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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Advice for mourning dog?
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Member Since:
15 August 2008
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15 January 2010 - 5:34 pm
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Yesterday was one month since we lost Leo to heart failure. My other dogs seemed a little bummed out at first but now they are all OK except my pit bull/boxer mix Princess. Leo and her were BFFs. She is constantly with me now, even comes in the bathroom with me when I shower. She will not go outside on her own. I have to go with her. She sleeps on the sofa with me or on her bed all the time. I have tried to play with her more often, take her for more walks, be upbeat and wrestle with her but she is only happy while the action is happening and then she is bummed out again. She also lost some weight even though she has been eating. I am not sure what else to do with her at this point. Maybe she just grieves differently than the others? She will go out in the garage when we get home and sniff the car door. If she doesn't go in the garage, she waits by the door like she is waiting for Leo to come in with us. It breaks my heart. Her and Leo would be outside together all the time. They would play all night while we were watching TV. I really think she was part of the reason he did so well for as long as he did because together they remained active. I just think she does not know what to do with herself now that he is gone. The vet said she is fine and that dogs do grieve and they grieve differently. I just was wondering if anyone had gone though this and if you have any advice or suggestions for making my Princess feel better. I wish there was some way I could explain it to her!

One thing I think has been some strange behavior with my dogs is how they react to Leo's old toys. Leo was never seen without a toy and now that his is gone I haven't had the heart to pick up all his toys. The other dogs would jump on them on the rare occasion he would put them down but now they don't touch them. At first they would sniff them and then walk away and play with one of the toys they got for Christmas. Now they just avoid Leo's old toys. I really need to pick them up but I just wanted to throw that out there because it was weird to me.


Sheri and Angel Leo

Orange County, CA
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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15 January 2010 - 5:44 pm
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Hi Sheri.  About two years after my husband and I got married, we got our first dog, a Lab/Border Collie mix named Shadow.  After a couple months our work shifts changed and Shad was alone most of the day.  So, we got another pup, Max.  They were best friends for seven great years.  In early 2007, Shadow came down with an immune disease; he hemorraghed, and a blood clot was thrown that compressed his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the waist/chest area down.  After four days of hoping he'd get some movement back, we made the decision to euthanize him.  He was at the hospital the whole time, so Max was not there to witness Shad's death.

Max looked for Shadow for the next 2 - 3 weeks.  Everytime we went in the backyard, he ran around looking for him.  If John took out the trash (Shadow was always his helper), Max would eagerly await Shadow's return with John.  We spent as much time with Max as possible, but eventually, he had to be left alone when we returned to work.  After he figured out Shadow was nowhere to be found, he became very depressed.  Our neighbors would let us know he would howl in the backyard while we were at work during the day, very mournful howls.  After a few weeks of searching, we found Linda, and Max instantly went back to "normal."  He was happy again, played, chased, you name it.  They are now inseparable.

I know our story doesn't really apply to your situation, as you already have other dogs in your home, and we didn't.  But maybe Princess needs to have her "own" best friend again.  Maybe that's another dog, maybe it's a cat, maybe something else. 

Or, maybe eventually she'll come out of her funk and things will be a little back to "normal" for her, too.

Anyway, hope this helps in some way.

Diane & Max

Wesley Chapel, FL
Member Since:
13 September 2009
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15 January 2010 - 5:52 pm
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Oh Sheri,

I too had to deal with my poor Wolfie grieving after his older 'brother' Jake passed away on Nov 9th... We just tried to give him tons of extra love and attention... and though he loved that... I could see that he was still depressed. Wolfie would lie on Jake's bed, and just bury his face in it and take deep breaths... maybe he was smelling Jake? I don't know...

On Dec 20... my husband was at PetCo and they had a cat rescue organization there and he fell in love with this tiny adorable kitten and wanted to adopt it. He kept phoning me from the store asking if he could get it... I kept saying NO! I just wasn't ready to love another animal while I was grieving for my baby, Jake... But my husband persisted so much and I just finally gave in... and you know what? It's been like a miracle cure for Wolfie (well, us too). Wolfie is totally in love with this new little creature... I haven't seen him this happy in so long. I am still so very sad, and miss my Jake so much (it's been a little over 2 months now), but I haven't had to cry myself to sleep for a couple of weeks now...

So, my advice to you is... that I really don't know what's the right thing to do. In our case, this little kittie was what helped us all... in your case, it may or may not work. All I can tell you is to give Princess alot of extra love and attention... for as long as she needs it. I'm so sorry for your loss... I know how difficult it is...

Angel Jake's Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… ….. CANCER SUCKS!

Member Since:
15 August 2008
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15 January 2010 - 5:56 pm
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Hi Diane,

Its funny that you say that we should get another one because I have been pushing for a new puppy for a couple of weeks. I was thinking that maybe with a little one to look after and bond with that Princess would feel better. My husband is not too keen on the idea of getting another dog but I feel the more, the merrier! All four of my remaining dogs are rescues. Leo was also a rescue. I really think we can have space in our home and hearts for another pup in need of a home!


Sheri and Angel Leo

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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15 January 2010 - 6:23 pm
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It's good to hear from you, we were wondering how you were doing. We're so sorry to hear about Princess. While my pawrents don't have any experience with siblings and depression over the loss of a member of the pack, as you can see, lots of multi-dog Tripawd pawrents here have great advice.

One thing we've heard works well with helping dogs cope after losing a buddy, is Rescue Remedy. We talk about it here.

Princess is sure to come around. If you thnk that another dog is what she needs, and it works for your family, even better! We hope you and your hubby can soon come to an agreement over when is the right time for both of you.


Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Wesley Chapel, FL
Member Since:
13 September 2009
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15 January 2010 - 7:27 pm
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Rescue Remedy was something that we were planning on looking into also for our Wolfie… until hubby decided to do his own thing with adopting a kitten… But since you already have several dogs… they might eat a new kittie! Laughing

If I were you… I'd try the Rescue Remedy, and if that didn't work… well, you can always rescue another sweet doggie!

Good luck with whatever you decide!!

Angel Jake's Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… ….. CANCER SUCKS!

Member Since:
13 July 2009
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15 January 2010 - 9:53 pm
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By the way, if you couldn't tell, "Linda" is a dog, not a little girl as I always think when I see her name! Winker I guess it is the mis-match with "Shadow" and "Max". By the way, I'd love to see a picture of Shadow!

Kirkland, WA
Member Since:
2 June 2009
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15 January 2010 - 9:56 pm
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Do you have a large dog park nearby?  You could take princess on a non-rainy weekend to get in her "dog fix".  We left Jack's "brother" behind with my ex when we moved, and he just lights up at the park when he gets to play with dogs his own size (my parents have a 6 pound havanese, but she won't play:P).  Maybe she just needs some good old-fashioned dog love 🙂

<3 Laura and Jackaroo

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