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How soon is too soon?


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Some of you were here this tuesday when i posted about my elderly dog passing away. I know it's only been two days, but i feel like utter pathetic ####, weeping at the most inappropriate times. Maybe you know this about me, maybe you don't, but i have a huge issue with pathological mourning. In that, i can go on mourning until the cows come home, barely functioning, keeping the lost person/pet inside me like some living dead, and it leaves very little energy to invest in new life.

 

i've gotten significantly better about it with time, but i fear reverting to this melancholy now. I want to act differently this time, just worried i might take it to the other extreme.

 

I have been saying for years, that i wouldn't keep pets after Darko passed away. I don't have a good reason for that, frankly. Just the pain of endings.

 

So I am seriously considering adopting a dog again. And i don't know if that's crazy talk, some irrational defense mechanism intended to help me "skip" the mourning process, or whether it's me finally accepting everything comes and goes, and it's only as tragic as i make it.

 

I don't think i'm looking to replace Darko. That can't be done, no way. He was uniquely wonderful-- but you all know, every pet, and every human is.

 

I am painfully aware that i will be a weeping mess for a while, and that i will be getting emotional, and that i will be intensely thinking about Darko for a very long time. My concern is, would that prevent me from properly focusing on a new pet? But they are so wonderful, no matter how engrossed with grief, who could possibly "not focus" on a furry? isn't that impossible?

 

Would it be somehow morally wrong to be crying over one dog, and in the same breath, smiling over a different one?

 

I do not feel like it would be an act of disloyalty to my dog, as you are all right- i did give all my pets wonderful, happy, long lives. Every dog would want other dogs to have that too.

 

What am i even questioning? At the end of the day, there's really just one path in life, and it's love, over and over again. Right?

 

When my dog was saying goodbye, i told him i wish i could keep him forever, but that if he knows of a dog he wants me to take care of, to send him over. I know my "reasoning" could raise eyebrows, but i also know he understood what i said. Here comes the extra irrational part. As i walked out of the clinic for the final time, i noticed the local shelter's minivan parked next to me. A lady, a shelter carer, walked out with a small shelter pup, who ran right over to me, pressing his side against me like Darko used to do. She thought it strange, saying he usually hides under chairs and benches before he gathers the courage to come say hello to humans. I know i could be ascribing meaning that isn't there to coincidences and regular animal behavior, but it doesn't matter, because, for whatever reason, i keep thinking i should take the puppy.

 

if i am being an absolute nut, now is your chance to stop me. Do it before i post his impossibly adorable shelter pic, because you'll be screaming take him when you see it.

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I lost my two dogs both this year, one in February, one in June. The second one was expected as he was old and had a terminal heart condition. The first one was a surprise loss, she had been diagnosed with an immune system illness in November last year. Right up until her last couple of very ill days I honestly believed that I would still have her for at least a couple of years to come since she was on medication.

 

It's been over 6 and 2 months respectively and I still think about and miss them every day. I have cats but the house still feels a whole lot emptier and lonelier coming back home to from work every day.

 

I am not actively looking for another dog yet, but if a nice pup needing a home 'found' me right now I would happily make my home its home also.

 

If you are considering taking this dog then perhaps you ought to get this dog :-)

 

Keep photos around of your dearly departed other pup and any videos of it within easy reach, to help keep its memory alive.

 

Perhaps some day soon I too will find such a new furry friend or it may find me!

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Oh I am so sorry, that really is a difficult loss! I can imagine how painful it must be!

 

When my cat died suddenly aged six months, I was severely depressed for months, and soon it transferred to my physical health. I was barely functioning for the greater part of that whole year, then my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and passed seven months later. Then, I was a mess for two years. I have forgiven myself, but I have certainly not done anyone a favor marinating in my depression.

 

The empty apartment feeling is strong, yes. I notice the silence the most. In a way, it is making me calm though, and even though i'm sobbing all the time, I feel..love, rather than anything else. So...I can't help but wonder whether I can't, this time around, let life go on. Grieving doesn't have to mean everything stops. I guess maybe I can be sad and loving at once just as well. This is new to me. I used to feel so emotionally constricted in grief before. Perhaps this is what healing is like.

 

I'm really sorry about your dogs. I hope you find solace soon.

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Aww RainyCoast! I’m so sorry about your dog.

 

When my cat passed away we got Emma the cat I have now because my mom wouldn’t stop sobbing. Emma could never take the place of the other cat but she brought in a new love for my mom and new hope.

We’ve had her for 10 years now and she really was a blessing for my mom and all of us.

 

I don’t think it’s too soon to get another dog if anything you’ll have new love.

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uffff, i'm going to try and influence the outcome before someone drops by as the voice of reason begging me to give myself some more time

 

https://imgur.com/rxddTW5

 

by posting his shelter pic. his description says he is 8 months old, very friendly although timid at first. barks at cats, but does fine with dogs.

 

lookit those tiny soft paws, those funny ears, the cute coat. you can imagine i felt so darn special when he came to me.

 

i keep thinking Darko would've loved him. He adored small dogs and other than two grown boxers, all his furry friends were little dogs, pugs, schnauzers and the like.

 

it is reassuring to hear others were able to take a new pet soon after losing one. i feel so compelled to drive over to the shelter.

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other than pictures (i ordered a gorgeous photo album for Darko), any ideas on keeping memories of previous pets? I keep their collars and favorite toys, other than that, i donate anything that's valuable enough to help anyone looking to adopt. i have simple but cute doodles i made of him, perhaps i could frame those.

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My heart goes out to you for your loss. AND, I think offering a good home to another dog is a fabulous idea!

 

My sister responded to my loss of a beloved cat by asking me to take her recent rescue who wasn't getting along with her other animals. (He peed in her dog's water dish. ...Really.)

 

So within days I was introducing 'Butch' to my home, and when I placed him in the new litter box, he jumped out, grabbed my ankle, bit me, then scrambled off. I hollered after him, "Well, now I know why you were in a shelter!!"

 

I knew I'd never send him back to shelterland, and I wasn't actually upset about his reaction. I figured he'd need time to adjust, and meanwhile I made cracks to my friends about becoming a domestic violence victim.

 

Animals are all unique, and a new one will show you all the ways that they are NOT a replacement for the pet you grieve. However, true animal lovers understand that this isn't about 'us,' it's about the animal who needs a home, and we will be motivated to demo love to the new animal despite our grief because every animal deserves our full investment.

 

Over time we learn how to love in new ways, and it DOES help us to step up and move our focus forward.

 

It in no way serves a pet who has passed for us to damage ourselves with grief. We are of far more service to all souls involved by offering our best generosity to the living creatures who bless us with their trust.

 

Holding you in my thoughts, and please write more if it helps.

 

(((HUG))),

Cat

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Aw, RainyCoast, I'm so sorry. ((((Hugs)))) Would you consider fostering or pet sitting to help the transition without pressuring yourself to commit? I began dog sitting/boarding after my previous dog died, and then co-fostered one dog that eventually became my permanent companion.

 

It's a sweet idea of to frame your doodles of Darko.

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Catfeeder! Thank you so much for your words, that means so much!

 

did your new kitty adjust? was it bothersome, or just unusual to be processing a loss while welcoming a new cat?

 

I do expect a new pet to surprise me in any number of ways. I am not very concerned i think- getting to know each pet's character has been a wonderful process that i am grateful for, so my current thought is that i would welcome the "new pet energy". I also do not own, or wish to own "valuables" that i'd be concerned about getting ruined, and i think my apartment would be easy to puppy-proof.

 

i wouldn't mind adopting a pair of cats either, if it turned out the puppy was no longer available. i just feel like i should take him specifically somehow.

 

that's one of the main themes in my thoughts now too, that it's no good shutting our "service" or our capacity to love down. what better way to honor anyone really, human or not, than by continuing to care for others.

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thank you, journey! yes, i have considered fostering as well. i've never done it before. i'm wondering whether it's too hard on a pet when they transition to a forever home, unless one keeps them. i'm certain though, that once i brought a pet home, i'd never consider not keeping them. did you or a foster pet ever have problems letting go?

 

i'm thinking a few "test drives" at the shelter might help. walking and playing with pets a few times, just to see how i'd handle it, emotionally. i mean, what if i want to run to my car crying, and drive off and swear off pets forever? though i think once i see a little one who wants to be friends, there's no way in hell i'd run off.

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I've only fostered the one, who became mine. He was never a shelter dog, and is older, and his temperament and smooth adjustment are what won me over. If I do it again, I'll consider fostering/adopting from someone in Hospice, or fostering/boarding for a deployed service member. I can offer a stable home environment for a dog dealing with uncertainty.

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Everyone is different.

I had to put down my beloved cat last year, which left the 2nd timid cat 'Macy' alone and lost.

 

I knew my heart wasn't ready for another cat, but I figured that Macy would benefit from it, so though the timing wasn't ideal I brought home a kitten.

Macy was not having any part of it. Hiding, hissing. All par for the course when trying to introduce 2 unfamiliar cats. The kitten innocently and desperately wanted to be near her but when it wasn't happening the kitten howled mercilessly any time I was out of sight. No doubt having some separation anxiety.

 

So here I am with a miserable cat and an equally miserable kitten and me, crying non stop. It was pretty much a mess and 2 days later I ended up surrendering the kitten which compounded the guilt of having made the decision to euthanize my older cat. When I called the shelter I spoke asked for the woman that helped me. Before I could speak, she said `It's too soon, isn't it?'

 

Macy's never quite been the same since but we muddle through.

 

Ugh. .I get emotional just recalling it. I was going through a break up at the same time. This all but pretty much broke me.

My story probably isn't helpful. Sorry.

 

I think it's possible. You'll never replace Darko, but you could very well have room in your heart for another dog.

If is wasn't for trying to assimilate the two cats. . my story might have been different.

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fostering/adopting from someone in Hospice, or fostering/boarding for a deployed service member. I can offer a stable home environment for a dog dealing with uncertainty.
oh i love that idea! that is brilliant!

 

reinvent that's frightening, i'm so sorry it didn't go well! i can imagine introducing a new pet can go in unexpected ways. i love cats myself, but Darko did not, he only liked "his" cat Becky, so i never got another one after she passed. it could've worked, or it could've ended with one harming the other even. he was also very attached, so i didn't want him feeling like he had to compete for attention, though perhaps that was more in my head than a real concern.

 

well i went to the shelter to walk dogs...but you know i came home with bonito!

 

i spoke to them at length, we all thought it could work out just fine, and they assured me there was no pressure if i find this weekend that it's too much too soon. but no way am i going to, i'm smitten, i'm excited, and i am so grateful he likes me! we cuddled and walked lots. they had so many senior dogs. i feel terrible for them. one, Blu, looked like my Darko. Some are as old as eleven, i know they won't get a home. Unfortunately they were all large breeds, and my problem is two flights of stairs, and my frail constitution. I cannot carry 40 kg up the stairs when they become too much for them, and there's only so much a harness can do. i remembered to bring Darko's big bed, harnesses, leash, big feeding bowls, pain meds and unopened food. with so many seniors, they were happy to take them. Blu and I cuddled a bit, but i couldn't linger around him for too long. he's so much like Darko.

 

The little guy is curious and gentle, following me around the apartment and exploring. he picks up anything in sight, so he is showing me what to puppy-proof as we go. any items i don't yet know where i'll put to be out of his reach, i am putting in plastic storage boxes with lids for the night. electrical sockets secured, cables higher than he can reach. he loves Darko's old monkey toy more than the brand new unicorn i got him. tomorrow, if he feels like it, we will try the squeaky toys. he is busy with chewy ones right now. we borrowed a crate and a small kitty bed from the shelter and will shop for his own tomorrow. i have pet pillows and blankets ready, letting him pick his favorite, and try out different spots.

 

he is small, and won't shed much, so i'm thinking about not having a no couch rule. why have a rule for rule's sake. i don't mind him on the couch, he sits next to me anytime i sit down, i find that just lovely.

 

i did cry. i'm still feeling weepy. and also very happy. she said "you have kissed this dog five times in the five minutes we've been talking. i have to go clean the catio, and he can't come along. you can cry all you want, but you have to look after him for the next thirty minutes. we'll talk later". and poof she was gone and bonito was licking my face and pressed his tiny paw right against my nose and wagged his tail with impressive speed. he showed me around, jumped high for a small pup, then we sat down and he got into my lap.

 

he had eyelid surgery because his eyelid was turned inwards. it worked well, he can open and close his eyes fine now, there's some discharge, but it's normal. he might continue to have some eye discharge that isn't a sign of illness, just a trait of the mix of breeds. we have a follow up with his vet next week. he was neutered recently, that went well too, but he did chew on his paw from the stress of it until they made him wear a lampshade. we took the bandage off, and he hasn't tried injuring himself. he let me comb his back a little. when he has adjusted and is relaxed, i'll try cleaning his face. don't want to annoy him today.

 

we explored around our building a bit too.

 

he is fascinated by the tv, and barked a little at the elephants on screen, and the weather man. i thought the washer would scare him, but the loud spin cycle is in full effect now, and he's unbothered.

 

this is good. it's right. i can finally eat. i made myself tea. my big dog is smiling if he is seeing this.

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When my dog was saying goodbye, i told him i wish i could keep him forever, but that if he knows of a dog he wants me to take care of, to send him over. I know my "reasoning" could raise eyebrows, but i also know he understood what i said. Here comes the extra irrational part. As i walked out of the clinic for the final time, i noticed the local shelter's minivan parked next to me. A lady, a shelter carer, walked out with a small shelter pup, who ran right over to me, pressing his side against me like Darko used to do. She thought it strange, saying he usually hides under chairs and benches before he gathers the courage to come say hello to humans. I know i could be ascribing meaning that isn't there to coincidences and regular animal behavior, but it doesn't matter, because, for whatever reason, i keep thinking i should take the puppy.

 

if i am being an absolute nut, now is your chance to stop me. Do it before i post his impossibly adorable shelter pic, because you'll be screaming take him when you see it.

 

Congratulations on your lovely new dog! So exciting :-)

 

I hope it does go really well for you, and I think it is a good idea to see how you go this weekend. I don't have a lot of experience with grief, but I expect that it would be quite a process.

 

When you told us that story about Darko sending you a new dog friend, I was so sure that he had done that. I do believe that people (or dogs) have a certain 'energy' and even beyond the grave they can bring energy (or things) into our lives.

 

Good luck with Bonito! He sounds gorgeous :-)

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Congratulations on your lovely new dog! So exciting :-)

 

I hope it does go really well for you, and I think it is a good idea to see how you go this weekend. I don't have a lot of experience with grief, but I expect that it would be quite a process.

 

When you told us that story about Darko sending you a new dog friend, I was so sure that he had done that. I do believe that people (or dogs) have a certain 'energy' and even beyond the grave they can bring energy (or things) into our lives.

 

Good luck with Bonito! He sounds gorgeous :-)

 

https://imgur.com/a/wYOYChA he is so cute! he looks a little unkempt, but the shelter hasn't been neglecting him. they only have two ladies working full time, who really have their hands full. the place is nice, and i could tell the animals are very comfortable with them. it's just his discharge that sticks to his face.

 

he is so careful around the apartment. and polite, when he picks something up, he first brings it over to me as if to ask whether it's okay to play with. someone taught him "sit" and "wait".

 

he might be a bit of a hoarder, he is dragging blankets, pillows and toys and gathering them on a pile. poor thing. maybe he is worried they won't be here tomorrow, he had to share with other dogs.

 

his passport says he was born on january the first! a new year's pup!

 

you can't even hear his little paws touch the ground, so soft and small.

 

I could swear too, that my dog sent him. i can still feel darko's soft ears under my hands, and this little guy's warm body next to me.

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Oh. .I got goosebumps reading this. (that's twice today already)

You are both so lucky to have each other.

Darko would not want you to be alone.

Enjoy!

 

i'm crying and laughing! it may sound insane, but it feels good! give macy a good snuggle for me!

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I am so delighted for you, Rainy, that you were able to give Bonito a second chance in life, she must be so happy to have you. What's so wonderful about dogs, is that when they enter your life you both save each other really, and in this particular case Bonito will help you through your grief and be your little therapist, in exchange for having been rescued. I'd say that's a pretty good deal :)

 

Really wish there were more people like you in the world!

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Wow!

CongrAts to you and Bonito! He looks adorable, and I'm so glad you found one another.

 

... did your new kitty adjust? was it bothersome, or just unusual to be processing a loss while welcoming a new cat?

 

Oh, Butch adjusted all right. He settled on the foot of my bed and went cuddly immediately on my entrance, as though nothing had happened. I figured he'd just been shook up from the drive. I had set him into the litter too fast, but I wanted him to learn where it was it in case he needed to use it.

 

He never displayed aggression again. We spent many years together, and he was secure and loving and purely Himself. His rituals were unlike those of Layla, and so there were times at first when I'd make the noises or gestures I'd have made with her, and it felt a bit like one hand clapping. But he was a joy, and he helped me through my grief in ways that kept me forever grateful to him.

 

I do expect a new pet to surprise me in any number of ways. I am not very concerned i think- getting to know each pet's character has been a wonderful process that i am grateful for, so my current thought is that i would welcome the "new pet energy". I also do not own, or wish to own "valuables" that i'd be concerned about getting ruined, and i think my apartment would be easy to puppy-proof.

 

i wouldn't mind adopting a pair of cats either, if it turned out the puppy was no longer available. i just feel like i should take him specifically somehow.

 

that's one of the main themes in my thoughts now too, that it's no good shutting our "service" or our capacity to love down. what better way to honor anyone really, human or not, than by continuing to care for others.

 

Hooray! for you and your open mind and your open heart. Your Darko did a marvelous job with you! As much as a pet's adoration can go to our head and make us feel like the world is all about US, the best pet relationships teach us how to honor our roles as stewards. This amplifies our generosity and our ability to love. There is no down side to that.

 

(((HUG))) to you and Bonito.

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i love macy's curious look :)). and that butch has been such a valuable, healing companion!

 

 

thank you all for being so positive! i would've missed out on so much if i held back on adopting him, and what a shame for a wonderful little guy it would've been to not get a forever home.

 

i didn't crate him last night. there was no need to. all sites (i have 40 tabs on puppies open haha) say to crate him on his first night, but he napped next to me for a while before settling on a pillow he chose. he then got up, i heard a noise on the other end of the room, and he came back with Darko's collar, licking it before falling asleep peacefully next to it. To him, it is one of the many objects he hoards, probably because he is used to not having them, but to me, it was the most beautiful gesture. I "talked" to Darko, thanking him over and over again for everything, and for teaching me how to grow beyond my selfish sadness and my self-prophesied eternal misery. i promised i would do everything for Bonito that i did for him.

 

he is so happy, such a ball of joy. i never asked the shelter about his history. he seems perfectly unbothered by it whatever it was, and his wonderful shelter carers must have undone anything bad he remembered.

 

i'm reminded of hidden blessings too. i fell ill enough to be absent from work to undergo testing - but, it allowed me to be with Darko when he was leaving, and to keep Bonito company as he adjusts to the great unknown. Before Darko fell ill, i hesitated to get testing done for myself at a private diagnostics lab and avoid the long waiting list, i was concerned with the price. i had once been in debt after my mother's passing, and it was psychologically very taxing. But, when i saw myself pulling my credit card out unflinchingly at the vet's, i immediately accepted i *can* show the same respect to my own well-being by choice, and i owe it to myself and everyone else to speed up the diagnostics and treatment. So i booked and am getting tests done and it's not been horrible at all, worst case scenario i'll have some credit card debt and pay it off like i did with much greater debt. have to be in shape to keep up with an energetic doggie!!

 

i'll remember this time for the endless gratitude. i'll work on feeling it without turning on the waterworks next! :))

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