Missing Kelly

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    May 03, 2013 7:34 PM GMT
    As many of you know, I had to help my 16 year old dog Kelly pass a while back. It's been rough for me of course because my dogs go everywhere with me.....to the coffee house....to the gym...and even to work. My other dog Joe has always gotten panic attacks whenever they were separated, so I was always careful to keep them together. I knew Kelly's death would be hard on him, but I didn't know he would take it this hard. Ever since Kelly's death on March 12th, Joe has been having nightly panic attacks. Around 2AM every night, he gets up and starts pacing, drooling and hyperventilating. When I try to pet him he just pulls away. He won't even take a treat. As soon as he sees I'm up, he runs to the door and wants out. Once outside, he continues his pacing outside. Even if it's storming (he's terrified of storms), he will just pace in the rain. He's okay in the daytime as long as I'm with him. I can't leave him inside because he will panic the entire time. On nice days I leave him outside when I can't take him with me, but summer is around the corner and I won't be able to leave him out in the heat we have down here. I just can't take him everywhere I go as some places don't allow dogs.

    The vet gave me Benedryl to give him at night to knock him out but that did nothing....even at 50mgs. And I really don't want to put him on Xanax because I don't want to mess with his brain chemistry unless I absolutely have to.

    Here are two videos....the first one was taken when Kelly was alive (the black one), and as you can see, Joe is in the background with his tail held high and wagging; obviously very happy. But since Kelly died, his tail stays tucked between his legs. I took the second video to send to a behavioral veteranarian, but unfortunately they are out of state.

    Anyone have any experience with a grieving dog? Any suggestions?


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    May 03, 2013 7:39 PM GMT
    Poor baby. I'm so sorry.

    A couple of thoughts. First, dogs are very reactive to their owners' moods. I would make sure you're not giving off negative, sad vibes that he's reflecting back.

    Second, for years we had two cats that didn't get along very well. Nevertheless, when one died, the other went a bit crazy - unhappy, meowing at shadows, hissing and scratching at nothing. The cure for him was a couple of new kittens. They followed him around and treated him like a god, and he clearly loved every minute of it. He died happy.

    Maybe your baby needs a new canine friend.
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    May 03, 2013 8:23 PM GMT
    Oh this is heartbreaking to see! Loneliness must be killing him!
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    May 03, 2013 8:24 PM GMT
    showme saidPoor baby. I'm so sorry.

    A couple of thoughts. First, dogs are very reactive to their owners' moods. I would make sure you're not giving off negative, sad vibes that he's reflecting back.

    Second, for years we had two cats that didn't get along very well. Nevertheless, when one died, the other went a bit crazy - unhappy, meowing at shadows, hissing and scratching at nothing. The cure for him was a couple of new kittens. They followed him around and treated him like a god, and he clearly loved every minute of it. He died happy.

    Maybe your baby needs a new canine friend.



    No, the only negative emotions I'm having are my sadness for him. I feel good about helping Kelly to pass as he needed the assistance. As far as a "new friend", I was hoping not to go there as I'm allergic to dogs and didn't want to get another one right now. But if that's what it takes to make him happy, I will certainly do it. And honestly, it's kind of looking that way. The only thing that makes his tail go up is when he meets another dog. Kelly's eyes never left me and I know I was his everything. Joe on the other hand saw Kelly as his little boss.
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    May 03, 2013 8:47 PM GMT
    I agree with Showme. I'm not sure if Joe spent most of his life around Kelly, but that must be a tremendous shock to him. A puppy would be therapeutic for both of you (your allergies not withstanding.).

    As I said in a previous post, I was really touched by Kelly's communicativeness....he was a talker...lol.

    Joe is not going to be around forever.


    I lost my Mother in August of 2011 and I'm taking each day as it comes.

    No longer forward nor behind
    I look in hope or fear;
    But, grateful, take the good I find,
    The best of now and here.

    ~~John Greenleaf Whittier

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    May 03, 2013 8:57 PM GMT


    We always have gotten a puppy to help our other dog(s) cope by bonding to a new companion.

  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2603

    May 04, 2013 12:51 AM GMT
    Sorry to hear about your loss of Kelly, and Joe`s distress.

    Like the guys above have said, a new dog companion is probably the best for Joe if you can have one. I think we humans underestimate just how social dogs are and if he`s always known the company of Kelly, it`s bound to be distressing for him now Kelly`s not there and he`s alone.

    They`re also intensely creatures of habit and routine, so Joe`ll be looking for Kelly and not understanding why he can`t find his friend anymore, why everything has changed so much; all adding to his distress.
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    May 04, 2013 1:53 AM GMT
    Aww man, that sucks!

    My dog Max went through separation anxiety a little when I deployed. when I came home, he went ape shit....and for a long, long time he would start whining ever i would leave the home because he thought i was going to be gone again for another 6-7 months. he didn't want to even eat his food if i wasn't in the same room as him.

    unfortunately, it only took time before he finally stopped doing stuff like that. months, really.

    on occasion he still gets pitiful and when he sees me in uniform in the morning getting ready for work he won't eat his food and just sit there and stare at me with this sad face. :/

    dogs are amazing creatures and they experience a lot of the same emotions we do...unfortunately it seems like 10x the amount sometimes. the only thing i have as a suggestion is maybe get another dog? or find other places with dogs to bring him too? otherwise, it's just going to take time icon_sad.gif
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    May 04, 2013 6:53 PM GMT
    Aww poor dog! He's so sweet!

    Maybe I would try leaving the first video, the one with Kelly, on loop on a dvd player all night long, so he could relax a bit by seeing her? icon_question.gif
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    May 04, 2013 7:27 PM GMT
    It's such a sad situation....for both of you. The only thing I can think of, besides adding to your family, is regular interaction with other dogs. Is there a doggie day care he could attend or perhaps regular play dates with some canine friends? I have a special needs dog and play dates really worked wonders for him.

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 04, 2013 7:41 PM GMT
    Well so very sorry about the whole situation. Sorry you lost Kelly and that Joe has been having such a difficult time. I don't have too much to offer except to say, I think you are on the right road.. have Joe evaluated. Maybe another companion will help eventually, but if they spent 14 years together... it will be tough.

    I really enjoyed the video with Kelly, I could tell she really loved you and her home.
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    May 04, 2013 11:04 PM GMT
    joedaveyjones.jpg

    I took Joe to the facility where I used to take Kelly swimming to meet with a dog expert and have him evaluate Joe. (Kelly was a boy by the way.) This is him with Joe. He said that Joe was most likely going to pace himself to death until he either found Kelly or found another buddy. *Sigh*

    baxter.jpg

    So he introduced Joe to this dog...Baxter. Baxter has been at the facility for almost a year. He has his own room that's about the size of a person's bedroom which the first photo was taken in. So I know Baxter pretty well from our visits there. He's a sweet dog but he's a big ole lug. He's about 80lbs! Two problems though...I'm very allergic to Baxter and he's so big I'm afraid he might frighten customers at my business. But they said I can take Baxter home and do a sleep over to see if that helps Joe.