Tails of a Dog Therapist – Episode Twenty Eight

Do dogs suffer with depression? Of course they do, they feel the same emotions that we do which in turn can leave them feeling low and depressed.

Just recently I have seen one of my own dogs going through it.

Molly absolutely adores Kev and usually goes everywhere with him, she’s like his little shadow and if she’s ever not there everyone will question where she is and if she’s ok. The problem is that Jess goes everywhere with him as well and when we found out that she had cancer Kev started taking her out without Molly.

Molly is pretty much completely blind so she bumps into everything and treads or sits all over everyone. She also loves to play and doesn’t think anything of charging around with a stone in her mouth and dropping it for people to throw, but not being able to see she would run straight into Jess and knock her flying.

We also wanted to be able to leave food down for Jess all day and as you can imagine that’s pretty impossible in a house with 20 dogs, but if she was out with Kev then she could have food in the truck all day and pick at it as and when she wanted. However if Molly was there she would steal it and I’ve already had a go at Kev for how much weight she’s put in recently without her eating 2 portions of everything. So Kev started to leave her at home.

After a week of being left behind she started to get really grumpy when Kev wasn’t home. She would growl any time me or the other dogs went near her and if we didn’t listen and sat next to her she would snap and move. She didn’t want to play with anything and some mornings I couldn’t even get her out of bed to got to the toilet without a fight. She knew the reason she couldn’t go, I had communicated with her and explained it and asked how she felt. To start with she was ok about it but when I checked in with her again about all of these new behaviours she was really down and depressed about it. She didn’t realise it would go in for so long.

I spoke to Kev about it and just said that it might be worth taking her out just for a day or two a week so that she didn’t feel so left out and discarded but then the heat wave came and it was too hot to have any of the dogs out with him. So she was left at home again for another fortnight.

She stopped eating and started toileting in the house she really wasn’t happy. As soon as the rain came and the temperature lowered Kev took her out for a drive and she was instantly happier. She came back with her tail in the air and the biggest smile on her face.

Kev hasn’t left her at home since and thankfully the behaviours have all resolved just by him taking her with him. She does now wait to be invited in the mornings though, she doesn’t just assume she can go. He has to ask her if she’s coming before she jumps off the bed and heads to the door with him.