Monday, April 21, 2008
Dogs and death part 2
I saw this photo online, and it reminded me a bit of the incident with Banner at the vet. Martha Stewart's dog Paw Paw passed away last week. She buried him in her yard, first wrapping him in fabric, tied with a gray-blue ribbon—very Martha Stewart, I know. But the thing that is great about this, is that her other dogs had a chance to experience the body and smell it. They know for a fact that Paw Paw is dead and gone. Behaviorists seem to debate whether dogs grieve, but I think most would agree that dogs will handle the death of another dog best if they can see and sniff that deceased dog. And yes, the ribbon is a little bit over the top, but I think this photo is wonderful. It's honest. It shows she accepted the death of a close loved one (even though it was a dog). She dealt with the body in her home. And she gave her dogs the gift of being able to experience that death. I don't know if I could have done the same thing if I was in her position.