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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19654
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Hi: My little Maltese passed away two weeks ago today and

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Hi: My little Maltese passed away two weeks ago today and my question regards XXXXX XXXXX little guy. Chance is a ShihTzu X and was adopted two years ago when he was only 8 weeks old. He had been rescued from a puppy mill. He has a very gentle personality but is very skiddish of people. He seems to be much more comfortable with dogs and that being said, he was especially close to his "brother". Even though Frankie never particularly liked the over abundance of love that the pup expressed, Chance loved him so much and more or less, followed his lead.

Since the passing of Frankie, our pup is completely despondent. He doesn't like to go for walks, will go in the car (reluctantly) because he always loved to, not interested in eating, will go out to do his business but comes barrelling back in the house asap, he doesn't visit me in my bedroom anymore where I always got morning kisses.

Everything has changed for him. He and Frankie always did things together and now, we, as his leaders, don't seem to cut it. We are including him in as many activities as possible and we are really spending a lot of loving time with him. It is almost as if he has removed himself from us emotionally.

I am almost in tears as I write this. I don't know what to do. I had hoped that maybe being the top dog for awhile would establish his true personality and allow him to "grow" but on second thought, does he need another mate in his life? It is just that he is such a laid back dog and so shy that I thought maybe he would have a chance to be his own dog before we added a new friend.

I would really appreciate any suggestions. I know that pets mourn too but I am getting very worried about his demeanour particularly his appetite. He doesn't seem to like us much anymore. It's as if we are responsible for Frankie not being here.

Thank you so much for any help you can offer. Susan
Hi Sir or Madam,

It is heart breaking to watch a pet grieve for another one, especially when you are grieving yourself. I know how you feel exactly as I watched 3 of my dogs search for a dog of ours that had died. They also were depressed and subdued for days before they snapped out of it.


You can help your dog and yourself by going places new like a park or pet store where your dog can be stimulated. Spend extra play time with your dog as their play buddy and companion is gone and not only does your dog not know what's going on, but your dog senses your feelings as well. I know you are doing some of these things already which should help.


Your dog will adjust with your help; it will just take a little while, like it will for you. A new dog might help if you are ready. I'd suggest a younger dog or a puppy so that Chance can be enganged. An older dog might just ignore Chance. If you have a friend with a dog, perhaps having them bring the dog over for a play date might lift his spirits.


I would get some nutrical (nutritional supplement) from your vet or pet store and give him some if he isn't eating normally to ensure he gets the necessary nutrients. In a multiple dog household, dogs learn to eat when it is put down to ensure the other dog doesn't eat it. With only one dog, they will often let it sit longer. If he isn't eating at all, I'd get him a checkup to ensure there isn't a medical issue with him as well. A new pup would likely get him eating normally again pretty quickly.


I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .


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