|Jeffie and the Dog Daddy|
Awhile back I wrote about missing Jeffie and Kim (Team Beaglebratz) left a comment which included:
" I was wondering something - is there a chance your other dogs would still be grieving a little - or were they never close to Jeffie? Just a thought."My answer is yes. Especially Rudy.
And it got me thinking about other animals we've lost and the reactions of the ones they left behind.
I firmly believe our pets do grieve.For both their animal and human companions.
I shared Tim and Tom's story with you last week (Burying Tom and Going Home) Our Belgian draft horses Tim and Tom spent their whole lives together. Born on the same farm and matched up as a team, they ate, slept, worked and played together. When Tom died at age 29, Tim was present as our vet administered the euthanasia drugs. He was present as we buried him
And Tim stood guard at Tom's grave for weeks sending heart breaking whinnies into the skies. Tom was never the same and there was never any doubt he spent the rest of his own life missing his partner.
|Tim (left) and Tom (right)|
When we lost Cakes this past January, Ditty - who never even bothered to answer Cakes whinnies for her - spent more than a week in grief. Calling for her friend. Like Tim and Tom, Ditty and Cakes had spent their whole lives together.
Most of our dogs have been present at the deaths and burials of their canine friends. There has always been a very subdued mood and they've always spent time visiting the graves.
Rudy has lived through the loss of Tucker, Lucy Jeffie and now Gary. He was really just a puppy when Tucker was dying.The last two days we most often found Rudy sitting vigil with Tucker. He still visits Tucker and Lucy's graves.
|Rudy sitting vigil with Tucker.|
I started to say that Rudy hasn't been the same since Jeffie died, but the truth is that he hasn't been the same since Jeffie became ill. Both Rudy and Rosie were very upset, nervous and worried. Rudy more so.
And when we came home without Jeffie - after that fateful mad dash to the vet when Jeffie died in my arms before we could get there - neither Rudy nor Rosie looked for him.
Since then Rudy has become more my dog than ever. He's been by turns what I would call depressed and what I would call manic. When we're outside playing he pretty much goes crazy. I have no doubt his misses his hairy brother and the rowdy play they loved.
|Rowdy boys Rudy and Jeffie|
These days both Rudy and Rosie are missing their Dog Daddy. They periodically check the house for him. Rudy sometimes stations himself at the front door watching for him. They examine and sniff things that were his.
|Rudy waiting and hoping.|
Yes, they're definitely influenced by my own angst and heartbreak - in all these instances of loss. However, their behavior leaves no doubt in my mind.
Do animals grieve?
Unequivocally, I say yes.