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We rescued a sweet senior dog named Patches almost 3 years ago, not long ago we found out that he had cancer. He passed away just days before his surgery was scheduled. The loss has been very hard on all of us, one of the kids especially, she keeps crying that home doesn't feel like home anymore because Patches is gone. We had him cremated and the vet gave us an imprint of his paw, we put the urn, his paw print and our favorite pictures of him on a shelf in the living room. We have discussed possibly getting another dog but we think it might be too soon right now.

It had also been hard on our other dog, Lucy. She was always an only dog and when we decided to adopt Patches, they were instant best friends, and did everything together. Since he has passed away, she is showing signs of depression. She would bump her nose against his dish and look around as if she is waiting for him to come like he always did, when he didn't come, she got really sad. We decided to pick up his dishes but when I did, she got very upset and started barking at me and pacing. In fact, if we touch anything of his, it is pretty much the same reaction. Once his items are out of sight, her tail goes down and her head lowers. For a few days she refused to eat or go outside, but now she will eat if we give her soft food.

We are going to talk to the vet tomorrow but does anyone have any advice on how to help Lucy through this and any tips on helping myself and my family?
 

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I am so sorry for your loss. Animals are like family and when you lose one it is very hard. I have read that people encourage those that have lost a pet to get another one. While you will always miss the pet you lost, another sweet pup that needs a home could add a lot of joy into your life. Best of luck.
 

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I'm sorry I don't have any advice but I just wanted to write and say I'm sorry for your loss. When Hope passed, Pippin didn't seem at all phased. And they were together for 15 years! When Pippin passed, Sybbie wouldn't leave the vet hospital at first but by the time we got home she was fine. I'm so sorry to hear it has not been so easy for your daughter and Lucy, and I'm sure you. Grief has no timetable, no right way to treat it. I'm glad you are consulting with your vet. I hope the pain will ease in the coming weeks.
 

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I can't talk for your dog, but many years ago, my clergy gave me compassionate, counter-intuitive advice, after my family lost of our companion of 17 years. He suggested that we get another puppy immediately, because loving and taking care of the puppy would push us through the grieving process. While the puppy doesn't replace the dog that passed away, it does help to fill the empty gap in your heart, and helps to erase any wallowing and self-pity. Even after a year, we still missed the other dog, but the pain was significantly diminished. I've gone through this process four times, and each time the adoption process gets easier. The loss never gets easy, but does get easier...

As far as Lucy, if she is a Lab mix, she may like puppies ... or a new dog... But, you'll have to learn that from her.
 

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Patches sure was a cute little fella. I feel for y'all. I hope you have many many fond memories of him and hope your other dog does too. I really like his expression in the second picture it made me smile.
 

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Lucy will come around in time. Our lab used to tear up our old bullmastiffs stuffed toys every chance she got, she would also steal her bed at every chance. Lil brat. After the BM passed, also from cancer, our lab started carrying the stuffed toys around with her instead of destroying them. She also stopped getting in the dog bed she used to steal at every chance. It took several weeks but she got back to normal. After about a week we bagged up the BMs things and put them away. I think having those items around the house was making it harder for all of us. I can say the lab recovered much sooner than I did.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
We do have many fond memories of him. The second photo was the day that we brought him home from the shelter.

We did decide to get a new dog. We tried another shelter dog that was the same age as Lucy, his name was Hercules, the shelter said we could do a two week foster trial to see if he was a good fit for our family, but unfortunately, Hercules wouldn't leave Lucy alone long enough for her to get used to him. We introduced them at a neutral location but as soon as he saw her, he pulled so hard on his leash that it knocked my brother in law to the ground (We found out why he was named Hercules!) and Hercules mounted Lucy. Lucy is spayed, has been for almost 5 years, and the shelter failed to mention Hercules wasn't fixed and it wasn't listed on his paperwork. Lucy started to throw up and Hercules started to peed on her. We contacted the shelter and they apologized for not informing us that he wasn't fixed and told us to take him back to them. After Hercules didn't work out we decided to try for a younger dog, he is a 7 month old boxer/pit bull mix named Apollo.
 

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We do have many fond memories of him. The second photo was the day that we brought him home from the shelter.

We did decide to get a new dog. We tried another shelter dog that was the same age as Lucy, his name was Hercules, the shelter said we could do a two week foster trial to see if he was a good fit for our family, but unfortunately, Hercules wouldn't leave Lucy alone long enough for her to get used to him. We introduced them at a neutral location but as soon as he saw her, he pulled so hard on his leash that it knocked my brother in law to the ground (We found out why he was named Hercules!) and Hercules mounted Lucy. Lucy is spayed, has been for almost 5 years, and the shelter failed to mention Hercules wasn't fixed and it wasn't listed on his paperwork. Lucy started to throw up and Hercules started to peed on her. We contacted the shelter and they apologized for not informing us that he wasn't fixed and told us to take him back to them. After Hercules didn't work out we decided to try for a younger dog, he is a 7 month old boxer/pit bull mix named Apollo.
First off sorry to hear of your loss.

Not sure what breed or mix Hercules was but a boxer/Pitbull mix is some real energy.
Maybe a adult dog with a lower drive might work a bit better.
 

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This good thing about a younger dog is that Lucy should be able to snark him and teach him some manners. As MastiffGuy wrote, Apollo may have the same energy that Hercules did, but he may be less "persistent." ;-) Apollo is an adolescent, so you may have to 'protect' Lucy, if Apollo keeps trying to play even after Lucy says No, just putting Apollo in a brief 15 sec. - 30 sec. timeout ["Apollo, Calm down"], on leash and sitting. When you put Apollo on leash and he strains to break the Sit to go play with Lucy, if she entices him and teases him, that's a good sign. But, if Lucy tries to get away, Apollo may need more impulse control training ... which is not unusual for a high energy adolescent.
 

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This good thing about a younger dog is that Lucy should be able to snark him and teach him some manners. As MastiffGuy wrote, Apollo may have the same energy that Hercules did, but he may be less "persistent." ;-) Apollo is an adolescent, so you may have to 'protect' Lucy, if Apollo keeps trying to play even after Lucy says No, just putting Apollo in a brief 15 sec. - 30 sec. timeout ["Apollo, Calm down"], on leash and sitting. When you put Apollo on leash and he strains to break the Sit to go play with Lucy, if she entices him and teases him, that's a good sign. But, if Lucy tries to get away, Apollo may need more impulse control training ... which is not unusual for a high energy adolescent.
Apollo certainly does have a lot of energy, and he often tries to lick her butt area, which she doesn't like. She is very tolerant of him until he tries to lick her or he gets too rough with the kids. At times he will start nibbling on her tail and she is completely fine with it but if he tries to lick her then she will give him a warning. My sister suggested that maybe Lucy was sick and that was why Apollo was trying to lick her but the vet said Lucy is completely healthy. We were keeping his leash on him while he was in the house just so we could control the situation a little better. We have been working on impulse control training but it seems that Apollo will listen to me better than everyone else in the house. He is also gentler with me and he doesn't jump up on me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
First off sorry to hear of your loss.

Not sure what breed or mix Hercules was but a boxer/Pitbull mix is some real energy.
Maybe a adult dog with a lower drive might work a bit better.
Hercules was a Lab/Catahoula Leopard Dog mix.
Apollo does have a lot of energy but when they are outside, Lucy likes that about him. Her favorite thing to do at the dog park is to run and most of the other dogs have a hard time keeping up with her and she gets bored, so she likes that Apollo can keep up.
 

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Apollo may lick her, because he's an adolescent male, or because of something that she ate? Between Lucy snarking him, and you teaching him to "Leave it" ... persistently ... Apollo should learn his manners.

You can use any of the popular, Youtube methods to teach Apollo a general "Leave it". In addition, if Apollo nips or nibbles (common at this age), you can teach him Bite Inhibition (many good methods on Youtube from the original Yelp method taught by Ian Dunbar to the toy redirection). In both cases, you can say Ouch! or Oops! or use some marker word, when he nips. After he learns that the marker means, "please don't do that, I don't like it." (a little more specific than just No!), then you can generalize use of that word, using it when he licks Lucy's butt. I currently use that transferred 'method' when my dog plays Tug, then wants to run away so that I'll chase him: I don't want to say "Leave it" or "Drop it" because I don't want him to release the toy. I simply want to indicate that I don't want him to run away with it, more as communication in this case rather than correction or even instructional reprimand.
 

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Apollo may lick her, because he's an adolescent male, or because of something that she ate? Between Lucy snarking him, and you teaching him to "Leave it" ... persistently ... Apollo should learn his manners.

You can use any of the popular, Youtube methods to teach Apollo a general "Leave it". In addition, if Apollo nips or nibbles (common at this age), you can teach him Bite Inhibition (many good methods on Youtube from the original Yelp method taught by Ian Dunbar to the toy redirection). In both cases, you can say Ouch! or Oops! or use some marker word, when he nips. After he learns that the marker means, "please don't do that, I don't like it." (a little more specific than just No!), then you can generalize use of that word, using it when he licks Lucy's butt. I currently use that transferred 'method' when my dog plays Tug, then wants to run away so that I'll chase him: I don't want to say "Leave it" or "Drop it" because I don't want him to release the toy. I simply want to indicate that I don't want him to run away with it, more as communication in this case rather than correction or even instructional reprimand.
We got Apollo fixed last month, the vet said that once he was fixed then he should leave Lucy's butt alone, but he hasn't yet. Lucy is getting a little more aggressive with him to make him stop but it doesn't seem to phase him. We have been also working on "leave it" but he hasn't picked the command up yet. Out of all the training we have done with him, all he knows is "sit" and "wait" but he will only do it before he eats and to get his leash on.

The other problem we have been having with Apollo is that he is getting increasingly hyper in the house and rough with the kids, to the point that he will make them bleed. I know he needs to be more active outside to get some of his energy out but he won't play outside! I don't know how to get him to play outside, he doesn't respond when we try to play with him outside. He will go to the bathroom and want to go straight back inside or he will just lay down and howl. Apollo's howl gives the husky next door a run for his money! LOL
 

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This might be a long-shot, but has Lucy seen a vet recently? You occasionally hear about dogs fixating on another's hind end because they have a UTI or other issue.

Otherwise, I'd supervise them and interrupt, redirect (toy or food puzzles work for some dogs), or give time-outs whenever you see Lucy signaling that she wants to be left alone. I get it - my boy is obnoxious about my in-laws' dachshund too.

I actually would really encourage you to find a class to take with him. A good rewards-based trainer will help you figure out how to communicate with him better for training, and working his brain will help a ton with that energy! Even if it's just a fun tricks class or the like. As far as the backyard, if he's food motivated you could try scattering kibble for him to hunt in the grass to make it more interesting. A lot of dogs find their own backyards pretty boring, but nosework is a really excellent workout for their brains, and might be more interesting to him than play at this point.
 
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