Monday, May 6, 2013

The Big Question: How's Kelly Handling it?

Many people have asked me this question: How's Kelly handling it? Since Brooks crossed over the rainbow bridge, dog people are sensitive to the hurt and grief not only of the pet parents, but also the canine siblings left behind.

It both pleases me and upsets me to answer you-- just fine.

It pleases me because Kelly is not suffering. Kelly isn't pining away for her buddy, looking for him longingly or going on a hunger strike out of loneliness. Kelly seems happy and content.

It upsets me because Kelly seems to enjoy being an only dog in a household that wants to adopt another dog.

Here's the thing--sometimes I wonder if Kelly seems not only happy and content, but happier and more content. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, maybe not. But now that Brooks is gone, Kelly seems more relaxed. No more worrying about who got patted first and who got more carrot snacks. No more sharing our affection.

It's not that Kelly can't get along with a sibling. When Kelly was adopted into this family, we already had a dog, a yellow lab named Hudson, and they spent a lot of time together. We always intended on being a two-dog family. She got along well with Hudson, and then Brooks, as long as they understood she was the boss. But I think there was always an undercurrent of rivalry, jealousy, of fitting in and finding a place. Maybe that's just part of being a family or pack.

I like the Kelly we see now--relaxed and affectionate. But our hearts long for another golden retriever, when the right one comes along. If it happens, I know she can adapt, and maybe even like it. Like us, I believe she has room in her heart for another brother. I hang onto the hope that I saw when this happened:

























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36 comments:

  1. We all have our special ways of grieving and maybe Kelly just is doing things her own way right now ;) bless you all. So hard when we lose a loved one.

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  2. Well, glad she isn't depressed over the situation. But like you said, it does make the decision of adopting another dog more difficult.

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  3. I can see why it both pleases and upsets you. It's hard when you want to add a second dog and you think it will make your current pup less content. But it sounds like she would adjust if the right pup comes along.

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  4. Frankie and ErnieMay 6, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    We think she is just enjoying a bit of KELLY time right now... and will SOON be ready to share again...

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  6. They foto brought tears to my eyes.
    I have been wonderin' how Kelly was doin'. I know what you mean though...I am glad she isn't lookin' fur Brooks and havin' anxiety and stuffs with him gone. But i knows when da time is right , you'll find hers a new brudder.


    Puddles

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  7. I agree with Frankie. I think Kelly is just processing things in her own way. She will be ready to share again soon ...


    Your pal, Pip

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  8. As you know, we've lost a few dogs recently and I also wonder this. But, none of our dogs have really been 'pals' they've all been kind of loners. Maggie seems to want to be Jack's pal, but she's invisible to him. You are right though to wait for the right dog, one that is going to make Kelly feel okay about opening her home to him.

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  9. 24 Paws of LoveMay 6, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Ya know, Kelly may be having a sense of relief. Since dogs are sensitive with a great sense of smell, she probably knew how sick Brooks was long before you did. She may just be feeling the peace Brooks is in now and is content with that.


    She may also be playing the comforter and taking care of you since Brooks death, being that she is at that said peace.


    Just something to think about....:)

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  10. Georgia Little PeaMay 6, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Although Rufus never seemed to be best friends with Jordan, when Jordan died, he really went into a decline until HE picked Georgia to bring home, who then promptly took over being the boss. Pack dynamics and relationships are always fascinating and not always comprehensible to us mere mortals ;) from the picture, I think Kelly and Brooks definitely had their moments of enjoying each others' company.

    Hope you're all otherwise well. When the right dog picks you, you'll know :) x

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  11. Pamela | Something WaggingMay 6, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    It's so hard to understand what dogs really want. And they are as particular about their friends as we are.


    Some people talk about letting their current dog pick out their new dog, like GLP talked below about Rufus picking out Georgia. Maybe that would work for you and Kelly.


    Honey is a very friendly dog. But she doesn't like every foster do equally. The sweet little basset pup staying with us now is not Honey's favorite. But they do okay together.


    I know you'll figure out the right thing just like you did with Moses and Brooks. Good luck.

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  12. If only we could read their minds, things would be so much easier! You guys did a great job when you chose Brooks and introduced him into your family. The picture of he and Kelly together is evidence of that. I'm sure when the time is right you'll handle it beautifully again.

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  13. That picture of them snuggling was so cute.

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  14. Two French BulldogsMay 6, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    The sweetest picture!
    Benny & Lily

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  15. Thank you for reassuring me. If we really try to understand the dogs, then we should all be fine :)

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  16. Y'know, that reminds me of a time I was walking Kelly and a Husky bolted out of a house and into the road right after us, and I thought we were toast. But Kelly liked him/her! I was so surprised. And glad not to be toast. So you never know. That's interesting that Honey likes some dogs you foster better than others. Sally looks like a sweetie.

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  17. Two dogs sleeping together is always good...I think you might have a few poses like that?

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  18. I will try bringing Kelly to pick a dog. I hope she picks us a good one just like Rufus picked Georgia!

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  19. That is a very interesting thought. We feel sure that she knew Brooks was sick because she had been licking him a lot more. She can be such the nurturer. I love the way you think and it is especially comforting to think so. Thank you.

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  20. Even if they're not best pals, they can still be a part of the same family. I think it's that way with people sometimes too.

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  21. I'm sorry that Wilhelm didn't enjoy being an only dog and had a difficult time. It must be hard to know how to help a grieving dog.

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  22. Thanks for the hugs! I think you're right. As long as we all try to understand each other we'll be good.

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  23. Thanks Pip. Dogs hearts have a huge capacity to love.

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  24. Tough one. Not all dogs actually like being a multi-dog household. JD certainly did and it is obvious that he misses Jasmine. Whether or not he would enjoy a new dog, that remains to be seen.

    I think it might be a good idea to allow Kelly to have a say in picking her new house mate. Finding one you'll know she'll be comfortable and happy with.

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  25. Georgia Little PeaMay 7, 2013 at 6:27 AM

    :) for the first few MONTHS, we thought the old dog had made a serious miscalculation LOL. Happy finding x

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  26. snoopy@snoopysdogblogMay 7, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    It's hard to know how any of us will deal with loss, both human and K9, I'm sure she misses Brooks cuddles in her own way, love that picture!


    I'm hopeful she'll also let you know in her own way when you happen upon the perfect new companion dog to join your family.


    Wags to all,


    Your pal Snoopy :)

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  27. I think Maya enjoyed being the only dog after Sephi passed. Now that I have Pierson, Maya doesn't seem to mind. But I think she sometimes sees Pierson as a pesky little brother.

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  28. I read this post the other day and thought how interesting it is that Kelly is doing just fine. Daisy was exactly the same way. I was really worried about what Daisy would do when Aspen died, because she had been such a lifeline for Daisy and had showed her how to be a dog. I thought she would be more fearful and less trusting again. I thought she would be sad and mopey or keep looking for Aspen. Instead, she flourished. She started to look forward to the days it was just her and I heading out on our own. The only time she didn't like it is if I left her at home alone. She needed a buddy then.


    I think it is encouraging and positive that Kelly hasn't gone into some deep depression. I would much prefer she be okay than sad. And who knows Peggy, maybe now that she has experienced being a sibling before, she just may take to the next wonderful new dog you take in much more easily than she did Brooks. :)

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  29. It's so hard to know what they are thinking, isn't it? So many times I see jealousy in my dogs and wonder, how they would react if something were to happen to one of them. But you have to find the good, so the good is that she is not pining away for Brooks and you already know she CAN get along with another dog.

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  30. Yes it does. But I think there are also benefits to her, even if she can't have ALL the food and ALL the toys! :)

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  31. I hope this doesn't sound bad, but I guess if she does have to adjust, that's not the worst thing in the world. We still give her lots of individual attention, plus she has the companionship of another dog.

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  32. That is a perfect way of looking at it. Thank you! :)

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  33. Thank you Puddles. I think it's the same with human siblings. Sometimes they're a pain in the neck, but we still love them. Right?

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  34. That makes me feel better. :) luv to you Pip

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  35. I think Kelly will be ready to have a new pup in the house when you are. Dogs like the company of other dogs. Sending hugs.

    Sam

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  36. This is indeed good and bad news. Everyone told me Wilhelm might enjoy being an only dog after Tynan passed but he absolutely did not. Now, even with two more dogs around, the behavior problems that started during his brief time as an only dog persist. I think I would have preferred your situation...

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Kelly and Ike say thank you for your comments!

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