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My dog passed away a few days ago. He ran away from home early in the morning, and by the time we found him it was late afternoon and he was very weak, on the brink of death. Soon after we brought him home, he drifted off and stopped breathing.

I was feeling very horrible thinking about what might have happened to him in the hours before we found him, and that he might still be alive if we had somehow stopped him from running away. But a few people comforted me, saying that a lot of old dogs run away from home when its time to die. Perhaps they like to die alone?

I'm wondering if there's any truth to this?

Notability: http://www.ehow.com/info_12047757_dogs-run-away-dying.html

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According to The Complete Tracker, 2nd edition: Tracks, Signs, and Habits of North American Wildlife, Chapter 12, DOGS (CANIDAE), page 117

Pack members are brought food if they become sick or injured, but these wolves often leave the pack voluntarily

See also On the effects of domestication on canine social development and behavior

deposed alpha animals are either ejected from the pack, leave the pack voluntarily

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