Older Dog Died, What to do with Younger Dog?

Until last week I had two dogs, one an over 13-year female purebred lab, the other a rescued neutered around 4-year old male Catahoula. My lab went from still acting like a pup to dying of metastasized cancer all over her body within two weeks. Her last vet checkup and bloodwork were just fine. I am still stunned and get weepy every time I think of her.

I rescued (from the streets) and kept the Catahoula with much trepidation knowing he was a working breed, needed more attention than I could likely give him and knowing he probably belonged on a small farm with a family with full-time kids. The Catahoula loves people—especially babies and kids. He’s a love slut with a preference for children. The dog park is simply an opportunity to love people. He is quite the charmer when he looks at a person with his soulful doggie eyes, and delights in petting. He’ll stand or sit there as long as someone will pet him. He loves me too, but I am not sure he is more attached to me than any other human that will pet and feed him. This dilemma isn’t because he is not loving—he’s very loving—just completely indiscriminate and fickle.

I kept him mostly because he got a ton of exercise and attention from the lab. She was the love of his life, and he kept her young and active. He was her dog, but I certainly like him a lot especially now that his destructive puppy-phase is over.

Now the lab is gone, he does seem confused as to where she is. Sure that is anthropomorphizing a bit, but he looks through the house and backyard at all her favorite hangouts and then comes to me and whimpers demanding attention.
I know now is not the time to make a decision, but I do need to start thinking about the future for the Catahoula.

My kids are around part-time—not enough to be company for him. I have a large backyard for the area I live with squirrels and other critters to try to fuss at. Inside the house he has cats to chase and good-naturedly lose to once swatted. I can manage at least one good walk a day (3 miles) or two shorter walks. Agility training would be great, but I simply don’t have the time. We go to the dog park most weekends, and when it gets warmer, he can play fetch in the pool. But I know he would be so much happier with more attention.

So, the time will come that I will need to make a decision for both of us as to his future. I really don’t want to get a new dog (at the moment, and, of course in another month perhaps I will). If I get another dog it will have to be a lab. To me, they are my perfect breed, but I won’t pay for another one again—rescue/adoption only. If I keep the Catahoula, a new dog will have to be an older female lab. I would not get a new dog and not keep the Catahoula.

Do I foster some labs through the local lab rescue knowing he will have company and maybe one of them will be a failed foster dog? Do I conscientiously contact the lab rescue, list my requirements, and watch available dogs on their website? Or, do I try to find the Catahoula another home?

The issue with finding the Catahoula another home would be making sure he goes to a responsible home with land and kids. Catahoulas are often used for hunting wild hogs, and I’m adamantly opposed to using him this way. There are rescues for them, but I would apparently have to turn him over and let them pick the best home with the local place that would probably take him. I haven’t made any formal inquiry as it is much too soon. There would be no way of knowing who he goes to or how long he would be simply available.

Other than the “too soon to decide” opinion that I absolutely agree with, what alternatives or additional questions for me or for me to research do you have to help decide when it is necessary? Is there something I am completely missing? I don’t want the Catahoula to be miserable and neurotic before I make a decision, and any decision needs to be made mostly in his best interest.

Thank you for your input.

I can only say so sorry for your loss.

Saturday was the 1 yr anniversary of putting down our 13 yr old min-pin (Skip) after cancer had ravaged him internally. Still cry about him, still miss him.

We had three dogs, one 14, one 13 and one 10. After he passed away, everyone really slowed down. No one was doing anything other than sleep. Turns out Skip was the “energy” of our household. Husband was devastated.

We needed an energy boost in the house and got a 1 yr old terrier mix from the rescue league, Daisy. The 14 yr old has new spirit, and the 10 yr old has someone to play with too.

That’s the only way I know how to deal with the loss of a dog. Get a new one and start the healing process.

I am sorry for your loss, but so happy that the care of your second dog is such a priority for you. Sorry I can’t be of any help.

I’m sorry for your loss.

Whether you keep the Catahoula or place him in a new home should be based on what’s best for him. That said, I like the idea of fostering for Lab rescue. Maybe your Catahoula will pick your next Lab. :smiley:

Should you decide to place the Catahoula, you need not surrender him to the Catahoula rescue. Ask if they will list him as a “referral” dog and what are their requirements for listing him. This widens the pool of prospective adopters but lets you determine who gets him.

Thank you for opting to adopt!

There are doggies waiting to be the answer to your question. You are a two doggie home. Fix that.

I’m sorry about your loss.

I think if you’re leaning towards getting another Lab, it would be best not to foster random Labs that might have to leave again. It wouldn’t be good for the Catahoula to fall for another dog which will just leave him, since he won’t understand. If you get another dog, it should be for keeps for his sake.

Just browsed responses quickly and ran home from lunch. This http://s1055.beta.photobucket.com/user/unbottledjeanie/media/20130205_122749-1.jpg.html is what greeted me when I let him in. Will respond more later.


So very sorry for the loss of your girl. The surviving dogs never understand, and it breaks my heart.

Your Catahoula is adorable. Personally… I would try fostering, see if someone clicks. Or see what is available for adoption. Two dogs are so much more fun than one! :slight_smile:

BBJ, I don’t have advice for you, but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am about your girl. And the Catahoula is ADORABLE!!! That picture put a HUGE smile on my face.

You didn’t really go into the reason you don’t really want to get another dog. Too busy? Inconvenient right now? Don’t want another 13 yr commitment? Too expensive? Or too painful right now?

It sounds, from the rest of the post, like it’s the last option. But I just want to be sure.

If it is, why not give it a while and then just visit some rescues. You know, just to see, not really to get one…

Sorry about your lovely old lab. My Jana is getting on in years, but is also still a pup at heart and in her own mind.

Get your Catahoula a buddy. Please don’t disrupt the his life even more by rehoming him. If it’s too soon, start by looking at online rescues. It’s easier emotionally than visiting; you won’t make a rash decision and bring home the first lab that gives you puppy dog eyes.

second the lab rescue. sounds like a good match up to your other dog. Have you tried playing Frisbee with the Catahoula? Something you can do without walking 3 miles a day.

If I were in your position, I would get a second dog ASAP, or give the Catahoula up for adoption. He is too young to be neglected and alone, considering that your kids aren’t available to play with him regularly and he is accustomed to having company. If you are not up to training a new, second dog; then I would give up the Catahoula for adoption.

My Catahoula has slowed down quite a bit in the last couple of years—she turned 8 on January 1st.

No advice, really. I know that Iwould be getting another dog, but that’s just how I roll.

I agree that you should get another lab doggie for your pup.

Sorry to hear about your pooch dying so suddenly.
I vote for fostering some rescue/shelter labs and seeing if one sticks. Goodness knows there are plenty of labs in the shelters, so I bet there is one out there that will be a perfect match for your pup as well as you.

And remember that you are not the only one mourning. Look at that face! I mean, just look at it! :frowning:

And dogs are not people and need the company of other dogs for their own sanity. Something that thinks like they do and has the same stupid ideas of what’s fun. Something they can boss around, or can boss them around. Dogs like that.

But I wouldn’t worry much about fosters coming and going. Dogs do that anyway.

Thank you all so much for your condolences. My lab was like my oldest kid. It was so sudden my heart breaks I couldn’t give her one last big hurrah with naughty food and a good swim in the lake. But, I’m also grateful her suffering wasn’t too long. Heck, she didn’t even have a touch of arthritis.

I spoke with the lab rescue, and with my schedule, fostering is probably not a good idea as it defeats the potential for available adopters to see the foster. I did explain what I was looking for to the rescue, and after a brief conversation, home visit and review of past records for all my animals, am on the preferred list. If a dog matches my criteria they’ll contact me before posting it as an available rescue. If it doesn’t work out for the Catahoula or me, no sweat and I’ll still be on the preferred list.

gracer, I have some trips coming up and don’t want a new dog until I can devote a ton more energy into making both dogs comfortable and house-friendly. Plus, yeah, it seems heartless and too painful to get a new dog immediately.

** dropzone**, that sad face isn’t based on missing the lab; rather, he’s sad about the last bite of my sandwich not going to him.

Catahoula will get extra attention while this is sorted out. In the meantime, here’s a picture of happier days http://s1055.beta.photobucket.com/editor?image=http%3A//i1055.photobucket.com/albums/s512/unbottledjeanie/20120825_155837-1.jpg&detailUrl=http://s1055.beta.photobucket.com/user/unbottledjeanie/media/20120825_155837-1.jpg.html

Keep in mind my labbie was a big girl; thin at 76 pounds. The Catahoula is a hoss at 85. Also, as a mutt, there’s probably some Australian Shepherd lurking in there, but he has gorgeous Catahoula leopard spots you can see with a higher quality photo.

Think I messed up link. This one should work http://i1055.photobucket.com/albums/s512/unbottledjeanie/20120825_155837-1.jpg

You MONSTER! :wink:

The young dog has a hole in his life and routine just like you do. Try filling that hole with more of “you.” Make more time to give him more exercise, especially long walks, and more attention. I’f, after a few months you decide “you” want another dog, then get one. But I think any dog who is lonely can be brought out of his funk by the owner, and getting a dog as a pet for another dog is usually not the best way to approach it.