Dogs mourning dogs

How do dogs experience the death of fellow dogs?

Corey Kooken, the human companion of Lobo and Wrigley, two border collies adopted from separate rescue shelters, says she’s witnessed this first-hand.

“They got to know one another and tolerate each other,” she told us. “I always said Lobo was the brains and Wrigley was the brawn.” Lobo passed away from cancer at the age of twelve, and when Corey and her husband returned from the vet without him, Wrigley searched the house, looking confused. She said this happened for weeks and they wondered whether Wrigley was going to be able to function without his alpha dog.

Dog lover Karen Mandall recalls a similar story from her childhood. After their mini-dachshund Punkin escaped the yard and was hit by a car, Blue, their Great Dane, stood over her in the middle of the street until the family found them.

“Blue had never jumped the fence before and never did it again, but somehow he managed to check on her.” Karen recalls comforting the big dog through days of whimpering after his canine companion passed away.

Susie Dvorak says her long-haired Chihuahua Annie was different after Clyde, the Labradoodle she loved, died. “She used to play with him all the time but since then she doesn’t play with other dogs, no matter who, what, (or) where they are.”