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Grief + Puppy blues = :(

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by sighthounds, Nov 6, 2018.


  1. sighthounds

    sighthounds PetForums Junior

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    We lost Maggy in March. Have now had Arthur for 2 and a half weeks, and it's hard. He's really good for the most part, but we're just in a place where I don't love him yet, because I don't really know him. I have mental health issues and I need to go for walks every day. But Arthur just doesn't enjoy walks and can't wait to turn around and come home. I just want Maggy back :(
     
  2. Chatcat

    Chatcat PetForums Member

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    Ah, I'm sorry for you. I had the same problem with a horse. My beloved mare died after 26 years with me, and I found fault with every horse thereafter. All nice horses with no vices, but they just weren't HER. I don't ride anymore for that reason. However, I DO have contact with equines because I took up carriage driving, which requires a different sort of beast. (there is a reason for this long post!) I am able to continue my love for horses but now have tiny ponies which go faster round corners!. My point is that, Maggy was special, but Arthur will be special in a different way.

    You have to give it time. Allow yourself to grieve for Maggy, rejoice in her, remember her, but think also, that Arthur needs you to look after him, feed him, care for him. It's not his fault that he's not Maggy. Go for your walks without him, two weeks is not anything like enough to get used to a new dog. When you have finished with your training (what are his issues with walking? Fear?) he will walk with you like she did. Good luck!
     
  3. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    For what it’s worth, it took me a lot longer than 2 weeks to actually love my newest puppy, and that’s without any grief...

    Give it time :)
     
  4. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    How old is Arthur ? Could he be a bit nervous about walks ? Give it time I bet you will become great friends.
     
  5. Boxerluver30

    Boxerluver30 Hound Lover

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    2 and a half weeks is a very short amount of time so you probably haven't properly bonded with him yet. I'm sure given time you will :). You need to give yourself time to properly grieve as well. could you try engaging him in some training or fun games on walks so he is more interested? or is arthur scared/nervous of going outside?
     
  6. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    I have been there before with pets, you want them to be the other.

    Maybe Arthur senses you don't really want it to be him on the walk and are unhappy. Maybe that is why he wants to go back.
     
  7. XemzX

    XemzX PetForums VIP

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    Aww, sorry to hear this :( If its any consolation I felt exactly the same when Addy joined our family and the other half (who has also suffered mental health problems) even more so. The other half used to get stressed over the slightest things and struggled to bond with her. Now, however, you’d never have known and he can often be found cuddled up with her :rolleyes:
    I honestly think, if we hadn’t had Jonesy, Addy too would have been scared on walks. She gained a lot of confidence from him. I imagine her and Arthur have had a similar life and they are such a sensitive breed. Do you think Arthur may feel more comfortable if there was another dog on the walk for company? If you know anybody with a calm, sensible dog you could meet for a walk.
     
  8. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    With grief over a lost pet and a new one, I found something that helped. That was talking to the new pet about the one that had died. In my case it was telling my rescue dog about my cat who had disappeared several months previously. You can let out a lot of the feelings it's harder to do with other humans, dogs love being talked to and that in itself helps the bonding.
     
  9. emmaviolet

    emmaviolet PetForums VIP

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    Hello.
    I couldn't help but empathise with your post, it could have been written by me when Alfie was a puppy.

    A few months earlier I had lost my beloved dog Billy. He was 14, and I cannot explain simply how wonderful he was. He wasn't really like a dog, he was so mellow, he just wanted to be near me, and he never even barked, never really run around, he was a slow and placid dog from a puppy. He was special in that even when I popped in the vets the vet would tell everyone in the waiting room about him, he would allow him to do anything to him, even without anaesthetic.
    I could go on.

    Anyway, I took him going very hard, I sank quite low and then a few months later I had this puppy who was the complete opposite. A dog's dog, was into everything, never sat still and wouldn't stop biting my fingers or nose (Billy had never even nipped as a puppy). I was in a lot of grief and I felt I didn't like Alfie very much at all, thought he could never compare to Billy, and even at low points thought he was ugly compared to Billy. I was very low and also suffer with MH issues and my depression was in high drive.

    But over time, he became my dog, and not an abstract dog that was in my home, but not my Billy. It sounds cliche but love grows over time, you don't love them as much as you didn't love Maggy as much on her first days with you as you did through the years. Now I love Alfie no end, he's completely different and that's why I love him. He actually demands you love him (he's got so much character, he demands more from you) and I love him in a bigger way than Billy, but not more, just differently.
    It's strange, but you'll love Arthur in his way alone, never the same way you loved Maggy, that's saved for her, but Arthur will have his own special kind of love that will grow through your lives together.
    Alfie is now like my right arm, I couldn't imagine him not being in my life and he's the funniest and happiest dog and he's brought so much into my life too.

    Just take care of his needs and take time. Don't demand anything from yourself yet, just take a lot of time. You'll find your way together and bond over different things. Just get to know him, he'll have his own great things to offer you too.

    Sorry for the long post, I just saw myself in your post and wanted to say it does get better eventually. Take care of yourself too.
     
    fernlady, Bugsys grandma and JoanneF like this.
  10. sighthounds

    sighthounds PetForums Junior

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    Thank you so much for your response, I'm so touched to hear your own experience. Like Billy, Maggy was a gentle soul from the beginning, so anything other than her feels alien. I am sure that I will come to love him in time, but all the while it is so comforting to hear from others who have felt the same way. I will come back and read this in the weeks and months to come. Thank you
     
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  11. sighthounds

    sighthounds PetForums Junior

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    Thank you so much, before Arthur arrived I had told myself I should talk to him about her, but in the whirlwind of his arrival I had completely forgotten. Thank you for reminding me
     
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  12. sighthounds

    sighthounds PetForums Junior

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    Thank you so much, hearing others' experiences is very comforting. And yes, from the first few days I noticed that he would really benefit from the company of another dog :( I am sure he would much prefer walks if he had a canine companion. Sadly we don't currently know anyone who would fit the bill, but I'll keep an eye on it. The thought has even crossed my mind of adopting a second older rescue dog. Not to worry though, we won't make any stupid decisions, it's just how I feel. We are going to puppy classes, but they can be somewhat hit or miss regarding socialising. He is very good at the classes, but I come away feeling like he's just slightly overwhelmed, instead of feeling satisfied with the playing and training he's just done. To be fair, I feel it bit overwhelmed at them, too.
     
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  13. sighthounds

    sighthounds PetForums Junior

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    Yes that could be true, I try to be as positive and chirpy as possible but I'm sure he can tell I'm not entirely happy.
     
  14. sighthounds

    sighthounds PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for your response. Yes I will try to do that, only it can be quite hard to engage with him sometimes on walks as he's so unsure that he rarely looks at me or takes food. It's difficult to tell exactly what he's feeling, but he's definitely low in confidence at the moment. I should add that our walks are very very short at the moment. I know these things will become easier as he settles and we are able to bond.
     
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  15. sighthounds

    sighthounds PetForums Junior

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    He's just turned 5 months- I believe there's a fear-period around this point anyway? I'm sure his dislike of walks is linked to nervousness/lack of confidence, but I know it'll get better with time, practice and reassurance.
     
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  16. sighthounds

    sighthounds PetForums Junior

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    Thank you ♥
     
  17. sighthounds

    sighthounds PetForums Junior

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    Thank you for your response, it is comforting to hear from others with similar experience. Yes, he is mostly lacking in confidence at the moment, so I must admit I'm feeling some guilt that we don't have a second dog, who I know would help show him the way :( It will get better in time
     
  18. emmaviolet

    emmaviolet PetForums VIP

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    That's OK, I just wanted to tell you it was OK and perfectly normal to feel how you do.
    You will always love Maggy in the way you do, but you'll love Arthur too for his own things.

    I still want Billy back, but I'd never swap Alfie for him, because I now love him so much too.
    Maybe Arthur will be cheeky, or playful or devoted to you, you'll love him for his own things, just give it lots of time to get to know him. You must've had Maggy with you a long time, two weeks is nothing at all when you think of it, of course you won't have the same feelings for him as you did Maggy.

    Alfie was alien to me too, he was so full on I couldn't believe it, and I hated his name and hearing it, always saying 'Alfie no'. I had a perfect list of what Billy was and a list full of things I really didn't like about Alfie, it's so strange even writing it now because I adore him so much, but it's a huge change.

    I think the idea to talk to him is a great one. Also, if he has some treats, take your time and give them slowly to him by hand. Lots of small interactions will help build up lots of layers of the relationship.

    But just keep going, you're completely not alone in feeling like this.
     
  19. emmaviolet

    emmaviolet PetForums VIP

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    Can I ask, do you have a garden?

    I'm just wondering if a brief break from trying too hard with the walking and adding further stress to you both would help?
     
  20. sighthounds

    sighthounds PetForums Junior

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    That's so reassuring to hear :) After our walk this morning I gave him lots of cuddles and spoke to him about Maggy. He went from being squirmy to suddenly very quiet, and he bowed his head while I spoke and stroked his ears... Dogs are magic. And yes, we do have a garden, so he gets plenty of time there regardless of whether we're having a tough walkies day or not, thankfully.
     
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