Tuesday, January 3, 2012

When should you bring home a new pet after losing one

When to bring home a new pet after losing one?

After the loss of a pet - many people question when to get a new addition to the family. Maybe other pets in the house miss their friend and owners want another companion for them or pet owners miss the bond they had with the pet they lost and long for that again.  However - many people are also emotionally torn and feel like they are 'cheating' on the pet that they lost.   

This is a very personal decision and every situation and family is different.    A client of mine recently asked for me to post a blog about this to get other people's opinions to help her in the decision that she is facing.   Here is what she wrote:

"I'd like to hear about other people's experiences with grieving the loss of one pet and the decision to bring a new one home. Dr. Mary, thanks so much for "e-listening" to me today on this topic and I appreciate your feedback. I'm curious how other people have dealt with this issue and if they found themselves feeling guilty or in conflict with themselves over it. I also am curious if anyone has brought home a new pet that resulted in a bad emotional experience after a hard loss or if most people found it healing. I'd be interested to hear stories from other people who have had this same struggle. I'm curious also, if people have found it easier to choose a pet that reminds them of their lost pet or if its better to choose a pet that is completely different. I'm feeling the need to find a dog that reminds me of Solomon. But that seems awful. I don't know. See why i need this blog topic? Thanks, Dr. Mary!!!"

So please post your comments/stories below as it will not only help Solomon's mom but many others!
Thanks in advance!
Dr. Mary Gardner


  1. I thought I would start with my personal experience to get the ball rolling! :-)

    I have had two 'big' pet losses in my life. In 1999 I lost my Samoyed 'Snow White' after she was in a dog fight. This loss is what made me quit my job and go to vet school. After Snow White died, I needed another Samoyed... I personally wanted to feel that hair again and smell her smell again. Basically - I wanted Snow White! :-) I got another Samoyed puppy 3 months later (Serissa) and she is an angel. She is totally different than Snow White but it did help me with the grief.

    Then in 2010, I lost my red doberman Neo to cancer. We spent 6 months fighting his cancer and it took a lot out of me. When he died - I was NOT wanting another pet at all. I still had Serissa and we have 4 cats - so we had a full house. And IF I were to ever get another dog - I did not want a puppy. I was not in a good 'place' to care for a puppy (not enough time). But I missed Neo and I loved his breed. So we began looking at Doberman rescue sites. I wanted to adopt them all because of their stories but I knew I couldn't. Then we say a picture of Duncan (his name was Duke at the time). He was a 6 yr old red doberman that looked a lot like Neo (except his ears are cropped and Neo had natural ears). I knew I wanted him instantly! So we made the trek across the state to pick him up! He bounded out of the back of the pick-up truck that the rescue lady owned and I just hugged him so tight... in my crazy mind - it was 'Neo'! It was so nice to hold a red dobbie again. But Duncan was way bigger! :-) We brought him home and I must admit, I laid with him the first two nights just 'dreaming'/'wishing' it was Neo. But I knew it wasn't. And Duncan deserved to be loved for 'HIM'. I got Duncan because Neo made me fall in love with dobermans. And now I love Duncan very very much. And he has his own personality - totally different than Neo's! He makes me smile and laugh so much! He gets a long with all the other pets but I make sure I spend a lot of time with Serissa (and dad spends more time with Duncan). The cats could care less about anything that goes on in the house! haha

    There will never be a replacement for Snow White or Neo.... but I have room in my heart for many animals and I think I'm a good mom and I should help as many as I can in my life... even though losing them is so very hard.

    I will say though - that if I didn't have Serissa and the 4 cats - I would have taken about 6 months 'off' from pet ownership. I would have traveled more and just relaxed a bit. Taking care of Neo for 6 months was so emotionally draining. BUT since we already had a brood of animals... that wasn't going to happen so we brought in Duncan! Sure - I wish I had BOTH Neo and Duncan now - but I know that can't happen. Neo and Snow White are waiting for me one day. And I know I will lose Duncan, Serissa and my 4 kitties one day... but I wouldn't trade them in for anything. And even though I will face the day to say goodbye to each of them - I know they have a lot of friends in heaven that will care for them till I get there.

  2. This is to ironic, I just had to put my lovely Weimeraner Bailey down. She was the best dog ever. I have a 5 year old Cocker/Shitzu mix who was very attached to her. I know that we will get a new dog at some point, but we need this time to grieve and remember all of the good times we had together as a family. My little buddy misses her, but I know he needs this time just as much as we do. We think that maybe in a few months, we will begin the search for a new dog. We loved the breed, but I feel that if we choose another Weimeraner, we will be comparing the new dog to her and that is not fair. I don't think there is a scripted timeline for such a decision either, everyone is different. In my situation, we are still very sad and miss her so much. We aren't ready yet, but I'm sure in time we will be.

  3. Talk about timing. I am at this crossroads right now. I lost my beloved Spencer last March 13th. He was the love of our lives. To us, he was not a dog, he was a very special boy. People thought we were crazy until, of course, they met Spencer. Immediately, they could see how special he was, how magical.
    I know he can never be replaced but you miss that love so much, you become confused about getting a new pup. Will you love it enough? Will you love him for being him and not try to make it the pet you lost? You try to be realistic, grown up, adult, but still you always wish you could have one more day, one more hour, one more hug with the one you lost.
    I have agonized over the thought of getting a new pup. In my heart and mind, I know you can love two children equally but differently, but this does not make the guilt any easier. Would I be betraying Spencer’s memory? Is it too soon? Have I grieved the appropriate amount of time? It has been ten months since our loss and to be honest, each day is just as hard as the first day we said goodbye. The ache never goes away, the love never dissipates. And so I continue to struggle with the idea of getting a new pet.
    All of my friends repeatedly urge me to get a puppy. They say we make terrific pet parents and not having a dog means there is one special pet out there who is missing us and the love we have to give. They also say they think it is time, that we have mourned long enough. They say this, I think, because they think it will fill the enormous hole left behind by Spencer. To us, though, know of this matters. Whether we adopted a new pet on Day 1 or tomorrow, it would never replace Spencer and I think that is our true dilemma. Although we are logical, intelligent adults who realize dogs do have a much shorter life span and they do leave us, nothing about our hearts and feelings is logical about this at all.
    And so, I am fighting the urge to feel guilty. Fighting the urge to live in the past. Fighting the urge to cry every day because my best friend is gone. I do believe, in the very recesses of my mind, that there is a special puppy out there just waiting for me.
    So, although I feel like I am fighting against the current, I have stopped struggling and am swimming with the tide now. We have put our names on a list for a new litter about to be born. And hopefully, we will find a new best friend in a few weeks.
    It never gets easy, but surely a new puppy’s breath and a new puppy’s hug can help us smile again. I think you just have to jump in and believe in the magic a new puppy can bring.

  4. We lost our dog of 9 years to cancer in June of 2011. It was a very sad experience for my 13 & 15 year old children who were just as attached to her as my husband and I were. It took some time but 3 out of 4 family members truly missed the companionship of a dog. My son however never wanted to experience loveing and loosing another dog. Yes, we did feel some guilt of wanting to love another dog but dogs just bring so much joy. With much searching I found a 3 month old puppy that was abused, abandoned and at a shelter needing a home. There was a litter of 4 and we purposely chose the most disturb and frightened puppy. People questioned why we chose this one, even my husband wasnt sure about my decision. For days I had to carry her to and from the food bowl, outside to go the bathroom and the couch where my daughter and I slept with her, holding her, petting her and touching her non-stop. It took some time but she slowly learned to trust us. It has been 4 months now and I dont think we could find a happier, more loveing and trusting puppy ever. She is very spoiled and we wouldnt want it any other way. We are all very attached to her and there is no more guilt about loving another dog. We know our first dog Cinnamon would have loved this puppy just as much as we do! Anyone who loves dogs (or any animal for that matter) wont forget the ones that they lost, you just remember why you wanted another. There will be no regrets!

  5. I think each person has to do what feels right for them. For me...a new baby is a healing balm to the loss. I don't feel any less love for the one I lost, but I've experienced both getting a new pet, and not getting a new pet. When I did not...the healing seemed to take much, much longer. Do what feels right for you.

  6. As all the others have said, you've got to do what feels right concerning the time you take to bring a new pet into your home. I had a 15 yr old Dalmatian who I knew was almost ready to cross over the Rainbow Bridge, as well as a 9 yr old mutt. I felt it was divine intervention but just a couple wks before I called Lap of Love for Lillian, I went to a Dal Rescue wine tasting (something I would never gone to) and met the sweetest senior Dal and it was love at first sight. I asked her foster mom if she could hold on to her for me, since I knew I was losing my older Dal soon. After that sad day I lost Lillian....I felt that both myself and my mutt needed at least a couple weeks to grieve before bringing in Olivia. Then Olivia joined our family...my mutt and Olivia avoided each other for the first 3 days then a thunderstorm drew them together. Sadly, but ironically, I took my mutt into the vet to have a lump removed the following day...the vet called me from the OR and said that he found several cancerous tumors and asked if I wanted him to put her down. Not knowing that she even had cancer, I felt that I had to let her go so she wouldn't have to suffer. Thank God that Olivia came into my life when she did, or I would have been alone, after losing 2 pups in a 3 week period. Things could not have been timed more perfectly, had I tried....so Olivia was there while I was grieving both losses. I'm a firm believer in that things happen for a reason...and I feel that I was blessed with meeting Olivia when I did, and bringing home at such a painful time. Best of luck in your decision...maybe you'll have what I did....when you least expect it...the perfect pup will just drop in your lap!

  7. We lost our rescue dog, Nelly, in August. Because she had been so abused before we got her, she tugged at my heart strings more than I could have imagined. We loved her dearly, but she had fear anxiety issues and was a handful with other dogs and strangers. Frankly, I thought that with her gone, I would take a little break from the responsibilities of dog ownership.
    However, within two weeks after her death, I was looking online at dogs for adoption--focusing especially on dogs that strongly resembled her. One night, unable to sleep, I saw her twin--well almost--and couldn't get her out of my mind. I won't list all the serendipitous reasons why it worked out for us to meet her, but we decided to adopt her.
    She does resemble our Nelly, but has a totally different, but equally lovable, personality. What I can say is that adopting her has eased our grief immensely. Is there a "right time?" That's highly individual. However, for me, adopting immediately has been a blessing and I would recommend it to anyone.

  8. Our kitty Mitzi, died on December 12th. We had her for 13 years and the last 6 years she had cancer - in and out of remissions, etc. I was so lost after she was gone, because we don't have any other pets...the house was so empty without her..I was VERY sad. 5 days later, we adopted Mia. She looks very much like Mitzi, but has a completely different personality. To answer the question, it has been a comfort for us to have Mia. When I look at her, it's like looking at Mitzi, so the void is much less. She is definitely NOT Mitzi..and our focus has been to get her adjusted to her new home, so it keeps us busy and there is less time to be sad. We hope that someday, we will love Mia as much as we did Mitzi, and in the meantime it works for everyone...we saved a kitty and lifted some of our sadness. Lou Ann and Jon, Coconut Creek.

  9. Jennifer (Solomon's Mom)January 3, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Ok, so I'm Solomon's mom and I asked Dr. Mary to start this blog... First, thank you to everyone who posted because it helps so much to understand other people's feelings and to know that they are dealing with very similar conflicts...

    Deborah- these comments from your post, I think, articulate perfectly how i feel:

    "to be honest, each day is just as hard as the first day we said goodbye. The ache never goes away, the love never dissipates... Whether we adopted a new pet on Day 1 or tomorrow, it would never replace Spencer and I think that is our true dilemma."

    It will be only a week ago tomorrow that Dr. Mary helped us with our Solomon and it was, by far, the hardest and most emotionally draining experience of my life. After 14 healthy and fantastic years, we found out he had aggressive cancer. And it began.... started out great, he didn't even know he was sick for many months... Then the ups and downs, the call to Dr. Mary, the staring at the clock on "the day", the missing greeting at the door and jingling collar, the anxiety over the ashes being ready for pick up, the realization that my fluffy, warm, beautiful beloved Solomon was somehow inside of this box I could hold in one hand.... the whole thing has been torture on the heart.

    But like Deborah said, this sadness will always be here because Solomon never will be again. I will never miss him less. I will never not hurt because he's gone. But if I am able to redirect some of the energy I am using to be sad and to fight tears all day long, and instead use it to love another dog... I think that's a good thing- not just for me, but for a dog who needs love.

    Solomon always knew when I was sad and he hated it. He would always cuddle up right next to me, but he wouldn't look at me. It was like he couldn't let himself see my sad face. He'd want me to be happy again. And I want to be happy again. I hate this feeling. Its very empty.

    I'm meant to love dogs. I learned that through loving Solomon. He was my first dog and I was so lucky to have had him for almost 15 years. I have no regrets. That guy knew I loved him every minute of every day. I think there's another dog out there who should have that too. Maybe Solomon can help him find me.... :)

    Thanks you guys!!! And Thanks Dr. Mary!

    1. Jenny here .
      this story sounds way to close to home for me and our family, feeling guilty for getting a new dog three months after , i know i can wait longer , but I think I need that dog connection , I just feel lost with out a dog , and need one in my life , to keep me healthy , happy , and loved . Our Marley gaveso much to us and hung on to the very end , we had to put him down two months after he was diagnosed with bone cancer :( this was a stab in my heart for so long and the pain of him gone is still so hard ...marley was my rock ! he is my dog .... we are getting a new pup in two weeks .... Marley would have been 10 yrs ...I hope i wont carry this guilt for long ?
      seriously sad about my love being gone , and hope is new again , just wish not to feel guilt ;(

  10. Jennifer....I think we are totally experiencing the same feelings. Not a day went by that I did not tell Spencer how much I loved him. I used to put my nose to his every morning as we woke up and tell him, as we breathed each other's air, that he was a part of me and I was a part of him. We had a total love fest for thirteen lucky years and I was lucky because I knew every day that having Spencer was a blessing. Letting him go was the most traumatic, hardest thing I ever had to do. How crazy that we could love our pets this much? But we do. And so, I think loving a new pet is the only way for us to show our love for our pets who have passed. How could we not share all of this love? Good luck with your search. I know Solomon will guide you to your new pet. You just have to trust in forces greater than ourselves. Good luck.

  11. I lost my best friend and love of my life Shelby in October 2011. She was a 15 year old Border Aussie, and had fought a year-long fight with cancer. I was going to wait a while before adopting another dog. I did not really want a new dog--I wanted Shelby back!

    However within 2 weeks I was looking at ads online. I saw a picture of a 2 year old Heinz 57 mutt named Maci. She looked nothing at all like Shelby, but something in her eyes reminded me of the dog I just lost. I knew I had to at least go look at her.

    My fiance and I traveled over an hour to go meet her. She chose us the instant we got there, and she was practically crawling into my fiance's lap. We took her home that night.

    The first few months were hard. I was still crying a lot over Shelby, and wishing I had her back. Maci did not seem to mind if I cried on her shoulder. Maci is a definitely NOT a Shelby replacement--she is her own girl. Now I cannot imagine my life without Maci! Everyone is different, but I am so glad that Maci came into my life. She has definitely been my angel during this tough time.

  12. Thanks for your comment Shari. I'm so sorry about Shelby. I know what it is like to lose a furry loved one to cancer.

    My Duncan is NO replacement either and I also couldn't imagine life without him. I miss my Neo and wish I still had him... heaven only let me borrow him for 9 short years and he was wanted back up there. I'm sure he and Shelby are watching over us and our other furry loves! :)

    Dr. Mary

  13. It's been strangely reassuring reading everyones stories. I too lost the sweetest most amazing little dog on June the 1st. Like other have said it was the hardest most upsetting, tragic thing I've ever had to do. I rescued this sweet and gentle little Staffy and had her for 4 wonderful years, I'm so grateful to her. I've had dogs before and I've never ever known such a loving, intelligent and optimistic being. I used to look into her eyes sometimes and say "...you're a human being in dogs clothing aren't you..." I was told she had almost no lung left that wasn't tumour. How she remained so optimistic and had been such a trier for long I don't know. I held her paw on the 1st of June and she went to sleep in the back of my car (she loved the car).

    I still feel guilty at times, I miss her so much, but sometimes I feel numb. When I talk to my ex partner I sometimes sob, but not always.

    I looked at other dogs online about 3 weeks later, just to look at dogs. I went to a dogs home, stroked and chatted to the dogs, met some lovely ones. But, I didn't feel utterly smitten, I thought about fostering too. By chance I came across a youtube link of a dog in a rescue home. I seemed to be fatefully drawn to her. I've reserved her. I'm nervous about having another dog, all the responsibility on my own, what if I get ill, what if she's 'trouble'. But the thought of letting her go is pretty awful.

    Let's see what happens...

    I don't think there's a right or wrong time. When my last dog went, I felt sick at the thought of another dog. I never thought I'd stopped feeling so sad and distressed. I think you just come to terms with the loss, in your own time. But I'm not sure it actually ever goes away.

    Sorry I've waffled. Bless you all and your pups!

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  15. I lost my beautiful baby boy Quake in November last year. He had turned 12 two months before he had to put him down due to a increased heart rate that could not be fixed. We were suprised he had lived so long as Standed Poodles normally don't live past 10 or 11.
    I miss having a dog around, and having that one thing that would be there for me whenever I was sad, but even thinking about getting another dog has my heart torn. I don't know if Quake would feel replaced or happy that after a year, I'm finally moving on.
    I guess no one can answer the question of getting another dog but you. I swore up and down I wouldn't until I moved out of the house I grew up in with him, but now I'm thinking about it and feeling heart broken about it.

    Good luck with making this decision, it is one of the hardest things in life to choose

    1. Grace - I'm going to post a picture on our facebook page that may help you during this time. :) https://www.facebook.com/lapoflove?sk=wall

  16. Even though it's been quite awhile since this thread began, I think it will always be timely. We lost both of our dogs within two weeks last month. Our 17 year old Sunny was a rescue from Fairbanks, Alaska. We had her 13 wonderful years. Our second dog, Libby, was only about 12 and we had just one month after her cancer was diagnosed until we had to say goodbye. That was less than two weeks ago. I don't cry as often but I will always miss the joy they brought to our lives. As often happens, someone told us about a nice black Lab who needed a home just a week after Libby died. My husband and I thought it over and over and in the end decided it was too soon to get another dog. We plan to wait through our rainy winter and look in the Spring. It's hard to have faith that we'll find the right dog. We poured our love and attention into Sunny and Libby and helped them blossom after rough starts in life. I often wonder if I can go through that again but I can't imagine life without at least one dog.

    One of our cats is 18 so I know his days are numbered. My horse is 25, not ancient but definitely an old horse. One donkey is 21 and the other "only" 14. I worry every day that I'll lose one of them. I think it takes a lot of courage to bring a new animal into your life.

    1. Hi OregonKay - thank you so much for your comments. I'm sorry that you lost so much love so recently. I know they left a huge hole in your lives and hearts and one day another soul that needs you will find solace in that hole... never replaced... just keeping it warm.

      I have a home in Bandon Oregon - I know those winters! <3


  17. Hi!
    I moved to Nebraska from Louisiana and had to leave my 10 year old peekapoo Precious home with my mom due to her cataracts and aching joints. It devastated me but my husband promised me once I got to Nebraska we would get another pup. I got Gumbo, my English bulldog 10 months later and she was well worth the wait. Everyone back in Louisiana knew who Gumbo was and when she was 11 weeks old and after 3 visits to 3 different vets within 2 weeks, we were on a plane headed to Louisiana to introduce the newest addition to our family and let her meet her big sister Precious. Gumbo passed away during our layover in the Houston International Airport. She had sub aortic stenosis, something the doctors couldn't see without doing an ECG. I had to fly to Louisiana with my deceased puppy and that was the longest 45 minutes of my life. It's been a month since that horrible experience and it plays out in my mind daily. I've been told to "let Gumbo go" and "I don't understand why you're so upset, you only had her for 2 weeks" which has made this harder to deal with. I've finally opened my heart up to adopting a pup this time but I still feel guilty for even considering getting another dog. I'm not sure how to conclude my story, but I just feel like I needed to tell my story to unbiased ears... I think I would be doing Gumbo an injustice to not share my love for dogs with another... so I guess, whoever is doing it, should share their love too... sorry if I did a lot of rambling, I shed a lot of tears typing this. I hope I can be as brave as most of you are and one day get another dog. Much love, Ray

  18. Hi Ray - I am SOO SOO Sorry to hear about Gumbo's Story. What I did learn from this was that a puppy had an AWESOME 2 weeks with a family that loved him. unfortunatly Gumbo probably would not have lived a healthy (and long) life - but the short life that was lived was well loved... and altho only 2 weeks - i am sure the hole in your heart is just as big if it was 2 decades.

    We understand and my thoughts are with you! I'm glad you opened your heart up again - Gumbo wouldn't want it any other way!

  19. I just stumbled on this site after Googling "Will I ever love another dog the same?" Reading everyone's stories makes me realize that I am not alone in my loss and I feel for all of you.
    On October 31st 2013, we had to lay our amazing, wonderful miniature schnauzer Shadow ("Shaddy") to rest. He was 11. It's only been a few weeks but I am still in shock and deep grief because he became ill so suddenly. Then we were faced with the horrible decision of letting him go. The Sunday before he died he was bounding around like a puppy with absolutely no indication of there being anything wrong. Then he began vomiting which turned to one complication after the other that just got worse and worse. They couldn't say conclusively what it was either. Maybe he was poisoned? Maybe it was pancreatitis, cancer, liver, kidney. They just didn't know without having to put him through a lot of testing and other invasive procedures. I was told he was in excruciating pain which was agonizing for me and his prognosis was poor... It was all happening too fast and I was in shock and denial. I went home the night he was admitted to the icu and tore apart the house, looking for any indication that he'd gotten into anything - there was nothing. I searched the back yard the following day and didn't find anything either. They were wonderful at the clinic, which was a special care unit run out of the University. They unhooked all of Shaddy's wires and tubes so that I could hold him in my arms when he passed away. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I have cried as much for Shadow as I did for my own father when he passed away. I feel like my 'soul' dog was just ripped out of my life and I wasn't ready to let him go. I thought I would have had a few more years with him at least.
    Coming home from work now is so hard, because the house is silent and empty when I walk in. Waking up is hard because he was right there greeting me and dancing around. Every moment in this house we shared together is hard without him...
    It's so ironic because I never even liked dogs that much before I actually owned one. I considered myself more of a 'cat' person. The love and companionship and everything that my dog taught me was a profound experience and so having him in my life was a great privilege. I did find a small bit of comfort in something recently and that was finding out (by a fluke) that Shadow's dad is still alive at 13 years old and is still producing puppies! It gave me a bit of solace knowing his bloodline is still living on.
    I am struggling though, with all of the things everyone else has written about: guilt and fear. My sister told me, "You miss 'doggy' love" and she's right. I believe I need to have a dog in my life. Maybe now is not the right time, but Shaddy's half-siblings will be born in the spring and I am thinking about it. In my heart of hearts I know that it will not be Shadow, even if they are related by blood but I feel I need to love again.
    I am so grateful to have had Shaddy for 11 years and I will love him for the rest of my life.
    Thanks for reading my too-long post. It is therapeutic to write my feelings down and I hope all of you are healing from your loss and finding joy with your new loves. Sincerely, Tracy

  20. Hello

    One week ago today I lost my boy Obi, a beautiful Golden Retriever of only 5 years and 7 months. If any dog could be someone's person, he was my person. It hurts so much more than I could have imagined, and images from last Friday are still flashing through my mind. Obi was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer 5 months ago that spread to his lungs and everywhere. We tried everything and were beginning to have hope until last week when we noticed he could no longer see in one eye and barely through the other. He had bled into the pupil of one eye. That's when we sent him for tests and we were told he had only a matter of days. We couldn't bare to see him suffer anymore. We could tell that our happy go lucky puppy was fading. So we made the hardest decision to let him go.

    Like many such members of the family, Obi gave unconditional love and was happy to just have us with him. He watched out the window everyday until we came home. He waited every morning until I got up and if I slept in he'd check on me then curl up and lie beside me and let me sleep. He was always at my feet and loved his walks. loved to play and even loved to dance. He especially loved food. Whenever I cooked or made snacks he was idly waiting at my feet to catch a nibble. He watched my son when he was in the bath and loved to wrestle. He shared in every part of our lives. He came with me to the treatment centre and brought joy to the life of so many as a therapy dog.

    I found this site wondering if another dog in our lives would ever be the right again. Our family misses the joy and love of our companion so very much. For me it is harder to think of a new dog, but my 5 year old son has been asking to go to the dog park, or do our family walks. And I know I always have room in my heart for animals. I don't know....

    1. Hi Petal - I am so sorry to hear about Obi - he sounded like a wonderful co-pilot in life.

      I know it is hard - and you will never replace him - but what would HE want? He would want some other poor dog that needs a home desperately to be as lucky as he was to have you as his family. He wouldn't want his family to be without that love again. He will ALWAYS be in your heart and there for you - till you meet again.

      Please feel free to post a memorial for dear Obi on our website - I would love to see pictures. http://www.lapoflove.com/Memorials

      Mary Gardner, DVM

  21. It was only three short weeks between Tucker's pancreatic cancer diagnosis and the day that I had to put him down. He was only six year old- a gorgeous lemon and white English Pointer. He was a rescue who had been dumped in the middle of nowhere when he didn't work out as a hunting dog (loud noises scared him). With a lot of love and time, he learned to trust. He became THE MOST affectionate dog I have ever had, and was the best cuddler- bar none.

    I lost him six weeks ago, and during that time, there have only been a handful of tear-free days. I feel like we were both cheated out of what should have been the second half of his life.

    I started the adoption process on another Pointer, named Radar. Radar's owner died from brain cancer before she was able to find a new home for him. I am waffling like crazy. Apparently he is a total sweetheart, and it sounds like he had a better start to life than Tucker did. Radar is a couple states away and we've had to set up transport.

    Nothing has been paid for yet, and I'm having trouble deciding whether to proceed or not. I know this thread hasn't been posted on in over a year, but maybe someone will have some insights.

    1. Hi Allie - I am so sorry about your loss. One can never tell is any adopted pet (either 8 weeks old or 8 years old) will work out. But I will tell you my own experience in a nut shell. I had a Doberman Neo who I got as a puppy. He died at 9 from cancer. Here is a link to that story: http://www.lapoflove.com/Quality_Of_Life/Mary_Gardner_Neo_Story

      Well after he died we knew we knew we wanted another doberman (I've become addicted to the breed) - but I didn't want a puppy. I found a 6 yr old Doberman 6 hours north of me needing a home. We risked it an adopted Duncan. I think Neo guided him to us because Duncan is pure perfection! My only regret is I didn't have him for the first 6 years but maybe he needed to go through those years to be the perfect dog that he is. He is now 10 and doing great. It is NEVER a replacement and I never compare Neo and Duncan. I give full credit to Neo - he did such a good job while he was here that I needed that love again and to share my love. Radar may be heavenly guided to you as well. :) Maybe do a skype with the foster place to see his personality better?

    2. Hi there
      My 12 year old shihtzu has kidney issues and I know is just a matter of time he will leave us. I'm once a rabbit person and when my rabbit left me after 9 years i was so heart broken, eve now still although it's been 3 years. My shihtzu kept me busy and I always feel guilty about not spending enough time with my shihtzu because I devoted most of my time to my rabbit. I always pray to God to give us more time together because while caring for my rabbit who has a poorer health I lost all the time enjoying my healthy shihtzu. Now my shihtzu is 12 and I'm so afraid of losing him every minute. He's not the cuddly type and I know I have myself to blame because I never bonded with him since he was a pup. But he's a tame and well behaved shihtzu and he never once gets jealous over the rabbit. I'm very fortunate to have them both. I'm contemplating whether I should get a new puppy before my old one leaves. Like it was mentioned in some articles, the new pup will distract u from over grieving about the lost one. Currently we are putting in lots of time and money with NiuNiu's blood test, ultrasound test, TCM treatment on the kidney disease and I'm not sure if my husband and I are able to cope with caring for a new one. Will NiuNiu feel sad that we get a new pup in now that he's not feeling as healthy as before? Will we be able to cope with the money and energy that we foresee we will be draining with NiuNiu's treatment? Ever since my rabbit MaoMao left me, I feel sooooo heartbroken and I haven't recover since then n now the thought of losing NiuNiu brings back all the sadness and tears and fear I had. I know generally pets don't outlive us but the thought of returning to an empty house makes me feel empty n lonely. Am I selfish to think this way

      I once asked a colleague who got a new pup after losing the old one how she is willing to go through the loss again when the day comes. She told me when you have an experience with a pet u adored, you'll never be able to live again without one again.

      I once read in a book that our pets will return to us again in another form. Maybe in another rabbit or dog or as a friend. We will never know

    3. Chong - I am so sorry to hear about your bunny and that you are nearing the end with your Shihtzu. After reading your story - I feel that maybe you should wait to get a puppy until after you say goodbye. Maybe giving all your energy to your current love will help when the time comes. If you get a puppy you may feel even more guilt for spending time with the puppy vs your older one. Does that make sense?

      Just something I would like to throw out as an idea - I personally used this woman after I recently lost my cat - she is an animal communicator (for pets still with us or those that have passed). Having a session with her (via phone) may bring you some peace: http://www.candicanecooper.com/

      Dr. Mary

  22. hi all,
    i just did a quick google search asking how long we should wait before getting another dog, and ended up here.
    i'm 18, and leaving for my first semester of college in the fall. my mom's boyfriend moved in with us all the way from arizona (we live on the east coast) and brought his beautiful 5 year old giant schnauzer, ludwig, with him.
    he was here for three weeks, and those three weeks were some of the best of my life, and hopefully his as well. he immediately became a dear friend to us all and brought so much love and life into our house, and i'm so glad to say that he was my first real pet, even if it was just for a short time. he passed away from bloat all of two days ago, and it still doesn't feel real. his bed still smells and his food is still on the floor where he used to make a mess when he ate. none of us saw it coming and it happened so fast- i got attached to him so quickly and i loved him and now miss him with all of my heart.
    the house feels empty without him and we already know that we want to get another puppy; probably another giant, as we all fell in love with them. i just know that no dog will ever be the same as ludwig.

  23. i found this page through google search asking how long we should wait before getting another dog.
    i'm 18, and leaving for my first semester of college in the fall. my mom's boyfriend moved in with us all the way from arizona (we live on the east coast) and brought his beautiful 5 year old giant schnauzer, ludwig, with him.
    he was here for three weeks, and those three weeks were some of the best of my life, and hopefully his as well. he immediately became a dear friend to us all and brought so much love and life into our house, and i'm so glad to say that he was my first real pet, even if it was just for a short time. he passed away from bloat all of two days ago, and it still doesn't feel real. his bed still smells and his food is still on the floor where he used to make a mess when he ate. none of us saw it coming and it happened so fast- i got attached to him so quickly and i loved him and now miss him with all of my heart.
    the house feels empty without him and we already know that we want to get another puppy. i just know that no dog will ever be the same as ludwig.

  24. Abigale,
    I am so sorry to hear about Ludiwg and what you went through. Sometimes they can become apart of our hearts in a matter of days! One day you will open your heart again to another - that is what Ludwig would want you to do. May thoughts of Ludig only bring you smile!
    Dr. Mary


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