Animal Lovers - Dogs specifically....grieving

Updated on October 27, 2011
C.O. asks from Reston, VA
21 answers

Over the weekend my dog's brother died. He was only 15 months old. He played with him EVERY DAY as his mommy and I worked out together and are neighbors.

We found out one other of the litter died a month ago as I took Grady in for a vet check says he's fine - no heart murmur, blood is great, urine is great, weight, etc....Gavin - the first dog that died, died in a kennel while he was there over the weekend - he was 14 months old. Necropsy done - nothing was found. Grumble - died right before eating dinner - sat - howled in pain and collapsed - and was dead.

I'm grieving myself because while he was NOT my dog - he was VERY active in my life....

So how to do you help a grieving dog? Yesterday was the first day I took him over to his brother's house and he went looking for him and literally cried when he couldn't find him...pined and of course, I broke down crying as well...since Grumble came to our home - he can smell him here too and he's confused...

Please no snarky comments about it being a dog an animal etc. Grady is like one of my children and he's just a wonderful addition to our family...I'm NOT a helicopter mom but I find myself being one this week...he's with me everywhere - he does follow me like a toddler this week too....

urgh...sorry this is not well put together and rambling. I love my dog and don't know how to help him...

any advice?

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So What Happened?

aaww the Rainbow Bridge makes me cry every time!! thank you...i was going to get a picture of Grumble and print out the Rainbow Bridge to give it to my Girl Friend....

I'll ask her about Grumble's toys-I didn't think of that.

Thank you ladies!!

Featured Answers


answers from St. Louis on

Buy him a puppy!!!

I do think they get over it the same as humans so I don't think he would buy into the new puppy.

Poor Grady. :(

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

You help him by getting anohter dog. He is sad becuase he lost his brother but he is sad becuase he is now alone. The second dog will not replace the lost one but will help. We lost my dog's sister and we got another one that ended up being a dog with the same manerisims as the lost one.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

Let him bring some of Grumble's toys home - 1) it will help your brother not to have the dog toys around the house and 2) the scent will linger, even if for a short time.
Sorry for your loss.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Aww, so sorry you are dealing with this. We lost one of our dogs this past July and still have her sister with us. We got both dogs when they were puppies 8 years ago! Needless to say, Dottie was quite upset and lost for a while after Maggie's death. After all, they had been together every day of their lives for 8 years.

What I found is that they aren't much different than people in that they need time to grieve. Basically, we just showered Dottie with extra love and affection for a while. We took her everywhere with us when possible so that she wouldn't be alone. She seemed to be back to her old self within a month or two.

I'm sure Grady will be the same way and back to his old self in no time. Just give him extra hugs and treats for a while. He'll probably rebound faster than you do!

Good Luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

Awwwww, I'm sorry :0(
when I had to put my dog down 3 years ago, I was DEVASTATED!!!!!!! I had him for almost 15 years and he was LITERALLY my child.... The only thing that helped me was talking about him, blowing up and framing pictures of him, crying day and night, listening to songs, etc.. "Some" people might think of them as "dogs", but he was my first baby, truly!!!!!
Here is a poem that someone gave to me when my Beau passed....

If it should be....

If it should be that I grow frail and weak,
and pain should keep me from my sleep,
then you must do what must be done,
for we know this last battle can't be won.

You will be sad, I understand,
but don't let grief then stay your hand,
for this day, more than the rest,
your love and friendship must stand the test.

We've had so many happy years,
what is to come can hold no fears.
Would you want me to suffer? So,
when the time comes, please let me go.

Take me where my needs they'll tend,
only stay with me until the end,
and hold me firm and speak to me,
until my eyes no longer see.

It is a kindness that you do to me,
although my tail it's last has waved,
from pain and suffering I have been saved.

Do not grieve, it should be you,
who must decide this thing to do.
We've been so close, we two these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.

Author unknown

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Rockford on

Losing a pet is so heart breaking...I have been in the room w/ all 3 of our boys as they left us...and it never gets easier. They love you unconditionally, no matter how you treat them, they will make you laugh and always seem to know when we are hurting or sad.

I'm sorry your dog lost a best buddy and sibling. I like what Rebecca said...bring some of Grumble's toys home for Grady. Just play w/ him, love him and be upbeat for's what he would do for you!

Hope things get easier for you and Grady over the coming days and weeks.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Poor guy. I would say just be there for him, loving on him as much as possible. Do his favorite things - walks, treats, ball, etc. I think in time he will forget.

When I divorced, I took my boxer and left the rotweiller with my now-ex. Poor girl (the rottie) wanted so bad to go with us when I left that last day with my boxer. I wonder often if she whined a lot or what happened with her.

Sorry for your loss, Cheryl.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

How awful-know that you are not alone in your thoughts. Animals are family and the people that don't think so maybe shouldn't have them.

Time is the only thing that will get you through-that and each other. Read below-it's an excellent poem for animal lovers! My sypathies to your family.

The Rainbow Bridge poem.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

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answers from Tallahassee on

I'm so sorry for your loss, and Grady's. That's really tough. He was still basically a puppy. :(

I've had dogs all of my life and they truly do become family. Our 11-year old basset hound had pancreatic cancer and we had to put him to sleep a little less than two months ago. It still makes me cry sometimes when I think of him.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I second all the comments about extra affection and bringing over toys from the other dog. Try to be positive yourself. The first bit will be rough but we found if we put on a more positive front our dogs did better. However, if you have a fairly needy/dependent dog, then you may experience what we did. Our male Pug never did get over the death of our female Shar Pei. Our Pug had been around her his whole life (nearly 6 years) so inseparable was only the half of it. After 8 months, our vet suggested we get him a companion since our Pug had become the ultimate crotchety old man - no offense to any old crotchety men who may read this post. After we adopted a female rescue Pug, he experienced a complete change and went back to his old self within a few short days. It was amazing. Either way sorry about your loss and good luck to your whole family during this time.

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answers from Baton Rouge on

Dogs most definitely grieve, and other than giving him lots of extra attention, there isn't much you can do to help him through it. You can't talk to them and explain the way you do with a child.

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answers from Dothan on

Unfortunately you can't do anything other than love him when he cries, cuz' he can't understand our language (spoken) but he can understand our/your sadness, anger, joy...I think you should think about not taking him there for awhile.

Are their other 'kidz' in your area that Grady can play with? A furry friend would help him alot right now.

I am still shedding tears over my dogs who have 'gone before', all pets that have been in my life loving me & putting a smile on my face.

Blessed Be...Angels to watch over you & Grady is what Gavin & Grumble are now.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Sorry I'm late to this Cheryl and I'm really sorry about your dog. Several years ago my sweetheart Cairn Terrier woke in the middle of the night gasping for breath. My husband rushed her to the vet, but was too late. She had invasive liver cancer and hadn't given us a clue. We had the vet keep her so we could see her and say good--bye. Our lab - her best friend - sniffed her carefully and then began to howl and cry.

For the next couple of weeks the lab and I would get the kids to school, come home and lay on the floor together and just cry. After a week or so of this our (then) one year old Pomeranian would start to bug us - pull on the lab's ear, kiss my tears - and just make us get up and go outside. Gus and I were sad for a really long time.

Give yourself the space to grieve and eventually it will feel like time for another - it may take awhile. We later got a Border Terrier (whom I adore) but even though I really want a Cairn - 14 years later, I'm still not ready. So sorry.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Aawww, I'm sorry Cheryl. My dog is still a little off since we had to put the older one to sleep back in August. We're ALL still a little off.

I'm starting to be able to start to start to think about a new puppy (tehehe).

Maybe it's time for your fella to have the same? I mean, as long as you already have ONE, and you're home a lot too, right? It's really nice for a dog to have the company of another.

Maybe we can talk each other into it?!

Very sorry about your Doggie Nephew. That sucks.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

Post Katrina my old girl kitty crashed and had to cross the Rainbow bridge. Her companion cat, Thor, literally grieved for her. He was clingy, and needy, and confused, and even tried to love on the dog (whom he intensely disliked). My son looked at me one morning, a few weeks later, and said "Mom, we have to go get Thor another cat". Ah, he was a wise 8 year old.

So we did - we went to the Humane Society and adopted a beautiful 11 month girl (Zoe) and brought her home. When she popped up out of the carrier Thor literally meowed with glee and immediately ran to her - she, of course, hissed at him.

They ultimately spent the next 6 years together as close companion cats. Thor crossed the Rainbow bridge this past May, and while we have adopted many more animals, and Zoe often hung out with the dogs, she went through a strong grieving process.

My son and I help our pets cope by giving them extra love and attention, in Thor's case it was adopting another pet for him, for Zoe, since we, by then, had two other cats and 4 dogs, we gave her lots and lots of attention and love, ensured she was with one of us when we were home, and increased her creature comforts as much as possible. She has adjusted, but spends more time with the dogs now than the other two cats.

It is so hard to see our pets grieve. You are doing the right thing - keeping Grady with you, and giving him lots and lots of extra attention. He needs to be reassured that you and your family will be there with him.

Good Luck
God Bless

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

So sorry, Cheryl. Of course animals grieve.
Just show him love and affection.

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answers from Washington DC on

awe. ;-(

My only suggestion would be to give him a toy or two from your neighbor's house that had been his brother's.

So sorry.

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answers from Providence on

Oh so sad. Yes, dogs definetly grieve. Maybe if you had a toy or something for the dog to have, that might help. I know how my own cat Pearl felt when my other cat died. She would meow around the house trying to look for her. It was very sad. I put out her little bed for Pearl , and she would sleep in it every day. I think it brought her some comfort. I also would give her extra snuggles, and attention.

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answers from Milwaukee on

I literally just hear a report on NPR an hour ago about this very subject-there is an author with a new book out specifically regarding this.

I'm so sorry-doggie death can be so very hard and it's nothing to be ashamed of....when our older dog died 4 years ago our younger one was miserable...we were steadfast on not getting another dog to soon, but after 6 weeks we realized we were so miserable that maybe a new pup would help-and he totally did. But give yourself and your pup time to grieve as well.

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answers from Richmond on

Aww poor Grady, bring him over to play with River dog!!

Keep your chin up honey, I'm sorry to hear all this, I know it's tough :(

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answers from Naples on

Oh, I'm sorry for your loss! I understand, I had to say goodbye to my best boy in June after 16+ years together. He was my baby when I thought that I would never marry and have a 2 legged one! Maybe a toy of his brother's would help, or if you have a dog park that you could visit, maybe he would enjoy going to have play dates there? I just adopted a new puppy from the SPCA last week....still missing my boy but loving my little girl like crazy! Maybe a new puppy would help everyone!?

1 mom found this helpful
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