Helping the Critters Grieve
One of my ancient Himalayans (somewhere between 15 and 17 years old) had a stroke two nights ago, or so I and the vet think. Dr. W recommended bringing him home to see if there was some other neuro reason for the sudden confusion and extreme wobblies that might resolve itself, especially since he's been in such good health. Unfortunately, Shaggy isn't getting any better and we've made the decision to let him go. Shaggy's brother Gizmo, the 3 year old mutt cat George, and the 1 year old GSD Piper are all still doing well. Shaggy is resting in Piper's crate until we take him to the vet this afternoon.
Gizmo seems to have already said his goodbyes, gave Shag a lick on the forehead and left, hasn't looked back. George treated Shag like his Mom since he came home at 14 weeks old. He's also picked on Shaggy, but always comes back to him when wanting comfort. George keeps hanging around the crate and goes to sit with Shaggy when given the chance. Piper has given Shag several hugs when he's sitting on our lap or the couch. She's concerned but not hovering.
Since this is my first fur baby to go, here's my question. What should I be prepared for in terms of grieving amongst the other animals? How or can I help them at all? We aren't planning on any new animals until after Gizmo passes and I don't know how much of a comfort George will be... he's kind of a brat.
Thanks for your ideas.
Blackthorn's Piper RE, NA, JHD (13 Feb 11)
Blackthorn's Stryder RN (19 May 12)