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Grieving

Katiegirl
April 20th, 2009, 10:46 AM
Hello:
My - I have just joined Pet.ca, and I really hope someone can help me. My husband died in January/09 and I am having a lot of trouble with my little shiztu Katie ever since. He was always the "boss" of the house, where I was the one who walked and did everything else with her. He was disabled and unable to leave the house, so Katie was never left alone, not one day in her life until he passed away. Ever since he died, she has been barking for no reason, or going absolutely nuts at the phone ringing- someone knocking at the door, where she used to do the door thing- it is just getting out of hand, and when I try to tell her to stop - its like she can't even hear me. We go outside in our courtyard with the other dogs in the building and my dog who previously never barked and was known for being so quiet is sitting there barking and barking at what seems to be "nothing" to me......can anyone help me here- I realize this has to have something to do with my husband passing away and I do not believe she needs any punishment- I think I am missing something here and cannot figure out what it is. Please- if anyone has any ideas on what I should do- I would appreciate it so much, I want my Katie to be a happy little girl like she was before-perhaps I am rushing things?
Thanks for your help!
Katiegirl

14+kitties
April 20th, 2009, 10:51 AM
I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. It is a tough time to be going through. Unfortunately Katie is feeling the loss too. :sad:
I am not a dog expert. You will be getting lots of advice soon from people who understand dogs much better. My only thought is that seeing as she spent so much time with your husband she saw him as the "alpha". She now needs to be trained to see you in that role. Possibly using the umbilical method where she is tied to you by her leash at all times. This way she is doing what you want her to do. Not her doing what she wants.
Again, I am so sorry you are going through this.

Katiegirl
April 20th, 2009, 11:17 AM
Hi 14+:
Thanks for replying to my question so quickly and thanks for thesuggestion about keeping her on the leash - thats the way it was always the way it was before and I don't really know why I stopped using it but apparently I made a mistake doing it- she was brought up on a leash from day one so she is used to it.......I will give it a try and see what happens, so thanks very much for that! I will let you know if it works out -maybe you have hit the nail on the head here- I hope so.
Thank you very much for your kind condolences - they are much appreciated.
Take care.
Katie-girl

Mat&Murph
April 20th, 2009, 11:33 AM
Hello Katiegirl I am sooo very sorry for your loss and you found a great site. You said your husband was the authority in the house and right now your girl is trying to take that role now that your hubby is gone, plus she is going through her own grief. You will have to show her that you are authority, I would go along with the leashing her agian. It will take some time for both of you Again sooo sorry for your loss

LavenderRott
April 20th, 2009, 11:35 AM
I once had a dog but he didnčt like my cats so I got rid of him. Cats are great and I hope you dog owners appreciate us cat lovers:)

While that is a really interesting thought - this poor woman is dealing with the death of her husband!!

How about - if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Mat&Murph
April 20th, 2009, 11:36 AM
While that is a really interesting thought - this poor woman is dealing with the death of her husband!!

How about - if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
You beat me to it!!! alittle rude eh?

Luvmypitgirls
April 20th, 2009, 11:42 AM
I once had a dog but he didnčt like my cats so I got rid of him. Cats are great and I hope you dog owners appreciate us cat lovers:)

Cat lovers are greatly appreciated here, many wonderful cat guardians on this site.
I do have one question, you sound very non chalant about getting rid of your dog, I am just curious, did you seek help in trying to train your dog to ignore your cats?
One of my dogs was extremely cat aggressive, hated cats with a passion and since I have two I needed to try and do something about his behaviour.
He still doesn't like cats, but he no longer seeks them out to cause harm. It took a lot of work and patience and consistency, I still don't leave him alone in the house with the cats, but he no longer tries to kill them when supervised.

Mat&Murph
April 20th, 2009, 11:44 AM
The OP lost her husband!!! I reliaze how terrible it is too loose a pet and friend but this lady is dealing with a different problem. We are all ANIMAL lovers here cats and dogs Thanks soo much

Luvmypitgirls
April 20th, 2009, 11:49 AM
Katie,
I didn't want to attach my reply to you with my other post, for obvious reasons.

I just want to offer you my most sincere heartfelt condolences for the loss of your husband. I can't imagine what you must be going thru.

Your lil pup is grieveing as well, please have patience with her, don't give up.
I agree with the umbilical leash training, and when you are not home with her, I would advise to crate her for awhile. She is used to having someone with her at all times, now that she will have periods alone unsupervised, she may end up getting into something that could hurt her, or become board and a bit destructive. A crate provides comfort and security and you may find she will greatly appreciate having her own little space.

I hope that things get better for you and your pup soon, grieve together, love each other, help each other thru this difficult time.
My thoughts are with you.
:grouphug:

marko
April 20th, 2009, 12:28 PM
No need to post about this troll stuff here please, it has been dealt with.
This thread is about grieving - let's move on please.

I'd also like to offer Katie my deepest condolences.

Thx - Marko

Love4himies
April 20th, 2009, 12:58 PM
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. :grouphug:. I don't have any advice to offer you.

Lynne_B
April 20th, 2009, 01:03 PM
Katie, first of all, I am so sorry you have to go through this, I can't even begin to imagine how hard it must be. But a few things that may help....

I agree with the umbilical thing, and I wanted to add a few more. Try and adjust your posture and body language. So, stand tall, back straight, shoulders back. It's ok to be stern with her if she's done something wrong, in this type of situation, yes she is grieving as well, but you still have to shift her focus away from the barking. When you have the leash attached to you, you can change directions, or speed up your pace a bit (not a lot since she's little, but enough to get her running). For the doorbell, shift her focus away from the door by teaching her to go to her spot every time the doorbell rings. Practice this a lot, and ring the doorbell multiple times a day, get friends and neighbors to come over randomly and do it. For the grieving part, that takes time obviously, but it's good that you're seeing other dogs, she needs that socialization, and play time. Have you thought of putting her into a doggy daycare during the day, or getting someone to come in and walk her?

BenMax
April 20th, 2009, 01:50 PM
Katie, first of all, I am so sorry you have to go through this, I can't even begin to imagine how hard it must be. But a few things that may help....

I agree with the umbilical thing, and I wanted to add a few more. Try and adjust your posture and body language. So, stand tall, back straight, shoulders back. It's ok to be stern with her if she's done something wrong, in this type of situation, yes she is grieving as well, but you still have to shift her focus away from the barking. When you have the leash attached to you, you can change directions, or speed up your pace a bit (not a lot since she's little, but enough to get her running). For the doorbell, shift her focus away from the door by teaching her to go to her spot every time the doorbell rings. Practice this a lot, and ring the doorbell multiple times a day, get friends and neighbors to come over randomly and do it. For the grieving part, that takes time obviously, but it's good that you're seeing other dogs, she needs that socialization, and play time. Have you thought of putting her into a doggy daycare during the day, or getting someone to come in and walk her?

I am so sorry for the lose of your husband. The advice given by LynnB is excellent. Best to you.:grouphug:

pbpatti
April 20th, 2009, 07:47 PM
Hi Katie, I know what you are going through. My DH passed away Jan 2008, it was a very difficult time for me and Sasha our Choc Lab. Sasha also had someone with her 24/7, when I was at work she spent her time with DH. When DH passed she mourned for several months, I think, that time is a little fuzzy, she had difficulty smelling his things, she would take a sniff put her ears back and walk away, kinda like saying ok, my freind is gone.

With regards to training she also pushed me to see how far she could go, I was finally strong enough to get her attention and make sure she got it that I AM BOSS :rolleyes: not her, right!:D

If you want to talk, vent, rant, cry on shoulder please pm me when you are able, not sure how many posts you have to have first.

Take care of You, pbp

Katiegirl
April 22nd, 2009, 11:16 AM
Hi everyone:
I am sorry- I have not been able to get on the puter the last couple of days and I am just finishing reading all of your replies and suggestions. Thanks to you all for your kind condolences, I appreciate them all very much. AND....thank you to all of you who dealt with that most disagreeable person about cats, that was very good of you to do that!
About Katie and me now, I have been putting her back on the leash the last couple days now and I have noticed one thing for sure- her stance and "effect" seem to change right away as soon as she sees the leash coming, and while I know she loves being off of it, I do believe this will help in the end, she always on the leash her whole life up till about six months ago or so...... I think both of us have a long ways to go and it isn't going to be easy. Katie is coming six years old, and we live in a Seniors Apartment building- where there are about a dozen of us with dogs- the same with cats, and they all get royally spoiled by the people in here- I'm sure you've heard that before about pets doing good for older people? Well, it sure gets proven here.Katie is a great little dog- its just since my guy passed away with the barking - and I know therefore thats what is causing it- I just got so stressed out about it- and the last thing I need is to get trouble in this building because of it. BUT- having said that, all I can do is keep trying and make sure she understands that she is NOT the boss around here much that she would like to be I'm sure. The door bell issue? I do not have a door bell, we have an intercom where the phone rings when someone is downstairs- and she just gets totally snaky when the phone rings thinking someone is coming, it doesn't ring any different if it is just a phone call, so that is really driving me nuts too- she is just so wound up I know she doesn't even hear my voice.
I wish that this would be easy and I could just try to carry on but it won't be will it? I know it will take some time for both of us, and after all is said and done- time does heal all doesn't it?
Thank you all again- it did my heart good reading your responses and how you dealt with that person- I still find myself crying a lot and it happened this morning while I was reading too- but it was happy time this time- so thanks again!
Katie:pawprint:

Mat&Murph
April 22nd, 2009, 11:26 AM
Ohh I was sooo happy to see you come back. I was really worried that the rudeness scared you off. We are very careing people on here, I hope one bad apple doesn't ruin it for you.

Anyways, Katie sounds like she is starting to respect the leash (good thing) The big thing for you is be consistent. As far as barking when the phone rings, With my guys They use to bark everytime someone walked by the house I would give the command "No Noise" and give them a leash correction if I had to do. Had to be very consistent. If I missed once Then it started again. Now the boys still bark alittle but not everytime And They listen better too.

Hope this helps and glad to see you back

Katiegirl
April 22nd, 2009, 11:35 AM
Hi:
Well we know who the "boss" in your house now don't we???I know from watching Katie that she pushes me as far as she can and then we have to have one of our little "chats" again- but I love t his girl with all my heart, and God knows what I would do without her- my life almost ended in January....as far as that person who was so rude- no he will NOT scare me off, you run in to that kind of thing no matter where you go- some people just have to be that way I guess?? Thanks for being so nice
Terry

Mat&Murph
April 22nd, 2009, 11:40 AM
I have to boss in my house. If the boys took over I would be in HUGE trouble. They already out weigh me and they are still growing!!!! But they are my good boys. Thank Dog you had Katie with you for this trying time. She would have been a great comfort for you.

R. Bear
April 22nd, 2009, 11:47 AM
I live in an apartment building too so I know what you are going through. As far a the phone ringing goes, I found the best way to keep the dog calm is to remain very matter-of-fact when it rings. If a visitor is ringing from the intercom, the dog will pick up on the cues really fast when you answer with a quick "hello" and say "come on in!" and buzz the visitor in, then go running to the door. My way around that was to keep my voice as monotone as possible when answering the phone, buzz the person in but at the same time continue talking into the phone as if it was a regular caller - like: "how are you doing? Did you see the show last night?" etc etc. If I don't hang up right away after a quick hello on the phone my dog will settle right down. Then I very non-chalantly make my way to the door to let my visitor in (you might want to talk to your friends and tell them what you are doing and that you might take a while to greet them at your apartment door). After you hang up the phone, go into the bedroom. Open a drawer. Go into the bathroom - close the door for a few moments. Your dog should settle down, thinking nothing's going on - then you can go to the door. Do this for every phone call you receive, visitor or not. This procedure in addition to the "alpha" training you are doing with your dog should help.

Sorry for your loss. Remember - your dog is grieving too and missing a pack member.

Katiegirl
April 23rd, 2009, 11:02 AM
Hi R. Bear:
Thanks for the great advice, I HAD thought of doing that- its a hard habit to start remembering to do tho isn't it?-but I think you are right- it will work in the long run....Thanks again and for your kind thoughts also - have a great day!

Katiegirl
April 23rd, 2009, 11:04 AM
Mat and Murph:
I was just joking about the being the "boss"- of course you are- but when you said in your reply- and they better listen too- you just made me laugh out loud- and I don't do that much anymore-so just wanted to say thanks in my own way!
I thank God for his giving me Katie too- I haven't got any idea what I would have done had it not been for her being here.............

Mat&Murph
April 23rd, 2009, 01:24 PM
LOL Murphy will sometimes mouth back at me and I tell him Don't talk back to your mom and he gives me that craziest look!! but he stops. I am glad you have found your way here, Hopefully we can get you laughing more often

aslan
April 23rd, 2009, 01:50 PM
First off Katiegirl i'd like to extend my condolences along with the others. Stick with us we'll keep you chuckling.

When my dad passed away, my mom had the same issue with her little fuzzbutt. She too went back to the umbilical training, but also carried a loud squeeky toy in her pocket. When Mischief barked my mom would squeek it to get her attention telling her quiet, then give her a command, sit,paw, whatever. then give her a treat. In no time it just became quiet. Then stopped all together. :You guys are each others support system right now, I know it's hard but you'll make it together.

Romeo's #1 Fan
April 25th, 2009, 11:31 PM
Hi there, I'm very new to this site, but I am easily seeing that it's the one that I'll blame for not getting enough sleep :). I am so sorry to hear about your husband, you have had some excellent advice, and being a relative newbie dog owner (just 11 months), this helps all of us by you sharing. I can comment on reaction to noise, phones, etc. When I first started walking Romeo we lived in a highrise.. well it was more like I'd walk and he'd plunk his butt. :) I would make sure that every noise he heard that was new to HIM, I would stay calm, tell him what it was, firetruck, siren, on and on, and give him a little treat while I talked to him. I still do it to this day, and I have found it has worked very well because his attention is on the calm tone of my voice, but the noise is still in the background. We can walk by barking dogs, noisy things, and it won't phase him. That being said, he is a bit of a guard dog in that things he hears from inside the house (we just moved) that are foreign, he will bark, and I go through the process, sort of following what I learned in puppy school-anything you allow past a couple of barks just gets them wound up for more barking lol. I wish you all the very best. :fingerscr

Linda

Katiegirl
April 26th, 2009, 10:17 AM
Linda:
Thanks for sending me your very nice note- and I appreciate it very much your taking the time listen for a relative "newbie" you are pretty smart kiddo- and it sounds like you and your buddie are well on the way! I just want to comment on one thing here- I do not want people to think Katie has always been a "bad" dog- she has definitely not- it has just been since my husband passed away and I guess I am in shock as far as she goes since she has always been so laid back and placid- but I know she is grieving- I know that things changed drastically, it is just a little bit too much sometimes- I am so stressed out most of the time still, and as far as Katie goes- I kind of "lost my way" for lack of a better word, and that is why this website is helping me so much- all of you who have suggested things- I am trying all of them and it seems to be working somewhat- the only one I have not tried yet- is the squeekie idea, I think considering once she gets going- she doesn't seem to hear me anymore- that this just might be what I need! So- thankyou to all of you once again, I love coming on here and looking at all the threads and notes, and I can't wait to see if there is something here for me- I just wish I had found this site a long time ago! It is just wonderful and I would recommend it to anyone-pet owner or not!
Terry

Katiegirl
April 26th, 2009, 10:19 AM
Hi Aslan:
Thank you- that's a most wonderful idea- the squeekie thing- because that really is the ONE thing I know will catch Katie's attention- so I am going to start trying it today-I really hope it will help and make it easier for both of us to get through this too! Thanks again- have a great weekend.
Terry

Katiegirl
April 27th, 2009, 11:36 AM
Hi you guys:
I do not know if I have succeeded here- but I did just try to open and post a pic of Katie on here- I guess I will find out in a minute here.....I apologize if I made a huge mess of it - this is the first time I have ever done this- so please.........bear with me!!!
Thanks again for all your help- I appreciate it so much.
Terry

One problem?!?!.........does this picture HAVE to be so big???There must be a way to make it smaller- if you know how please let me know I consider it a miracle I even got it on here though.

Luvmypitgirls
April 27th, 2009, 04:23 PM
Hiya Katiegirl, thanks for posting the pic of your furrybaby, such a cutiepie!:cloud9:

Hope things are getting better for you and your lil pup. :D..:grouphug:

kandy
April 28th, 2009, 01:28 PM
I'm very sorry for your loss.

My mother went through a similar time when her husband died, only her dog at the time was a rotti. I think that because dogs are so in tune with human emotions that they pick up on the uncertainty and the depression that is part of grieving. I think she believes that she needs to protect you, even from things that have been a part of her life for a long time now.

Along with desensitizing Katie to the things that set her off, you also need to keep your own confidence level high so that the confidence projects onto Katie if that makes sense. If you are nervous that she'll go nuts over something when you take her outside, she'll sense that you are nervous and think that there is some kind of danger that she needs to be ready for. If she thinks that you are uncomfortable around other people, then it would make sense that the phone sets her off because in her mind that means people are going to be arriving shortly. You could always record the sound of your phone ringing so that you can practice with her without having to find someone to call you repeatedly.

I'm sure it will get better - both of you are going through a major adjustment period. :grouphug:

And Katie is definitely a cutie!

14+kitties
April 28th, 2009, 01:42 PM
Katie is a cutie. :cloud9:
It is going to take some time to get Ms. Attitude back to her regular loving self. I have a toy poodle who has major attitude too. Not so much lately but she is almost 15. She had to settle down sometime!! :thumbs up
If you can PM now please take Patti up on her offer to PM and talk, rant, scream, whatever you need to do. She has experienced a major loss in her life with her DH too. I am sure you two could be great friends! :grouphug:

Katiegirl
April 30th, 2009, 01:04 PM
Hi Patti:
I am so sorry it took me so long to answer your note- I am not sure how long it takes to be able to PM but I guess I will find out sooner or later? Maybe you know? I appreciate everything you have told me and suggested by the way and I am trying to do everything you guys are all suggesting- it does seem to be getting a little better I must admit but.....boy do we have our days me and Katie!!!..........Terry