To Lose A Friend Part III – Sam’s New Pal!

by Drs. Foster and Smith on October 14, 2010

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Sam loved to sneak up and take Dutch's chewies even though he had his own!

Sam loved to sneak up and take Dutch's chewies even though he had his own!

**Guest post from Heath S.**

It has been almost one year since the loss of our beloved Dutch and a very changing experience for Sam, our younger golden retriever. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, Sam’s loss of Dutch was just as devastating for him. Thinking symptoms of doggy depression would get better, they had only gotten worse as time passed. His need for attention from us was unusual for Sam. 

Don’t get me wrong, we love lavishing him with attention but he was just not himself. As the only dog, Sam had us all to himself but something was still missing. You could see the longing in his eyes for someone to play with that walked on four legs. My wife and I began to realize Sam just wasn’t as happy as he was before. Sam used to play with Dutch endlessly. If he wasn’t playing with him, he was laying next to him.  Sam just couldn’t get enough of Dutch’s attention.

Bentley

Bentley

Meet Bentley, our 9-week-old ball of energy that has transformed Sam’s world.  Sam and Bentley hit it off from the start as though it was meant to be.  Of course, we have had the normal puppy mishaps along the way.  None of that matters when you see the two of them frolicking in the fall leaves or playing hide and seek under the living room furniture.  Needless to say, Bentley has the advantage there.

It has been amazing to see Sam take charge and help with the training.  We have used the PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment System to keep Sam and prior Dutch from roaming away from the yard.  Bentley also likes to try and take a leisurely stroll when he gets the chance.  Sam knowing the boundary will block Bentley from getting out of the zone we have established with the transmitter.  It’s comical to watch but helpful, as Bentley is too young for the wireless collar.  Last year we began using a Pee Post to keep the boys from peeing in the front yard, it worked great, and Sam has his regular spot.  After a couple days, Bentley has now established his own mini spot in the same area.

I'm Supposed To Be Going Potty!

I'm Supposed To Be Going Potty!

Bentley’s energy has brought new life to Sam. Boldness overcomes what Bentley’s size doesn’t when it comes to taking ownership of the yard chew toys. The first couple of times Sam walked up and took Bentley’s from him, more than likely establishing dominance.  Bentley didn’t take that with a grain of salt and quickly walked over and took the chew toys back. The first time Sam didn’t verbalize his discontent with it, however, he did give in and now just waits until Bentley gets bored with it and walks away.

Sam is still just as needy for our attention but he is also so content now.  As he lies on the floor and Bentley puts on the tough puppy act, it reminds me of when Sam did the same thing to Dutch and brings a smile to my face.  He is ever so gentle with Bentley and is now the one that looks for a hiding spot to sneak in a little nap.  Their food bowls sit side by side and Bentley insists on sharing the water dish.  Sam’s toy box has now become theirs and that longing stare for someone to play with has disappeared.  Sam is Sam again and seems to be as happy as he could be.  Recognizing that Sam was still suffering the loss of Dutch and not seeming to improve was the driving force behind bringing Bentley home and a decision that brought new life into Sam, or should I say helped bring the old Sam back.

More posts as the relationship progresses!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah W. October 14, 2010 at 8:40 am

What a wonderful story! Congrats on the new addition to your family. Sam and Bentley are lucky to have such caring, intuitive parents.

Crystal S. October 19, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Thank you for sharing your pain through the grieving process. I have 2 labs that are very close in age and have been together since the beginning. As with all pet owners, I do not look forward to the time that either one of them passes because I know it will be just as hard on the other as it will be for me and my husband and I dread the heartbreak I know that day will bring. For as painful as losing a pet is, its heartwarming to share the joy in your healing.

Heath S. October 20, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Thank you for the kind comments.

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