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Am I Being Selfish?

September 14th, 2006, 08:16 AM
I'm curious to know what you guys think about this. It's been about 8 weeks since my Shepard passed, I have another one at home (Dakota) that mourned the passing of his mate (Draco) very badly the first 2 weeks. Then he seem to perk up for awhile because of all the extra attention he was getting. The vet told us to do what ever it took to keep his mind off of Draco, play with him more, take him on more walks etc, and that seem to work for awhile. For the last few weeks that extra attention doesn't seem to do it for him anymore. He is acting VERY depressed, his appetite isn't what it was, he doesn't seem to enjoy his walks anymore, and although he still enjoys play time, when he's done he lays down with a very big sigh, and I swear you can see his expression change to sadness. Draco was all he's known and now he doesn't seem to know what to do with himself. What is bothering me and my husband most right now is the change in his behavior. The dogs were related (Uncle & Nephew) but they couldn't be more different, in their personalities and their actions. Dakota seems to be doing things lately that only Draco would do, things that are completely out of charactor for him. My husband feels Dakota is lonely without Draco and wants to get him a new puppy. I've been grieving Draco so bad that a new puppy is the last thing on my mind. I dont want to bring another one into the house until I feel I can give 100% of myself, it wouldn't be fair to the puppy. I just don't feel ready but am beginning to feel selfish that I may be avoiding what's right for Dakota. We haven't even buried Draco's ashes in his final resting place yet (because I haven't been able to let go) but we are going to do so this weekend. Do I allow more time for me & Dakota to adjust to life without Draco or do I get another puppy for Dakota even though I don't feel ready? I'm a stay at home mom so I would be the main care giver of this new pup, I just dont know what to do. I dont want to prolong Dakota's lonliness but I also dont want to get another if I feel I may not be able to attach myself 100% right away. My heart is telling me I'm not ready but my mind is telling me I'm being selfish.

September 14th, 2006, 08:24 AM
I feel so badly for you, you are going through such a rough time with the loss of your Draco. Everyone is different and only you will know what to do when the time is right; you aren't selfish in needing time to grieve.
In my experience, dogs do eventually get through the grieving process in time, but again, your Dakota may be different. A puppy might help but might not.
That said, I think it is very hard not to bond with a puppy. They kind of make you love them and bring you out of your 'fog'... you can't ignore them! A new one might help you because you will be so busy cleaning, comforting, playing, and running around after him/her that you will not have time to think so much by yourself.
I wish you all the best in your decision :grouphug:

September 14th, 2006, 09:00 AM
I know how you feel. Sophie died on June 9th of this year. Missie my Terri poo howled the whole tome Sophie was at the vet. She howled when Sophie died and stopped eating. She was so depressed. I made the decision right away to get another Shih Tzu. Missie took to Tyra right away and now they are each others shadow. It also helped with my pain. Sophie is still on my thoughts everyday and I surely miss her. But with a new fur ball in the house, my thoughts are more focused on the well being of Missie and Tyra. Yes the grief is still there but not as profound as it was. You will never forget Draco, just as all of us who have lost cherished pets, will never forget them. Look in your heart and you will fing the answer that you need there. Good luck with your new puppy. :cloud9: I think that is a great idea, for both you and you husband and your dog.

September 14th, 2006, 09:22 AM
I too feel for you.And I too have been in the same situation as you.

When I lost my first GSD Cujo at 13 years old,I ended up getting 2 GSD pups.Yukon and Tron.I had Tron for 18 months.He went to do his Police Training with my brother.Yukon seemed ok with not having Tron around.He still saw him all the time.Well when Tron retired,he came back to me.They too were related(cousins).Well on the 20th of this month it will be 2 years that I lost my boy Yukon.:candle

I had the hardest time with Tron.he was lost without Yukon.He moped around,whined,and wasn't eating the way he did.I did everything I could to keep his mind occupied.I even had him spend some time with my brothers new partner Dante.I spent alot of my free time at my friends who had 3 GSD's that my dogs played with.I did have thoughts of getting another one.But I just wasn't ready.Well in almost 2 years I still didn't get a new addition.Tron did pull out of it,and he is fine.I guess I was being selfish to just want to have Tron in my life and not want to share him.My job takes alot of my time,which Tron is used to,and so was Yukon.Tron is now 10 and he is a happy camper.I don't think I will get another right now.Tron is comfortable with the way things are now.And he has all his doggie friends to play with..:D

Dakota is still in mouning.That's a given.And it may take time for this to pass.I would give him a bit more time.It's only been 8 weeks.See how he does in about 2 months.If you get another now,how do you know he will accept this one?Do you know anyone will a puppy?Maybe you can have Dakota spend some time with this pup.Just to see how he would react.Even have this pup come over to your place.A place where Draco had been living.Just a thought.:)

September 14th, 2006, 09:29 AM
I feel for you. I can see your husbands point too. Maybe another rescue might help Dakota deal with the loneliness. It's such a hard decision. I can't tell you what to do but when my Samson died I mourned for a few weeks then went to a shelter and asked if i can help with a gave me purpose and helped me deal...but I never forgot Samson.

September 14th, 2006, 10:14 AM

Do you think he would adjust easily to a young puppy, an older dog may not really view a young pup as a companion at least for a while till it gets older and if he is feeling very moody right now he may very well view the pup as an annoyance, an adult dog closer to the same age and size of Draco maybe an easier transition, I know each dog is different but something that should be considered. When I lost Callie(greyhound) my other grey Sunny had a tough time, and he started off the first month very depressed by the second month was quite intolerant with Nikki (eskie) they are close in age but Nikki is half his size, so not really a playmate and the kitties, it was not until I added another adult greyhound that his mood improved.

September 14th, 2006, 12:04 PM
I am also sorry to hear of your dilemma and can understand both your and your husband's view. :grouphug:

You could try fostering to see what Dakota's reaction would be to a new dog or puppy. Once you are ready to commit then you will know whether a puppy or a dog close to Dakota's age is best. ;)

September 14th, 2006, 12:13 PM
I really don't know how Dakota would act if a new puppy was brought into the house. I haven't really allowed myself to think about it in depth. We took him in at the age of 4 months when his breeder called us and said he was taken away from an abusive owner. He was with this abuser for 4 months until a neighbor finally got up the nerve to report him. It was a male that owned him and unfortunatley Dakota is still (5 yrs later) intimidated by males, he still cowers at times when my husband reaches out to pet him. He took to me to the point of almost being glued to my leg. I can't even go from one room to another without him following and he has seperation anxiety when I leave the house. He would always get very jealous when I showed Draco attention, but Draco, being the older and more dominent dog, would always put him in his place until he felt he was done getting attention. He didn't act that way with my husband or the girls, just with me, so I'm wondering now how he would handle mom giving a new baby attention. Unfortunately I dont know anyone with a puppy to have them bring one into his house to try it out.

September 14th, 2006, 12:21 PM
I am also sorry to hear of your dilemma and can understand both your and your husband's view. :grouphug:

You could try fostering to see what Dakota's reaction would be to a new dog or puppy. Once you are ready to commit then you will know whether a puppy or a dog close to Dakota's age is best. ;)

That just may be an idea. Do you mean fostering from a breeder or shelter/animal center? In either case I didn't realize that could be done. There is a shelter here in Rochester that actually forces you to bring in your other pets to put them in a room together to see if they'll get along, before they will adopt out. But with Dakota being so attached to me, I dont think bringing him there is enough to tell me how he'd act in his own home, and having to share moms attention. Fostering sounds like a much better solution.

September 14th, 2006, 12:48 PM
I think fostering would be the solution. Tell the shelter your situation and take it from may just find the perfect playmate for Dakota. Good luck and keep us posted. :fingerscr

September 14th, 2006, 08:42 PM
Most rescues make use of foster homes to care for animals they take in. until they are adopted , you don't have to commit to adopting this way until you are emotionally ready and or you find the perfect fit, the foster dogs would give Dakota companionship and you would be aiding in giving them a place to stay until they find a home

(I will start with greyhounds only because I am familiar with some of the adoption groups)
I know a couple of the greyhound adoption groups here that I have been involved with got their original start thru a couple of the New York groups so should operate very similiar, in providing all supplies necessary like crate, food, bowls, leash collar and pays for all vetting of the foster dog and offer a training orientation session, the foster parent typically has the first option to adopt one is Buffalo Greyhound Adoption, the other is GReAT of Buffalo , these 2 groups only bring in greys from the track when they have applications, so adopotions are already pending form them when they arrive, the foster dogs tend to be short term in foster care approx 3 or 4 weeks inorder to assess them to determine what home they would be best suited in, there is one in Rochester called Greyhound Adoption of Greater Rochester, NY it may operate differently but should be similiar foster care period may be a little longer though, since they bring the dog up from the track and then try to find homes from them

Greyhounds are very laidback dogs and tend the be quite lazy and not demanding for attention, so very easy to care for

this is a list of Ny groups

If you prefer shepherds there is brightstar of rochester

September 14th, 2006, 08:44 PM
How is he with other dogs?

I would definately go for the fostering.This way you will know for sure how he will take to another dog/pup in his home.

September 15th, 2006, 01:01 AM
You might try a dog park or even doggie day care where he can get some play time to run loose with other dogs. It might help, plus you could use his reactions to puppies there to help make any decision about bringing a new dog into the house.