How long will Pine Grove dog mourn the loss of her companion?

DEAR JOAN: I was wondering if you could shed
any light on my problem with my little dog, Nellie?

a mix of Chihuahua, pug, Shih Tzu and Yorkshire terrier. I had her
DNA done, that’s how I know her mix. We adopted her last October
and fell in love with her.

My husband of 29 years had cancer for the past 17 years and
fought like a trooper. Sadly, he passed on June 19 and is now out
of pain. Nellie loved him and after his passing, she ran away
looking for him.

I did find her with the help of neighbors. Now she is content to
stay here with me, however she is moping and very sad. She spends
her days hiding in the house. Can you tell me how long this will
continue? I just want her to be a happy pup once again.

Jan, Pine Grove

DEAR JAN: My condolences on the loss of your

Nellie, like you, needs some time to process her grief and
emerge on the other side. There’s no set time for how long it
will take, but to help her, you might try spending as much time
with her as possible, encourage her to play, give her something
that still has your husband’s scent on it and just be

Dogs often pick up on our feelings, and she might be sad because
you’re sad, which is understandable. You and Nellie should take
as much time as you need, knowing that grief will always remain,
but it will get better.

If you feel that Nellie isn’t rebounding and her health is
suffering, you should talk to your vet.

All my best to you both.

DEAR JOAN: I read the
letter about fireworks affecting dogs
and would like to share
what worked for us.

When Willie was younger — he’s 16 now — we lived in
Kentucky and he was deathly afraid of fireworks and thunderstorms.
He would have severe anxiety attacks with shivering, panting,
vomiting and cowering in the bathroom even hours after they

We bought a Thundershirt and it helped immensely. We would put
it on and he would lie down next to us on the couch and fall
asleep. I was amazed at the difference in him, and his anxiety was
all but gone. He is almost completely deaf now so the noises
don’t bother him but we still use it to calm him when we trim his
nails. I recommend this type of garment to anyone who has this
problem with their dogs. It worked wonders for us.

Bob Morrissey, Bay Area

DEAR BOB: It doesn’t work for all dogs —
not mine, unfortunately — but I’ve heard from others who had
the same happy results as you have. It’s certainly worth a

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DEAR JOAN: Writers are describing the debilitating
effects of fireworks on their dogs, and even on the animals at the
Oakland Zoo. As you point out, this seems to become worse every

There is also a deleterious effect on  humans as well. This is
being discussed by frustrated participants on the Nextdoor site
nationwide. Many have pointed out that they themselves and those
who suffer from PTSD have great anxiety from fireworks. Add to that
the reports of fireworks causing fires and well, you can see how
the bad outweighs any good that comes from this obnoxious and
not-so-harmless activity.

Tom Harais, Vallejo

DEAR TOM: Fireworks can harm far more living
beings than we realize.

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How long will Pine Grove dog mourn the loss of her