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13 yr old dog is lonely without her partner

January 9th, 2007, 03:32 AM
We had 2 Maltese Terriers. Chloe died 5 months ago aged 14. Sasha is now alone (ie the only dog in the house) aged 13. There are 5 humans at home including 3 kids. We sleep upstairs and Sasha sleeps downstairs (she has never been able to manage the stairs). At night she cries and barks, walking around the outside of the house. When we can't stand it any longer, one of us will come and sleep on the floor and she will go straight to sleep. If we all go out during the day, she barks constantly until we return. She is very distressed.

I spoke to the local pet store who said the answer would be to get another dog or even a cat, however we are reluctant to do that. Can anyone offer any further advice?

Many thanks

January 9th, 2007, 08:09 AM
Poor thing. I would definitely carry her upstairs each night and have her sleep with you, or in her own bed next to yours.
Is she alone all day? A friendly cat may be a good idea. There are plenty of adult cats looking for homes and if you can find one who is comfortable with dogs, she may appreciate the company. A rescue group that fosters cats will be able to recommend one with the right temperament. Another dog would probably be too great an adjustment at her age.
If she hasn't seen a vet in awhile, I'd have her checked out, to make sure there are no chronic problems.
Oh, and lots of cuddles and reassurance.

January 9th, 2007, 10:16 AM
Agree, carry the poor pup upstairs to sleep with you.

January 9th, 2007, 03:02 PM
Poor little doggie, how hard it must be for her. and for you to see her so distressed and lonely.:sad:
I agree with Badger that due to her age, a cat would be a better choice than another dog, one that is calm natured and used to dogs
There are so many lovely older cats needing homes, and have many years of love and companionship to offer. One in this category could be an ideal match for your little Sasha.
And yes, as suggested.. having her stay upstairs with you at night should help to reduce her stress and comfort her.

Good luck, please let us know how she is doing,wont you?

January 9th, 2007, 03:59 PM
My first thought exactly,carry her up to your bedroom,she is in mourning and needs all the comfort she can get.
You said she is pacing outside at night??
I assume you have a doggy-door,I would be very careful letting her go out at night,an irate neighbor or stranger could easily do her harm..especially if she is whining and barking:sad: poor baby!!
She definetly needs a companion,a puppy would probably be too much for her,especially from a pet-store,a mature calm cat could do wonders(unless she hates cats!)

January 10th, 2007, 03:29 PM
Thanks so much for your help. Unfortunately my husband is allergic to cats. I feel bad not carrying her upstairs however she wees in the house now (did prior to her partners death) and we have tiles downstairs so we can easily clean up but we have carpet upstairs. She sees the vet regularly due to Cushings disease (poor soul is very high maintenance) and their doesn't appear to be anything physically wrong. I will try bringing her upstairs to the bathroom opposite our bedroom. That might help (tiles on floor).
Thanks again. I will let you know our progress.

January 10th, 2007, 04:45 PM
Hi Trish

I see the dilemma you have with the weeing on the floor. The upstairs bathroom is a good idea, and might help.:goodvibes: She will be closer at least.
Does she have a soft cozy doggie bed that she can snuggle in? If she does, might try putting in an old cuddly sweater or something like that. I've heard that some pets are comforted by the scent of their owners articles,.. might help reassure her.
My small senior dog sleeps with me at night, but during the day he often carries a few of his favourite stuffed animals to his bed..seems to enjoy cuddling with them in his "den".

I dont know if this would help, but I've heard of people leaving on a radio or the tv when they are away from the home..a type of "company" for their pet.

As a cat companion wont work... maybe you could consider contacting a few rescues regarding another small and senior dog? They are very good at matching up animals for various individual needs, to ensure the best chance of success.

If a new animal is not feasible .. you might ask your vet about meds that could be offered to help alleviate her distress.

My daughter struggled with this situation when one of her two large dogs lost his lifetime companion. I've never seen such a drastic change of personality in an animal in my life.:eek: Formerly confident and secure, without his friend and alpha dog to guide him,the poor boy became completely lost. Now anxious and nervous, he developed extreme seperation anxiety, howled and barked whenever they left the house. He began nervous peeing, sometimes on their beds.:yuck:

It was very sad to see him so .. altered.
They opted not to get another dog, felt they could not go this route for various reasons. They tried everything to compensate and reassure him

He later joined his friend at the Bridge..unrelated health issues of a senior animal.. but sometimes I wonder if Harley partially died of a broken heart. :rip:

His seemed a very extreme case of mourning a canine companion, though.. and we can only do our best when our cherished animals face such a loss.

Good luck to your little Sasha, I hope your dear girl will be feeling better with a bit more time:grouphug:

January 10th, 2007, 06:52 PM
Have you had her 'random peeing' checked out by a vet. It could be hormonal and if so, it is fixable!

January 10th, 2007, 08:26 PM
Maybe she will do better upstairs, since you are not really ready to get another dog, if there is a small dog rescue in your area, maybe fostering seniors until she passes might work better for you and helkp her at the same time, the rescues pay for any vet costs for the foster dog and some pay for food as well until they are adopted, If the senmior foster does get adopted maybe by then her grieving will be over but she wonlt be as bonded with the foster day that she could handle her remaining day alone, or you could decide she needs the company of another dog so continue fostering until she passes.

January 11th, 2007, 07:36 PM
Thank you so much for all the advice. I will definately ask the vet about the weeing but she does sound very much like your daughters pet, Shamrock.

We took her upstairs with us last night. She wandered around for a long time obviously wondering why she was there. She tried to attempt the stairs back down a couple of times but gave up. We put her snuggly bed in the bathroom plus some newspaper for any toileting. At midnight I took her outside for a "toilet break" and at 1pm my husband took her collar with tags off as the jingling was keeping us awake. She didn't bark once and managed to sleep everywhere except her bed! There was a small wee on the carpet this morning which I quickly cleaned up. Fingers crossed that she settles a bit more tonight.

Thanks again.