go it under control, and the pack (smaller) will adjust.


If you think about primal dog mentality - packs shift. The pack adjusts.

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Guest Frannie

I have been through this several times (I'm on my seventh greyhound; my sixth, Mable, just turned 13.) Right now it's just Yurtie and Mable. Over the years I've watched my dog's grieve for each other (or not so much), and the grieving has been so hard to watch. The good thing is, my sad dogs have recovered.


I'm of the camp that believes you should not end a dog's life in the presence of another dog. I think the chances for creating an indelible trauma are just too great. Mable's sidekick, Hoss, died at 13 back in November. It was a gentle, easy death brought on by a vet who loved him and was willing to let me bring in my lamp, soft bedding, cookies, and favorite blanket. (I will not say goodbye to a buddy on a hard surface under fluorescent lights.)


Mable's processing of the loss was tough. She seemed okay on the outside--understandably very lonely, but not coming apart in the way that I was afraid she would. What did happen, though, was that she threw her coat. And when I say "threw", I mean that every time I petted her I got enough hair off to fill a plastic grocery bag. I had to vacuum two or three times a day. (if I had had time, I easily could have vacuumed hourly.) Every time she moved the air around her filled up with dog hair.


So she somaticized her grief. I've had other dogs do that, but this was extreme and I was very worried about her. I brought her fur back to its usual luster with fish oil and supplements. (Right now, she has a full winter coat that refuses to thin even with brushing!) Getting her hair back took some doing. My other dog who I really worried about, Porgy (hearthound), was helped during his grieving period by acupuncture and a herbal tincture that the practitioner gave us. I still have the bottle. It says "2 tablespoons per day in water until over grief." It's one of my keepsakes.


I guess what I want to say is that dogs really do grieve, that's one of the wonderful things about them. We, as their humans, are responsible for recognizing this and honoring it. Your girl will adjust. But she may need you more, or she may want to be alone more. Really watch her . Make sure she's getting extra nutrition if she needs it. Loss is hard on the body. I also added Rescue Remedy to Mable's water; the jury is still out on whether or not it made a difference, but it helped me to do something nice for her.


I really feel for you facing this, and it sounds like you are putting serious thought into Sierra's future status as a solo dog. Remember to take care of you, too.



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