I need help for dealing with a loss

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chris b.'s picture
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Joined: 2011-01-20

Good morning friends.  Not so good morning.  First let me say, I'm sorry this is apt to be pretty long.  Then let me say Gentle Doberman is my "happy place", ya know where I come when I need a pick me up.  I actually am on here quite a lot, just not posting.  I need some help, We lost my husband yesterday.  My soulmate, the love of my life.  I know everyone is sorry.  What I don't know, and I have nowhere else to turn, is how to help Tony and Tory deal with this, that's why I'm here.  No one understands dobes like you guys, Tony is a wreck.  Dave spent 5 days in the hospital, I was with him, friends helped out with the dogs.  On the second day one of these friends called to tell me about the afternoon potty break.  Tory wouldn't get off the bed and Tony wouldn't go outside. The third day, another friend called, her and her husband did the afternoon potty break. Tory had eaten then they sat on the couch and my friend and Tory "had half a glass of wine" (Tory had no wine, you would have to know this lady) :).  Tony sat next to the back door and shivered and shook and his teeth chattered.  He wouldn't eat, so the husband hand fed him one peice at a time (not suprised, Tony ate a good breakfast) That is how he has been for several days.  He looks so scared.  He was Dave's dog.  If Dave was in the gargae, he was laying by his feet.  When Dave laid down, Tony was on the bed, you get the idea. 

Any ways, I have lots of friends and family around right now, but I need to help Tony,and unless you have ever been owned by a dobe, you don't understand how sensative they are.  So, why I'm here is not for more "I'm sorrys", I know you are, but help me with Tony, Anyone who has been through this kind of a loss with a dobe, how did you help your pupper?  I know we'll all be fine some day, but it just upsets me to see Tony so upset.  I feel so bad I spent 5 days gone and the dogs were home alone, now the house is so busy, it seems like I don't have time for  the dogs.  Any sugguestions?

Thank you everyone.

Chris 

Wolfgirl_121's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-08

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I suggest, and I know that this will be hard, just sitting down with them and having a big cuddle fest... It really does help, both you and them. Sometimes all that is needed is contact and comfort. When my grandma passed, she left behind an older dobe named Swish. We spent two weeks with her mourning before, finally, my little sister just got up one day and laid down next to her... It helped soo much to the point where she always had someone cuddling with her. If she hadn't had a heart attack and gone to join my g-ma at the rainbow bridge, I know she would have returned to her old self. All it takes is a lot of TLC and some time.

Kim
Kim's picture
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Joined: 2012-02-05

My deepest condolences to ALL of you.

I agree with Tal - lots of hugs and comfort. I would also spend time talking to them about everything - they understand SO much.

You might try Rescue Remedy with Tony - it sounds like a huge emotional shock for him, and it should help. I would keep it in water or over his food for several days. Green Hope Farms also has some terrific flower essences for dealing with loss and grief - if you e-mail them the woman who started the company will most likely let you know which ones would be helpful. She is very kind and loves animals.

You all are in my thoughts and prayers......

 

Kar-jinx's picture
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Joined: 2012-04-15

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I think the dogs will get better day by day as things go back to normal or as normal as they can be in your situation.  It's so difficult for you right now and they are sharing your loss and stress.  Can you get someone to take the dogs for walks and get them out a bit?  Or have someone play a favorite game or toy with them for a while each day while they heal?  Lavender is supposed to have healing and soothing effects.  I saw Cesar Millan put a few drops of lavender oil on a bandana around the dog's neck. Those new wax cubes everyone is buying and their little melting pots are available at Walmart, Kroger, Meijer, and other places in the candle department.  I bought lavender scented ones at Walmart.  As above, rescue remedy might help too.  I like the cuddle time idea.  It had to be quite a loss for all of you.

first and foremost, you need to take care of yourself.  If you are their leader, they need you.  You'll not be the same for some time and no one can rush you.  Hopefully Tony & Tory can comfort you right down to the core of your body and in time you'll heal as a little family group.  How I admire you to reach out at this time for your pets.  I'm not sure I wouldn't be wallowing in self pity for myself in the same situation. 

On the forum, we know each other and yet we really don't know each other, but as I read your post and typed my answer, I had tears running down my checks.  Both for your loss and for your concern for the dogs.  My heart goes out to you.  I hope someone can give you the answer that helps.

love and prayers

K

tess's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-28

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Dogs grieve just like we do as humans.  I have to believe this because I have seen it first hand. The only suggestion I can offer you is its going to take time. You need to give Tony and Tori their grieving time. They will slowly recover but they will never forget the love that Dave showered on them. They will just create a healing power around you and they will be strong for you. Dobermans are remarkable dogs as we all know and I believe that they are going to be instrumental in helping you heal from this terrible situation. God bless you and your furbabies and I will keep you all in my prayers.

 

Tess

Lady Kate's picture
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Yes. Time.. the ultimate healer. Doesn't sound like it...but it's true.

Grief is one of the most personal things we go through. Each one of us ( dogs included) need the dignity of owning it. There's no way around, over or under it.. we must go THROUGH it.

Please know that prayers are being said by  many many people RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!

mackerboys mom's picture
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Joined: 2012-05-31

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You are truely a special woman,I am worried about you Tory & Tony!I know right now your family and friends are gathered around you trying in their way to comfort you in this time of loss and they don't understand like you do that your baby's are feeling that loss also, that said you need to collect Tory & Tony go to your room with them shut the door and wrap them tight in your arm's and talk,cry or just lay with them, all three of you will help each other get through this together,lord I know you are hurting so much now but they are too, you need each other!God Bless   Dodie & Hoss 

Joined: 2012-10-28

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So sorry for your loss, grief is so heavy a burden to share, but always a teeny bit lighter when shared. Your concern for Tony is beautiful. Remind him he still has Tory and you. The three of you together have more healing for each other than you know. I knew a Rottie who lost is female Ridgeback friend, he was so sad. One day I diverted him with a special big stuffed ducky toy and he forgot about her for a little while. Sounds like Tony knew what was happening.

Kind regards and understanding from a new forum member...

 Julia 

Lori's picture
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Like everyone else said - time and extra pets, scratches and walks.  They are reacting to you and everyone around you.  You are all stressed and upset and they sense that but don't understand.   You can't change your feelings but keeping them on schedule, spending time with them will help them get used to things. 

gingersmommy's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-04

Hi chris,

I liked what wolfgirl said.  I would hug and kiss them and try to take time to let them sit with you on the couch or sleep on the bed (if that is something you allowed before).  I don't know if I would continue to hand feed them only because I'd be afraid of reinforcing their brokenness. Maybe you could add a little canned food to their normal kibble and microwave it for a few seconds so it smells even more appetizing to them.  Good luck and all the best.

HarleyBear's picture
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Chris,

I had a foster dog who had a terrible bout of depression when her Owner died.  This is one of the most common reasons why dogs have depression.  The thing that helped her most was to spend time with her having fun.  Talking to her in a high pitch voice, chasing birds, treats, etc.  She didn't really want to be held (she only wanted to be held by her Owner).  So I guess the thing to do is just have some quality time with Tony.  What he needs now is you and you can help each other through this hard period.  My prayers are with all three of you!

~Lilian

cynfully2's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-12

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Chris so sorry for your loss and prayers for all of you. I have not dealt with this with a Dobie but when my sons' great grandmother passed away their pittie was besides herself with grief when she realized she was not coming home. She sat in the window looking for her for days on end. As everyone has said pets do grieve as we do and it will take them time, lots of love and attention as we would each other will help them through it. It has been two years now and Queen still sits by her door occasionally or when there is a thunderstorm she will slip into that bedroom it's like it is her solace. Take care of yourself and furbabies.

Cyndy

chris b.'s picture
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Joined: 2011-01-20

Thank you all for the advice, so many great ideas.  You know, through all the sadness, some things make you smile, you are all going to love this story.  We met with the funeral director, myself, Dave's 2 daughters, my 2 sons and daughter in law.  For those that have never done this, we wrote the obituary.  Listed survivors, wife, children, step sons, grand children.. and 2 BELOVED DOGS TONY AND TORY.  This woman is someone I have known for 20 years, and not the first funeral she planned for us. She added that part, none of us remember her saying it!  No beloved wife or kids or grandchildren...the dogs. 

Thank you all for your concern, I try to keep anything I say on here positive and up beat, but I had nowhere else to turn.  So, again thank you all.

Chris and Tony and Tory

mackerboys mom's picture
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Oh Cris my heart breaks for you please don't feel you have to be up beat for us, believe me we understand if you want to come here to rant,rage and anything else you feel like you need to do we are all here for you in any way you need us.I loved the Beloved Dogs so ftting.    Dodie & Hoss                                                                

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

It's obvious to me that the dogs sensed his passing before it actually happened and they didn't know what to do especially with you not at home either.....their security has been shattered, try to do what everyone has said and spend cuddle time with them, talk to them, they sense your grief and feed off your energy and emotions too, give them something of your husband's to sleep with so they can still feel his presence, and if you can take them to visit the cemetery I think you will be surprised at how they will connect the dots especially if you talk to them about the fact he passed at the cemetery.....stay in a fairly normal routine but give them attention and know that any acting out will be out of their grief processing.....don't give them extra privileges like being on the bed when they weren't allowed that type of thing but extra love and talks are fine.....some dogs never get over their person's passing but they can get through it.......

Good luck and keep us posted on their progress....

tess's picture
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Beloved pets says it all.  What a wonderful, compassionate funeral director.

 

Tess

Ronan's picture
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The only loss either of my doberdogs have ever had to deal with was when our next door neighbor moved away. Dexter for as long as he could remember always had a friendly cocker spaniel named buddy next door to play with. They would run the fence line and play with each other a lot in general. Hazel has always been more of a people dog so she tended to chew on a bone when they played. When they moved around the time Dexter turned a year old I didn’t even think anything about it; but it was obvious in the days that followed that dogs can be depressed and have a very good memory. He would walk the fence line and whine and cry and refuse to come inside, He was not so despondent that he would not eat but his behavior was definitely different. Almost a week later Dexter did something he has never done before; he jumped the fence and took off! He did not go very far he went right next door and into the backyard and was searching for Buddy, while whining and clicking his jaw. When the weekend came around we did our normal routine, potty, eat and then walk. Every time we walk by that house he whines and barks out for buddy, he still does to this day. Once we got home we curled up on the couch and spent the whole weekend just lounging around. The kids were at the grandparents and my wife was working so we had the run of the house. I believe that they have a lot of the same emotions as we do, and that they; just like us yearn for the comfort of the simple things in life such as cuddling. Dexter got over it mostly but still misses his old “mentor” puppyhood friend. I know Tony must be hurting much worse than the loss Dexter felt but I feel that the cure is similar for our puppies. Take some time to just spend with your dogs, lounge around, read a book together on the couch. Sleep in and stretch out on the bed and cuddle. (if you allow them to do this sort of thing) take a nice walk together somewhere peaceful; the time you spend together will help heal you both.

 

P.S. Dexter and Hazel say that special treats help as well, and to not forget belly rubs and ear scritches.

Buddys_ Mama's picture
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Joined: 2012-09-27

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Chris, my heart breaks for you and your family. Would it help if maybe there was an article of clothing or something that Dave had special for him that he could hold on to? Perhaps that would help ease the anxiety Tony feels.

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Chris, I dont know you but I will gladly offer to make a sweater out of one of Daves sweaters for Tony. You have probably realized by now the power of the scent of someone lasts and lasts.

Just write me, any ol' sweater will do.

 

xxxx Julia. Bella's Mommy

chris b.'s picture
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Joined: 2011-01-20

Hi everyone,  I'm going to try to post a picture.  I put Dave's robe on the bed last night and both dogs got up and laid on it.  Gread idea. Don't know why I didn't think of it, I was sleeping on his pillow.  I was more worried about Tony, but he seems to be bouncing back better.  We did hae a house full of people yesterday and both my sons and daughter in law are here today (and grand kids that Tony loves).  Tory has spent most of the day on the bed on the robe.  Good, now I can worry about her.         

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

Oh my how sad is that pic, touching yet sad at the same time, they just don't understand sometimes.....my heart goes out to all of you.....

HarleyBear's picture
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Wow, that pic brought tears to my eyes.  My little foster dog (going to her forever home tomorrow) came from a good family and she spent a week sleeping on the robe they gave to me to keep in her crate.  Lots of good thoughts coming your way.