The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Pet Loss – The Companion Pet Left Behind (True Story)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pet Loss – The Companion Pet Left Behind (True Story)

This is my true story, and what I experienced with my dog when he lost his companion.  I got Sugar my sweet little Shih-Tzu in February 1996, at the age of about 6 weeks old. My husband and I both worked so she was alone all day. She did not have the run of the house while we were gone. We had her area section off with a food, water, bed, toys and potty pads.

As she got a little older we purchased her a loveseat…yeah, a loveseat! We also purchased the little steps so that she could have access to get up on the loveseat. She soon learned to jump from the loveseat and sit up in the big picture window and look out.

One evening a neighbor stopped us and told us that she sits in that window all day looking for us.  The thought of her being lonely prompted me to get her a companion. I looked in the want ads and found that someone was selling Shih-Tzu puppies and had only 2 left. They were asking $200 which included shots and a can of dog food.

We took Sugar with us to pick out her companion. Sugar who was about 10 pounds now was much bigger than the 2 little puppies that they showed us. I had told my husband on the way over that “which ever one is attracted to her…will be the one we will get!”

It didn’t take long for little Domino to zero in on her. He started trying to chase her and he could barely walk. It was really funny because she was trying to avoid him. I decided then that he would be the one.

We had already came equipped with a carrier, and placed Domino in it on the backseat with Sugar. While riding along Sugar began to bark, I looked back and Domino was out of the carrier crawling up on her. We pulled over to put him back in. My husband swears that he latched the gate! We laughed and joked about calling him Houdini!

Sugar and Domino bonded immediately. Her motherly instincts kicked in and he started following her around everywhere. As time passed, I realized that was the best thing to do. When we would arrive home they would both be in the window and start having fits when they recognized the car! We would have to slowly open the door so that we would not hit one of them!

Sugar was the dominant one, always barking the loudest, pushing Domino back at treat time, pushing him away from the water…and trying to get all of the attention. Domino was very quiet, hardly ever barking and became submissive to her. He let her run the show! She would be the first at the door if anyone knocked. If I was on the phone, she would immediately start barking loud.  She could roll her eyes when she got mad…she was a little pistol!

In August of 2008, Sugar was diagnosed with heart problems. She was put on medications and eventually had to be returned to the animal hospital to be put on oxygen. Sugar crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on October 2, 2008.

The first couple of days after losing Sugar, Domino was walking the house, sniffing in every corner. I know he was looking for her. He would not eat and began to scratch himself. He scratched out a patch area on his leg. I took him to the Vet who ruled out any type of allergy.  He was put on medication and a few days later he began to take on her personality! He started barking loud, running to the door when someone came. His appetite picked up. Because I had lost her only a few days earlier I had not removed her bed. He started sleeping in her bed. He even started barking when I got on the phone! I called the Vet and asked what was going on with him.  He told me that sometime a companion pet will take on the deceased pet’s personality. He said that Domino did not know where she was, and that now he was the alpha dog…no more following her around, he was in charge now!

After a few days he stopped the sniffing and looking around the house. He no longer scratched himself…but wanted all the attention. If my husband and I were sitting down together, he would jump up in between us. Of course, hubby knew he had to move over!

He started this new thing of standing at the top of the stairs around 9:00 p.m. barking. The first time that he did it, I went up to see what was wrong. He beat me to the bedroom and jumped in the middle of the bed! Neither of them had ever slept in my bed at least now when hubby was home! They had beds downstairs and upstairs! I came downstairs and told my husband that he was calling us to go to bed. My husband replied with what, “now he is deciding when we need to go to bed!”  This went on for a few days until I decided to put a stop to it. I blocked the staircase off and finally he realized that he was not in charge of us!

You guessed it, a few days later I awakened in the morning to find him asleep at the bottom of our bed. My husband said, “maybe you should call the Vet.” I told him that he was just lonely and was missing Sugar. I would wait until my husband fell asleep and put him up in the bed with us. For some reason he would crawl over and sleep on my husband’s feet. I would pull him away hoping not to awaken hubby…and he would crawl right back. Finally, hubby gave in, and Domino was sleeping with us every night!

Domino crossed the Rainbow Bridge on February 25, 2011. I will be writing a story about him soon. It’s only been about 4 months since I lost him and I am still grieving my baby. I took it really hard when I lost Domino. When I lost Sugar I still had him. Now that he is gone, my house is really quiet…empty.

When my heart is ready I will be giving a forever home to a homeless animal…I will never pay for a pet again!



Anonymous said...

Always get tears when I read about Sugar and Domino.. :(
Beanie also never use to bark much until my Yellow Lab and Kari's Lab/Rottie cross passed, then she changed immeadiately, she became the leader of the pack, but she had no pack, although she does try to lead me at times, I assure her I can take care of myself!
My uncle and aunt had a dog once that grieved when they lost their other dog, she wouldn't get out of bed or eat, for a long time they tried to hand feed her and she ate small amounts with being begged to, but they had to carry her outside to potty and when she came in she went right back to the bed! That was the first time that I really knew that Dogs do grieve for each other, so I imagine all animals do.. so very sad.
Thanks for your story.. always love reading what you write.

Barona Whiteing-Green said...

Thank you Linda! You have been a good friend. I will never forget how you were their for me when I lost little Domino! Kisses to you and all of your babies!

Anonymous said...


Barona Whiteing-Green said...

Thank you for taking the time to comment! I wish I knew who you are. I Love writing about animals...and I am sure you know that they are my passion.