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Hi guys, I haven't been around for a while, you're all going to understand why in a minute...

My 9yo son, Tarok was in the hospital for 3 weeks and passed away from complications of mitochondrial disease on June 8th. Wembley stayed with our next door neighbour while Tarok was in the hospital. I thought being close to home with a bunch of people who spoil him rotten and already know him was the best place. My 7yo son, Ethan went to stay with friends near town so he could keep up with school. Now that Ethan and I are home, Wembley has some serious separation anxiety. At first, I thought it was just because he was away from me, because he's most bonded with me (Tarok kept animals at arm's length, didn't like to be too close to them)....but now I'm starting to think he's noticing that Tarok's not coming home. I've been so focused on helping my Mom and Ethan cope that I didn't really think about what Wembley's going to think of all this.

I don't know that I really need advice. I guess I just wanted to vent. Has anyone here dealt with death of a family member and reactions from pets before?
 

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I don't have any answers regarding pets and death of family members, but I just wanted to say that I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. (((hugs)))
 

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Wow. I am so, so very sorry for your loss! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. (((hugs)))
 

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Oh, my goodness, I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Dogs are very perceptive to our emotions and your dog is probably picking up on the strong emotions in your house right now. I'm just guessing here but he may sense how upset you are and be afraid to let you out of his sight because he feels the need to protect you.
 

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I have absolutely no words to say how sorry I am for your loss.

Dogs feed off of our emotions. Wembley probably feels all of the emotions going on around him and that is likely why he is responding that way. My boyfriend's mom passed away two years ago this month, and it will be two years since his dad passed in January. Their family dog (who just passed himself) had lived with them for 12 years. I didn't notice the dynamic change much after we lost his mom, but definitely with his dad. After his dad passed he began pacing, going the bathroom in the house, and destruction- things he hadn't done since he was a puppy. He adjusted after a while, but I don't know if he was ever the same. His health declined fairly quickly after that.
 

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I am so very very sorry for your loss.

When my Mother passed two years ago her dog Blu Boy would sit in her recliner as if he were waiting for her to return. So did Leeo. After a bit of time ... they stopped. I do believe they felt our grieving at first. Blu Boy no longer waits. He has taken me as his new Mom.

Having lost a Son myself years ago ... I know things will never quite be the same and there really are no real words to say how sorry I truly am. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
 

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I am so very sorry for the loss of your son. I hope the coming days, weeks & months get easier for you.
 

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I'm very sorry for your loss. I think, as others have said, that your dog is picking up on the tension and sadness in the household. The dog sees that your son is missing after he went away, and he may be fearful that the same thing may happen to him when you go away again. Once things settle down, everyone, including your dog, will hopefully regain some normalcy and will relax more.
 

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I am so sorry for your loss.

Like others on this thread, I also think that Wembley is likely picking up on the strong emotions in the household. I would imagine that as new routines are established, a new "normal" is reached, he will settle back in.
 

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We lost our son car accident in 1990 and even though he did not live at our home (married) our dog at the time (Wvasko) picked up our emotion at home and got a tad flaky. he was just put on the back burner. I was a very angry person for a while. I am sorry and do understand your loss and venting.
 

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I also want to add my heartfelt condolences for the loss of of your young child. What a terrible thing to experience.

It's bad enough when our dogs are gone to us, but one's own human child? That's got to be really really awful.

Hugs and well-wishes your way as well.

Dogs are sensitive creatures and sense human emotions only too well. Your dog is just sniffing out the sadness in the household.

He'll be okay in time. It's just going to take some time. For all of you, really. Death is very real and very sad - it's not gotten over quickly or easily.

My best wishes to you.
 

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I'm so very sorry for the loss of your son. My 5 year old brother died in 2006 due to a drowning and nobody should have to bury their child. It's just not right and it brings a family so much pain and anguish.

We had a dog at the time, who LOVED Connor (my brother) sooo much. He had picked her out. She very much picked up on our sadness and downright depression. She suddenly went from being a hyper puppy who slept in her crate every night to a true member of our family who began sleeping with my mom and stepdad every night. She attached herself very much to my mom, who was never a 'dog person' and definitely knew she was extremely sad.

She used to go to his bedroom door and scratch, and I know she knew something was wrong, and was wondering where he was. She eventually went back to normal and really perked up when I brought Jackson home two years later. Unfortunately, we lost her (she got run over by a car) and it was extremely sad to lose our last "piece" of Connor.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss.
 

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Oh, my goodness, I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Dogs are very perceptive to our emotions and your dog is probably picking up on the strong emotions in your house right now. I'm just guessing here but he may sense how upset you are and be afraid to let you out of his sight because he feels the need to protect you.
This^^^.
I am so very sorry for the loss of your son. It's the ultimate loss. Hugs.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone. I'm actually pretty numb, by the time we came home, I was through the worst of the grief and busy celebrating what a great life Tarok had while he was with us. We were told we'd be lucky to see his 2nd birthday and he made it almost to his 10th with a relatively fantastic quality of life given his condition. I'm really happy for him. For the most part, we're just busy trying to find the new normal. Ethan asked me yesterday morning if Wembley could be his brother now :p He's doing a great job of expressing himself and asking appropriate questions.

Wembley is being very protective of everyone in the household. He's trying to keep us all together. No one's allowed to go outside without him, or he'll cry and turn into Labrador the Destroyer....even if there are people left in the house with him. He's not so clingy that he doesn't want to go next door to visit though :p I guess he'll come around when he gets used to us being home again.
 

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HI don't know that I really need advice. I guess I just wanted to vent. Has anyone here dealt with death of a family member and reactions from pets before?
In 1998 my father died from a heart attack.. My mom was totally devistated and her life was turned upside down.

On fathers day last week ..I took my Mom and Roxxie to the cemetary to pay respects...and Roxxie urinated
on my fathers grave and stole some flowers from the neighbors grave.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, Wembley's SA seems to have died down quickly. The one thing that did stick is that he listens better :p Maybe he just grew up a little while I was busy, or maybe he got a bit shaken up, but holy cow, he has better recall off leash (even with BIG distractions, like other dogs), quicker response when I catch him interested in something he shouldn't be touching and call him off it. He still seems a little mopey, but overall, he's doing much better. He seems happy that I'm more available to exercise him at a more Wembley and Mommy pace than a Wembley, Mommy, Tarok and Ethan pace now too :p
 
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