Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Even animals grieve?

Jake had made friends with the pit bull puppy next door, Rocko. They met through the fence, sniffing each other cautiously. Then they began to run back and forth and touch noses. This progressed to a real live play date. Which led to more. Soon Jake and Rocko were spending hours a day together. They wrestled and ran and played.
Jake ran to the fence first thing and would yip for Rocko to come over. Rocko got loose one time and ran over to us and I dragged him home.
It was blissful for both.
But yesterday, Rocko's family moved and took him away.
Jake is still checking the fence everytime he goes into the back yard. He stands there patiently wagging his tail, looking for his friend.
It breaks my heart. My little puppy has lost his first friend.

(YES I KNOW I AM PATHOLOGICAL! I know I sound like a crazy dog mama...)

But he is grieving his friend and missing him. Today Jake has had a rough day. He chewed up a pillow and 2 pairs of shoes. Something he has not done for a long time. If he were a human child, I would say he is exhibiting acting out behaviors due to deep emotions...
So maybe animals grieve too...

1 comment:

Tami said...

I would agree, Martha. I hope Jake can find a way to adjust and be happier again.

About 5 years ago, a friend and I went away for my b-day. We were gone for about a week- maybe not quite... My housemates at the time were moving, and I did not want Elmo to risk being locked out of the house accidentally, so I closed off the back part of the house where my room and bathroom (and a small hallway) are. I hired an nincompoop cat-sitter to feed and play with Elmo. I told her to call if there were problems. She called on the 4th day, and said he had a few fleas...and again on the 5th day. I assumed it was nothing too serious.

When I got home and came into my room, I couldn't find Elmo. Finally, he stood up from the back corner of the top of the armoir. He had lost about 3 pounds (of the healthy 18 pounds he had been- he was a very tall and long cat) His fur was all scraggly and unkept, he looked just awful, and had a ton of fleas, and a fever.

He had not had fleas when I left, nor would I have thought of leaving him if I'd thought he was ill.

I believe the emotional stress of not understanding what was going on, and being separated from me, as well as my housemates whom he knew, were the cause of this.

It was terrible, because we'd had a great time away - I just had no idea things were this bad from what the sitter had said. I stayed home in bed with him for 4 days. The vet said it was likely due to stress. I never left him again - and was alway sure that someone he knew could watch him if I went away at all. And he alway flew with me when I came to KY.

Our pets are absolutely emotional creatures!