another dog after a loss?
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Thread: another dog after a loss?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Defaultanother dog after a loss?

    I posted on this board twice before....once the day my beloved 8 yo lab died suddelnly of a cancerous tumor that bled, and we did not know he had it, as he was playing that morning and ate as usual..with absolutely no signs. Consequently, my husband and I were devastated and almost 3 months later, we have our days of crying on and off and holding on to all his memories that we cherished. My husband is turning 60 this week, and he said to me "so am I going to get a dog for my birthday?. Well, he started talking about our recent loss and he kept telling me how he lost a best friend etc. My problem is that I am not ready for another dog yet. I am so torn, as I know the best thing for him would be another great lab, but I just have so many reasons for not wanting one right now. I guess, I am so afraid of having to go through this awful grief again someday and that I dont know if I can go through the puppy stages again. I miss my other dog so much that I think I need to heal more before considering another one. What is your take on this? Some people tell us to get another dog right away, and I have read where waiting awhile helps also. Please any comments are appreciated. ???

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    DefaultRe: another dog after a loss?

    Personally, I needed to wait a while. After I lost Bo I just couldn't fall into another dog. No one would measure up, I couldn't possibly love another dog the way I loved Bo and I will never have the relationship, love and loyalty I had in Bo. It just wasn't possible. A piece of me went with him that day. But over time I grew lonely and really wanted to try to make that connection again and that's when we adopted Haley. She's no replacement but she is unique and loving in everway I needed. If your not ready it will make things harder because your heart won't be open. On the other hand I feel bad for your hubby because he's ready now. If you can find it in your heart to welcome another pup now I'd say go for it. If not then I would wait because you want to be completely ready when you do go for it. Good luck!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    DefaultRe: another dog after a loss?

    Hi PHConn- I remember writing to you in regards to your loss and mine (Bella). It was a terrible time when I lost her, and still at times. I got Zora ,our new pup, when she was 8 weeks. She has taken my idle time away, of thinking of Bella. No pup will ever take Bella's place, nor should they be expected too. I too was concerned about caring for another dog, only to loose it someday, but the joy that Zora brings me everyday is well worth it. "It is better to have love and lost than to have never loved." I'm not saying go and get another pup, I just wanted to share my story with you. Good luck and let us know how you make out.-Trisha

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  6. #4
    Kathryn Guest

    DefaultRe: another dog after a loss?

    There are a few of us on here that KNOW what you are going through.
    I lost my best friend Bailey(chocolate lab) 4 days after Christmas. I KNEW I didn't want another dog EVER! We were left with Baileys 2 daughters Maggie and Annie, and another lab that we had taken in many years earlier. The month of Jan. came and went and something happend. I was looking on the internet and I knew I needed another puppy, days after telling my mom I never wanted another dog.
    I found my breeder on Feb 10th, Stacy and Shawn sent me pictures of EACH of the puppies that they thought would be good for us. I still wasn't sure I was ready for a puppy but when I saw Dakota I knew she was meant for me. I went up and got her a few weeks later and we have NEVER left sides since.
    On May 11th we had to put down Annie one of our other Chocolate labs.
    I think for my Mother and I it was BEST to have Dakota around. It keeps me busy, REALLY busy. I would probably sit here, look and pictures and cry all day, ever day if I didn't have Dakota. I still cry and I still hurt. Every time I look, or talk to Maggie I have to back track my thoughts and think "wait is this the right dog" It hurts and only you all know whats right for you. The ONE thing I did know is that I DIDN'T want another chocolate lab. Dakota is my first black and I am pleased with how she has fit into my family so well!

    I wish the both of you luck in this time, it will be hard.

  7. #5
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    DefaultRe: another dog after a loss?

    First of all, I just wanted to say that I am so, so sorry for your loss. I lost my Crash (photo to the left, in my Avatar) two years ago on Friday, actually in a very similar way. I spent most of Friday in tears, thinking of him. :'( I don't think you ever heal someone said in my post on this subject, it is the price we pay for loving so deeply. So true.

    Boy, I really understand where both of you are coming from. People heal and move on in different ways, and what's right for one may not be for the other. It's so hard. Again, I am so sorry.

    I can tell you about my experience, but ultimately the decision lies within your heart.

    When Crash first passed away, getting another dog, EVER, was unthinkable. It almost seemed disrespectful to his memory, as though he could just be replaced. He was beyond special to me. He was perfect. And I'm not just saying that because he's gone. I thought it every single day, every time I looked at him. How could any dog begin to replace him? No, I would never love again.

    A few weeks went by. Every day, coming home was so horrible. The house was so quiet, so empty. It felt lifeless. Like a tomb. I will never forget that quiet. :'( It seemed to mock me, haunt me.

    I spent every day on Petfinder, looking for, well, I was looking for Crash :'( :'( :'( He was not there. Gosh, I'm going to get myself all upset again talking about this...

    Exactly one month after Crash passed, we decided to adopt Angus. We brought him home. The quiet was gone, so that was better. There was life again. BUT, he was not Crash. Oh, how he was not Crash. He was the anti-Crash, in fact.

    He and I had a very hard time coming to terms that we could both live with. But now, I love him very dearly, and though he isn't Crash, he has his own charms.

    However, I have to be honest and say that something was still missing, even after a year. So, one year after we adopted Angus, Simon came to live with us too. Simon has charms that Angus does not. This, finally, made things feel complete. I like to say that Crash was such a special dog, it took two dogs to do his job.

    Anyway, what I think the moral of this story may be, is that even though I was miserable without a dog in the house, it might have been too early for me. I still had not let go of Crash completely, and poor Angus lived that first year in Crash's shadow. And Crash cast a big, deep shadow.

    On the other hand, Angus kept me extremely busy that first year, and I didn't have as much time to wallow in grief, which I surely would have been doing without a distraction.

    Am I sorry I adopted when I did? Hell no! I wouldn't trade all the excitement with Angus for a million bucks!

    What should you do? Sigh. I don't know. It's really up to you and what you feel in your heart. I say pray about it, pray for an answer to become clear. That always works.

    Know going into it that you can never replace the one who is gone. That part of your heart will always belong to them. Be prepared for and open to a completely different personality. Love them for who they are.

    Someone once said to me that, by adopting Angus, I was honoring the memory of Crash. Crash taught me how to really love a dog, and after losing him, life without a dog was impossible. What better tribute to his memory?

    Good luck to you and your husband. Please keep us updated, and if you want to talk about your feelings, I'd be happy to be a shoulder to cry on.

    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

  8. #6
    kassabella's Avatar
    kassabella is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Wellington New Zealand

    DefaultRe: another dog after a loss?

    Phyllis I am so pleased you posted this. You know my story with Ernie and he did help. No other dog will ever replace your Pike.

    Ernie did help the greiving. I knew before I adopted Ernie he had hip problems, but took him anyway. Several months later when the vet said he wouldn't be an old dog, and suggested I get a puppy to replace him I was devestated. I can't loose another dog. I don't know how long I will have Ernie. The one thing I do know is I wouldn't trade the time with him for anything.

    None of know how long we will have them, but to me each day is precious and you can't beat the love you share with a dog.


    Kassa 25/11/01 - 09/02/05 O.S Jaw cancer forever in my heart.
    Ernie 25/11/01 adopted May 05
    Sam 11? adopted Nov 06 - 18/12/07 Lyphoma
    Tessa. Rescued June 2011.
    Bone Cancer Dogs org.

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    DefaultRe: another dog after a loss?

    First of all let me say I understand how much grief you have in your heart.

    But I agree with Connie the silents of a home without a dog makes it unbearable for me also.

    If you aren't ready for a puppy have you thought about adopting a rescue? Most organizations that foster them can tell you a lot about them and help match one to you so you won't deal with the chewing and trials of a pup.

  10. #8
    myfavoritedog's Avatar
    myfavoritedog is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    DefaultRe: another dog after a loss?

    Quote Originally Posted by AngusFangus
    Someone once said to me that, by adopting Angus, I was honoring the memory of Crash. Crash taught me how to really love a dog, and after losing him, life without a dog was impossible. What better tribute to his memory?*
    This is exactly what I was thinking, what better way to honor the memory than getting another dog! Only you stated it much better than I! It has been so long since I lost a pet I cannot remember how it felt. But I know that once I bring my little Tal home one day he will cross the bridge. But like another said, both our lives will be fuller for the experience.

    What should you do? I have no idea. But I would definitely have a heart to hear with the hubby. Even tho he is ready, I bet he will understand and be supportive. Good luck and God bless...keeping you in my prayers...

  11. #9
    TangerineFizz is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    the Great White North, eh?

    DefaultRe: another dog after a loss?

    You've received some magnificent advice here so far, and I will share my experience with you too, hopefully it will help also. It really just echos all that was said before my post.

    We lost Jordan May 6,2005 exactly one month to the day from her diagnoses of lymphoma. I still miss her like crazy. She was for me, my heart and soul dog. She could read my mind, and I hers. We all grieved. Me, SU, our other lab, Yeller, and even the cat. I knew after a week that I wanted another lab, but didn't know when. I then became consumed by the need to search for one. I know now that I was really seraching for Jordan. It kept me busy though.

    My SU wasn't ready however. I respected his wishes, and he mine. He told me that if I wanted another dog, if I felt it was time, then to go ahead. I waited. It was only a month but that extra time helped him I think.

    I brought Abby (aka Abzilla) home on June 10. Did it feel weird? Yes. Did I feel like I was betraying Jordan's memory? No. And yes. There are certain toys I have put away cause they were Jordan's. A certain dog bed cover that noone else will ever use. It makes me feel better to know that Abby can't wreck those ones. She has her own.

    Abby and I have a strong bond now, 18 months later. It is different then the bond Jordan and I had, but then, she is a different dog. She has a lighter personality. She brought life and love back into a home that lost a big part of their lives. When Jordan went, it was like an enormous chunk of energy was cut out of our lives. Abby brought new, different energy, and helped heal all of our hearts. She kept my mind off losing Jordan, and she brought Yeller a new playmate. She did the same for Cleo, our cat too. They have bonded like Jordan and Cleo were bonded before. That makes my heart happy too. Abby helped my heart heal, and for that I will ever be thankful.

    I guess there is no easy Yes, No answer for you. I wish there was one to give. I don't regret getting Abby so soon after Jordan passed, and think that when Yeller goes we will do the same again. There is just too much love in our hearts not to I think. I think your heart is also full of love. Have you talked to your SU about your not feeling quite ready? Perhaps instead of a puppy for his birthday, why not take him to a breeder you and he like, and talk about a future litter. That would give you some extra time to prepare mentally, and to grieve a bit more, but it would also give both of you something to look forward to. I know that when the time was close for us to pick up/meet Abby, we were very excited. It was nice to talk about and look forward to something happy those 2 weeks, instead of crying all the time.

    <hugs> to you and your SU.
    Me, Abzilla and the Helomonster.

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    DefaultRe: another dog after a loss?

    I've lost many in my life, but when I lost my Chelsea girl at such a young age (8-1/2) and totally unexpected; that was probably the hardest. The week before she died we had seen a sign for chocolate lab puppies and had laughed (yeh, right) about getting one. After spending an entire week sobbing; we called and they had one female left. I had doubts all the way up until the day I brought her home ... she definitely helped me with the grieving process ... I had so much to focus on; raising a puppy for the first time in many years. I called her Chelsea by mistake a few times ... she has grown to be the best doggie friend to me; a lot I feel because she came at a time in my life that I so desperately needed her. I named her Zoe; meaning life!!
    It all depends on the person ... talk to your husband about how you feel; maybe you can come to a conclusion together of how it might work for both of you.

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