WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOUR DOG LOSES HIS BEST FRIEND?

 

(This was a question asked of Ann Landers in December 1993.)

 

 

††††††††††† Dear Ann Landers:I know this is going to sound incredibly anthropomorphic*, but is there any way to help a dog deal with grief?

††††††††††† I have two dogs that have not been separated since they were newborn puppies.They are not related.Rex will soon have to be put to sleep due to crippling arthritis, while Rocky appears to be in excellent health and should have a long life ahead of him.

††††††††††† Is there any way to help Rocky understand that Rex isnít coming back when the time comes?

††††††††††† Whenever we take Rex to the vet for a checkup, Rocky positions himself at the front door, whines and refuses to budge until Rex returns.Iím deeply concerned about what will happen to Rocky when he loses his best friend.†††††††† -- Dog Lover in D.C.

 

††††††††††† Dear D.C.:Sometimes animals seem so smart we forget that they cannot process information like humans.There is no way you can get Rocky to understand that Rex will not be coming back.Your best bet is to try to fill the void by taking him for rides or walks, giving him extra attention and a change of scenery.After several weeks have passed, bring home another puppy.Good Luck

 

 

* suggesting human characteristics for animals or inanimate things