Mourning a loss

Luke had been under the weather for about a week and a bit, I was worried but chalked it up to his sore shoulder.  He'd tweaked it again; a common occurrence over the years.  So he rested for several days in a row but it seemed to be more than a tweaked shoulder, he seemed down.  I made an appointment for him to have his senior check up, a full blood panel and urine analysis.  But over the days I thought that maybe, just maybe he was mourning the loss of his siblings.  They'd been gone now a couple months but we just moved back to our old house and when we left this house they were  with us so the memories were strong once again.

We lost our oldest on the trip to Connecticut, it had been heart wrenching but it could have gone unnoticed to the others during the turmoil of the move and travel.  It was a tumultuous time for them all and over the year before Jessie had slowly been disappearing from daily activities due to her dementia.  Once we got to Connecticut it was hectic from the get go, unpacking, settling, celebrating Christmas and the arrival of the rest of the family.

Then we lost Tilley, a devastating blow.  About 3 weeks after Tilley's death Luke started to display separation anxiety, it was heart wrenching coming home to his mournful cries.  Luke had never, ever displayed anxiety from our absence.  He was well adjusted and quite accustom to my comings and goings.  Had he just been hit with the loss of Tilley?  I thought so.

Things changed again, because of Luke's sudden onset of anxiety I stopped going out without them most of the time.  They traveled together, even though I needed to get Elsa out on her own I couldn't leave Luke alone and devastated in the house.  We went lots of different places and with the cooler weather, wherever I went they came too.  Things seemed to have turned around for Luke and he was dealing.  The bond between Luke and Elsa grew much closer over the next month.  Then another change.

We moved to CA and once back in our old home again he stopped playing with Elsa and just wasn't himself.  I think he quickly slipped into a funk once we got home and he realized that they (his life long companions) were not here.  We got his results back  on Saturday and everything looks pretty good.  A little bit of a high liver enzyme count but that is a common issue with older dogs.

I am happy to say that he seems to be dealing with his loss issues now.  He got a new haircut which always puts a spring back in his step and we've been out and about to new places.  He has been out alone with Dad, back into their old routine and he played with Elsa again on the weekend.  It has been a difficult time stepping back into our old lives but without our old dogs.  We have had to mourn again, the loss has been felt even more now that we are home.  Not only for us but for Luke.  I am sure that it was his emotions and his dealing with the loss once again.  After all he lived his entire life with those two girls, they were his life and now they are gone.  He must figure this new life out once again, he is no longer the wanna be leader but indeed the leader.  He has a new young lady looking to him for life lessons.

Dog emotions are much more intense and invasive than many people would think.  Just look into their eyes and you will see that their emotions are much like our own.


  1. Virginia TheNurseMonday, April 23, 2012

    Alot of people don't realize that dogs feel so many emotions for the same reasons that we do.......we have to figure out how to elevate their moods.......when we got James, his owner had died and he was depressed. I could see it in him, the hesitancy, the droopy tail, and looking for mom. We took him everywhere with us and established a new routine for him and introduced him to new friends at a daycare and he adjusted in about a month, now knowing that I was his new mom and now he has a dad and all new friends. We must be sensitive to the feelings they have and acknowledge those feelings as we all know they are way too smart and do understand more than you realize.

  2. Oh my....not a dry eye did I have while reading this! So very sorry for all! One thing is for sure in life...."Life is always changing" it never stays the same! Enjoy it to the fullest.

  3. We too are still mourning here but just now able to consider getting poor lonely Dolly a new Bouvier . I have not been able to even look at his photos or talk to breeders about puppies. So just Friday I we went to a Bouvier specialty match. I did petty good til I petted a guy that looked a lot like my Boo. Came home smelling like Bouviers and Dolly was so excited and kept licking my hand. I guess smell may be breed specific! Still I cry.....


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