Unfortunately our family is putting our beloved 7 year old Golden Retriever to sleep tonight because of cancer. We are very sad about this, of course, and will miss her immensely. The kids are very sad, as is Dad. However, we are also concerned about our other dog. We have another Golden (a male) who is also 7 years old. They are not siblings, but they have been living together since they were less than a year old and do everything together. Since they were less than a year old, they have been separated for only a few weeks at a time at most (and rarely). When we are on vacation, they go to separate places for doggie day care, but other than that they are always together (so they have been separated before). She is going to be put to sleep at our house, and we are unsure of how to deal with the other dog while this is going on. Of course he will not be in the room when it happens, but we don't know what to do after. They are very attached to each other and used to living together, so we do not want him to wonder where she has gone and be lonely. After she has been put to sleep, would it be a good idea to let him see her body so that he knows and understands what has happened to her and that she will not be coming back? Would this be upsetting to him or helpful to him? Would it be better to just not show him her body and simply try to get him used to being alone?
I have never been in this situation before, so I am at a loss as to what to do here. Any feedback would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance very much.
I dealt with this in the spring. I lost my wonderful dog Riana to lymphoma. We put her down at home, and left her body in the house for several hours. Her younger sister, Koa, was there when we euthanized her, and was allowed to come over and sniff the body after Riana was gone. I do think it helped her understand what was happening. We gave her as much time as she liked--she sniffed for awhile and lay down next to Riana for perhaps 30 minutes.
I would absolutely let the other dog have some time with his friend.
I agree that it is a good idea to let the other dog see the body. Just be aware that when the dog is gone the body tends to leak. Put a vinyl table cloth or something similar underneath the dog and put a towel between the hind legs if you want to leave it in the house for more than a few minutes. Godspeed. We have all been there unfortunately.
I've thought a lot about that. Since I plan on having the older dog put to sleep at home when I have to (hopefully not for a long time yet), I want to have the younger one right there as well. I think it would be terrible to keep her away without being able to realize what was happening.
My big dog's "best friend" was my neighbor's old dog. He finally collapsed and was in her car to go to the vet's. Shadow came right over practically into the car with Max. You could see that they were saying goodbye. It was awful, but Shadow never went over to the house looking for Max again. He knew he was gone.
I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry
I've had to euth two oldsters in the last couple of years and I had the other dogs in the room at the time and then gave them a few minutes with the body after. In both cases the other dogs seem to accept it very well and I think it was comforting to the old dogs to have their friends around them. Thankfully I have a WONDERFUL vet who came to the house and made it all as painless as it could possibly be for the dogs.
If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb
Give the other boy some time her. Do not force him to stay in the room, but allow him free roam of the house as he chooses. Most dogs will leave just before the housemate passes, and some, although not all, will return shortly after. It seems to be their way of saying goodbye/paying their respects.
We give an injection of heavy sedation first, and have foudn that most housemates leave after this injection, and return after the animal has passed on.