Newbie looking for Grief Councling - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Newbie looking for Grief Councling

New member here. I have looked quite a few places for help with my problem. I have an 8 yr old GSD, Lizzie that we have lived with since she was 9 wks old. My husband of 46 yrs passed away Dec 31 very unexpectedly.

Lizzie has always had her place on the foot of our bed. Since his passing she will not sleep with me nor even get on the bed. She just lies half in the doorway and hall. I have tried to coax her, but will not even try to 'make' her lie on the bed. Those brown lost eyes tell it all.

Can anyone here give me a clue how I can let her know that papa isn't coming back?? It is heartbreaking for me too. I have my children and friends for comfort.....there must be some for her too.

Carol...aka Misstudxe
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 12:43 AM
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Just be there when she wants love. Animals grieve lossed ones as well. They love us so deeply that some of them just grieve longer than others. Give her time and love. Encourage walks and just spend time with her. She's feeling the loss as well.

I'm very sorry.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 01:02 AM
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She may be protecting you and taking on a different role in your husband's absence. I am so sorry for your loss.

My husband was seriously ill this year. When he was in hospital, Havoc slept downstairs by the front door.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 01:04 AM
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I am sorry for your loss. I don't have any advice to help her with this.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 01:10 AM
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I'm so sorry for you loss.

Like others have said, dogs grieve in their own ways ... some for longer periods than others.

If she were my dog I'd pay more attention to her, do special things with her, give her an extra treat now and then, and try to help her work thru this sad stage in both your lives.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 09:08 AM
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I agree that she might be protecting you. Just give her time.

I'm so sorry for your loss. ((hugs))
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 10:00 AM
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I'm so very sorry for your loss.

In my experience, dogs grieve. They grieve just like you or I do. Obviously they don't have the understanding that we do but I sometimes wonder if they sense something more. Can I ask if your husband passed at home? If so, that might make a difference on her behavior.

You obviously can't force her into the bedroom but I would try to strengthen your bond with her during the day. Was your husband "her person"? Try taking her places with you. Going for walks with her. Anything that will have her with just you.

I did a quick google search and found many articles on dogs grieving the loss of their owner. Maybe they will give you some insight and help you and your girl.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 01:01 PM
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Here is Daisy&Lucky's thread - although dog missimg dog depression, there are a few things you can do to naturally stimulate feel good endorphins through food and homeopathy (safe, non-toxic), see MomTo2GSD's for homeopathy (can order in liquid form and just add to drinking water) and also a simple read with some food suggestions (also in the thread)...

Dog depression ?

Foods That Increase Dopamine & Serotonin | LIVESTRONG.COM

Quick side note: think there is something to be said of sardines...My dog can be a bit off some mornings - yesterday was one...prior to walk, he wouldn't lift his head, looking up at me through his eyebrows, lethargic...he had his breaky after walk....I rotate diff. things into his am meal, yesteday it was - raring to go! up tail wagging, following me..

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. - Unknown

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by KZoppa View Post
Just be there when she wants love. Animals grieve lossed ones as well. They love us so deeply that some of them just grieve longer than others. Give her time and love. Encourage walks and just spend time with her. She's feeling the loss as well.

I'm very sorry.
I'm so very sorry for you, as well

I agree with KZoppa - lots of time, and TLC. If you can find a food that piques her interest, that may help too.
Dogs live in the here and now, but I believe they also grieve loved one's loss and need time to get through it.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 01:15 PM
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I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish there was something magical that I could do to help you through this. All I can do is offer you my sympathies.

I do agree that dogs grieve. But I feel that Lizzie feels the burden of YOUR emotions right now, as well as the rest of your friends and family. I think she is very worried regarding all the heavy feelings of sorrow that she is reading from everyone in your home. Must be just as confusing for her as the loss of your husband. She is probably feeling anxious and concerned for everyone.

Give yourself time to heal. You and Lizzie will heal together.

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