“It’s arrogant to think we’re the only animals who mourn.” — Marc Bekoff, Author of “The Emotional Lives of Animals”
wary, having seen dogs come and go for breeding, boarding, showing, etc. After a couple weeks, she relaxed and the two soon bonded. Windi continued to be a troubled girl, especially in public. But at home, it was obvious she felt secure with Seb. Windi learned to have fun. Over the years, we brought two more dogs into the pack: Duncan and Race. Windi found her calling as their mother. She literally laughed out loud as she gently wrestled them with her mouth and paws. Meanwhile, Sebastian was aging poorly and had multiple surgeries for bladder stones. Halfway into his 10th year, he declined rapidly after being diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. So we helped him over the rainbow bridge. Duncan and Race were
very subdued for about a week, but Windi’s reaction surprised us. She did not act depressed, but rather kept trying to rally the boys to play. She would do little feints and growls to stir them, but they did not engage. This cheerful behavior seemed very odd, and I knew it was Windi’s coping mechanism. But I was worried. We took the three remaining dogs to their monthly veterinary chiropractor appointment right after Seb died. Sue Ann Lesser, DVM, tenderly eased the pain of all the dogs through her healing chiropractic touch. But Windi was still agitated. Dr. Lesser used acupuncture to reach Windi’s grief and quickly and dramatically draw it away. It was one of the most profound humananimal interactions I have ever
witnessed. Windi improved but never fully recovered from losing Sebastian. She reverted to anxiety and suspicion even around the house and experienced mysterious abdominal pain. About a year later, we helped her over the bridge to join Sebastian. I know he is protecting her there. Despite the lack of scientific data to support canine grief, empirical evidence abounds. Dogs love and often develop deep emotional bonds with others with whom they share their lives. And despite how little we understand about animal grief, King maintains we do know one “simple truth that cuts across species lines: Loved ones are irreplaceable.” Just as we mourn when a close friend dies, so, do our pets. From death, grief is born.
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