Our hounds were Patti’s babies. They traveled all over town with her, Tim riding in the baskey of her scooter, Joe on the platform by her feet. She would hug them close, dress them in raincoats and a little duck suit, bring them to bed, and spoil them with treats. They licked her, hugged her back and guarded her, barking whenever a stranger got too close.
People asked me if they noticed her absence.
I didnt know how to tell. It’s not like they were hanging around the door waiting for her to come home, or howling with grief. They seemed more or less the same. Except for the total breakdown in housebreaking. Horrible, squirty diarrhea. Puddles of pee all over. They were eating the same food as ever, getting lots of walks, but it was a nightmare.
I spent a few hundred dollars at the vet and put them on antibiotics. It went away, sort of but not entirely. A dog walker suggested I try organic food. At the hippy pet store, they prescribed pumpkin and squash, cans of duck and venison. I tried it all and after four weeks or so, things calmed down. When I ran out of cans of expensive handmade food, I switched them back to dry food and they have been fine ever since. Except for when we went away overnight to my mum’s house and they stayed with strangers. Again, diahrrea.
Duh, they were stressed out and this is how it manifested. No support groups or condolence cards. They just want normalcy.
Grief is a messy business. This kind can be taken care of with a mop, hot water and Mr. Clean.