Having taken care of Hunter for 12 days while his family was gone - and now Choco is here (day 3 as I type this) I have a new understanding of dog sadness.
Choco is particularly spoiled. His mom is right up there with me when it comes to being overly attached to your dog. He is accustomed to lots of attention.
He is young and very energetic. I thought I'd have my hands full with him here again but he has proved me wrong. All he does is sleep. Sits at my feet when I'm on the computer. Lays next to me if I watch TV. He follows me everywhere including the bathroom.
I'm lucky enough to know all his habits, favorite toys, treats, pet names etc. It made me realize that dogs who get lost - or dogs who are abandoned, rehomed, etc. must carry such sadness around with them, wondering when their people will return.
Choco has been so good and obedient that it's sad. I keep telling him they will be home soon. I can only hope he understands.
I also think about how if someone else had to take your dogs and raise them, that they wouldn't know all those special little things that you do with your dog. Like - your dog likes to be scratched under chin, but not on the top of the head. You give lots of kisses behing the ear - not on the nose, etc. Even the way we pet them. You can tell when you take care of someone elses animal, dog or cat, that you just aren't doing what they're used to.
That's really kinda sad. However, he has you and he is being loved. This is why I hate to leave my pup when we go away. She's not used to being just another dog in a place and she really can't deal with it. I'm sure if you were to keep him forever he would soon forget the other owner and become your pup but you are right - I think they would be sad for a while. Our babies really are spoiled and special - aren't they.
It's one of the saddest parts of bringing a dog home from a shelter. They are so happy when they get out of the shelter and walk away with a person. But sad for a while after when they realize it's not the home they thought it was. It takes a while before they realize it's a forever home and no matter what they do you aren't going to give up on them and take them back to the shelter
Pam your heart is so big and expands so easily with each new dog you bring into your heart. I love hearing your stories
That's very sensitive of you, Pam. He's lucky to have you to stay with.
Many years ago, with my beloved Bess (BF, AKC bench line, 55 lbs., 1967-81), she'd never been separated from Char and me until she was almost 2 years old. Then we got married and left Bess in a kennel for about 10 days. Bess was extremely distant from us for several days and acted almost psychotic. Normally very affectionate, she wanted nothing to do with us. Finally, after a day or two, I took her out to retrieve, throwing her AC dummies, and that did the trick -- she was back to her old self. And never again did we have a problem leaving her (in a different kennel but always the same one after that).
So I was sensitive to Puff's first separation from me at KSU's ColVetMed Tchng Hospl when she was spayed at about 6 mos. and spent 2 days away in our first separation. When the brought her to me, there were several 8-13 year old girls also there in the check-out room. Puff ignored me and was very friendly with them. She kept her distance from me, acting aloof, for about the first 40 miles of the 60 mile trip back home. But then she relented and became friendly again.
When I'm away now -- as recently to VT -- I use the same kennel that I used so often with Bess. I pre-package all of her meals individually so she'll eat the same food in the same amount. She has a lightweight plastic tray bed with a queen sized pillow in it. Under its pillowcase I slip a Tee shirt that I've worn while mowing the lawn so she'll have the scent of me with her. And her favorite Teddy Bear goes with her. And I tip the attendant 20% for kind service. Never a problem.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Choco is lucky to be staying with you. My dad and stepmom had a dog named Tippy, she was a mutt, but probably the nicest dog I've ever met. When they would go out of town, I'd stay at their house and watch Tippy for them. They live in the country, and Tippy would go wait at the top of the road every day for them, and she didn't want to eat. It was so sad.
I agree but disagree with you. I think dogs are a lot more resilient than we think they are. We tend to put human emotions on them that they don't really have. I think they are very adaptable to their situations and that they, for the most part, tend to live in the moment. They don't lay around and fret about the future. They don't really have that capacity. In all honesty, I wish I could be that way as well...life would be much simpler and happier
Can't disagree more. I once felt similarly but I changed after I took back in a dog I bred. This dog taught me that not all dogs can handle change like we think they can. It was the first dogs I ever had to take back in. I had sold a pair of girls to this family and they were a great home. They came at first and wanted just Jesse but came back and wanted Molly as well. A few years later they contacted me, the husband had lost his job and his new one didn't pay as well. They had to downsize the house and among other things they couldn't budget the dogs anymore. I understood the problem and took both dogs back in. Jesse was a happy go lucky littel lab and was just thrilled to be back in the pack. She played all night long. Molly went out and behaved fine but wasn't interested in playing or being with anyone else. I didn't think much of it, figuring that she just needed time to adjust. That evening just after sunset Molly CRIED. She didn't howl, she didn't bark, she didn't whine, nor did she growl, moan or make any other sound except for crying. It was a sound that made my heart ache and we immediately knew she realized she wasn't going to see her family again. She was in mourning for her loss. We never placed her anywhere else again. Even to this day she is with my sister. The only other family that called me to return a dog was going through a divorce. After dealing with Molly I told the parents that they couldn't take the dog away from the children at a time like this. I told them I would work with them until they came up with a solution. I took the dog in and the kids came to visit regularly and after a year the parents worked out their troubles and stayed together.
I am not saying all dogs are like Molly. Heck, I work with a local rescue so I know that isn't the case or we would never be able to place rescue dogs but there ARE dogs that are not as resilient as you suggest and those dogs need extra care from us just like anyone would that is going through a rough patch.