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Thread: How can one tell if their dog needs a buddy?

  1. #1
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    We had two--Suzy and Shimano--sisters. Suzy died last summer--very sad. Shimano is almost 11. I don't really want another dog at this point because she's so easy. But, how can we tell if she needs a buddy? What are the signs?

  2. #2
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    I can send a dachshund she might like...

  3. #3
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Does she mope around? Does she look depressed? Is she board, is she getting into more trouble now?
    I have 3 dogs and they keep each other company especially when we all are away from home. When our first dog was about 11 we got 2 more, Devi seemed so old but she seemed to perk up a bit when Anna and Nali came along. We lost her at 14 and now Anna and Nali are 11 but we still have Kea who's 6 1/2 (going on 1)

  4. #4
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Is she sad and mopping around?

  5. #5
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    Hmm--well no, she doesn't appear sad. She knows our routine and can be downright perky over anticipating peanut butter on her dry food or a treat. :lol: She doesn't get up to greet me in the morning, but once I get up and come into the family room where her bed is, I say "Is there a puppy in here?" I pet her for a bit, then read emails and head out for chores. Once I come in she's waiting for her peanut butter. :roll: Then she's alone all day--but I know all she does is sleep and chew on her rawhides because that's what she does on the weekends. As soon as I get home she usually heads outside for a bit. She's always wagging that tail when she comes back in. My husband will cuddle with her every evening and talk to "my pretty lady." :-D She's sleeps or rests a lot--but that's what older dogs do, right? Plus it's winter now, once it's nicer out, I'm sure she'll spend more time outside. I wonder if she'd even like a new dog who took attention away from her.

  6. #6
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    I would ask the vet if it is a good idea to add another one. All dogs are different, but what you see as a buddy, he may see as an intruder. I would take him out to a dog park or pet supply store and see how he reacts to other dogs. A friend may bring a dog to visit and again, study his reaction. He may be happy to have another dog around, but is safer to test him first before bringing another one in.

  7. #7
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I think she's content enough, although you might leave the radio on for her during the day to keep her company a bit.

  8. #8
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    Karla,
    I'd leave well-enough alone! We got Finn (the sheltie) when Brady (the mutt) was showing signs of slowing down, hoping that Gus (the schnauzer) wouldn't miss Brady when he went if there was a little friend here for him. Gus tolerated Finn when he was a puppy but after Brady died, Gus took a distinct and rather aggressive approach to Finn.

    I think if your dog is happy like that I'd wait and get the new dog after she's gone.

  9. #9
    Marjpf's Avatar
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    I had an older dog that we thought would always want to be alone, but when we saw the end was coming, we took the plunge and got a puppy. It put a new lease on life for the older dog and she treated it like it was her own. She didn't seem sad before, but after we did it, we realized how lonesome she had been.

  10. #10
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    Hmmmm... it goes both ways. We haven't had a new dog for 10 years, and these dogs were outside--lived in the barn--for the first 3/4 of their lives. It was when Shimano started being terrified of lightning that they weaseled their way in. :wink: Now she's in all the time. If a dog comes near this place she goes nuts--never wants to play with another dog, but we haven't tried having one over since Suzy's been gone. It'd be a good idea to go a practice round. My son's fiancé has a dog that could come for a visit.

  11. #11
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    I think that if you really are thinking of getting another dog, I would test drive them first. Good idea to have the future DIL's dog over. Our dog is only 2 and he sleeps a lot during the day too!

  12. #12
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Karla, I agree with what the others say.
    I think she is just "bored" from it being winter, maybe?
    Does she tolerate being around the horses or go for walks with you and them when you go? Maybe something you could try to incorporate if she doesn't already do that.

  13. #13
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    When it's nice out she'll go for walks with us--long walks. She doesn't hang out with the horses, and I don't encourage it really. I try to get her to come in the barn--but I guess that's where she first became terrified of lightning, so she won't go in there--not a step.

    When we have taken her to the vet--which is seldom because the vet does what she needs when he/she is here for horses--she hates the other dogs--and barks and barks. I think she's scared of them.

  14. #14
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I think as long as she seems happy, I would leave well enough alone. If she doesn't like other dogs, then I wouldn't bring another in to be her "buddy". I think that's asking for trouble as was said by someone else.
    I think as long as she seems happy, gets the love and attention she craves, then all is fine. Like they say...don't fix what ain't broke.
    But, I know what you mean by thinking she is lonely because Suzy is gone....

  15. #15
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    But, then I remember she didn't hang out with Suzy the last months. They didn't sleep together at all. Jenny's dog has been here before--and stayed in the truck--and Shimano went nuts barking. Suzy was here then. She's really never been exposed to any other dogs besides Suzy. I think it'd disrupt her quiet life to make a change?

    Thanks for letting me talk it out. :-D

  16. #16
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    When we lost our two in 2005 (one to cancer, the other to old age), we ended up getting two from the pound. Heidi and Molly. Molly (in hindsight) was a nut case and she ended up running away and getting killed. She always forced herself on Heidi. Poor girl tried to crawl in our pockets to get away from the wiggle butt. After we lost Molly, we got Sadie - same breed as Heidi, just a bit younger and those two play incessantly. Both of them instigate the play and it is easy to tell that they are happy together.

    I'm not sure that I would upset the routine of an 11-year old senior citizen dog. Can either of the humans in the household include him more so he isn't alone as much?

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    I've just always had 2 to keep each other company when we are not home.

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    Super Member Celeste's Avatar
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    From what I've seen, there are some that prefer to be the only dog, but for the most part dogs are pack animals. They need companionship. My dogs bark(ed) at other dogs they'd see come to the animal hospital, but bring the dogs to them and they'd be happy.

    In another post you mentioned the animal shelter. The place around here has a place for the potential family and pets to be together for a while to see how they get along. I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised it they not only allowed but insisted you bring your other dog to see how they get along.

    When we had just Mahana and wanted to get another Doberman, the rescue group had us bring her in to see how she reacted to the others, one at a time.
    We tried one for the weekend but he wasn't right for her, so, crying, we took him back. As you know, we did find another (and another!) and she was very happy! She seemed content to be an only dog with some visits from our parents poodle, but she sure loved her new sisters. (Unless they took the prime spot on the couch. . .)

    Just my two cents worth...

  19. #19
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    We had 2 dogs, Jack and Floppy, they were together since they were 6 mos. old. Jack passed away at 15 and Floppy grieved for about 5 months. Because of her age, we really didn't think she would tolerate another dog well but she seemed kind of at odds with herself so we decided another furry body might be just the ticket and got a cat. We named him Buddy and although they are not close companions, they get along well. Buddy has to be outside if Floppy is outside and I notice he looks after her if he senses she is nervous. Floppy turned 18 this month and is doing well so I think I made a good decision.

    She is not the same dog she was when Jack was alive though. Her habits have changed, and I found, in talking with other dog owners who had companion pets, that's not unusual when one companion dies.

  20. #20
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    for 48 years we thought it was important for our pets to have company. HAH!!!
    none of them ever even liked each other and when our tenzing died, shuju practically sang and danced. she started bouncing around like she never did before. she gained weight and smiled all day long. she lived another 5.5 years as a very happy only child, which she should have been all along, i guess.

    your dog may have been expecting this. your other dog was sick a long time, and i believe they can sense that. if she isn't losing weight, eating as usual, and isn't depressed or crying, i say let it be. she'll tell you when she's unhappy. but it doesn't sound like it'll be about this.

    does your dog need a buddy or does karla need a buddy?

  21. #21
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    Interesting replies... I'll think on these are come back later--it's too early and I'm so very tired now.

    I can say clearly butterfly that I do not want another buddy. I have five equine and a feline in the barn who are buddies enough for me. Being covered in horse hair doesn't phase me, but dog hair in the house does not make me happy--so IF we ever get another dog--even after Shimano's time is up--it must be a nonshedder.

  22. #22
    Super Member Quilt4u's Avatar
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    I would leave well enough alone. She will let you know when she wants a companion. My Taffy did. My Taffy was a one dog in the house dog until her last year. That is when I got Russell. She just took to him like it was her puppy. Then I lost her and Russell started to act up. he missed her so we took him to the breader and there hi met Tammy his best friend.

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    i can tell you it didn't work for us. My Rotty passed, and she was very laid back, we also have a JRT..they were raised together, both rescues.
    When my rotty passed away, due to surgery complications on her knee. i waited 6 months and got another rescue, a puppy, JRT/Beagle mix. what a mistake that was. She is such a witch to him. he is now 10 and wishes he was an only child. She is 3 now.and he is scared of her..she is bossy and acts like the Alpha when he should be.
    i thought we both needed a buddy.
    i am retired so i am home alot.so leaving them is not an issue. Gizmo is old and he really didn't need this . chula is so good, she was a good puppy, and very loving, but she does not let gizmo do anything.
    maybe if i had rescued an older dog,calmer..if would of been better for both of them.

  24. #24
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    I think we're going to leave well enough alone and let Shimano be an only child. Thanks for the advice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    smiled all day long.
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