Wednesday, August 01, 2007

And Then There Was One

You would think Jake had been dreaming of being the “only dog”, not just the “alpha dog.” This would mean that he would no longer have to vie for dog treats, for attention, for anything. But ever since we came home without Dylan, he has been in a real funk.

Jake was unhappy when we drove away with Dylan in the car, leaving him behind. But that had happened before (when Dylan had gone in for a check-up) and he had always come home. When we came back with an empty leash and collar, Jake at first refused to go outside, perhaps thinking he too might disappear.

He ate his dinner last night and out of habit looked to see if he could steal something from Dylan’s bowl, but there was no bowl to steal from. We long ago learned why he is overweight.

We went to bed leaving Jake downstairs as he has always stayed when our children aren’t home to sneak him up to their rooms. He normally just sleeps curled up on the black leather chair. But sometime during the night he started barking incessantly and would not shut up until my husband let him come upstairs. He immediately headed for my side of the bed knowing how much my husband detests his being in our room. He was only content when his head was resting on some part of my body.

This morning after I finished my cereal, he waited for me to split the remaining milk into two bowls and seemed surprised when he got all five sips for himself.

How do you explain to an animal the truth of what happened to his life-long companion? I can remind him to stop looking for Dylan every time someone opens the door. I can tell him Dylan is in a better pain-free place. But Jake simply doesn’t get it. He is still on the look-out.

I fear he will quickly become a complacent lazy old dog now that he has no reason to compete for anything. I know it’s way too early to even begin to think about a puppy. But Jake needs a friend other than me. He was just not born to be an “only dog”.

(Picture nabbed from my husband’s winter post about Jake.)

9 Comments:

Blogger media concepts said...

Thanks for another hearfelt post. Maybe it isn't too soon to think about getting a puppy for Jake and for you.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

my thought exactly - why is it too soon for a puppy?

9:01 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Matt, Pauline -- I have to convince my husband that "we" want another dog. But I can say the campaign has already started...

9:13 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Well, that just breaks my heart.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

take him along when you go to :just look"...

maybe a puppy will choose him

7:22 AM  
Blogger Laura Stamps said...

Back when I only had two housecats, and my 18 year old cat suddenly developed kidney failure and had to go to Faeryland, the younger cat immediately went into a deep depression. She wouldn't snap out of it, and it is no wonder...her playmate was gone! She had been a mama cat when we adopted her, so we hoped a kitten would snap her out of her blues. I was still grieving and not ready to take in a new cat, but she just grew more despondent by the day. So within a week we had adopted a new kitten from a cat rescue agency, and she was so busy "caring" for this new kitten her depression disappeared instantly.

That was my first experience with depression in cats caused by their playmate going to Faeryland. I know you may not be ready, but for Jake's sake I would also like to suggest you search the rescue agencies or shelters for another dog or puppy. Jake will feel so much better with another dog to play and/or compete with, and rescue dogs always need a loving home like yours. :)

7:45 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Jake will be fine. Just give him some time. Maybe cut yourself some slack, too, eh?

8:45 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- I think it just goes to show that even animals can grieve.

Pauline -- Advice filed away.

Laura -- I love the concept of Faeryland. That evokes such a beautiful picture in my mind. I can see what an animal lover you are!

Reya -- Time heals many things. I'm sure this one too will improve with time.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Laura Stamps said...

Hi, Barbara--

I have been in feral cat rescue for 30+ years, and have come to believe that animals, especially the ones we take into our families and homes like cats and dogs, are really faeries in disguise. They decide to spend a lifetime in a cat or dog body, just to give us the gift of love. All of them little furbags of love, these cat faeries and dog faeries. They come for a certain length of time to give us this lovely gift, and when that time ends, other faeries come for them to escort them back to Faeryland.

My goodness, we are so blessed! :)

8:22 AM  

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