Everyday life in a rickety old Scottish farmhouse with a very happy Polish Lowland Sheepdog. A record of those unimportant little things that are too important to be forgotten.
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Canine psychologist needed
A now we get a refresher course on canine psychology.
Sophie is clearly distraught about the disappearance of her brother.
Every couple of hours she barks, rushes out into the garden expectantly and looks round for Bob. That impatient ' I'm bored with this game. You can come out now ' sort of look.
We've bought her toys. She's eating just fine. She enjoys ten minutes of hearty catch the furry rabbit but her hearts not in it. She wanders off to check distant bedrooms and rarely visited corners in search of the 'oaf'. Tickles and soothing words help but don't cut it. She cries. She's loaded in the car but doesn't want to go into the bakers.
Any suggestions ?
For our part we're both discovering that one dog creates a tiny portion of the sounds two dogs make.
This seems pertinent :https://aeon.co/essays/why-science-needs-to-catch-up-with-what-dog-trainers-know
This insight in to Washington was a surprise but made both of us smile : https://twitter.com/JanisPetzinger/status/1197893128130355200
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ANGUS - well, you asked. I found a top breeder of PONS in Warsaw. She will have puppies in January and February, 2020. I hope this is not an unwelcome thought and possible suggestion. Here is the breeder: http://www.zhordygabriela.pl/indexa5.html and here are the plans for the puppies in the new year: http://www.zhordygabriela.pl/indexa4.html. Take some time for all of you to heal, and then.......perhaps this is what is needed for the ROF. Sent with much love, and (I hope) not intrusions. From EDENA on the Westcoast of Canada.
P.S. to my comment (above). There is also a PON Magazine: http://www.pon-furman.pl/english/magazyn-pona/magazyn-uk.html It is published in Poland, and available in an English version. ANGUS - I do hope I am not intruding. But when you said "any suggestions?" - I took it as an invitation. I want to thank you, once again, for sharing BOB's final day with all of us who loved him. We, as his extended family, felt included. And the elegance and dignity of his finale brought a beautiful closure to the pain of losing him. Thank you again. EDENA on the Westcoast of Canada.
I'd been worrying about Sophie too. Did your experience with Wilf (admittedly a very different personality) teach you anything useful? My only thought is that it's very early days yet, and one might hope Sophie will accept the loss of her oaf of a brother in her own time.
Oh Sophie, you may have appeared aloof, but that should never be mistaken for lack of love or interest, should it? You take your time, sweet girl, and then find a way to help Angus and "Font" to adjust too. hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx
Angus - Edena's suggestion is certainly to be considered...long term. I am almost certain such thoughts will be floating around anyway, in behind the sorrow. As for immediately with Sophie, if you are open to some natural medicine - Bach Flowers Ignatia is useful (few drops onto the tongue up to four times daily until relief is observed- humans may benefit too...) Aromatherapy is often very effective; on an oil burner drop only two drops each of lavender, frankincense and marjoram. Another useful one is clary sage and could be used in place of marj. Again, this will help the humans.
Physically, it can be useful to revisit Bob's grave each morning/evening and actively grieve yourself. This would help Sophie to tune into your needs and = dogs being dogs - start to refocus on her purpose. It would be a committment on your part also...
In the end, just as with we humans, dogs must process in whichever way is best for them and everyone is different. Ultimately, your love and patience with her is what will bring her through it.
Sending Love and hugs. YAM xx
Forgive me Angus if this hurts - but you need to get another dog, as soon as possible. She needs canine companionship. She is mourning and in this moment toys and human companionship are not enough.
Thank you. Believe me thought is being given to a younger companion for Sophie. We'll see how it goes !
I think she just needs a little time and love. As you do. I would not rush into getting a new dog. That would potentially just compound her issues at this stage.
You must all be hurting so bad. Poor Miss Sophie.
Sweet Bob, he was a lovely lad and you are in such pain!! But, if the looks, the licking and the smell of a puppy can't help healing a canine or human heart, what can? And, though it may sound completely crazy, what about a kitten, right now? It would make Sophie completely gobsmacked and, if done properly, instead of eating it, maybe she would end loving and protecting the tiny creature. And, whith the new puppy, growing up together, the ROF would have a havoc multiplied by ten. Can you imagine a better world? Believe me, I'm mostly a dog person,but became totally smitten by cats, too.
I have a BEAUTIFUL AIRBRUSH IMAGINE A man in one of my Westie groups that was 🙏🏻 for Bob. He did in Loving Memory of Bob. He asked me to get it to you. I can't download it there doesn't seem to be away.
Could you give me someway to email it to you❓I am sorry to ask at this time. I think you would love to see it and maybe frame it sometime.
I am so truly sorry about the lost of Bob. I have followed your blog since the lost of Digby. After the lost of Wilf, I figured there would be many, many years of looking and reading about these two new PON. Never dreaming this story would change in six short years. Handsome Bob, outstanding fellow he was will be missed 💔💔 forever.
I believed Sophie would help you through this period of lost. Never thinking she would react this way. That causes a new concern and looking for away to help her. Someone suggested above a new puppy above. I have read of many who did that to help the remaining dog. If not a puppy maybe there is another PON, the same age who needs a new forever home.
Please, let me know about emailing the airbrushed picture of Bob, thank you.
Believe it or not, I do try and stay away from giving canine advice, but there are times..... Anyway you did ask.
I would agree with Susan. Having had dogs that were clearly and emotionally bonded to one another, I know that they do grieve in their own way. And I know that it does take time for a new routine to settle in. The "scent" of Bob will pass, and Sophie will make her way without him. And she may morph into another dog completely. I am remembering the pair of Toby and Bubba, and Bubba passing away first. Toby had always been the quieter and more reserved of the two, taking his cues from Bubba. What emerged after his life partner of more than 12 years was a funny comical dog - He had always been in Bubba's shadow and now it was his turn to be the star. You will probably find that happens to Sophie. Give her time. Keep her routine the same. Reassure her, but don't go over the top, again, keeping her life the same. Correct her when needed, and reassurance when she seems lost. And eventually she will settle into her life/routine without her beloved Bob. How long it will take is anyone's guess - We both know there is no set time on grieving. And as for that puppy - I would wait on that too. Again, let Sophie get her bearings. Not all dogs like puppies. Believe it or not, our dogs, including Todd, don't like them, they are too "in your face." And of course there is the "not all dogs, like other dogs." scenario. But you, and 'the Font,' of course it goes without saying, know her better than anyone. Trust your instinct with Sophie. You can't go wrong with that.
I hope I've given you something to consider, and I hope I've not rambled too much.
You have been spot on. Thank you.
I am with Kim and Susan. We have had pairs over the years and our experience is that the lone dog needs time to adjust.
Regarding puppies: Our Lola was the neighborhood "babysitter" for the past few years. She adored puppies and friends would bring theirs to socialize, gently and safely play with her. Now Lola turned 7 in July and the last pup, Sherman, seems to be annoying her last nerve. Lots of scolding w/ him, & of course Shermie is oblivious. Suggest starting the sweet Diva with play date of friendly local dogs and sussing out puppy love. Also. is she sleeping? Sleep helps everything. Angus, how goes your healing? I am worried for all of you. Love to all.XXXX
Both Sophie and her humans are finding it difficult to believe that everything could have happened in less than five days. She will adjsut soon. At the moment she is on a high activity regimen.
A trip to the butchers and fishmongers is planned rto take her mind off recent developments.
Regarding Sophie missing her brother: Have you taken her to his grave? She will know that Bob is there and that may comfort her.
Sending our love to all of you in this time. We had a similar situation with a Saluki brother and sister when the brother passed. We had an amazing reading with pet communicator, Sonja Fitzpatrick. It was so on the mark and made a difference in the grieving. We suggest talking to Sophie in a similar manner. You are in our prayers.
Animals do grieve and Sophie is surely grieving over the absence of Bob. Her lifelong constant companion is missing. It must be upsetting to her. You might find of interest Dr. Frans de Waal's book, Mama's Last Hug, about the emotional lives of animals. It is fascinating and insightful. It is the "quiet" within my house that I have always found the most difficult to deal with when a beloved pet dies. Not to be woken by a wet nose and a happily thumping tail in the morning or to be greeted with such unbridled enthusiasm returning home from work filled me with tears for weeks. It made our house seem so devoid of life. I do wonder if there is another town dog that Sophie likes that she could walk or play with a bit each day. Otherwise, self-refilling yogurt pots may help ease her confusion and sadness. Time is really the only antidote to grief. You and the Font are such caring and loving dog owners. What a gift to another dog to come into the ROF household. So many have such miserable lives. But, only you both will know when the time is right. As I walk the shore line each morning in Chatham, MA, this week for Thanksgiving, I reflect on Bob's brief and beautiful life and I hope you are all doing okay.
So very Sorry for your loss. I was there years ago. Lost my wonderful Golden at 6 years to cancer. Remember your earlier loss and the incidensen with pilgrim when you buried the first POW. How strange. Love to you, the Font and Sophie from DK
Hello, Husband read a book on this and suggested you might want to look into EMDR for dear Sophie.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
EMDR for animals Video https://youtu.be/Rkza_M3yn7A
Perhaps other readers have come across this.
Again, so sorry for your loss. When I had litter mates and lost the boy, the girl grieved terribly. They were scotties. She lost 1/4 of her body weight. I finally had to get a puppy, before I was really ready, but that perked her up. I was really afraid I was going to loss her. Good luck with Sophie.
You can post it on google photos, dropbox, blog or any other site tha lets you upload a photo and just post the link to it here
Poor Sophie. She reminds me so much of my Juta, also a PON. It's so natural that she's missing her brother. I like the suggestion of visiting Bob's grave. Another PON might help in the long term, but I'd wait at least few months before putting that in motion. Keeping the same routines might reasure her in some way. Our PON is also independent and needs her space, but she got used to her human sister and her little cousins so in the long term I am optimistic about Sophie liking her new companion too.
This just breaks my heart. I cannot tell you how much my daughter and I have cried and grieved over Bob's passing, so I can't even imagine how you and the Font are doing. As you said, it's hard for humans OR canines to comprehend such a bewildering and shockingly quick loss. Each dog is different, and it will just take a little time to see how it goes with Sophie. Last year, three adorable young terriers were found loose in our neighborhood, and I fostered them while they were getting their shots and being spayed and neutered. I have never seen such bonded pups - always all three curled up together. None of my many, many dogs or fosters throughout the years had ever been bonded with one another! I grieved at the thought of separating them, and although I wanted to adopt one, I definitely could not take all three - or even two. But the owner of the rescue told me that she absolutely intended to adopt them all out separately because she thought they needed space from one another to "shine" - so I kept one of the little girls, and she's just done great. Sophie will lead the way; she will either adjust and "shine", or let you know that she needs a canine companion.
Darling Sophie - that first photo breaks my heart. I can only concur with the 'new companion' line of thought though Angus, but only you know when the time's right. Bless you all x
Do tell us how that goes - we are all thinking of Sophia and of course the two of you, too.
Thank you for your help. I have to write I have no clue how to do anything of that.😮 If anyone at Thanksgiving lunch tomorrow can help then I will try. I will try and see if there is an answer on Google.
Would you consider moving Bobs stump seat to the ridge. You could sit with him in the morning having your coffee and still put the world to rights. He would still be there listening to your every word. Sending love to you all from deepest Wiltshire ❤️🐾
What a good idea.
Poor Sophie, who would have thought that she would miss that oaf of a brother so much. But they were siblings, and underneath all Sophie's feigned indifference was, and still is, a very deep bond of love and trust. It will take her time to adjust, as it will yourselves, and once again become the family diva.
Another dog may be the answer, but I wonder if another PON, much as you love the breed, would be acceptable to Sophie? If you chose another male, would she be even more bereft and confused when she realised it wasn't Bob?
You and 'The Font' must also be ready to accept another dog into the family.
It's early days, and you all need time to grieve the family fellow, and then make decisions on the way forward.
That is such a lovely thought - you on Bob's stump seat, sitting beside him, putting the world to right. Perhaps the rugby boys could carry it there for you (to save the district nurse worrying about you lifting heavy things as you recuperate from your operation), and given time Sophie may learn the top of the ridge, with Bob's old seat, is now Bob's new place to be.
The last five days have been a shock for all of us. Prior to this Bob and Sophie had made two visits to the K-E-N-N-E-L close together. I think going back to your former routine will offer comfort, once the shock has slowly subsided. Sophie is going to take her cues from you and The Font. Humans and canines process grief differently, but together. You are Bob’s flock. Please take some time to heal together. I understand none of this is easy, nor will it ever be, please forgive me if I have over stepped in any way. Love and hugs.
She might do better with a male than a female PON actually. While I know many females that live together, most of them are blood relatives or live in a larger group.
Our Gemini mourned our Loki for weeks. We just gave her all the love and attention we could. 3 months later she had a new friend.
Angus, I'm just learning the news and am heartbroken. Due to storms in No. California and no internet until today, I've been unable to check in since Saturday. I've been hoping against hope that the family fellow would pull through. The world can hardly spare the loss of such a gracious and gentle soul as Bob. I've loved him so dearly from afar. Thank you for sharing him with us; he has cheered me immensely so many times. This will take a while to absorb; I apologize for the random thoughts. My heart is very much with you and the Font and dear insouciant beautiful Sophie. When you are ready, a new friend for Sophie might be most welcome. Robert and I send you all our sympathy; there are many tears here.
I am heartbroken for you and your little family. I start my day faithfully with your posts . Bob will be missed.
Your tribute to Bob was really lovely and touching. For Sophie, if not already done, I would pack away Bob's bowl, leash, etc so that Sophie does not see them and think he will return. If Sophie enjoys being groomed, I would give her a day of home beauty - brushing, bath... I don't think I could trust a groomer or kennel at this point and the high activity regimen is a great idea. I might also introduce a new food based game - my labs would play doggie detective where they would sniff around to find the hidden treats or bone in a specific room and/or use one of the food puzzles that release treats or kibble when turned the right way. Sophie's love of food in a regulated way may provide a much needed distraction, but your instincts will be the best guide.
I don't know much about dogs, being afraid of them, but I have made some observations. A relative had a tan Carlin, Maya. After a year or two, she decided Maya needed companionship, ostensibly because it so enjoyed playing with other dogs. She got another Carlin, a black puppy named Louise. Maya's behavior changed dramatically. She would lie in her bed and sulk. She would sometimes try to play (it was so pathetic that even I would toss the toy she brought), but Louise, who was quicker, younger and not nearly as fat, would bully her way in. Louise got all the attention, as babies do. It was clear that Maya was depressed. She seemed to get solace in food, snarfing down her meal, and Louise's, too, whenever she managed. In fact, she choked to death one day while eating her food.
It seems that dogs, and all beings, are individuals, and it is hard to know what will please them or cause them anxiety. Clearly Bob and Sophie had a routine, and it has been irrevocably broken. It is hard to know what new routine will be best for Sophie and for her humans--what we intend or imagine doesn't always turn out, sometimes exceeding expectations and sometimes the opposite. I am sure that if you get another dog, you will be more sensitive to Sophie's reactions than my relative, who tends to enjoy her latest toy (be it an object, an animal or a human) and forget the others.
That's just lovely! Remember to tell Bob that it's all his country when scanning the countryside.
I just still cannot believe it. Sending you big love and in time things will settle. I could not read your tribute to Bob right through - could not see through the tears. Its just so hard to lose a family pet.
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