Their Shared Blanket
My Honey, who passed Christmas Eve 2019, found a litter of puppies in the dumpster. We kept the big boy. She named him DD (Dumpster Dog). Being a widowed man, I put her stuff in storage (threw it in the closet). DD found a blanket I used to cover her with. I would cover her and put DD in bed with her when she was ill. Now he drags the blanket around the yard wherever he goes. DD snuggles with it almost like he is praying! Can he still smell her or is it the blanket itself he associates with her?
I am so sad for the loss of your wife. She had to have been a special person to rescue DD and his littermates. By being a source of comfort to her, this special dog repaid Honey’s kindness with his loyalty and devotion. Dogs can set a powerful example for us humans.
Research has shown that dogs share many of our emotions, forming strong bonds with us. It was DD’s empathy and kindness that motivated him to snuggle with your wife. He misses that good woman and associates the blanket they shared with his memories of her. He followed your lead in taking good care of her.
Our pets are more than our best friends. Their love is unconditional and unfailing. They forgive our mistakes and always give us another chance. We are accepted for who we are. You and DD are lucky to have each other. I would hold onto that dog and cherish him. Go ahead and wash that blanket. Honey’s scent is gone but her spirit lives on.
It was 25 years ago that I started writing this column. It has been my privilege to share science-based information on behavior disorders and other physical maladies of pets every week, without exception. I haven’t pleased everyone. Some readers have repurposed this page by using it to line the bottoms of bird cages and litter pans. I can only hope that my photo is facing up.
For help with behavior problems, you can sign-up for a Zoom Group Conference on my website, drjeffnichol.com.
Dr. Jeff Nichol is a residency-trained veterinary behaviorist. He provides consultations in-person and in groups by Zoom (505-792-5131). Each week he shares a blog and a Facebook Live video to help bring out the best in pets and their people. Sign up at no charge at drjeffnichol.com. Post pet behavioral or physical questions on facebook.com/drjeffnichol or by US Post to 4000 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuq, NM 87109.