Dogs are considered man’s best friend due to several reasons. Besides companionship, dogs offer love and loyalty, and for those who have a great passion for their dogs, they can confirm that dogs hold a special place in our hearts. How do dogs respond when a friend passes on?
“A dog becomes confused with the passing away of an owner. The period that follows is usually full of sadness even where the dog has been left in the hands of another person, says a Los Angeles based dog trainer Russel Hartstein.”
When a dog owner is no more, dogs usually mourn their loss. Although dogs do not have the mental ability to understand what happens, they are emotionally affected by the absence of someone they know.
Although our dogs cannot be made to understand the meaning of losing someone, several things point out that all is not well. These include routine change; they can’t feel their owners – all this tells a dog that things have changed.
“I can describe grief as a time when an animal demonstrates distress by behaving in a way that is different,” Barbara J. King from the College of William and Mary, who is also the author of the book – How Animals Grieve said.
Although we are not sure whether a dog experiences similar feelings in times of emotional distress to those of humans, Dr.Marc Bekoff of the University of Colorado Boulder says brain imaging studies show there is evidence to show parts of a dog brain react to human emotional feelings.
Dogs are different, and their ways of grieving are likewise changed. For you to know how a dog feels after the loss of a loved one, it is of great importance to look at many signs that can affect the physical wellbeing of a dog.
Dogs express their grief and sadness by changing their behavior in several ways. Sure signs show a dog is not only stressed but full of anxiety. These include panting, running, fidgeting, and barking, among others.
Continue to page 2 to hear the opinions of Motley Zoo Animal Rescue.