The simple answer is yes. However grief is never simple.
It has been found most people go through five stages of grief when we suffer the loss of a relative, friend or pet. They are denial/isolation, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. We do not go through them in any special order, nor do we all experience all five stages. Each of us deals with loss differently. So do our dogs.
For those of us who have watched our dog suffer from the loss of a beloved human or canine companion, there is nothing sadder. We cannot explain to them what has happened, or why their human or companion pet is never going to return. They are confused. Their feelings of separation and abandonment are quiet real to them. The only thing they recognize is one minute the object of their grief was here, the next they are gone.
They frequently express their feelings of abandonment through either one, all, or any combination of denial/isolation, anger, depression, and eventually acceptance.
More often than not, it is a shared loss. Yet sometimes we are so caught up in our own grief, we fail to see our pet is also grief-stricken. As their caretaker, we need to acknowledge and to help them pass through those stages as painlessly as possible.
Since they cannot communicate verbally, we can’t sit down and over a cup of coffee share our feelings and memories with them as a two-way discussion. Nonetheless, there are things we can do, to not only offer support and compassion, but to help them recover.
Many dog owners have found helping their pet, is quite therapeutic for them too.
The depth of the grief commonly relates to the strength and length of the relationship. Some may grieve forever. Most are quite resilient and after a reasonable amount of time, slowly come to accept their loss. This shared experience of loss and healing is often beneficial to both caretaker and pet. It often forges an even stronger relationship and bond.
Dogs express their grief and stress through their behaviors. Think about their uncertainty of their feelings of trust, dependency, loyalty, identity and attachment. It is quite common that they will influence their behavior.
Stages of grief to watch for and suggestions to help your dog recover 寵物保姆 as he or she works through them are:
You may find your pet firmly planted at the door…patiently waiting. Or sitting on a “special” chair or the person’s bed, refusing to leave it. Some may hide under a bed, or refuse to leave a room. Dogs that find comfort in their crates, may withdraw into it. If it is a companion dog they have lost, they may want to sleep in their crate or bed. What do you do?
They may by habit enthusiastically respond to familiar sounds such as a car door slamming, a voice on an answering machine or a key in the door, only to turn around and retreat to their sanctuary. For a reasonable amount of time, respect their need to wait or their desire to be alone. For the majority of dogs it may take a several days or weeks, for others a month or so, but eventually most realize whom or what they are waiting for is not returning to them. Note: If they respond to the voice on the answering machine, consider changing it, rather than leaving it as a constant reminder.
Coax, don’t force them to come out and interact. Share a pleasant experience like a walk or a game of fetch. Cuddle. You both can probably use a little touch therapy.
Talk to them. The sound of your voice is reassuring. Use lots of praise when you see they are attempting to break through the barricade they have set. Let them know you are happy to be together.