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Divorce/Separation ... and Pets...

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PhantomLimb posted 7/20/2013 13:53 PM

Here's a weird one.

Around DDay, my dog kept urinating on WS. In the car, in the bedroom, IN THE BED. She wouldn't let him walk her anymore. She wouldn't go near him.

After DDay and separation, she continued sort of reversing her housetraining. I was crying a lot, clearly in distress. She kept peeing in the bed at night and elsewhere in the house.

In the last week, I've improved quite a bit. I'm not crying as much and able to pay more attention to her with walks, talking to her, etc. As of two days ago, she's stopped peeing on everything, etc.

Anyone else have a pet act strange during DDay/D/S?

Williesmom posted 7/20/2013 14:12 PM

Not in that way, but he spent a lot of time with our dogs. On D-Day, we had a 100+ pound collie. He was a very gentle soul.

He became very protective of me. If wxh and I were arguing, he would stand between us, blocking wxh from trying to hurt me.

He became my constant companion, until he passed away a year later. I still sense him in my bedroom at night- it feels like he's checking up on me. I miss him so much.

Nature_Girl posted 7/20/2013 14:19 PM

After DDay our cat started wanting to sleep with me & the kids, not STBX.

Pringle posted 7/20/2013 14:36 PM

Yes, mine would follow me around the house constantly and not him. They would both sleep on my side of the bed, whereas before one would be on mine and one on his. Also, when I would take them for walks, they were a lot calmer and did not pull as much as they used to,I guess because they could feel how drained I was. Animals are very intuitive-they can sense when something is wrong and will react in some way or another.

Vulcanized posted 7/20/2013 16:06 PM

Yup. The dog would lay on top of me at all times. When he would freak out, she would lay on my feet. She wanted to be next to me at all times.

Ashland13 posted 7/20/2013 19:53 PM


Our Lil' Elder Cat has taken to peeing on the furniture and it makes me cry every time I find it. She did not do this before he left, ever.

I told myself for a while that it's her age, as we had a "rental cat" that was one we kept for a relative for a time and he did this, but they learned it was his age and "innards", as my father called it-basically he lost function of his bodily movements.

Anyway...I think animals are really smart and know when something isn't right in their environment.

Lil' Elder Cat has also taken to sleeping on my head when I cry and the vet said it could be a way of reaching out. She never did this before, either.

I notice that she lets STBX pet her, but not like before and it's brief.

It's also very funny when she ignores him, as it doesn't help the narcissism to not have attention!

Rainbows posted 7/21/2013 14:37 PM

Yes, mine did too. I remember reading that dogs have the emotional intelligence of a 3 year old child, so they have some understanding of what's going on during separation/d.

My dog started having asthma attacks after arguments. I can tell its stress related because she never has them when he's not around.

She's also aware of my emotions. As soon as I start to sniffle, she immediately jumps up and stares at me. She comes to cuddle if the sniffle turns into crying.

It's sad because it affects them, too.

PhantomLimb posted 7/21/2013 15:17 PM

I had a terrible nightmare last night (in it he called to tell me he had moved in with her and was "really in love"). I woke up in a cold sweat and started crying into my pillow.

She (my dog) woke up, saw I was crying, and crawled over me so she could get into "the nook" and cuddle. The poor thing is 17 years old, can barely walk and everything hurts-- so this was a true act of love. I immediately tried to pull it together for her.

Sometimes I think to myself that I get that he did this horrible thing, figured out how to blame me for it and now has doubled-down on his "new" life because he's got a PD and he's a coward. Fair enough.

But I don't get how he could have left the dog. I know that sounds silly... but here is this innocent animal who loved him unconditionally and who can't even begin to figure out how to understand and respond to all of this beyond wetting the bed and giving kisses. It's so sad.

For people with children, it must feel a million times worse.

LadyQ posted 7/21/2013 15:43 PM

My cat started peeing outside her litter box. She'd get in it, prepare her site, and then hike her little hiney high enough in the air that the pee would go outside the box.

PhantomLimb posted 7/21/2013 17:22 PM

Mine was peeing all over the house and car (not just the bed).

Wonder if it was some kind of "reclaiming" of the territory.

gypsybird87 posted 7/22/2013 21:04 PM

My cat didn't do anything weird, but the dog's behavior changed. When XWH was still here and we would fight, the dog would press against me and shake, especially when XWH would start yelling. He was clearly terrified but he would not leave my side. He stopped interacting with XWH at all, and stopped waiting for him at the top of the stairs each evening. He pretty much ignored him.

For his part, XWH started ignoring the dog too. I agree with you totally, Phantom. His total neglect and abandonment of an innocent little soul who was devoted to him strikes me as one of the cruelest things he did throughout the S/D. Pathetic. What a dirtbag.

I worried the dog would miss him and pine for him. But he has not done so at all. I love this little dog so much, I would have lost my mind without him over these last few months. He's lapped up a lake of tears, and listened patiently to every meltdown.

What would we do without our pets??

Phoenix1 posted 7/22/2013 21:17 PM

Our oldest dog (10 yrs) is my baby (okay, they all are, but is number one baby). He has always been momma's boy. When he was younger he would actually sleep with me and POS, then POS decided he had enough and kicked him out of the bed. Granted, he is 120 lbs and does take up a lot of room.

Well, I just ordered him some stairs so he could climb back in bed with me (his age is showing with arthritis issues), bought and old beat up comforter that I don't care if it gets destroyed and a waterproof pad to put under his side. As soon as those stairs get here he is going to be sleeping with me in POS's old spot for the rest of his life! The dog is much better company and his last year(s) will be spent sleeping in comfort knowing he is loved. He will be helping me emotionally as well on those sad, lonely nights.

h0peless posted 7/22/2013 21:33 PM

My oldest dog, who is the sweetest, gentlest soul you could ever hope to meet developed really severe separation anxiety. He had it when we first got him but it had gone away over time as he became more secure with us. That all went away with her abandonment.

The other dog had been pretty severely abused as a puppy and then put in the pound for four months. She has issues to begin with. She became hypervigilant and developed some issues with aggression. I'm still trying to work with both dogs.

I really can't understand any of it, but I really can't understand how she could do it to the dogs. The consequences of her actions will probably lower the older one's standard of living for the rest of his life.

MissMouseMo posted 7/23/2013 08:26 AM

We had old friends with a parrot and a lot of people don't stop to think that parrots are "flock animals" (think: "pack animals," like dogs).

When we take them from their flock, WE become their family, their best friends, their extended social net, their everything. Cruel really but I digress.

It happened that this bird was afraid of storms so when heavy weather would come he would call every family member by name (yes, he knew their names and used them), to make sure they were safe - until he either saw they were ok or the rain stopped. These are smart animals.

During the divorce, this bird was absolutely distraught. Unable to cope. He could not find peace to the point he began to self-harm by pulling his feathers out. He almost killed himself.

We are so arrogant in imagining that animals do not have a highly sophisticated emotional life.

PhantomLimb posted 7/23/2013 10:32 AM

One of my girlfriends went through a split and was crying all of the time. Her dog started to pull out the hair on its paws and her two cats went bald. You would go over her house and it was like the land of misfit animals.

You're right, MissMouseMo. They do have complex and sophisticated emotional lives.

And my elderly little pup knew before any of us that he needed to be kicked out of the pack. Tried to warn us with all of the pee. :) He wasn't her daddy anymore.

TrustGone posted 7/23/2013 10:57 AM

When I was divorcing XWH#1, my collie became very protective. She had always been a gentle dog before, then she started to try and bite anyone that came near the house. It was so strange to see her act like that. She was still gentle with the kids and I, but anyone else was off limits. One day she just disappeared from the yard and I never did find her. I am not sure if she ran away or what, but I still remember the sudden change in her personality.

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