It’s almost a year ago that my beloved dog peanut passed away. And on that day something very mysterious occurred.
It’s taken me all this time to get to a place where I was ready to tell this story. But, I’ve reached the point in which I’m ready to share. So today I’d like to talk about how my dog Jack responded to the passing of Peanut.
However, before I jump in, I think it’s important for me to point out just how much I loved Peanut and how much she meant to me.
So, if you haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to check out my tribute to Peanut so you can better understand the connection we had.
As a dog behaviourist and someone who is determined to help reveal the true depth of understanding that dogs have, I feel it is my duty not to sit on this story any longer, but to share it…
It’s also important to understand that my own personal belief is that dogs—like humans—have a spirit which lives on well past the day our bodies stop working. This belief gives me the ability to talk about Peanut as if she’s just moved to another place. And, I’m able to do so not with sadness, but with gratitude for the amazing time we had together.
Let’s jump in…
On the day that Peanut died, something very strange occurred.
First, I’d like to set the scene as to what happened and then we’ll look into what could’ve actually been going on. Because at the time of Peanuts death, my dog, Jack, seemed to know something. And if we follow the laws of science and physics, it was something he shouldn’t really have been able to know.
So, let me set the scene.
It was Peanut’s last day as we knew her on this earth and she prepared to move on… She was inside the house lying down. I put the other three dogs in the back of my car so that they were separated from what was going on.
They’d been in the car for a couple of hours relaxing and then it happened, Peanut passed on. She took her last breath. Her heart stopped beating and that was it. There was no screaming, there was no shouting.
I may have shed a tear, however, I’d been crying a lot the last 48 hours. Nothing else really changed. Her spirit, as I believe, left her body and that was it.
Now, I decided it was very important that Jack, Inca, and Moses, my other three dogs—who’d lived with Peanut for many, many years—were able to get closure…that they were able to see that Peanut had passed on.
So I decided it was important that they came in and just said their final farewells.
And having seen Jack and observed them over the last few years, I‘ve come to realize that when it comes to death, Jack knows some stuff. He seemed to take death and the passing of life and death very seriously. So I’d got my camera ready to video what he did when he came in to see Peanut and his reaction.
It may seem a bit strange to some of you that this is what I did. However, as a dog behaviourist, this was something that was very important to me. I didn’t want to miss something and then for years later try and explain it to people or even question my own rationale.
Did I really see or did it really occur?
Now, in the video I’m going to share with you, you can see exactly what happens when Jack, Inca, and Moses came into the lounge area where Peanut was lying and observed her. So, take a moment to watch the video now, then I want to explain what I saw from my point of view.
Can a dog tell if another dog has died?
Now that you’ve watched the video, here’s what happened from my point of view…
Basically, Inca and Moses came up, and they sniffed Peanut. You could see that they were visibly aware that something had changed.
All of them did the kind of downward dog stretching pose, stretching their chest muscles, however, that’s another conversation as to what exactly is going on there. However, Jack came to the kitchen doorway and stopped outside. He clearly knew already that Peanut had passed and he absolutely refused to come in.
Jack was always a dog who just ran straight into the kitchen and was always very happy to come inside. I’ve never seen him stop at the doorway quite like he had and it wasn’t chance.
It took me a while to realize that’s what it was. He was refusing to come in. He knew already Peanut had passed. He didn’t need to come close to Peanut. And immediately, I was struck with this question of how, why. How does he know?
You can see in the video he kind of cranes his neck. It’s not so much of a dog sort of smelling the air sniffing. It’s more like stretching and a looking. I’ve never been able to really get to the bottom of how he knew…which is what this blog post is about.
Of course I can’t say with exact certainty what happened. But, I’d just like to look at the reasons why he possibly may have known. In fact, I’m throwing this out here because I’d also love to hear YOUR thoughts and ideas on why Jack knew. So perhaps together we can learn a bit more about dogs and their amazing abilities together.
Before we look at the reasons why he wouldn’t come in, I want to clarify Jacks actions…
There is absolutely no doubt that Jack refused to come in because if you watch the video, I actually called him in. At one point, I even tried to entice him in with some food treats and he absolutely refuses them.
Now I’ve never seen this in probably a five year period of being with Jack. He would always come in for food treats. So there’s absolutely no doubt or no question that I couldn’t even bribe him in, unheard of. And he’s also a very confident, dominant dog so it’s not really a fear-based thing that was stopping him from coming in. It was almost more of a respect. It was almost more of a “you don’t do this” or “now is not the right time to come in.”
So, let’s jump back now to how Jack knew Peanut had passed…
Here are a few of my ideas…(none of which make any real sense to me).
Could Jack SEE Peanut?
So, the first way that Jack could have possibly known that Peanut had passed is through sight. However, I want to make a full stop here and let me just put this bit in here before we carry on.
Could he have? Was it in his line of sight? It’s possible, but I don’t know that it makes sense.
You see, there’s no line of sight from the back of the car (where Jack was resting) to where Peanut was lying. From where Jack was, you cannot see down through the window, down a hall or into the house where Peanut was lying inside and the front door is a solid wooden door and was shut. It’s impossible.
There is no way he could’ve seen.
And if you think about the visible changes in Peanut, the only thing that actually had changed is her heart had stopped beating, which was a tiny raising and dipping of her body. You know, several times in the previous two days I would look at her and I had to look hard to see if she was alive still. There was almost no movement, none, there was nothing to actually ‘see’.
This brings me to my next theory…scent.
Was it through SCENT?
Was it through scent that Jack was able to detect that Peanut had passed on?
Now, we all know that dogs have an amazing sense of scent.
They can smell things from a long distance away. However, there has to be a scent for them to smell. In other words, in order for Jack to know Peanut had passed, there would have to be something (a scent that was produced) that had occurred when Peanut’s heart stopped beating and she died.
So if there had been a smell or scent released then totally I’d be saying, “Well, that maybe is what Jack was detecting.” However, this doesn’t really make any sense either because Peanut had actually been incontinent for a couple of days. So, there was a lot of, you know, pee and poo around the place.
There were a lot of scents, in that sense, in the air.
And, to be honest, if any of the dogs were going to detect a scent, it would’ve been Inca because she has by far the best sense of smell. She’s an incredibly good sniffing dog.
Even more interesting, Jack didn’t seem to smell the air at all. He had no interest in sniffing and I’m not sure that a scent is released when a dog passes. However, if anyone knows then I’m curious to learn if there is something that is released when a dog actually dies.
While it’s a possibility, I to this day have a hard time believing it was a smell that gave Peanut’s passing away to Jack, which leads me to the third possibility…
Was he reading my BODY LANGUAGE?
So, the third area where Jack may have detected or known somehow that Peanut had passed on is my body language. Now, the thing about this is for two days prior, I had been very upset. I’d been crying a lot. I hadn’t been holding it together. I had been pretty upset, not knowing when or how long this was going to go on for. So I was quite emotional.
However, when Peanut took her final breath and passed on, it was almost a release. It was actually like, “Wow, it’s over. Gosh, good. Thank goodness she’s passed gently over to the other side.”
So, I was very aware of being calm and staying relaxed when I got the dogs out the back of the car. Of course, it’s totally possible that Jack somehow went, “Oh, he’s a bit more relaxed. Peanut has clearly died and passed over.” But I don’t think so…
Neither does it explain why he refused to come in. In fact, a dog like Jack who’s thinking… ‘I wonder if Peanut has died’ would be straight into the room to confirm his suspicions. He is a fearless dog and scared of nothing and he would have most certainly wanted to know for sure one way or the other…but he didn’t.
Going back to my body language, I want to point out that as far as I’m aware, my body language was more upbeat if anything than it had been the last two days.
So in summary… it really doesn’t seem very likely that he was able to 100%, without a shadow of a doubt, know that Peanut had passed.
And then absolutely, 100% refuse to step foot into that house.
In fact, it doesn’t make any sense at all to me…
So if it wasn’t sight, or scent or body language, what does that leave us with…?
Well, other than the sight, the scent, and my body language, I actually have no other ideas about how Jack knew that Peanut had passed on. It is a complete and utter mystery…
And I’d love to hear your thoughts!
If you got any ideas or suggestions, or if I’ve missed something, I’m always fascinated to learn from other dog lovers.
But to wrap things up, I want to quickly touch on one more possibility that’s a bit more abstract.
I believe Jack was sensing something else…
You see, I’ve seen Jack do this (sense things like death) a number of times in probably 5 to 10 different ways. He has always been able to indicate that he knows something very serious has happened whether it be at a distance, or over a time period that he shouldn’t have been able to have known, almost a premonition.
And he’s always taken death very seriously.
In the video, you can see he sits next to the grave of a dead chicken who we loved and he loved very much named Crossbeak.
He sat by her grave for three or four hours. It was incredible. And when Peanut passed away, the same sort of thing happened. He jumped in the back of my car and he lay there for hours and hours and hours.
Now, he’s never jumped in the back of the car, even with the doors open he doesn’t jump and lie there. And the important thing about the backseat of my car is that that is where Peanut used to lie.
It was a very special place. When I only had the one dog, that’s where Peanut would lie. And when Inca turned up, that’s where the two dogs would lie together on that backseat.
As you can see in the video, he’s in a very solemn, somber, sort of meditative state almost. He’s a very energetic fun boy usually. You know, if you speak to him, he’ll jump up at you and say, “Yes, let’s play,” and lick your face. He’s that sort of a dog.
But when he’s on that backseat, it’s almost like he’s saying, “No. I’ve got work to do here. This is serious. Just leave me alone.” His head goes down. Again, it all ties in with now this is the serious time to contemplate the passing of an amazing dog.
Perhaps, just maybe, our dogs are able to sense things on a psychic level—like a sixth sense. They have the capability to understand and know when things are going to happen…far before we humans even know.
If you’re reading this and none of that makes sense and you think it’s all coincidence, then that’s all cool. You know, we all create our own version of reality. But, I’ve certainly seen enough stuff to absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, know there’s stuff going on with these dogs. And if you watch and observe them carefully, you’ll see they’re far more sentient beings than we often give them credit for.
They’re far more aware of things that are going on in what we probably call the spirit world. They’re far more aware of life and death than we often give them credit for.
In observing Peanut’s passing, when Inca and Moses meet Peanut, for me there’s no doubt that they sniff her, they look at her, and they go, “Yep, wow, she’s moved on.” The interesting thing for me there is, they went, “Well, that’s not a bad thing. There’s no need to mourn. There’s no need to cry. There’s no need to weep. She’s gone to a good place.
The spirit lives on. It’s gone somewhere else. It’s not the end. It’s not a time to be sad. Inca looks at us, she sits down and goes, “Well, what are we going to do? Is there a problem?” And my message to her is, “No, it’s all good, love. Not a problem. Let’s carry on.”
In writing this I hope I have helped to bring a positive view of the passing of our loved ones. Raised the question that we are more than just flesh and blood, and that we do indeed have a spirit which goes on…
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think. And I’d love nothing more than if you share your own stories, thoughts, and experiences…
I’ve read enough books to know that Jack and his reaction to Peanut’s passing is not the only one. There are many, many examples of dogs who knew when other animals had died.
If any of you have read the beautiful book called The Elephant Whisperer by Laurance Anthony, who saved a herd of elephants from being killed, you’ll be aware that when he passed on, all the elephants in his sanctuary came from miles and miles around and lined up outside his house and came to pay homage to him. They too knew he had passed and paid their respect…I believe Jack was doing the same inside the car.
Regardless of whatever happened, I’m very aware of a dog’s ability—you might call it a sixth sense—to understand things that are beyond our own understanding, and I believe this is another example of it.
If this intrigues you and you’d like to read about another example of Peanut’s own ability to gauge something that’s kind of outside of our understanding, then click here and you can read about Peanut’s and the dog’s sixth sense.
Or, once again, you could read more about Peanut by going to this link here. Peanut 7 lessons
Whatever your feelings, let’s not limit the ability of our dogs by judging them by our own!
~Doggy Dan 🙂
I have over the years had many amazing dog but my spoodle (back in the days when they were mongrels not designer dogs) was pretty amazing. We used to visit my elderly Father in the rest home near where my Mother lived and he always came and jumped on Dads bed. This particular day we did the same and then went back to Mums and left him in the house with her dog. We got back and no Wiggie came to greet us. We looked and called and then began the in the car and on foot search. On the second round we went to the rest home and I got out of the car and went in. Yes said the receptionist Wiggie came in he is with your Dad. This is not a dog who has ever left home before, my Dad died four days later. I live in NZ
Ann, thank you so much for sharing your story about Wiggie. He obviously had a very strong bond with your Father and how wonderful that he was able to spend time with him in his rest home. Dogs really do bring so much joy into our lives. All the Best, Doggy Dan
Dan, even though it’s been over a year since losing Peanut, I know it still hurts. I have experienced loss of a dog several times over the years. Each time of course the experience differs. I recall one pet of my daughters, she had trained to climb a ladder-not realizing it might give her the idea of how to climb over the chain link fence. One day, her dog did just that, and sadly was hit by a car. The dog crawled into the grass by our back door and our husky jumped over to sit with her as she died. Every day after he would jump out and sit by where she.last lay and howl sadly. He missed her. The other experience I remember is completely different. My show chihuahua, Scooby, a very smart dog, knew many tricks, while our much younger shihtzu, Scruffy, just could not catch onto some of the more difficult ones. Scooby also knee if I were going to have a seizure, or a m.s. relapse. He stayed by me through them and i would “wake” to his licking the back of my hand, bring me out of it. Scooby as he aged became a bit grouchy with the younger Scruffy. And just as your Peanut over a few days lay around feeling close to passing, so did my Scooby. I realized just how close when all he wanted was for me to sit with him-arms around him. By morning he was one-day husband seeing this as I slept, instructed our son to bury him so i did not wake to the sight and become upset. What i found so amazing was this. A few days later-out of habit, i signed to Scruffy (something i had taught Scooby but Scruffy never reacted to) the sign for drink of water, and of all things, Scruffy barked and stood on hind feet and pawed the air just like Scooby used to. He came to the water bowl-and waited …this wasn’t the only thing he suddenly knew how how to do. I tried out a few other hand motions for the tricks Scruffy never had caught onto..it was like visually, I saw that light bulb moment in his eyes, and he simply did the tricks without any problem. I dont know what the animal behaviorist in you thinks about this, but I do find that really interesting. Dogs are truly amazing. Scruffy is still with us, getting older, and helping us with our newest addition, Zero, who I think reminds us very much of Scooby-super smart, a bit pushy, and loves me, with great respect. Scruffy reminds him often of the rules lol. Sorry for the lengthiness of this but both experiences have equal interest. Thank you for letting me share.
Colleen thanks for sharing these wonderful memories of your dogs…..they all sound like amazing members of your family and it really does go to show just how amazing dogs are! Thanks for your well wishes for Peanut, she is sorely missed and always will be! Best, Doggy Dan
I have always made sure that my dogs get to see the dog that has died. How else can I convey to them about the passing? Even when I have had to have a dog put to sleep, I have got the vet to come to the house and arranged for the other dogs to come in and see her. Respect!
It can be a very helpful strategy to adopt Alix and I like to do it so that any remaining dogs are not left wondering and confused. Obviously it’s not possible in all cases, especially where trauma is involved, but it does allow dogs to process and understand what has occurred. Best, Doggy Dan
When my next door neighbour’s wife passed over, our dog Jess just went and stood next to George, then sat and placed herhead on his knee. She had always liked George and his wife as we all did. We knew nothing of this until we went over to see him and express our sympathy and he told us Jess had already been.
What a lovely story Jan and thank-you so much for sharing it. Jess clearly is a very special dog. Best, Doggy Dan
Dear Doggy Dan,
Thank you for the video of Peanut…and my condolences. What a beautiful story.
I, myself am waiting for the time that my precious 15 year old Tanner decides to leave this world and cross the rainbow bridge. He’s been my little man ever since his was 4 weeks old…along with his sister. He’s now blind and partially deaf, and he’s slowing down, yet, I promised him I’d carry him however long he needed me to. And then there’s Sophie, my little lady, who minds so well with very little effort. I’ve had her for 9 years. Then there is my Nugget…aka ‘DevilDog’ because she is my ‘destruction machine’. I have to guess at her age, because she was rescued out of a garbage dump…and I believe her to be lab mix. She is good with the other 2, but especially my little man. It’s like she knows he’s blind…to the point she ‘herds’ him into the house by putting her paw on him and pushes him in the direction he needs to go. I have only witnessed this 1 time, but it amazed me. She can be the gentlest thing, yet she still has puppy attributes…she’s chewed up everything but the kitchen sink. She can push a dining room chair up to my food cabinet and steal my food…etc. As destructive as she is and has me in the position to eventually buy new furniture, I can’t give up on her…I won’t give up on her no matter how much everyone tells me to. There’s that ‘something’ about her that I see…I feel. And she waits for her destructiveness AFTER I’m asleep. Yes, she’s THAT smart!! She learns very quickly…all except house training and she can’t chew up everything in sight. But now, to my point. I DO believe that Jack knew EXACTLY what transpired with Peanut. My little man’s sister whom was raised with him, died a couple years ago and i think he knew it before anybody else. His behaviour changed a couple of hours before we found her. He laid on my bed and wouldn’t come when called…he just laid there and would look at me with sad eyes. He didn’t want a treat, he went off his food for 3 days. To this day, he never regained that spark he once had and I honestly thought he would mourn himself to death. So, YES, YES…dogs can sense things that even us humans can’t. Even my ‘devildog’ can sense when I’m not feeling good (I am disabled) and comes and sits with me when I am resting. The truth be known, she is at my feet most of the time. So, there is not one person that can tell me dogs aren’t super sensitive to life situations. God Bless and keep on keeping on!
You have quite a interesting group of dogs in your home by all accounts, so thank-you for sharing their stories. The bond we have with them can be really amazing, even the troublesome ones! I am endlessly impressed when I hear these stories and I do feel that we have only scratched the surface as to what they are really capable of. Thanks for your kind words and blessings to you and your pack too. Best, Doggy Dan
When my darling Monte (a large, handsome mixed breed rescue) was at the end of his life, I told him that only getting a bull terrier would help me cope. Monte had been used as a bait dog and one ear was damaged and did not stand up like the other. After Monte died and when I could finally browse for a rescue, I found a picture of a bull terrier with one ear down. I adopted him and when I brought him home the first thing he did was to lie on Monte’s grave. More amazingly, his ear has never been down since the shelter photo. Was Monte’s spirit directing me to the bull terrier? I have always wondered.
Thanks for sharing your story Hazel. It does make you wonder just how capable our dogs are of all sorts of amazing feats. Monte obviously had a very strong bond with you and he was lucky to have called you his family. Best, Doggy Dan
Yes dogs have the ability to know when death occurs and etc. Schnauzers for instance can detect a person has cancer. They took a line of people and everybody layed on the floor. ONE person had cancer out of all these people. The schnauzers walked up and down the line of people and they sniffed everyone. They all stopped at this one person ,yes they were right! It WAS THIS PERSON. a dog can detect when a a seizure is coming on a person. God gave these animals that gift. They know when a person has depression. They also can detect when a person dies. My mom’s dog went in the back yard and howled and howled when she died. She was at the hospital and there was no way that dog knew but he did. He had NEVER howled like that before
Dogs really are amazing souls aren’t they Rosalee! We are so lucky we get to share our lives with them and witness some of the amazing things they are capable of. Doggy Dan
Thanks for sharing the video and your thoughts. I have similar beliefs about what I call energy leaves the body, making the body just a carcass or shell. I have had 2 incidents when I saw/felt energy leave my dads body and father in laws. So what I’m saying is maybe Jack didn’t come in because Peanut was no longer there. I think he went to a familiar space (car) just to process it. Perhaps he could feel Peanuts soul/energy in the car. Thanks for all you do for dogs! Sarah
Hi Sarah, you’re not the only person to suggest why Jack went to the back of my truck after Peanut’s passing. I must say I do like the sound of it and it gives me great comfort to think that’s what motivated his behaviour. Thanks for your kind words..Best, Doggy Dan
Hi Dan, thank you for sharing a very sensitive part of your life with your family.
I watched the video and yes it moved me emotionally as i guess it moved a lot of animal lovers.
I noticed in the video that Inca did a bow and that Jack did the same thing from outside. I am sure you saw this as well and know that dog have a very strong communication through body language. It stood out to me as much as when dogs shake to show they are relaxed.
Always grateful for the information you taught me.
Lots of Positive thoughts to you and the family!!
Yes! I did notice both Inca & Jack bowed low after Peanut’s passing, in fact I think I even mentioned it in my Blog. I need to think about what that particular behaviour may mean but it was fascinating that they both did it! Thanks for your kind words, Doggy Dan
Dan, I don’t usually respond to things on the computer because I don’t want to be swamped with emails, however your video about Jack and Peanut really touched me and reminded me of the sensitivity displayed by our dog in a similar and different way. We have a sprocker spaniel who is very lively and has benefited a lot from your training programme thank you. I had been having a tough time with my Mother being poorly and her getting ready to leave and was on the phone to a friend having a tear and the dog (Maisie) jumped up on the sofa beside me and cuddled in – I am sure to comfort me. A few days later I received a newsletter from a charity that we support and some of the pictures were very heartbreaking and I knew I was going to have a tear and didn’t want to affect the dog so moved round the corner in the kitchen so she wouldn’t be able to see me crying. So much for that idea, I was silent, not making a noise, she couldn’t see or hear me and she knew anyway! She came looking for me and lay down beside me, I know she was comforting me. I am absolutely certain that dogs know more than we can intellectually make sense of and have so much to teach me if I have the sensitivity to notice and watch. Thank you for sharing about Jack and Peanut, it touched my heart.
Hi Jill…I’m glad you did respond to my Blog as this is a really lovely account of what a great bond with Maisie you have. Our dogs can really be a great comfort and they do know when we are feeling a little low. Thanks for your kind words, Doggy Dan
Do you think Jack was going through whatever passes for a dog’s stages of grieving? Sensing the absence of his long-time friend in the house you all shared, an unwillingness see the body of his friend without the spirit of his friend occupying that body, an awareness and realization that his friend has passed on, and an overwhelming sadness that he needs to process in solitude. I, like you, believe with every fiber of my being, that a dog’s spirit, just like people’s, doesn’t flicker out, but instead, moves on ahead to another place where we will someday catch up to and reunite at the time of our own passing. As I watch the video of your beloved Peanut, and hear the love you still so strongly feel for her, I realize how in touch you are with your four-legged family. You certainly have chosen the right path in your vocation.
I do think Jack was grieving, in his own way. We all process death differently and that can mean our individual reactions to it can vary greatly. Knowing Jack’s personality, and past behaviour around death, it didn’t surprise me that he chose a more introspective response to Peanut’s passing…but it was still so amazing to witness it all unfold. Thank-you so much for your kind words…Doggy Dan
Wow! Amazing thanks for sharing. I think they know stuff too! Don’t know how but they do!
Sort for your loss.
Thanks for your condolences Meryl. Doggy Dan
Dan and family, My heart is hurting for you. When Rose died I felt her presence for three days, it was like she was saying to me, ‘its ok its ok,’ I love you to. I cried for months. When my rescue dog was put to sleep because he had a very bad painful problem in his leg, while waiting for the vet, he kept pulling his hair out. The vet gave him so much medication he wouldn’t die. It was awful. He was saying to me, I’m not ready yet please don’t let me leave you. I new he was saying that his eyes told me. I still miss Ben.
Sometimes because we are so close to our furry friends we feel this connection with them. It’s real, they love us so much as we love them, I have always said they don’t live long enough. Dan there are some things we will never understand, but they are real and there is something greater than us. Dogs and other creatures know because they know because they know. Like us we know because we know, just because we know. I can only imagine how heavy your heart must have felt and still do. That’s love, incredible love. Chapter 13 in the ‘bible says, ‘Faith, Hope and Love, and of these three, Love is the greatest. Terry and I are thinking of you with your great loss, dear Peanuts.
Terry and Carole Wood.
My opinion is that dogs are evolutionarily superior to us in 1. their sense of smell, 2. not talking, 3. excellent intuition – to which they listen. Re#1. They have more olfactory neurons. Re #2: Our mouth frequently gets us in trouble and they know it is better to shut up, be still and be close. Re#3: We have intuition, but we frequently don’t listen to it.
Yea…they are the “smart” ones.
Dogs certainly are amazing animals Jane and there is no doubt we underestimate them. Doggy Dan
Yes! Let us not limit others because of our own limitations. The is so much we do not understand or cannot explain.
I couldn’t have said that better myself Tina! Doggy Dan
I am so sorry to learn of Peanut’s passing. I always enjoyed her while I was on your training videos a year ago. I do believe dogs have a sense of what is happening. I have read about dogs predicting cancer in there pet parents. I have a friend whose older doxy died and her companion died with in 14 hours, not even ill. When the doxy died, the other one laid down and didn’t get up or eat and died of a broken heart. She was several years younger. A devastating loss to her family. I think sympathizing too much with the dog left behind is not healthy for the dog. I think the way you handled it was much more healthy Dior Jack, Inca, and Moses. Thank you fir posting all of this, and I’m going to consciously practice this remaining calm with my own hyper active miniature poodle, Buzz. . Eloise Newton
It’s quite amazing to think that a dog can also pass away from a broken heart at the death of a pack member. It is quite extreme and thankfully not something that happens commonly, but it does happen! I was very aware that Moses, Inca & Jack all needed me to show a calm confidence after the passing of Peanut as it can be a really unsettling time for other dogs in the family…which was hard as I was feeling quite heartbroken myself. They need to know that their world hasn’t completely fallen apart and that they are still safe and everyone is ok. Thanks for your kind words…Doggy Dan
My dog Sophie also gave me the impression that she understood the process of paying respects to a life passed on. Not long ago she led me off the yard, through some bush down to the wetland near our house. She had been directing her attention to this area for a couple of days and finally I allowed her to take me to the point of interest. There we discovered a dead pine marten lying in the sedge. It appeared to have been bashed on the head and died suddenly. I thought maybe an owl had preyed on it and for some reason had not been able to snatch it up and carry it away. Sophie sniffed and sniffed and then followed me with great interest as I carried the body home and lay it on the yard to await burial. It lay there for several hours and Sophie kept returning to sniff it and just sit by it. It seemed for all the world to me as if she was paying her last respects. I ended up spending time with her next to the body also and it seemed as though together we were contemplating the loss of this lovely wild creature.
What a beautiful soul Sophie is Gabriella! I would normally have thought that her interest was due to the pine martin being prey or a possible food source but Sophie obviously had other ideas. We are really lucky to see our dogs in this light, it gives them a whole other level of understanding and compassion. Thanks for sharing your story…Doggy Dan
I do believe that dogs can sense things before we even do. We lost both of beagles last year as well. They were brother and sister and very close and did not do well being separated, so they shared a kennel and night and during the day when we were gone at work. On the day Ricky died, I noticed when I let them out that he was moving awful slow. I jokingly called him an old man, when I saw he was moving slow. I felt bad about it later. I put him in kennel and tried to get Lucy to go in. She was reluctant, but she finally went in and laid down next to Ricky with her head on his back, like usual. But something in her eyes made me pause. However, I had to get to work. I texted my husband who was asleep and asked him to take Ricky to the vet because he was moving so slow and I wanted to have him checked. My husband got up and checked on Ricky an hour or so later, and found him barely breathing and lying in a puddle of blood. He moved Lucy quickly into the kennel where my big lab/great Dane mix was. Those two never really got along, but neither fussed and Lucy curled up against Lightening and didn’t even whine or bark when Chris scooped Ricky up and went quickly to the vet. (She never liked being without Ricky and would put up a fuss normally.) I got a call at work, Ricky wasn’t going to make it. I left work (I have a very understanding boss) and went straight to the vet. When they announced that Ricky’s mom was there, the vet appeared and immediatly took me the back and told me that he had a tumor that they hadn’t detected. It had ruptured and they couldn’t save him. We said our goodbyes, it was my husbands dog, and while I loved him, I saw my big, strong husband lose it.
When we came home, without Ricky, Lucy knew. Later we cleaned up the mess in the kennel, but she was in the big dogs kennel and curled up with him without any fussing from either of them. They both had that look that said they knew what happened. How, I have no idea except that they just knew.
That was in February. In September, I came home from church and Lucy didn’t jump up to greet me like usual, even though our new obnoxious puppy was banging around in the kennel next to her. I immediatly climbed dropped to the floor and started sobbing. She had passed away in her sleep. It was very unexpected because she hadn’t even been sick. I believe that she died from a broken heart from losing Ricky. When Ricky died, we bought her a dog bed that had raised sides because she always rested her head on Ricky, whether it was his back, his head, his butt, she always had it on him. She died in that bed, sleeping like she did on Ricky. My heart goes out to you. Losing our beagles was hard, they were my husbands dogs and they were rescues that turned into amazing dogs, even though they were escape artists as well. I know what it’s like to lose a loved one.
Oh wow Melody, your story really hit me right in the heart! As dog owners we will all deal with their passing…they unfortunately just don’t live long enough…and in every story like yours it reminds us of our own loss. It really is a testament to our dogs that they have such a big impact on our lives, they are truly beautiful souls each and every one of them. Thanks for sharing your story and I pass on my condolences to you and your husband. Doggy Dan
Thanks so much for sharing this Doggy Dan. I lost my most favorite border collie, Kip, 2 years ago at age 15 and this brought back bittersweet memories. I think Peanuts spirit ran joyfully to the back seat of your truck ready for new adventures, being released from the pain and suffering of this world. Jack “knew” Peanut’s spirit was no longer in the house and stayed in the last place Peanut went – the backseat of your truck.
Thanks so much for all you do for all of us!
I just want to pass on my condolences for your loss as well…15 is a great age for Kip to have made! I hadn’t even considered your point about Peanut’s spirit going to her favourite resting place in the back of my truck. Thank-you so much for sharing that, it’s actually a very comforting thought….especially that Jack felt he needed to be there too. Best, Doggy Dan