My friend's brother Bill passed away some days ago, leaving behind his 7-year-old dog. Dugan knows that his master died because he was with Bill at the end.
Today my friend brought Dugan to my place to meet a potential new owner. They took to each other right away with much petting and tail-wagging. Shortly afterwards, the conversation turned to how this great dog was available for adoption and Dugan rolled to the floor on his side and started giving mournful whimpers. Everyone was concerned and wondered what had happened. He'd seemed so happy mere moments before.
Michael told us immediately. We'd mentioned Bill and how he was gone, and Dugan was grieving. Take him out for a walk in nature, was the advice. It will help him let the grief roll through for now. It worked.
So often, we think of animals as instinctive creatures with fleeting thoughts and emotions....less evolved and therefore shallow. But grief is not a shallow thing. And anyone who saw this dog would know: he has deep feelings. Good to remember that we humans are not the only creatures on Earth who feel.