Depressed Grieving Dog, Need Advice!

Moka

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I need some advice from the dog lovers on this site. My parents have a 5ish year old spayed female named Flurry. I think she is a corgi - terrier mix. A family member that Flurry was very attached to just died of cancer. My family is grieving and people are stressing out planning the funeral. All the while Flurry is just deflated and depressed. She is clearly grieving as well. She is glued to my mother's side, possibly out of fear of losing her too. My mother has spent the past year caring for this family member and now that he is gone, she plans to go back to work, leaving Flurry alone in the house for the very first time. The idea of getting another dog to keep Flurry company and maybe even help with the grief is being considered. The main obstacle of Flurry getting a new friend is really Flurry herself. She was never really socialized with other dogs. She has gotten really upset, growling and baring her teeth at most of the dogs she has met. Now, she did meet a neighbor dog by accident and was totally fine with the dog. Flurry even tried to initiate play. This is the ONLY time she has been ok with another dog. This dog was a slightly smaller and older than Flurry. The other dogs she has met were younger and higher energy. So, maybe Flurry would tolerate a dog of similar size and similar age. But, when would be the right time to adopt a new dog? Should my parents give Flurry time to settle and grieve? What should they be looking for in Flurry as a sign that she might be ready to except a new friend in her life?
 

Jcatbird

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I would let her settle a little. Let some of the changes be completed and maybe you could try fostering a dog to see if she will bond. Fostering is temporary unless you decide to adopt so you would be helping another dog but not locked into keeping it unless they bond. You might also consider a cat. It might be less threatening. I’ve had some dogs bond more with a cat or kitten that another dog. It’s also possible that a puppy or kitten might bring out the parental instincts and give her focus on caring for a young one. Fostering is always a great way to test things out. I’m so sorry for everyones’ loss. It’s a sad time for all and I think it’s wonderful that Flurry is being given such thought and love during this time.
 

neely

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It would be best for Flury to acclimate to the family member being gone and your mom going through the stages of grief. Before bringing another animal into the house I would try to build up Flury's confidence with the neighbor's dog since she has accepted him/her. Then go from there. In addition, even if you got a playmate for Flury you would probably have to crate them separately once your mom returns to work unless you were 100% sure you could give them the run of the house. Another suggestion would be for your family to hire a dog walker that could come in while your mom's at work, exercise Flury and spend some time playing with her. Just out of curiosity, has Flury gone through obedience training? The reason I asked is because if you decide to bring another animal into the house it would be essential for her to know the necessary commands.

I'm very sorry for your family's loss. :hugs: I completely understand how difficult this is on everyone including Flury. For right now take your time to mourn and then discuss your options. Best of luck!
 

Maria Bayote

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Fostering as suggested by Jcatbird Jcatbird is a very good advice. That way you will know if Flurry will be accepting of this dog or not. If it is, then you can go ahead with officially adopting it.

Yes, let her also grieve. But I personally also would not want Flurry to be alone in the house once your Mom returns to work. There are dogs who cannot bear to be alone, and it seems Flurry is one of them. I have 3 dogs but whenever one of them leaves the house for a vet visit, the remaining 2 dogs would howl endlessly until their brother gets back home.Or, when my son is not in the house (whom they are closest to), I would see them prancing restlessly about the house and sometimes even howl like crazy.

By the way, here's sending you my deepest condolences to the loss of your family member. Hang in there.
 
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Moka

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I would let her settle a little. Let some of the changes be completed and maybe you could try fostering a dog to see if she will bond. Fostering is temporary unless you decide to adopt so you would be helping another dog but not locked into keeping it unless they bond. You might also consider a cat. It might be less threatening. I’ve had some dogs bond more with a cat or kitten that another dog. It’s also possible that a puppy or kitten might bring out the parental instincts and give her focus on caring for a young one. Fostering is always a great way to test things out. I’m so sorry for everyones’ loss. It’s a sad time for all and I think it’s wonderful that Flurry is being given such thought and love during this time.
Thank you, I did not even think of fostering first. I let my parents know (I don't live with them anymore.) and they are taking it into consideration. I think you are probably right too about letting things settle before getting the new dog. This is all especially sad because Flurry was SO attracted to the person that died. During his last days, Flurry almost never left his side. Since his passing, my father has found Flurry in his empty bedroom, just laying there. She probably knew before anyone else that he was "going". Even in a situation like this, I am just amazed at the intelligence and empathy of animals.
As far as getting a cat goes, my parents have two right now. One is a senior and the other is possibly in end stage kidney failure. They both live in the garage and only Flurry is allowed in the house. It is a long story (There is a previous thread floating around somewhere.) and I most definitely do not agree with my parent's actions or opinions regarding the cats. I just have no way of changing anything. :frustrated::frustrated::frustrated: So, they have said that once these two "go", they are done with cats.
I also think it is wonderful that they have taken Flurry's needs and feelings into account. I have tried to help them with suggestions, but dogs are not my forte, hence this thread. Thank you again for your advice.[/QUOTE]
 
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Moka

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It would be best for Flury to acclimate to the family member being gone and your mom going through the stages of grief. Before bringing another animal into the house I would try to build up Flury's confidence with the neighbor's dog since she has accepted him/her. Then go from there. In addition, even if you got a playmate for Flury you would probably have to crate them separately once your mom returns to work unless you were 100% sure you could give them the run of the house. Another suggestion would be for your family to hire a dog walker that could come in while your mom's at work, exercise Flury and spend some time playing with her. Just out of curiosity, has Flury gone through obedience training? The reason I asked is because if you decide to bring another animal into the house it would be essential for her to know the necessary commands.

I'm very sorry for your family's loss. :hugs: I completely understand how difficult this is on everyone including Flury. For right now take your time to mourn and then discuss your options. Best of luck!
Thank you! I like the dog walker idea and I passed it on to my parents as well as your suggestion to possibly build up Flurry's confidence with the neighbor dog. I am not totally sure of everything that Flurry has been trained to do. But, it is more tricks than obedience. I do know she will sit, but generally only when a treat is involved. She may come when called, if there is nothing distracting her like a squirrel. She has an incredible prey drive. She was never taught proper leash manners, so she is a nightmare to walk. But, hey! She will roll over or give you her paw for a treat! :ohwell: I can definitely see what you are getting at and I agree completely. Flurry needs to learn basic obedience training before they bring another dog in. I will mention this to my parents as well. Thank you.
 

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All good preliminary plans. I hope Flurry find love in another. :redheartpump: Animals have a huge of love and compassion to give. Please let us know how everything is going. You all have our greatest sympathy and appreciation for all that is being done for Flurry.
 
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