I am soooo sorry your going through this. Your story makes me sad. I have 3 dogs alo but I haven't had to put any down yet- thank goodness, they are like kids. I just wanted to say sorry about your losses. Someone on this forum will be able to give you some advice. There are a lot of knowledgable dog lovers here. I hope you and your baby feel better soon.
You are one fantastic dog owner! To have two large dogs live to age 15 is quite a feat, and testimony to your diligence in keeping them healthy. What a fabulous job!
I ended up just like you after losing my first dog when he was almost 14. It's a sad part of having animal companions that they just don't live long enough for us. Like you, I was an emotional wreck and in tears for weeks. Finally, I saw my doctor about it. I dealt with my own father's death from cancer better than my dog's death. My doc is an animal lover too (never knew that in the 20+ years I've seen him) and he got me going on an anti-depressant. Wow! What a difference! It just cleared the cobwebs out of brain enough to where I could finally deal and things soon got much better. I could remember the good things with joy and not focus on the horrible end.
As for Shab, try to remember that dogs don't understand death, or deal with it, the same way humans do. I suspect she's more upset the YOU have changed. She absolutely knows that you've got upset, sad, different energy now, and doesn't know what to do with that. Dogs don't live in the past; they live in the now. Right now, she doesn't understand this new person she's dealing with. I think a new playmate is exactly what she needs.
We also had a dog left behind who was very down and depressed at being a single dog. On my own, I probably would have waited a bit longer, but my husband found the perfect dog at a shelter and adopting her was the best thing that could have happened for all of us. You sound as though you have a very big heart, and I'd bet there's room in it to love another dog. Time really does heal all wounds, but meds can help you over the hump of situational depression. Something to look into maybe?
Yah a xanax did the trick when I could not deal with it. It was much harder when I had to put the 1st down. I had her since 8 wks old. And we knew it would not be too far behind for the other 15 year old. So was kinda prepared.. 2 years ago, the one I have left. ( 12 year doberman ) had a cyst that ruputured, and turns out has cancer.. her prognosis is guarded but she seems to be ok.. Lost a few lbs with me. as I hardly ate while on treatment, have lost over 100 lbs. which we both needed anyway. then while she was healing, the mother dog ( the one we put down in Jan ) started chewing herself, and we had to take her to the vet... she also had cancer. so both had to have surgery.. and spent over 3500 on them.. then while being so stressed out over those 2, and the fear of them dying. The Shab ( who we put down saturday ) all of a sudden had a stroke or seizure .. eyes going wild and could not keep her balance. we took her to vet.. more bills.. only to find out it was geriatric vestubular syndrome. And she was never quite the same after that. No more tricks. had no balance. And of course the things we know they go thru with age.. blindness and half deafness, and then final lose of bladder control.. So it was time. I just gotta talk my husband into letting me get her another. But I am thinking he only wants 1 dog for a while. I think her heart will break before then. I called my step daughter and asked her to bring LuLu.. a Pit bull that was my dads, and lived with us for a while. they are best buddies, so that should help to see her buddy., but I just hope it doesnt make her sadder when she goes home. Maybe this saturday I will go to the pound and see what I can find.. I love my dobies though, just don't know that I could deal with a Puppy right now.. I still have 3 weeks of treatment to go, and I know will take a while to build up my strength again from these meds. But will see. And will take a xanax again tonight I am sure. , as I already have them for depression I got while on treatment.
My heart goes out to you. The most difficult thing we do as responsible animal owners is decide when the kindest thing we can do for our furry family members is to let them go. I was in your shoes a couple of years ago having had to put my Gordon Setter down and his lifetime mate, an English Setter seemed majorly depressed. One thing that really helped was that I own a couple of animal videos and she loved to watch the critters on TV, she also loved watching Animal Planet. I distracted both of us by putting her through her daily paces, i.e. sit, stay, heel blah blah commands (even though she was already well trained) and she would perk up during "workout" times. Finally when I knew my "Sammy" was going I tucked an extra blanket into his bedding and then tucked it into "Beaners" bed after Sammy was gone. I lost Beaners last year due to rampant arthritis and chronic pain, also loss of bowel control (she was 14 years old). I now have an insane 8-1/2 month old yellow lab (male) whe is as goofy as they come and cracks me up on a daily basis. Is he a ton of work? You bet he is but worth every second of it. If you are even remotely considering another dog, perhaps a small dog that requires less outdoor activity would be right for you and a nice distraction for your 12 year old "kid".
Thank you for responding. Yes its an easy thing to do for sure. My dobie I put down "Cessna ", was the one I put down in Jan. She had the bowel issue, and Oreo (shep/lab ) had the bladder problem. And before getting any other dog, I suppose I need to do some deep cleaning , but don't have the energy for that yet. As far as another big dog, I would like to get a smaller one, but we both like big dogs. I tried to tell him maybe a pinipin, but they are ususally so hyper. So maybe will go to the pound saturday and see what I can find...
I meant.. NOT an easy thing to do..