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After death, new dog or not?


Cherylyn

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How to Decide to Get a Dog
How to Decide to Get a Dog

My beloved 14 yr old dog passed away 2 mos ago. :icon_sad

 

For those of you who were dog owners, did you get a new dog after your previous dog passed away? If you did, when and why? If you decided against repeated dog ownership, what were your reasons? Do you have reasons from other dog owners such as your parents, in-laws, friends or acquaintances? Thank you for your opinion and stories. I appreciate it.

 

There is sudden lonely freedom from losing "man's best friend." However, I don't miss the reality check of enormous commitment, responsibility and expense of taking care of "a toddler" for 14 years. Also, I can't experience another final good-bye and broken heart again. :icon_sad:

 

I am conflicted. Thank you for your input.

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While I now also have a dog, my family has always had cats. My husband and I got our first cat when we had been married for about 1.5 years. We are now married nearly 30 and usually have two at a time -- meaning we are on cats 4 and 5. We have always gotten a new cat when one cat dies. Why? Because pets are not people, you really can go get a new one and smother it with all the love and attention you want. Is it the same as the previous cat? Of course not, all cats have their own individual personalities, but we can mourn a cat while loving a new one. Also, cats are a lot less work than dogs. I do not know what will happen when the dog goes, we got her for our daughter and she is moving out in the fall for her gap year.

 

So sorry about your friend.

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Sorry about your buddy :(

 

I like to have a small grieving period, mostly because the fear of experiencing another loss is too high. But I rescue all my animals and I like to rescue another just because I love having a dog and there are so many that need a new home. The love they give is so much more than the loss you feel now ❤️

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It is your ongoing sadness over losing this friend that is causing you to only see the negative from your relationship with your late dog. Think of all the joy it brought you over those years. Think of the years of joy you can have with another pet.

 

So, my advice would be to either:

 

Get another pet to replace the old, to fill that hole in your heart and allow you to feel that same love you did for it. And yes, it will likely not live as long as you will and you will have to deal with its eventual death, but this is part of life and something that needs to be dealt with. I guess it is similar to those people who after a breakup and the stress and pain that causes, to state they are never going to have another relationship, 'what's the point, it's going to end anyway.' We shouldn't supress our lives to avoid the possibility of emotional pain.

 

or,

 

Get a pet rock. They are low maintenance and they have a tendancy not to die, although it is advised not to leave them in front of a steam roller. Unfortunately, they are not as lively and fun as a living pet, but you have to take the positives with the negatives.

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I lost my baby girl 2 years ago (little yorkshire terrier 15 yrs old) and it broke me. I felt like i'd lost one of my own children. I wouldn't look at another dog for a long time, as well as not wanting to go near one. But now, i'm crazy about dogs when i see them. I love to stroke them and play with them, but getting another of my own? I don't think i can. I still feel heartbroken from losing my girl and i still cry when i think of her. I honestly don't think i could go through that heartbreak again.

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Pets seem to be the one loss of life we can "replace." I only own cats now but was raised around both cats and dogs, though I'm very anxiously awaiting picking up a guardian dog for the goats we'll be raising. While I obviously look back fondly and have small feelings of missing certain pets, the new pets have always kinda filled that hole which hurts to be empty afterward, while still leaving room to look back happily on the unique memories provided by pets who have passed.

 

In my experience, you get two types of people. Those who perpetually will have a pet and those who end up feeling as liberated to be free from the responsibility as they are sad about the loss. My coworker for example loved his cat who passed a bit over a year back. But him and his husband decided they weren't going to get a new one so they didn't have to worry about taking care of it, and so that they could finally invest in some nice furniture risk-free.

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I had dogs when I was younger in my first place. I waited maybe about 4-5 years before feeling ready for a second dog and I'm sorry to say that the second dog didn't work out for me (it was a terrier). The first was a German Shepherd. He was bred as a police dog actually and his siblings went on to serve as police dogs but him and his sister were left in the litter and the breeder/owner (a friend of a friend out in the country about 3 hours drive away) asked if I might be interested in giving them or one of them a home. I ended up making the drive one weekend and taking the male. I don't know if anyone has had German Shepherds before. It's very difficult to transition to a different breed. I bonded incredibly well with the shepherd, he obeyed all my commands and I rarely had him on a leash. I was absolutely adamant in exposing him to all situations and he was very well-balanced and calm. He was always by my side and extremely intuitive of all my thoughts/emotions. We are not in a position at the moment to adopt a dog but my husband (who's never had a German Shepherd) is curious and more interested in adopting a dog also in the future, later on. I'm not completely open to it at the moment but it's a door I'm willing to leave open. This dog surpassed every idea I ever thought a dog would be or the kind of intelligence I thought a dog was capable of. It's difficult to fill those shoes again.

 

You'll know when you're ready and I'd encourage you to learn for example from my experiences with two very different types of dogs. Do lots of research and know what your personality type is and what kind of dog you might bond better with. It'll come naturally to you when it's time for one again.

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I'm sorry for your loss.

 

The beautiful thing is there is no rush to decide. I've only had one dog, and I loved him to the moon. Since then, I've had cats. Oh, and we had a rat live out his short little sunset time with us. Did I ever think I'd have a rat? No! I didn't think I'd adopt another cat so soon after my last girl passed away either, but it happened, and I'm glad for it.

 

If or when you feel drawn to bring another pet into your life, they'll find you. Maybe you'll find yourself at the shelter one day ' just to visit'. Or a friend mentions some sweetie looking for a home.

 

No pressure to make up your mind forever.

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I'm sorry for your loss. A suddenly empty house takes some getting used to. At the same time I hear you about enjoying your freedom from the constant responsibility of dog care. On that note, I wouldn't rush to replace. Give yourself some time to grieve and live for awhile without a dog and see how you feel down the road. Don't make decisions that require such a long commitment from you when emotions are running high.

 

In between new pets, I've definitely taken some time out to travel, do things, enjoy that freedom for awhile. However, once I get all that out of my system, I start to miss life with a pet, so comes time when I get the next one. It works for me, because then I'm really ready for it and ready for all that's involved in the care and commitment of time and effort. It's a comfortable decision at that point.

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I am sorry for the loss of your furbaby. My furbaby just turned 9, and cannot imagine life without this super bossy, loud corgi dog. But like anyone, it's okay to take sometime to grieve.

 

Would you get a rescue, adult or puppy? From a reputable breeder? Same breed? We also just adopted a rescue puppy, Blue Heeler, AKD, and holy F***K, housebreaking, ugh, I am now outside or my kids are outside like every hour. I have a dog sitter that visits in the afternoon. And we just steam cleaned the carpets. But she is so nice, and everyone loves her. Unlike the corgi who only likes me - so now the kids have a real family dog. But next month, our dogs will be vacationing separately as we head to a resort, and my folks are watching the corgi, while the sitter will be with the puppy. Odd, yes.

 

I say, go and take an awesome vacay. For the adoption fee, $400, vets bills just for shot and exams, $300, supplies for pupplies, $200, $380 for puppy Kindergarten, and have to get her spayed, which is another $400...so really, take a vacay. And then go to adoption events, and see if you find another doggy you happen to love, or just visting, and you leave your food on the coffee table and anywhere you want!

 

When I was in college, and I lost my 2nd ferret, I was devastated. My friend got me a third right away, and while I love that ferret, it felt really weird and I felt burdened. Sometimes it can be too soon.

 

But if you are really torn up, do not get any dog. Meet them several times. Sometimes you are so torn up, you think a dog at a pound may be the love of your life, when really you're just feeling vulnerable.

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It is your ongoing sadness over losing this friend that is causing you to only see the negative from your relationship with your late dog. Think of all the joy it brought you over those years. Think of the years of joy you can have with another pet.

 

So, my advice would be to either:

 

Get another pet to replace the old, to fill that hole in your heart and allow you to feel that same love you did for it. And yes, it will likely not live as long as you will and you will have to deal with its eventual death, but this is part of life and something that needs to be dealt with. I guess it is similar to those people who after a breakup and the stress and pain that causes, to state they are never going to have another relationship, 'what's the point, it's going to end anyway.' We shouldn't supress our lives to avoid the possibility of emotional pain.

 

or,

 

Get a pet rock. They are low maintenance and they have a tendancy not to die, although it is advised not to leave them in front of a steam roller. Unfortunately, they are not as lively and fun as a living pet, but you have to take the positives with the negatives.

 

Thank you Keyman. Yes, you're right. We give our fur babies great lives. You're right about a new dog filling the void in my heart. I'll have to grudgingly accept a dog's short life because this is how Mother Nature intended it to be. I hear you, it's similar to breakup, stress and finding anew somehow.

 

Yeah, the pet rock idea is definitely low-maintenance! At the moment, I don't even want a cactus plant or goldfish. It takes time to heal a broken heart. Thank you again for your kind words. I appreciated it, Keyman.

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I lost my baby girl 2 years ago (little yorkshire terrier 15 yrs old) and it broke me. I felt like i'd lost one of my own children. I wouldn't look at another dog for a long time, as well as not wanting to go near one. But now, i'm crazy about dogs when i see them. I love to stroke them and play with them, but getting another of my own? I don't think i can. I still feel heartbroken from losing my girl and i still cry when i think of her. I honestly don't think i could go through that heartbreak again.

 

Thank you RayofLighten. I'm sorry for your profound loss. You gave your little Yorkie a GREAT, long life. No pet was better cared and loved. I agree, it feels like losing one of your own children! I hear you. I can't go through another heartbreak again either. It feels too excruciatingly painful. Those final good-byes absolutely killed me.

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When my 2 dogs and 2 cats die, I don't really plan to get anything else. I grow kind of tired of the extra responsibility and having to make plans for them to go out for the weekend.

 

Thank you Nickel Speed. I'm sorry for your losses. You gave your 2 dogs and 2 cats a GREAT life. They are a huge commitment and responsibility and then you have to figure out who takes care of them while you're out of town for the weekend. Thank you for your realistic perspective. I appreciated it.

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Pets seem to be the one loss of life we can "replace." I only own cats now but was raised around both cats and dogs, though I'm very anxiously awaiting picking up a guardian dog for the goats we'll be raising. While I obviously look back fondly and have small feelings of missing certain pets, the new pets have always kinda filled that hole which hurts to be empty afterward, while still leaving room to look back happily on the unique memories provided by pets who have passed.

 

In my experience, you get two types of people. Those who perpetually will have a pet and those who end up feeling as liberated to be free from the responsibility as they are sad about the loss. My coworker for example loved his cat who passed a bit over a year back. But him and his husband decided they weren't going to get a new one so they didn't have to worry about taking care of it, and so that they could finally invest in some nice furniture risk-free.

 

Thank you j.man. I appreciated your kind comments. You are very experienced raising cats and dogs. I've had cats in my past but I've always bonded really well with my dog who was truly "man's best friend." I'll imagine you picking up your new guardian dog soon. I imagine it will be a shepherd to herd goats. It's comforting to know your new pets filled that empty hole in your heart while you have sweet memories of your past fur babies.

 

I'm both. I feel liberated and free yet lonely. You can't have everything when it comes to life. There's responsibility, labor, energy, commitment and expense in order to receive and give joy. There is no easy way out. Interesting about your co-worker and his husband deciding to catch a break from pet ownership and finally able to purchase undamaged furniture. Thank you again j.man.

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I had dogs when I was younger in my first place. I waited maybe about 4-5 years before feeling ready for a second dog and I'm sorry to say that the second dog didn't work out for me (it was a terrier). The first was a German Shepherd. He was bred as a police dog actually and his siblings went on to serve as police dogs but him and his sister were left in the litter and the breeder/owner (a friend of a friend out in the country about 3 hours drive away) asked if I might be interested in giving them or one of them a home. I ended up making the drive one weekend and taking the male. I don't know if anyone has had German Shepherds before. It's very difficult to transition to a different breed. I bonded incredibly well with the shepherd, he obeyed all my commands and I rarely had him on a leash. I was absolutely adamant in exposing him to all situations and he was very well-balanced and calm. He was always by my side and extremely intuitive of all my thoughts/emotions. We are not in a position at the moment to adopt a dog but my husband (who's never had a German Shepherd) is curious and more interested in adopting a dog also in the future, later on. I'm not completely open to it at the moment but it's a door I'm willing to leave open. This dog surpassed every idea I ever thought a dog would be or the kind of intelligence I thought a dog was capable of. It's difficult to fill those shoes again.

 

You'll know when you're ready and I'd encourage you to learn for example from my experiences with two very different types of dogs. Do lots of research and know what your personality type is and what kind of dog you might bond better with. It'll come naturally to you when it's time for one again.

 

Thank you Rose Mosse. Thank you for sharing your GSD story. He sounded really smart and similar to my dog. She was a saint in my book, supremely intelligent, non-barker, calm and had so much self-control, she put humans to shame! I hear you, it's difficult to fill those shoes again.

 

I had a GSD long ago and they are super smart. Dogs like that make it a joy to be a dog owner.

 

You're right you and I both will know when we're ready for "woman's best friend" again.

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I'm sorry for your loss.

 

The beautiful thing is there is no rush to decide. I've only had one dog, and I loved him to the moon. Since then, I've had cats. Oh, and we had a rat live out his short little sunset time with us. Did I ever think I'd have a rat? No! I didn't think I'd adopt another cat so soon after my last girl passed away either, but it happened, and I'm glad for it.

 

If or when you feel drawn to bring another pet into your life, they'll find you. Maybe you'll find yourself at the shelter one day ' just to visit'. Or a friend mentions some sweetie looking for a home.

 

No pressure to make up your mind forever.

Thank you itsallgrand. I appreciate it.

 

You're right, there is no rush to decide. Sounds like you were glad to adopt another cat so soon after your last girl passed away. It worked out for you.

 

Thank you for saying "no pressure" and taking time to make up my mind forever. I'm grateful to you for saying that. It's a serious decision and commitment which shouldn't be taken lightly.

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I'm sorry about your loss.

 

When you lose a pet, getting busy with life - including a new puppy, is just what the doctor ordered!

 

Thank you Gary Snyder. I appreciated your reply very much. Puppies are very cute ~ if you don't mind taking care of a baby!

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I'm sorry for your loss. A suddenly empty house takes some getting used to. At the same time I hear you about enjoying your freedom from the constant responsibility of dog care. On that note, I wouldn't rush to replace. Give yourself some time to grieve and live for awhile without a dog and see how you feel down the road. Don't make decisions that require such a long commitment from you when emotions are running high.

 

In between new pets, I've definitely taken some time out to travel, do things, enjoy that freedom for awhile. However, once I get all that out of my system, I start to miss life with a pet, so comes time when I get the next one. It works for me, because then I'm really ready for it and ready for all that's involved in the care and commitment of time and effort. It's a comfortable decision at that point.

 

Thank you DancingFool. You're right about not rushing to replace an animal. It takes time to grieve and learn how to live without a dog. Snap decisions would be unwise. You're right about NOT making commitment decisions while emotions are running high. I agree with you. Emotions cloud judgment.

 

Ok, I'll take time to take time out from everyday rigors of former pet rearing. For the longest time we couldn't afford vacations. My last vacation was 13 years ago. I haven't step foot into a movie theater in 10 years because we're not avid movie goers. We don't dine out habitually. I hear you, it's time to enjoy some liberating freedom. I've spent so much money on a dog and vet bills. There was nothing left in the budget for indulgent spending all these years. After work, I'm a homebody. I'll do as you say and take life in the slow lane for a while. It takes time to heal from a heartbreak. Thank you DancingFool. You've been very kind.

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I am sorry for the loss of your furbaby. My furbaby just turned 9, and cannot imagine life without this super bossy, loud corgi dog. But like anyone, it's okay to take sometime to grieve.

 

Would you get a rescue, adult or puppy? From a reputable breeder? Same breed? We also just adopted a rescue puppy, Blue Heeler, AKD, and holy F***K, housebreaking, ugh, I am now outside or my kids are outside like every hour. I have a dog sitter that visits in the afternoon. And we just steam cleaned the carpets. But she is so nice, and everyone loves her. Unlike the corgi who only likes me - so now the kids have a real family dog. But next month, our dogs will be vacationing separately as we head to a resort, and my folks are watching the corgi, while the sitter will be with the puppy. Odd, yes.

 

I say, go and take an awesome vacay. For the adoption fee, $400, vets bills just for shot and exams, $300, supplies for pupplies, $200, $380 for puppy Kindergarten, and have to get her spayed, which is another $400...so really, take a vacay. And then go to adoption events, and see if you find another doggy you happen to love, or just visting, and you leave your food on the coffee table and anywhere you want!

 

When I was in college, and I lost my 2nd ferret, I was devastated. My friend got me a third right away, and while I love that ferret, it felt really weird and I felt burdened. Sometimes it can be too soon.

 

But if you are really torn up, do not get any dog. Meet them several times. Sometimes you are so torn up, you think a dog at a pound may be the love of your life, when really you're just feeling vulnerable.

 

Thank you tattoobunnie! I appreciated your kind words very much.

 

I would most likely get the same Golden Retriever (GR) breed as a puppy but not too young. My previous GR was 4 mos when we adopted her. I hear you about how much work a puppy is in the beginning! Your kids have a real family dog to grow up with. Have a great time at the resort. It sounds very enjoyable and relaxing. You and your kids need a break from housebreaking the puppy!

 

Yes, those bills rack up and cost a king's ransom! I love your sense of humor regarding leaving food on the coffee table! Thanks for the chuckle! :D

 

It's understandable that you felt burdened after your friend got you a 3rd ferret. It's not the same when you hadn't healed from your heartbreak of losing the 2nd ferret. Too much too soon. You're right.

 

You're right about it being unwise to adopt any dog when you feel so vulnerable and raw. I need to be patient and learn to wait. Haste makes waste. I couldn't agree more with your wisdom. Thank you tattoobunnie.

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When I lost my previous dog, I talked to a breeder the next day (In Norway the adopt/shelter situation is in no way like it is in the US or Britian, just so you know. I'd probably adopt if there was available, suitable dogs, but most dogs up for adoption in Norway have severe issues and was given up because of that).

 

The puppy I bought was born the day after we lost our old dog, so there was a 10 week gap between them. It was horrible, and things was so much better when the new, little one moved in. That pup is now 11 years old, and I'm thinking that the day she goes, I'll have to get another dog the next day or so. I'll always have dogs, so the responsibility is just life for me. It's not really about replacing the old dog, but filling a void with something other than tears and sadness. So for me grieving time is just counter productive. I'll love the old dog the same, but I'll have someone else to focus on.

 

That being said, I'll probably die a little when this one goes.

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My heart goes out to you, Cherylyn. It's shocking how strongly losing a beloved pet can strike us, even if we prepare ourselves. Your plan to enjoy some liberation time is wise. We're the only ones who can measure how much pet responsibility weighs in relation to knowing that so many unwanted pets need a good home.

 

One idea is to consider fostering. This is a temporary agreement to house an animal until a home is found to keep it loved and outside of living in a cage. Of course it's difficult to let go of animals we have come to love.

 

Taking a trip may be helpful. You'll come home refreshed and you'll gain a clearer picture of whether another pet in your home can make it feel like more of a home.

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