Friday, February 21, 2020

How Do Dogs Grieve the Death of Another Dog?

We have a new old dog. Her name is Star and she has lived with us for four years. She is now a new dog.

Have you witnessed a dog going through a time of grieving the loss of another furry friend? When we adopted two rescues four years ago, they came as a package. We wanted one long-haired Doxie but the adoption center would not allow these two to be separated.

Mini Dachshund

The male, Gunner, was ten years old and had been Star's protector for her entire life of six years. She was a show dog. They both lived in cages and were abused. They rarely saw the light of day. Gunner took the brunt of the abuse because he protected his little 'wife' and consequently got kicked, pushed, and thrown by their owner. 

When we rescued them, Gunner never allowed Star out of his sight. He washed her face, her mouth, and ears every day. He stayed close to her when we went for walks. It took several months before he trusted us enough to give him belly rubs or to move our feet swiftly without him pouncing on them to be sure we weren't going to kick Star.


Star depended on Gunner. They slept together, ate out of the same the same time and there was never one harsh word between them. They adored each other.

When it was obvious that Gunner's days were numbered we had great concern for Star. Would she give up and die of heartbreak? Would she get depressed? 

Star has always been skittish and shy and extremely quiet. Gunner barked when needed but Star kept quiet and with her padded feet you never heard dogs in the house.

Then the inevitable happened and Gunner crossed the Rainbow Bridge in December. That story here.  
Crossing the rainbow bridge
He was gone in this picture
But I couldn't let him go....yet

The first night Star spent alone was hard on her. She spent it looking for Gunner and finally fell asleep under our bed. 

By the end of the second day, Star realized she was now top dog. Hubby and I were shocked. It was as if she woke up a different dog.


She is now confident, friendlier to everyone, bolder with a complete personality change. We love it. I think she does too.

These are the times I wish dogs talked. If so, I would ask her lots of questions.

"Were you intimidated by Gunner?"

"Are you covering up your pain of loss by ignoring the fact that you are now alone?"

Star now has the attitude that she is the prettiest dog on the block and struts across the park as if she owns it.

She smiles more, cuddles more and it makes me wonder.......Was she happily married?

And then there are the grands

I didn't get to see the grands this month but love the pictures they send me. William now has a cell phone and sends this gramma love messages every day. He is proud of the fact that he is now eight years old and a 'pre-teen.'

Why do they have to grow up so quickly?

Fourth Birthday Party

Family Day Fun

Our Annual Snowfall Day
Once a princess, always a Princess
Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 4 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado        
Menopausal Mother         
Spatulas on Parade           


  1. I'm shocked at the transformation in Star, now I wish she could talk too.
    And the next best thing to seeing the grands has to be getting those pics.

  2. I'm glad Star is doing well. When I first started reading your post, I was afraid it was going to be bad news. My heart aches whenever I read about sick or abused dogs. Two of my three pugs are rescues and they are just the sweetest.

    1. I KNOW! I can't believe she actually seems happier. I know you rescue and agree with you that they are extra special

  3. Wow, what an unexpected but good turn to the story!

  4. If she could talk she might say he was a bossy so and so but I am so glad to hear she is doing well with the transition. That is a relief.
    Love the 4 bday girlie, so cute. My youngest grand daughter is 4 today.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

    1. Aww Dawn....isn't that the sweetest age! And yes, I am glad Star's ok. It would have been difficult to lose her to heartbreak. That is how we lost our Lab when her mom (a Shepherd) died.

  5. Star's transformation is incredible! I'm so glad to hear she made that adjustment and came out better for it. And the grands? Precious as always! I'm now finding out what it's like not to be able to see mine any time I'd like as they have recently moved to South Carolina. Needless to say, I'm in heartbreak mode.
    Blessings, Carol!

    1. It is definitely an adjustment not to see them anytime you want to. But you do facetime and stuff, right?

  6. I'm so sorry to hear about Gunner. Star's unexpected reaction teaches us all to be open to change...What a story!

    Cute pics of the grands, as usual. They're growing up so fast!

    1. What a great lesson you pointed out -- be open to change. Thank you Traci for your encouragement