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  #21  
Old 13 September 2009, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Loyhargil View Post
My parents' dog, DeeDee, was very attached to Dad. When they'd come home from going out, she'd always run up to Dad's side of the vehicle (usually the van) and follow him to the house. After he got very sick with lung cancer and started his "ins and outs" with the hospital, she switched to the passenger side since that's when Mom started driving.

The night he passed, my sister drove Mom home from the hospital, and I followed in my car. When the van pulled into the carport, DeeDee ran to the passenger side, only to see Mom get out. DeeDee stopped cold, then started tail wagging and ran to the driver side assuming he must be back over there, only to see my sister. At which point, DeeDee's tail went between her legs, and she started the most pathetic whimpering I'd ever heard in my life. It was at that point, we all were reduced to tears once again.

DeeDee grieved for days, then somehow decided with Dad gone, she was in charged and needed to protect Mom. She never ever acted like a guard dog before, but she does now that Dad's gone. It's the strangest thing.
This brought tears to my eyes.

I worry sometimes about what Jinx, who is almost one, will do when Mischa, who is just over seven, passes away. It's several years off, to be sure, but there's little to no chance of them having similar lifespans unless something truly awful happens to the younger one. (They're both medium-large mutts, with a life expectancy of somewhere in the 10-12 year range) Jinx adores Mischa. She follows her "big sister" everywhere. I look at them sometimes and think "she's gonna be just lost..." but it makes me sad to think that either of them will die at all, ever, so I don't dwell.
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  #22  
Old 14 September 2009, 02:19 AM
purpleiguana purpleiguana is offline
 
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I had a dog that was half Border Collie and half Dachshund. She was an outdoor dog for most of her life, until the town busybody really got her knickers in a twist and started b!tching about the fact that she wasn't leashed. It was a small town, maybe 200 people. None of the dogs were leashed, but did she complain about those dogs? Oh no, she complained about ours. Whatever.

So Georgie, our dog, became an indoor dog. I don't remember how old she was when she became an indoor dog, but she made the transition very well and didn't pee or poo in the house or anything. Most trouble she caused was whining when a train came through and barking on Halloween. I wanna say she was an indoor dog for no more than 3 years, and possibly even less than that.

Then we had to move. The new place didn't welcome pets. Our neighbors, who were good friends of ours, offered to take her in. I took Georgie over to their house for one night as a kind of dry run. When I went back to get her, she positively shunned me. I'd call to her to play, and she'd get up and walk into the other room. Only when I crawled under the space next to the sink in the bathroom and started crying did she come back and forgive me. But eventually, the move came, and we had to take her back there for keeps.

She knew them... she liked them... but they weren't us. Only once after we moved were we able to come down and visit our neighbors and see Georgie again. They called her from the laundry room, and she slowly trudged out, took one look, saw us, did a double take, and ran right out to greet us. The love fest commenced, but we eventually had to leave. To this day, I wonder if she thought we were coming to get her and take her home again.

Less than a year later, we got a call from our neighbors saying that she wasn't doing well... they'd taken her to a vet, who diagnosed her with cancer. They didn't have the money for expensive treatments, and we never would have asked them to put themselves out like that, so the decision was made to have her put to sleep. I cried like crazy on that day. When the call came a few days later that it was done, it hurt... but it didn't hurt as much for some reason.

I don't know if she grieved herself into cancer or if her 10 or 11 years of life caught up with her or what. But I remember the way that she laboriously trudged out of that laundry room, almost as if she was saying, "*sigh* Do I have to come out?" I'd say she'd given up.
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  #23  
Old 14 September 2009, 02:35 AM
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I would imagine it happens more with older animals than younger, for the same reasons that a bereaved spouse is more likely to either actively or passively commit suicide when the marriage was 60 years than when it lasted 6.
Older people's systems oftain are less impetus to keep going; they are often a delicate balancing act that is just not the case when you are younger. And when the relationship has spanned a good percentage of your life it is probably a bit more of a blow.
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  #24  
Old 14 September 2009, 03:29 AM
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When I was younger we had a wonderful old Lab named Doc and a talkative parrot... Surprisingly, they got along very well; even while he was in his cage, the bird's favorite game was to sit on his perch and, in a rather squawky voice, yell, "Doc! Come here! Here Doc!" Eventually Doc would hear him and trot into the room, at which point the bird would respond, "Doc, lie down. Lie down." Of course, when Doc responded appropriately, the parrot would always do his weird laugh and say, "Good boy! Good boy!" It was quite cute to watch, and it was really cool to see how the bird understood the sequence of events so well. Anyhow, when Doc got to be about 14 he started going downhill quick and had to be put down... Over the next week, the bird kept trying to call him into the room, getting louder and louder as Doc failed to respond. After about 7 days, he seemed to figure out that Doc was gone, and it's no exaggeration to say that just about went comatose. He stopped talking altogether, quit splashing in his water dish, and wouldn't even respond to someone trying to get him out of his cage. After the first month or so he started showing signs of improvement, but it was very slow. It was about 6 weeks after Doc's death that a friend went out of town, leaving her golden retriever (who, although fluffier, looked a lot like Doc) with us for a short while. As soon as the parrot heard the jingling of a dog collar coming up the stairs, he just snapped back to life, immediately returning to his favorite game. It didn't work, of course, as this dog didn't respond well to commands or share the same name, but just having her in the house made all the difference in terms of demeanor, appetite, you name it.
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  #25  
Old 17 September 2009, 03:12 PM
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Oddly enough I had a fish that appeared to grieve.

Years ago I had two goldfish named Zechs and Trieze (named after characters from a TV show). They lived together in the same tank and were quite happy together. Then Trieze became sick and I moved him into a seperate tank to avoid infecting Zechs. He died soon after.

Zechs actually seemed to go into mourning. He'd lay on the gravel at the bottom of the tank and not do anything. When he swam it was sluggish, as if he really didn't want to be doing it. Normally he recognised me and would do a happy sort of dance when he saw me/it was feeding time, but I got nothing out of him. He'd just sit under his little bridge and watch the food flakes drift down.

This lasted for about a week before he went back to his old self. It really seemed like he was depressed from losing his tankmate...
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  #26  
Old 17 September 2009, 04:08 PM
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Well our remaining gato, Fatty/Dingus/Doodlebug/Baby Gato has become the smooshiest, lovey-dovey cat since the old man-cat died.

He doesn't even fight for food anymore. Before he was obsessed with food. He'd eat Bubbie's food then eat his. Now he's all "Meh, there's enough, no more sharing, I'm good."

If he mourned, he surely didn't show it.

We'll probably get another cat or 2, can't wait to see how he does with them now that he'll be the "alpha" cat. Though I don't know if cats really have that sort of hierarchy like dogs.
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  #27  
Old 17 September 2009, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCIAG View Post
If he mourned, he surely didn't show it.
A total personality change isn't showing it? Obviously something about it affected him a lot.

Also, it really is an individual thing. Some animals will, some won't. One of my mother's dogs used to go into the downstairs room to visit my grandfather every day. After he died, she took one look at his empty chair and refused to go downstairs for the next year and a half. The other two dogs were more or less oblivious.
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  #28  
Old 17 September 2009, 04:48 PM
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I think he's happy he's the only cat now.
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  #29  
Old 17 September 2009, 04:50 PM
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Ok, fair enough.
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  #30  
Old 17 September 2009, 05:33 PM
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Several years ago there was a story in the local news about a dog whose master died. The dog was taken by relatives who lived about a mile away; they soon noticed that she would leave the yard every day for about an hour or two, eventually coming home again. They finally discovered what was happening: the dog went over to her old house, where she lay at the foot of the drive. The new owner of the house would come home about that time; the dog would wait to see if her old master was going to get out of the car, apparently, and when he didn't, she would go back to her new home. The TV station had footage of her waiting near the drive, running to the car, staring expectantly--and then dragging off with head and tail drooping. Made my wife and me cry.
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  #31  
Old 17 September 2009, 05:41 PM
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That just made me cry now Brad.
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  #32  
Old 07 October 2009, 05:28 PM
Assilem Brandywine Assilem Brandywine is offline
 
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My dog Troubles grieved for his former master, an elderly man who was my husband's grandfather. I don't think Troubles ever really understood what happened. Just that one day, his master was gone and never came back. He spent a lot of time moping about and not showing interest in anything. I just had to give him a hug and tell him, it's OK, my husband and I would take care of him now. He didn't have to change homes, so that probably made the situation a little easier for him. Troubles is much better now. He's getting on in years, so he spends a lot of time sleeping, but he'll get playful one in a while and he loves hugs and petting.
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  #33  
Old 08 October 2009, 10:48 PM
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I knew it was a mistake reading this thread. Tears are streaming down my face.
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  #34  
Old 09 October 2009, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xia View Post
I had a case I think could be considered connected. However it was not a case where a healthy animal died of "grief". I had a pair of pet rats who had been together since they were babies. They were older, one had heart problems and the other one had been fighting pneumonia for over a year (she would improve, then get worse for a while, then improve again etc). The one with heart problems suddenly died, my vet said it was most likely a heart attack. When she died my other rat seemed depressed and unhappy. She had been on a new set of medications and was improving but after her cagemate died her health declined and she died two weeks later. I am sure the stress of losing her cagemate contributed.
When I had one of my first pair of rats put to sleep his brother spent weeks just wandering round the cage or lying on the platform staring out the side. He barely ate or drank anything. It took a lot of attention, grooming and physical contact from his humans before he gradually got back to normal.
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