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Use your imagination when pet loses a companion

Updated: July 28, 2012 6:02AM

Q. We had two miniature pinschers. One just died due to complications from diabetes. What is the preferred way to handle the other dog, and what to look for other than the obvious “depression” he may experience?

A. Treat the surviving Min Pin as if he’s grief stricken and needs daily support. Take him for an extra walk, give him an extra treat, arrange to take him to a place where there are other dogs so he can sniff and be sniffed. We don’t know how dogs handle personal loss, so imagine what your dog might need.

Q. I have a recent rescue from a puppy mill. She is a 6-year-old Havanese. My question: Is it possible to completely housebreak a mill dog?

A. Understandably, it’s exasperating — two steps forward, one step back. Grit your teeth, open your heart and stay with it. Nobody can predict if your Havanese will totally get with the program because there are so many variables. Even dogs raised in the best of conditions are not total automatons. Yet, barring any medical condition — and with vigilance and positive reinforcement — your dog should become reliable about going where she should.

Q. Someone at the veterinarian’s office where my daughter takes her Chihuahua said that if the dog is kept in the house and on a leash when outside, the dog does not need to take preventative heart worm medication because you know what he has eaten and where he’s been. Does that seem right?

A. Nope, doesn’t seem right at all. Dog Lady reminds her readers that she is not a vet, but heart worm medication seems like a no-brainer for any dog because it is a relatively mild drug that packs a wallop of protection. Mosquitoes infect a dog with heartworms and mosquitoes are small enough to flit anywhere a dog goes. Every dog should be protected because a dog with heart worms can become wretchedly sick.

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