Stories from Dog Lovers About “Do Dogs Mourn the Death of Another Dog?”

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We conducted a poll on Petplace.com about if dog owners thought dogs could mourn the death of another dog. The results were as follows:

59.3% of dog owners said that yes, all dogs will mourn
41.8% of dog owners said that some dogs will mourn but not all
1.5% said they were not sure.
0% of dog owns thought that no dogs mourned.

Here are stories from dog lovers about their dogs and their experience with mourning.

  • Trixie is the alpha dog in our family. When her "sister" Sammie (both are Maltese) passed away, Trixie was very obviously depressed. Sammie had been a member of the pack even before Trixie got here. We had two other dogs at the time (Trixie's puppy, Lily, and our Irish setter, Tully). Through Lily, Tully, and extra attention, we were able to pull Trixie out of her depression. Despite that, like her human parents, I think Trixie still misses Sammie.

  • When our 16-year-old Lhasa passed away we where all devastated including our 2 year old Schnauzer. He would hardly eat and he would spend hours looking out the back door into the yard. When we opened the door he would race out on to the deck and survey the yard.... I guess he saw no signs of his best friend as he would just turn back around and walk slowly back to the door and sit down. His obvious sadness added to our own. We gave him lots of extra attention and took him places with us when we could. After a few months we went as a family to look at another puppy and the one he seemed to be interested in the most, we brought home. We all love out new furry boy and it is wonderful to see them playing or sleeping together, but of course he can never replace the one we lost, he will be forever in our hearts.

  • My dog Abbey mourned when my granddaughter moved out with her MinPin Suzie. Also my cat Muffin mourned the loss of our other cat Amy to the point she died several months later.

  • My sister's dog of 13 years died. They buried him in the backyard. The Golden Retriever still after 3 months goes out to the burial spot and lays down on it. She was very lost and upset when he died. I think she truly misses him and she knows that he is buried there.

  • Yes. When we lost our 7year old pom, our 9-year-old pom went into depression. She quit eating except for a little that we hand fed her. She slept in the bed that was bought for the sick 7-year-old and wanted nothing to do with any of us. After several weeks of this, a friend of mine that she had not seen for about 4 years visited and when she realized who it was she went crazy. The friend took us to her place for a week and my 9 year old was back to her normal self from then on. Well, sort of, she wanted to stay with my friend after that instead of me. I guess she kind of blamed me for the 7 year old never coming back home after my taking her to the vets and not bringing her back home with me.

  • I brought my dog to the vet on Saturday for a regular routine check-up and there was a woman on the porch crying. I walked by her and said I was sorry, but my dog refused to let me go in the door. She wanted to console this woman! So, Missy Tess spent five minutes licking this woman's hands, until the woman said, 'Thank you. That's just what I needed, to know there are other lovely creatures in the world"

  • Yes, I positively believe dogs do mourn the loss of a companion, whether it be canine, or feline. My case in point, my aunt has a 4-year-old German Shepherd, and when her 14 year old Orange Tabby cat, Sandy passed away, Gretchen, (her dog), would go thru the house day and night looking for her, upstairs, and downstairs. Then she got to sleep at the foot of the "cat tree " in the family room, just laying there and whining for her little feline buddy. Yep, dogs definitely have the feelings to mourn the loss of a companion. Ron, Springfield, MO.

  • I just lost my 9-year-old border collie/chow, Mabel, last month, to an insidious spinal tumor, which did not manifest any warning before causing fatal injury. My 7-year-old American Staffordshire terrier, Otis, adored her, as did I. He has become very needy and clingy with me, and much more demanding and vocal. I try to take him out as much as possible, and he seems happy when he is running on the beach and hunting ground squirrels in the rocks and boulders, but when we return home he still is not the same as when she was here. I guess I have not stopped grieving yet, and that is probably not helpful to him.

  • At the moment I have an Alaskan Malamute who is 7 years old. His alpha female and best buddy is my 8-year-old German shepherd who has just been diagnosed with lymphosarcoma. She has been on chemo for three weeks and is doing well but I know the time will come when things may not be so good. I am sure my Malamute will miss her. I dread that time to come. Nancy

  • I want to tell a story about 3 precious girls. It isn't really about what I did for then. You'll see what I mean. When I was 15, I adopted a cocker spaniel, Fuji. A year later I adopted Sophia, a Siamese. Both were already adults but I had them well into my 20's. Along the way, Patience, a chow/shepherd mix, joined our family. They were an unlikely trio. Patience was always into something. Fuji was the wise one trying to keep order. Sophia was royalty & yet tried to keep her two best friends groomed as well as she was. Fuji grew old & tired. When she passed away, Sophia & Patience mourned along with me. We eventually learned to cope together. Sophia loved being pampered. She'd lie on top of Patience & became very motherly. I took Patience to the lake & fields. They were content living a life of leisure in the country. When Sophia died, Patience once again mourned. I tried to keep our routine. She lost her playfulness & would just lay in their favorite places. She didn't even wrestle me when I gave her a bath. She was missing for several days, which was so unlike her. I called her & looked everywhere. She finally came home but was really sick. The vet discovered kidney failure & explained the options. Treatment would basically prolong the inevitable & the state she was in wouldn't improve. We could only try to make her as comfortable as possible. I also had the choice of putting her to sleep. I went back to see her. She was so weak & looked at me in a way I'll never forget. Her eyes were fixed on mine. It was like she was telling me it was time to let go. I wanted her with me, but I couldn't bare to watch her die a slow, agonizing death. It was so hard to say goodbye. Even if kidney failure was the diagnosis & I had to make that awful decision, I know she really died of a broken heart. Her grief was too deep. I'm now 39 with 2 children who love animals as much as I do. We have 3 dogs & a cat. I tell them about my sweet, beautiful girls. I have so many wonderful memories with them. I love them so much & they loved me right back. The love between them taught me that no matter how different you are, the heart has no boundaries. Sincerely, Denise B., SC

  • My male Doberman pincher died at age 6 1/2, we had gotten him a female (age 3 1/2), when he was 6 months. They lived together for 6 years, when he suddenly died. She was listless. Always looking around for him. He had a ball with a bell inside that he played with. I picked it up one day 3 months after he died and the bell jingled. She BOLTED up the stairs to see him, looking around and sniffing. (She hadn't been upstairs for a while as she had hip dysplasia). I never picked up that ball again after seeing her reaction. She truly loved ad missed her companion.

  • I had a dog-named Sandi, mixed breed. She had puppies and they were about 5 months old. I remember when I came home she was laying in the yard. When I walked up I noticed a car had hit one of her puppies and she was laying on top of it. She was barking at me and whining, laying on the puppy, rolling on the puppy and totally going crazy. I think she must have seen the accident. I had to distract Sandi while my husband put the puppy in something so he can take the puppy away. She caught on and started jumping all over my husband. He layer the bag down, with the dead puppy inside, right by our bedroom window until I was able to distract Sandi again. I had to distract her long enough for him to take the puppy away. Once he did she sat right in the spot where the bag was. Being that it was by my window, I saw her sitting there and whining all night long. It was so terribly sad and I have never seen a dog act like that before. We had to just pay a lot of attention to her and distract her for days after. Sad! Sad!

  • We do have a goldendoodle now, but, I still had to share my experience on this subject, about 2-cats who were brothers. After being brought up in two different families for nine years, they were reunited in my home, for just over 9 years together. They had not seen each other for the full 9 years, and instantly recognized and accepted each other. That in itself was amazing, as my cat would not allow any other cats to even visit. The one I had adopted was originally brought up with a dog, and unfortunately due to his family moving out of the city, was unable to go with them. It was a couple of years later, I learned that the dog, he had grown up with, had become sick, and passed on, in another city. Without knowing the circumstances, I had noticed the cat became extremely lethargic for one week, and kept staring at me, with the saddest eyes I'd ever seen. I did receive the information eventually, that his brother (the dog), had passed on during that same week. The cat was usually playful and content, but, not during that time. I do believe animals know and react when death happens, just as we do. Thanks for letting me share this.

  • I am a 65-year-old man who was reluctant to allow my wife to get another canine companion because of the changes in our lifestyle and the fact that over the past 40+ years it has always been my duty to have our pets euthanized. Finally, after enduring my wife's pleadings for well over a year, I conceded and she was blessed with a new male Pomeranian which she named EWOK.I was amazed at the joy and vitality she displayed after EWOK joined us, because for many years she had MS and COPD. In July of 2007, while I ran a business in Missouri, she and EWOK were at home in Colorado when she succumbed to her illness. Ewok remained with her for two days, guarding her remains, before we became aware of the situation. It took extensive coaxing before he would get down off of the bed and leave her side. For days he would quickly eat, go outside to take care of his duties and anxiously return to the bed.

  • My husband and I and our other baby girl had to get our other little girl put to sleep on August 11th 08. We took both of our girls to the vet so that Princess would realize she's gone. I thought by taking her as well she would have understand that our baby girl Pigglet, her little sister that she would see what happened and move forward in her life. I was terribly mistaken. She still won't go into the kitchen and eat her food unless I'm there to encourage her to eat it. Princess and Pigglet were together from puppy hood. So I called our vet and he gave me a great piece of advice. He told me to soak it for her in low sodium chicken broth. At the time I called for any info she wasn't eating at all. The vet told us that she is seriously depressed. She is however moving on a little more each day. So I really have to put stock in the old saying that time heals all wounds! I am living by this statement the rest of my life, because it is a good thing to remember and apply to life. Princess will be fine, she just needs sometime to adjust to a new way of living in her new environment. Pigglet and her were born just a couple months apart, so she has never experienced life without her baby sister. Anyhow... Pigglet had a brain tumor and she was very seriously ill in her last few months. So I think that made it easier on my hubby and me to make the decision. So to rap things up, yes I truly believe that all dogs mourn for canine brother or sister. It's really hard to detect if they are mourning because they cannot express their feelings as well as us humans can. Well thanks for letting me get a lot off my chest; Warmest Regards from Princess and her mommy Veronica V.

  • Lenny a Carolina dog lost Puter, a Golden Retriever English Setter mix. Lenny pulled out his hair on his tail and howled and paced. I have never seen a dog do this. I kept him close to me but since I had to go to work, my neighbors said he howled when I was gone. I got another dog from Stray Haven ASPCA...a Terrier Lab mix female named Helen and Lenny is happy. He takes care of her and keeps her in line.

  • The first time I saw this happen was when our First Dog, Mishu died. Our second dog, Gracie Anne came to us "second hand", and had a lot of issues. She was afraid, skittish, nervous, unsure of herself, etc. She was an Australian Cattle Dog, a Blue Heeler. The people who she lived with couldn't handle her and wanted to get rid of her. We took her. It took a good year for her to settle in and be happy. She took Mishu's death so hard, she totally regressed and we had to pretty much start over with her. I loved her dearly from the moment I set eyes on her. The third dog came along, little Murphy, and he fell in love with her too. We used to joke and say he was Gracie Anne's dog. Well, nine years later, and Gracie Anne too passed away. But this time she didn't just disappear the way Mishu did. This time we brought her home to bury her out on our land in the country. This time, we let the dog that was left behind see the dog that died. And Murphy mourned her, but he didn't drive himself crazy looking for her. He KNEW she had died, he saw and smelled her. He sticks very close to me now, and together we mourn Gracie Anne and comfort each other.

  • We have had two dogs that mourned over their friend that passed. We had a Pomeranian and a Chihuahua when the Chi passed the Pom always went looking for her as the two of them usually slept together. We got another friend for him but is not the same. My husband and I volunteer with a Pug Rescue and we had a little older pug that came into Rescue that drug her back legs. The vet thought there was possible neurological damage. My husband worked with her and did physical therapy and massage therapy believe me it worked. She was able to walk and walked a half a mile to get the muscle back in her hind legs. She slept in a dog bed on my side of the bed after she developed heart failure we had to put her down. Our other pugs would not sleep in her bed for at least 6 months. I think they were waiting for her to come back to use her bed. Jan G.

  • We recently had one of our dogs put down. We had two Pitt Bulls that if in fact they were human they would have been Husband and Wife! The decision to have "Bugsy" our male put down was one of the most painful decisions we have had to make. He had cancer and it just was not right to keep him alive for the sake of the family. "Brandy" is our female. We also thought of her and the loss she would suffer. Probably more than us if you can understand that. I say this because when we would take Bugsy to the vet Brandy would bark and cry by the door until he was returned home. I couldn't even think of how she would feel if her long time companion NEVER made it home. With a lot of thought I called and had our Vet come to our home to put Bugsy down. Brandy waited outside until Bugsy took his last breath, and then we let her in the house. She didn't really pay to much attention to Bugsy laying on the blanket that we had him on. She investigated the Dr. and his assistant, and she did sniff Bugsy for a second. The Dr. picked up our 75lb. baby and carried him out to his car. My Daughter and Husband walked with him and I stayed with Brandy in the house. She walked over to the door and watched them take Bugsy. It has been a couple months and although she does show signs of depression, and sleeps a lot, she has not one time sat by the door barking or crying waiting for Bugsy to come home! So the answer is without a doubt YES!!! Animals know and grieve! This decision to have our Vet come to our home was the most respectful thing we could have done for Brandy as well as Bugsy! Please if at all possible, educate people on the fact that there are other options for families like ours that may be faced with this heartbreaking decision! Thank you! Shelley M.

  • Molly and her birth sister grew up together and were never really separated except for times when her sister Misty was in the hospital. Misty was born with a birth defect, a Cleft Lip and then later developed Systemic Histyiotosis. They were together all the time and Misty would protect her nose when Molly wanted to play a little to forceful... When Misty died at 4 1/2 years old, Molly started to mope around, wasn't playful, didn't greet us with the usual smile and this lasted over two years... We were getting ready to retire and decided to get another Golden Retriever. Molly's new sister Maci is a red golden and has given Molly back all the sweetness and love and playfulness that was missing in her life...seeing her ears all perked up and coaxing her new sister into play has taken all the heartache out of losing Misty. We will never forget how brave Misty was or the love and faith she taught us.....but Molly has someone to run and play with and they are now best friends, trying to see who gets Mom and Dads attention first.

  • Yes dogs mourn the loss of other dogs and even other pets. When a pet dies I just sit and hold the other pets and sing to them and let them how I love them are they are very special to me. DeQuita.

  • My Beautiful Border Collie, Sid Vicious, was already about 10-years-old when Bear our Red pitt and Charpe mix joined the family. Bear was about 5 months old at the time and was already the size of my Sid. Last years Sid developed serious spinal problems and could no longer walk and was in great pain --so to my heartache we let him sleep. We took him directly home afterward and placed him in our yard under a wonderful old tree. Later I let Bear out and he went directly to the spot and lay himself down at the bottom of Sid's new bed and gazed up at the sky. He stayed for 30 minutes. He did this every day for 2 weeks. He has never been the same since. He gets happy sometimes but never like before and he always seems to be checking my closet where Sid used to sleep; as if he's hoping to still see him there. It's been about a year now and Bear still goes out and Lies by Sid at least once a week. Dogs do mourn; and we both still miss Sid.

  • Our yellow lab got sick and had to be euthanized. when I got home without him, my little basenji looked all over to see where he was. It took a few weeks for him to know that his big friend wouldn't come home again. Every time he'd hear the car he'd come running to see if, just maybe, his friend was there. And when he wasn't he'd whimper and cry and plop down on his sofa. Don't tell me animals don't have feelings, each dog that I've had has let me know they missed their friend. Jannetje R. and Jake and Lady.

  • We got Shadow, a Weimaraner, when he was about 8 months old. He had been abandoned in a trailer park and had to be trapped to be caught. We brought him home and our sheltie Maggie took him under her wing. They became best friends. Maggie died when she was 13 of heart failure. Shadow was so sad that he would sit on our patio and howl. After a month we got him another friend, a mini pin named Toby. They became good friends. When Shadow got sick and was going to the Rainbow bridge, the last thing he heard was me saying "go see your Maggie". RIP Shaddy and Mags!

  • I have a golden retriever as well as a pit/Labrador mix. They are a real interesting pair. Taz, the mix breed, is the one I worry about because if we have to take Casey (the golden) out of the yard and Taz doesn't go with us, he just really falls apart. He whines, paces and works HARD on getting out of the yard to go find his friend. If we take Taz out of the yard and leave Casey, he seems to know that Taz will be back and doesn't get all "riled up" the way that Taz does. They enjoy each other's company and are good dogs but very different in their emotions. They seem to truly fit the profile of the breed. The golden is relaxed, easy going. The pit/lab mix is hyper, a bit sensitive and runs EVERYWHERE. But they are my boys & I love them!

  • Dougal a nearly 14yr old Pom's Mum died just last year she was just 4 months over 14yrs herself, we buried her at the bottom of our garden but you can see her headstone from the kitchen window so not that far away, while we were burying her Dougal would not come near, he waited near the kitchen door, but watched, he must have knew what was happening. Since then he has jumped into his Mum's Elle's paws, being my buddy. She was literally my shadow, now Dougal is filling her place. It was and still is at times very hard to loose a loved pet, Elle went everywhere with me, even to bed, Dougal is bigger he has his own bed. I have beautiful memories of Elle, I will always miss her, they each have their own personality, different, but lovable.

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