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Support for other pups after loss
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Member Since:
16 November 2016
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26 October 2023 - 9:39 am
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Hi all,

We suddenly lost our pup Schooner to hemangiosarcoma in May. Since then, we’ve noticed changes in Nelson, our 7 year old tri. Schooner was older than him, 12, and so he’s been with her his whole life. He has started to not want to go on walks and appears scared of many things outside the home. He’s always been nervous with loud noises (we attribute it to when he was hit by a car as a pup and his amputation) but it’s become increased. When he walks with other dogs such as his cousin, he walks happily and with more confidence. 

Our vet suggested putting him on Prozac for a while, in conjunction with behavior correction training. We brought in a trainer who gave us some tips on how to help him with his fearfulness on walks, but she also mentioned that due to his age it’s going to be a while if we are able to make any progress. We have small successes some days, others he doesn’t move from in front of the house. Her other suggestion was to adopt another dog, as he must have put his trust in Schooner and was much more confident with her around. We’re not 100%  sure we are ready to adopt quite so soon but obviously seeing Nelson the way he is we want the best for him. 

Have any of you had a similar reaction with your pets when you’ve lost another pup? We want him to be happy and confident and walking is such an important part of his life to stay healthy. 

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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26 October 2023 - 10:43 am
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Schooner certainly was a “Warrior” when it came to overcoming past health challenges.  So very sorry that brutal hermangio took hold.

I do know Schooner is theGuardian Angel for you and Nelson.  it does seem that, through Nelson’s lack of confidence, etc.  Schooner is showing you Nelson needs a dog companion to help fill the void Schooner  left.  

Al this is in the FWIW  column and just my experience.  I’ve almost always been a multiple dog home.  On the rare occasion I just had one (temporary), their a difference in their demeanor subtle and not so subtle.  Upon bringing a new dog into the family, all those subtle nuances disappeared.  No matter how much our dogs love us, It seems that having another from their own species is important to their overall well-being and confidence.   To me the fact that when walking with his cousin his demeanor is upbeat and confident confirms his need for a dog partner.

 Im sure you’re aware of how important your energy is to Nelson and he feeds off your emotions.   He may still sense a subtle emotion of sadness and that can go down the leash to him and feed into his uncertainty.

As”they” say, we don’t always get the dog we want when we want….we get the dog we need.No dog ever replaces another, they only enhance our ability to spread our love in away that only a dog can do  

You can ask yourself “How will you know when  you are ready?” You may find that is an endless loop question with no concrete answer.  I read one time how a dog feels like he failed his hoomans if they don’t get another dog.  It made them question if they weren’t doing a good enough dog  and that’s  a hooman wouldn’t want another one. 😢😢  To get another dog confirmed  they did afoot job👍

 Maybe you could take Nelson for a meet and greet to bring home a foster for awhile and see how that goes  

Geez, excuse all my rambling and again, it’s all in the FWIW column

(((((((((Hugs)))))))

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Pennsylvania


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4 July 2023
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26 October 2023 - 10:45 am
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I am so so sorry for your loss, and Nelson’s loss. Schooner sounds like he was a very special, confident pup! sp_hearticon2

While I can’t speak to helping another pet cope with loss, I can speak to my own experience having nervous/fearful (solo) dog with whom we’ve had to do a lot of work.

One thing we’ve found only recently that has helped a lot for her is Purina Calming Care. It’s a probiotic powder you sprinkle on their food (or in our case, add a little water to for her to slurp up as her “morning coffee,” so to speak). It takes about 6 weeks of daily use before many folks see results in their dog’s behavior and disposition. I know for our Juno it’s been a godsend! If it does work, you need to then keep them on it for life - but for June we think it’s been hugely worth it.

As far as being reticent to adopt another dog so soon - I can deeply respect that so quick on the heels of loss. It’s possible there are other approaches like Calming Care that you can explore first.

Sending care your way sp_hearticon2

[Update - Just noticed Sally’s post - we must have been writing at the same time! Great perspective there from her multi-dog household!]

Natalie & Juno (aka June)

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
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26 October 2023 - 11:06 am
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It just broke our hearts when Schooner got her wings. I don't blame you at all for not feeling ready, she was such a huge presence in your life (and for all of us following along with her and Schooner's adventures.

I'm glad Sally posted, because she's had far more experience with multi-dog living than I have (which is zero). I totally agree that when the right k9 family member is added to the pack, a dog really thrives. I have seen the difference when our dogs have been around other dogs, and when it goes well it's like seeing a whole new aspect of their personality come out. So it totally makes sense that Nelson is feeling out of sorts right now, he's not really sure of his place in the world.

When you're ready to bring another dog in, you'll know it. The whole pack will know it! Until then yeah, it would be good to explore other therapies like the one Natalie suggested, or more trips to doggie day care if he's good with that arrangement, more play dates, etc. 

I'm not a vet, but in my canine experience with Prozac it can take 6 weeks at minimum to show any effect. And honestly this doesn't sound like it really calls for that level of medication, IMO FWIW etc. I'm no vet but ...

Have you considered talking with a board-certified veterinary behaviorist about it? I think that's what I would do next. 

Please keep us posted, we are all cheering for Nelson and hope he starts feeling like his old self real soon. sp_hearticon2

Member Since:
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26 October 2023 - 5:20 pm
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Thank you everyone for your feedback! I agree that another pup in the house may help. We have signed up to be a foster and have a call with a rescue coordinator later today. I’ll also give the calming care a try! I hadn’t thought about the behaviorist, there is one in Orange County that I’ll look into. I appreciate the help and will keep you all posted on Nelson’s journey! 

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
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27 October 2023 - 1:19 pm
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Ooooh fostering is wonderful and it's such a badly needed service right now. Thank you for doing that!

Keep us posted!

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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27 October 2023 - 7:40 pm
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Sounds like a good way to hel Nelson, to help a pushover needs to get out of a shelter.  Who knows,  may even help you more than you imagined ❤️

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Member Since:
16 November 2016
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14 November 2023 - 10:00 pm
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Hi everyone! We have our first foster, “Sir” Patrick. Hubby is a huge trekkie so obviously we had to name him after the iconic Jean Luc Picard 😂. It’s been 5 days and Nelson is slowly warming up to him. We’ve been walking fantastically the past few days (thankfully Patrick looooves walkies) so we hope it will be a good match. Patrick is very underweight so we will have him for a bit while he gets healthy and ready for a neuter and a teeth cleaning. So far so good! 🤞

Pennsylvania


Member Since:
4 July 2023
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15 November 2023 - 8:10 am
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Great early signs!!! Cheering for you!!!!sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2

Natalie & Juno (aka June)

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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15 November 2023 - 10:24 am
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Oooh congrats on the new packmate. smiley16 Sir Patrick is one lucky dawg to land in your home! Let us know how it goes, we hope everything works out great. And thank you for fostering, it's so badly needed right now! sp_hearticon2

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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15 November 2023 - 4:46 pm
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Oh gosh!!  Some little trickle of Happy tears flowing over here!  Schooner is looking over your shoilder to make sure Sir Patrick and Nelson get along.

Sich a wonderful way to pay tribute to Schooner by fostering Sir Patrick (great name)  I know ot`its a an adjustment for everyone.   To be jist five days in is soooo earlybutn9t sou ds like it's going really well.

Now, you know  you have to send us pictures, right?  If you'd like me to post some for uou jist let me know and I`ll PM you my email.

Smooches to Sir Patrick.....and thank you for helping  Patrick Bethel best dog he can be.

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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