CAPS: Is grief just a human emotion?

Loki is an adorable 2.5-year-old Boxer mix. He has a sweet disposition, although he is a bit shy with new people. When Loki feels comfortable, he is huggable and loves attention.

Loki is an adorable 2.5-year-old Boxer mix. He has a sweet disposition, although he is a bit shy with new people. When Loki feels comfortable, he is huggable and loves attention.
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Dear Readers, I recently spotted a study in “Scientific Reports” about dogs showing grief after the loss of a canine or human companion. At last, there is scientific data confirming that dogs do experience grief. Having seen my dog grieve after her cat died, I already knew that.

The data collected from 426 adults with multiple dogs found that surviving dogs who lost their canine companion showed signs of grief, including panting, howling, lack of appetite, and lethargy. Interestingly, dogs also show these same behaviors when they have to be away from their owners for long periods.

Dog intelligence is comparable to that of a child between 2 and 3 years old. Children in the range of 2 to 5 years might not have the concept of death, but the loss of a companion or caregiver may trigger the behaviors that represent grief and mourning.

Because dogs live in a controlled social structure in the home, they deeply feel the loss of a human or canine. People have lives that extend outside of the immediate family to distract them from grief. They see friends, relatives, and community members in other social settings.

Dogs have a narrower social structure with boundaries that are defined by the house, yard, or walking path. Most of their days they focus on the family unit, and when one of the members is gone it leaves a tremendous void.

To help your BFF deal with grief, you can spend extra time with him. Play, go for walks, provide treats, and talk to him while making eye contact. Just show him love and you will also find it eases your grief.


We have two handsome 1-year-old male puppies. BG and Diego are anxiously waiting to find their forever homes. We also have six Border Collie mix puppies five-months-old and 10 tabby kittens in shades of gray. Come and check them out; they are cute.


• Items for the CAPS garage sale. Call 775-423-7500 to have your items picked up.

• Volunteers to help pick up garage sale items.

• Funds to sustain the shelter. We have veterinary, food, and utility bills. Any contribution will be helpful.

• Would you like to foster animals? We need volunteers. Call 775-423-7500 for details.

• Dog walkers, we need consistent volunteers to walk and socialize our dogs. Call 775-423-7500 for details.

• Aluminum cans. We will pick up your cans; give us a call at 775-423-7500. You can also drop them off at CAPS.


The volunteers who worked at the American Car Wash for CAPS. All tails are wagging for you!

All the folks who came to the American Car Wash to support CAPS. Bow-Wow to you!


CAPS is open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We suggest appointments for adoptions and food pantry.


• August Holiday: National Check the Chip Day. When the chips are down is your pet OK?

• American Car Wash now has a dog wash. The cost is $10 for 15 minutes and just like a car wash, you choose how long you want to shampoo, rinse, apply conditioner, flea wash, and blow dry. It is easy and you control the sprayer. Save your bathroom and the mess next bath time and head down to the American Car Wash/ Dog Wash. It is doggone great.

• If you would like a newsletter, call 775-423-7500 or email

• CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 89407. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. CAPS’ email address is Please visit the CAPS website ( and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are likeable.

Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer, at


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