- On September 16, Lenny Rose Ellema captured the heartbreaking moment when her beloved dog ‘helped’ her bury its dead pup.
- Her pet`Bettie’ initially laid down on top of the grave for some time, as if mourning, until she was ready to cover the deceased mutt with earth herself.
- An expert says its probable that dogs experience grief.However, he thinks the act is instinctive.
Lenny Rose Ellema was deeply moved when she witnessed her pet apparently helping her bury its own pup last September 16 in Binmaley, Pangasinan.
‘Bettie’ her dog, gave birth to five mutts, but one of them was too frail and was not feeding well. Sadly, the pup did not survive.
As Ellema was about to bury the deceased puppy, Bettie laid down on top of the grave she dug. It appeared like her pet was stopping her from shoveling soil into the shallow pit.
“I gave her time to see her whelp one last time,” Ellema said. “Then she started burying the pup herself,” she added.
It was a heartbreaking moment for Ellema, and witnessing that made her weep. It was as if she was feeling her dog’s pain and loss. But when Bettie started covering the grave with soil, Ellema got amused as well.
According to her, Bettie doesn’t seem to want to leave the site even after she finished entombing the mutt. She had no other choice but to carry her as it was already getting dark.
“I was pleased and proud because I never taught her, yet she had that ability, a very loving mom, that’s why I’m so proud of her,” Ellema told ABS-CBN news.
However, this wasn’t the first time that Bettie buried a pup as she has previously experienced a miscarriage.
Brad Feliciano, a dog trainer and behavior expert, explained that it was probably the dog’s instinct that drove it to cover the dead mutt with earth.
“She has to cover the dead puppy because it’s already stinking or about to decompose. This behavior is a way of survival especially… For protection, for survival, they have to cover all this stinky stuff, it doesn’t matter if it’s a decomposing body or food because they wanna hide their tracks from other predators,” Feliciano explained in the article.
According to him, it’s but natural for canines to hide things that mean something to them, like food for instance, to save it and eventually have it for later. Also, it is possible that dogs do experience grief, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they mourn.
“Do I think that it’s coming from a motherly love trying to mourn for her puppy? I highly doubt it but who knows, it might be that. I think it’s instinctive covering the tracks,” the expert commented.
A dog’s loneliness develops from sudden routine changes or habits, such as a loss of another dog or a constant human companion. Even changing its feeding bowl could potentially affect it emotionally, he explained.
“I’m not sure if I wanna use the term grieve but yes in the sense they would feel something very similar to it like looking for a lost friend. If it’s a loss of a friend, a buddy, a human that’s been a constant companion for a dog for a very long time, it’s a huge change, they will try to find it… They’re trying to look for that whole routine that they used to have because it’s a sudden change,” he said.
Feliciano suggested that in case a dog experiences loneliness, it’s better to tire and provide it with nutritious food.
“Spend more time exercising them so they worry less, they’d rather rest… I can help them recover better if I try to keep them busy and physically exhausted. If you try to just let it be… that makes the dog go through depression and sadness… It helps them emotionally to be really tired,” the expert advises.
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