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Canine Behavior/behavior question

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Question
Last week my 12 yr old Yorkie passed away , her "sister" is 6 yrs old and I believe my older dog was her idol, while she was ill (kidneys closing down) Franchesca was very concerned about her and was licking her eyes, nose and ears with alot of persistence, would check on her every morning, I came home one evening and i believe some how she wrapped her in a blanket, I actually thought the older dog moved...then i noticed she was trying tot get between the towel and the little bed to nuzzle and push her...Once she passed i let her sniff her and say goodbye... I took my deceased dog to the vet and left her..... Franchesca has not looked for her since...what does that behavior mean?.

Answer
Dogs, like any living entity, have affiliations and behaviors that are associated with that.  They have, in effect, a "culture".  Franchesca was extremely anxious at the obvious decline in the welfare of the older Yorkie: not just body language, but scent, as well.  She was behaving in a solicitous and appeasing manner toward the older dog and was most likely extremely anxious while doing so.  The concept of "death" is different in every species and yes, other species DO exhibit awareness of death and DO react to it.  Some Humans like to think themselves unique in that manner (as well as others) but, in fact, all of God's creatures are a part of Him and, as such, have unique (and not known to us, or even knowable) internal lives.

Franchesca is accommodating the loss of her companion.  This is actually quite healthy.  She may be relieved of the anxiety that observing the decline of her older companion caused her.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Canine Behavior

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.

Expertise

I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.

Experience

30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for ThePetChannel.com for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, K9Shrinks@egroups.com. Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Organizations
Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Publications
Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Education/Credentials
Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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