The LSA Queen asked in PetsDogs · 9 years ago

My boyfriend's dog is dying, is this a normal reaction?

My boyfriends family has had this wonderful german shepherd in their family for years. He's eight and they just recently found out he has lung cancer.. he probably won't live past a week or two.

My boyfriend is acting strange about it, he seems to be in complete denial that his beloved pet his dying. i guess I was just asking is this normal behavior for men who are pet owners? I guess i just find it strange that he doesn't seem that upset about it, because he loves that dog.


Thanks everyone. I guess I'm mostly worried because he's usually very open about his emotions and I have a feeling that all the bottling up of emotion will explode.

Oh and I support him, I am not giving him any crap for it because I can't imagine losing a pet.

8 Answers

  • 9 years ago

    Yes, denial is a stage of grief. Also everybody reacts differently and some people don't show how upset they are to other people on the outside, particularly common for men to hide it.

    I'm sure he is devastated inside but may be trying to control it and also it's probably his way of dealing with it. Also it could be that he isn't showing it so much because he doesn't want to talk about it to anyone which is normal.

    People don't always react the way you expect them to, like my parents seemed to be ok fairly quickly after our dog was put to sleep but I know they were both really upset and I know they still miss him now. I thought my parents would be devastated longer and would have to get another one not long after but they reacted differently to what I expected. You just can't predict how people will take it.

  • Jojo
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Yes, its natural to go into denial mode,especially if someone loves a pet very much.

    He is hoping by ignoring the problem that it will go away.

    He is going to need your support when the time comes to say goodbye to his beloved dog.

    Just let him deal with this issue in his own way and i am sorry to hear about the gsd`s problem and hope his ending is peaceful and dignified.

    Maybe your b/f`s family will soon be ready to get a new gsd puppy which may help them all get over this sad time. Best Wishes.

    Source(s): Gsd owner for 47 years.
  • 9 years ago

    Take a Look - - - - What Are The Stages of Grief?

    Many people have tried to explain what grief is; some have even identified certain stages of grief.

    Probably the most well-known of these might be from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' book, "On Death and Dying." In it, she identified five stages that a dying patient experiences when informed of their terminal prognosis.

    The stages Kubler-Ross identified are:

    Denial (this isn't happening to me!)

    Anger (why is this happening to me?)

    Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if...)

    Depression (I don't care anymore)

    Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes)

    Many people believe that these stages of grief are also experienced by others when they have lost a loved one.

    Personally, I think of these definitions as emotional behaviors rather than stages, per se. I believe we may certainly experience some of these behaviors. But, I believe just as strongly, that there is no script for grief; that we cannot expect to feel any of our emotions in a particular set pattern. I do agree that acceptance is probably the last emotion felt, and in some instances it may be the only one.

    A lesser known definition of the stages of grief is described by Dr. Roberta Temes in the book, "Living With An Empty Chair - a guide through grief." Temes describes three particular types of behavior exhibited by those suffering from grief and loss. They are:

    Numbness (mechanical functioning and social insulation)

    Disorganization (intensely painful feelings of loss)

    Reorganization (re-entry into a more 'normal' social life.)

    I am better able to relate to this definition as it seems to more accurately reflect the types of behavior I have experienced and observed. Within these types of behavior might well be most of the feelings described in Kubler-Ross' writings as well.

    Which List Is Right?

    In my opinion, both of these lists, and many others that we've all seen, are all descriptive of some of the emotions and functions we go through when we lose a loved one.

    I believe that grief, like so many other things in our complex lives, can't be reduced to a neat list with absolute definitions, timelines, strategies, goals, and completion dates. Would that it were so easy

    Grief is as individual as those of us who feel it, and as varied as the circumstances of death which occur.

  • 9 years ago

    I have loved and lost several GSD's. I have also lost a very young husband and my mother. Although I cannot always hide my feeling, I put on an act to protect myself. The pain is still there. If people realized how upset that I am, they would sympathize and I could not cope with this. I just stay away from my friends and try to keep up the act even when I am alone. Your B/F is protecting himself, this is normal. Nevertheless, it will take him forever to recover from his dogs death.

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    If you two live separately, then why can't you get a new dog? He should be very sympathetic of your loss and not mad at you for making a decision! If you lived together, than that would be a different story though.

  • 9 years ago

    It's called denial.. My husband just refused to believe that his favorite cat had cancer while I was a wreck about it.. Some people stay in the denial stage for quite awhile.

  • 9 years ago

    Everyone deals with death differently. Just be there to support him no matter how strange you think he's acting. Try to be compassionate (not saying you're not) and just be there for him.

  • 9 years ago

    people grieve in different ways

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