The Dude’s Guide to Losing a Pet

In my thirty something years on this planet, I’ve never seen my father cry. I think part of me assumed for a really long time that men simply just didn’t feel things as intensely as women did, which of course is not true at all. As a society, men are pressured from the get-go to bottle up any sort of sadness or grief, hammer it down, force it inward. The very word “man up” sums it up: outward signs of sadness are feminine, wussy, and will get you devoured.

I don’t think it’s inherently this way. My seven year old son wears his heart on his sleeve: laughter, tears, frustration, the opposite of stoicism. I look at him, going through his first boot camp experience with a Marine for a football coach and see it beginning already, the pressure to stuff it all down. I feel sad about that, which as a woman is perfectly socially acceptable to express.

My job puts me in a unique position of guiding a lot of men and women during a really rotten time. When it comes to losing a pet, I’ve seen it all in terms of reactions. Everyone is different, and no one can really predict how they are going to react until they are in the situation. I honestly think the intensity of the experience takes a lot of men by surprise (women too, but they seem to be more comfortable experiencing it). Then, when the time comes, they are so worried about being embarrassed in front of me that they feel they can’t express what they are feeling and just be in the moment with their beloved companion.

I’m not a psychologist, just someone who has tried to learn what I can to make a hard time just a little bit easier. So, with a combination of my own experience and my research into how grief works, here is my completely unscientific Dude’s Guide to Losing a Pet.


If you are a guy who is losing a pet

1. I swear, pinky swear, that I will not think less of you for crying/cursing a lot/wearing sunglasses for the whole appointment.

I once had a soldier, in uniform, come running into the office with his dog in his arms. When his beloved companion died, he cried, and I had to choke back a few tears myself as he told me about what his dog had helped him through when he returned from Afghanistan. He is about as tough as it gets, and I am SO GLAD he allowed himself to experience that moment, even if it only lasted a minute. He’s still a badass, by the way.

2. You may not expect it to hit you as hard as it does, and that’s OK.

That’s one thing I’ve noticed, and it’s not every time, but I’ve had many men (and some women too, but less often) say to me “I just didn’t know it would hurt this much.” You are not alone in that. All it means is that you didn’t realize how big your heart is.

3. There is no one right way to grieve.

I think many people have this expectation: you either grieve by reading Rainbow Bridge over and over while sobbing over pictures of your pet (this is my way of doing it) or you don’t grieve at all. And it just doesn’t work that way, does it? Some people need to talk about their pet, write blog posts and seek support from others. Others need to keep a tag that they touch in passing here and there but prefer not to talk. Some people like to go to the beach and think. And others like to smack a punching bag around.

When my grandfather passed away, my father became the busiest bee I’ve ever seen. He did not cry, but he lifted furniture, drove people back and forth to the airport all week, grocery shopped, swept, refilled everyone’s drinks. He became the Uber Host. I am told by people who know better than I that this need to have something to do is a very normal grief response. So if you find yourself suddenly needing to refinish the floors after your dog passes, go for it.


If you know a guy who is losing a pet

1. Offer to be there when the time comes.

When I go to a home visit, often the person is alone signing paperwork, and while they are sitting there pondering how sad they are, a friend will pop in. “Oh, not yet?” they say. “Should I go?” And every single time, the person says, “Please stay.”

He may not ask for you to be there, but I have seen the shoulders relax when you arrive. Offer to come. It stinks to go through it alone- which I had to do with Kekoa, because my husband had to leave with the kids.

2. A simple “This is the right decision” means more from you than it does from me.

And for whatever reason going out for a beer afterwards is a common thing as well, if you’re a beer person. When my husband’s BFF Kevin died, his friends went straight from the ICU to Kevin’s favorite Mexican restaurant and had a margarita in his honor. (I, on the other hand, was unfit to be seen in public for days.)

3. If I catch you doing the “buck up! It’s just a dog” talk I will hunt you down.

If a guy trusts you enough to share his grief, for the love of Pete please don’t minimize it and reinforce every stereotype out there about bottling up sadness. Give a pat on the back, an “I’m sorry,” the aforementioned beer run, charge up the Xbox, whatever you want as long as it’s not that.


I’m not a pro grief counselor by any means, just a vet who tries to be somewhat sensitive to people’s differences in a rough time. I’ve seen a lot of talks about pet loss but they all seem geared towards people like me who already kind of know we’re going to be a hot mess and are OK with it, but my work lately has really got me thinking about all the amazing, animal loving guys who seem to get left to their own devices. If I’ve missed something helpful, please do share- I’m always looking for ways to be a better support.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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The Shiba Inu puppycam is back—now with the E team

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Hot Dog!

What a good way to cool down a hot Labrador in a medieval hill village! 

Meet Heli, who is only 9 months old and lives at the top of Gorbio village.  He obviously appreciates the wet tea towel on his back. Of course, it eventually fell off but his vigilant owner kept putting it back again. Isn’t he gorgeous – look at those kind trusting eyes.


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Mite-M – Het einde(Mijn gedachte)

Een super mooi nummer met songtekst:)

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Welcome Home Mama And Boris: Book Review

Cover of Welcome Home Mama and Boris

The Internet is full off heartwarming reunions between dogs and veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. They make us feel good about an unfortunate situation and also demonstrate how much our dogs add to our lives.

Welcome Home Mama and Boris: How a Sister’s Love Saved a Fallen Soldier’s Beloved Dogs provides us with a view of a different, but no less uplifting, meeting. A meeting between a fall soldier’s sister (co-author Carey Neesley) and the dogs he rescued before he lost his life in Iraq.

I received a preview copy of this book a few weeks ago and enjoyed it immensely. This isn’t a book I would normally buy on my own — I tend to gravitate toward either fiction (mostly Sci-Fi and Fantasy) or science (math, physics, and surprise! behavior and training,) but I had heard of this story back when Carey was trying to rescue the dogs from Iraq and my curiosity was piqued. The book did not disappoint. As a matter of fact it was difficult to put it down after I started reading it.

Carey writes in both the first person and in the present tense which took me a few pages to get used to, but eventually her direct style and internal dialog grabbed me and brought me right into the story. She starts out showing you how close she was with Peter (her brother) as well as how close he was to her young son Patrick. How and why Peter served not just one tour in Iraq but two provides insight into his character and helps make it obvious why Carey worked so hard to save his dogs.

While most of us are familiar with Carey’s success bringing Mama and Boris home, there is a lot more to the story, both before and after she worked the miracle of getting them back to the U.S. How did Peter find the dogs? Why did his unit in Iraq work so hard to help her save them? Who helped her stateside? What bureaucratic hoops must one jump through to get 2 dogs from Baghdad to the midwest? It’s a great read.

THis is a really a book for anyone, but dog people will find it especially interesting and rewarding. Preorder it now!

Here is a book trailer:

Welcome Home Mama And Boris: Book Review is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey

Dog Spelled Forward Website and Blog

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Dogs Do Not Learn By Dominance And Submission

Dogs Do Not Learn By Dominance And Submission


dog trainingMany people believe that dogs learn by dominance and/or submission. This is an interesting theory that appeals to our sense of logic and the way nature appears to be ordered from the point of view of the human ego. Supposedly, dogs can learn to respect another individual through dominance. This presupposes that they can perceive another being’s point of view. Humans can indeed entertain others’ points of view, yet we know that no one learns to work effectively through the dominance/submissive model.


No matter how much employees respect their boss or how submissive they may act around him, they expect to be paid fairly. Not enough pay and the attraction turns to resentment and a poor working attitude. Since humans reject and resist such an approach whenever they experience it, how can we expect the dog, with his more limited view, to work on this basis?


Not only does dominating a dog make him resistant to cooperation, but dominance has nothing to do with the smooth operation of wolf society. While it may appear that the leader is the most dominant in a pack of wolves, and that the inferiors have a profound respect for this “alpha” wolf because he is so dominant, that is a surface misreading of their lives.


Supposedly, this dominant individual teaches the other members of the pack what their lesser stations are, bringing order and stability into the group. However, the reason this individual is superior is because, within the group mood, he is endowed with the most uninhibited temperament and perceives order when the others sense disorder.


This produces an emotional balance, a self-confidence level that makes him active and direct in his behavior when the others are reactive and indirect. This confidence is then broadcast through his body language and probably through an internal chemistry revealed when he eliminates.


Given the pack leader’s internal balance, he will experience the least amount of stress when passing on to less familiar ground, as negatives are smaller in his sense of order. In addition, the pack leader will feel the strongest compulsion to be first on any path that leads outward to the hunt as he acts in the most straightforward manner.


The inferiors will depend on the pack leader’s enthusiasm to draw them across a threshold that may have a stronger inhibiting effect on them. An individual doesn’t become superior by being dominant; the leader, to feel complete, needs the group behind him. Only by guiding the hunt does one becomes a leader.

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Would You Foster a Dog Who Got a Death Threat on Craigslist?

On Saturday, Missouri resident Liz Pendleton came across a bizarre Craigslist ad. It had a picture of a dog, probably a German Shepherd mix, looking very sad. Above the dog, the text: “Dog needs gone or shot.”

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"In the description for the dog it said they had no use for a dog and if it wasn't gone by the end of the day they were going to shoot it," Pendleton told KTVI. "It brought me to tears."

Most people, upon reading such a thing, might shudder and move on, hoping it's a joke. Some would post it on Facebook or try to contact authorities. But only Liz got in the car and went to get the dog, despite the fact that the trip was more than one and a half hours away, in Illinois. 

"We had to pick him up, no question about it." 

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“I couldn’t leave him," she told KMOV. "The ad had only been up for an hour and a half, but I didn’t want to take any chances of him getting hurt so I left within the half hour of seeing the ad myself.”

After driving nonstop, Liz got to the house in time. She said she was given the dog "no questions asked or answered," according to Gawker. She later contacted police but doesn't know whether any charges will be filed.

"He's about four years old right now," she said, petting the dog, who she named Buck, commenting on his thin appearance. "You can just see his ribs all right here." 

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"He just wants love, that's all he wants," she said. "And he deserves so much better than what he's had."

What Buck also still needs is a forever home. Unfortunately, according to KTVI, Pendleton doesn't have the room and can't care for Buck indefinitely. If you're interesting in helping Buck, email Pendleton at


The Scoop | The Scoop

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Why have I just found three fleas in my bed? I have no pets and wash my sheets every week?

Question by Why have I just found three fleas in my bed? I have no pets and wash my sheets every week?
Fleas, human bites,why? where .how they start?

Best answer:

Answer by Shanika

Give your answer to this question below!

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Domino and Nellie

Meet 5-year old Domino and Nellie.  Domino is wearing the collar, and Nellie, the harness.

The adorable Westies were having fun with a tennis ball near Larvotto Beach in Monaco.


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orphanpupWhen a week-old pit bull puppy needed a mother, an unlikely volunteer stepped in. Lurlene the cat, who was already nursing four newborns of her own, apparently figured one more “kitten” couldn’t hurt and welcomed the puppy into her fold.

The puppy, Noland, happily snuggled in beside the four kittens and made himself right at home. “Lurlene loves him,” said Sharon Harvey, the president and chief executive officer of the Cleveland Animal Protective League (APL) told local ABC station, Newsnet 5. “It’s so cute!”

Noland was dropped off, motherless, at the APL when he was just one day old, reports the news station. Once he met his new family, Noland began spending all day snuggling, eating and sleeping with them. At night, a team member would take Noland home to bottle feed and monitor him overnight. In the morning, he would rejoin the kittens and his new mama.

Click here to read the complete story.


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