How long should I wait after my pet dog dies to get another one?

Experience the grief first

In my three decades of breeding, showing, and training dogs, this question has frequently come up. The answers vary.

First, let yourself grieve. There are several stages to grief no matter what the loss. And losing a pet can be every bit as devastating as the loss of a human friend. Do not put a time frame on your grief. It can vary widely depending upon your nature and what is going on in your life at present.

There are five recognized stages to this grieving process that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross first introduced. Not all people experience all stages but they usually experience at least two. They also don’t experience them in any particular order or length of duration. The stages are: Denial, Anger (guilt is part of this stage), Bargaining, Depression, and finally Acceptance.

Second, ask yourself for what purpose do you want another pet now? If you want a new pet to ease your pain, wait. Often times we try to replace our beloved companion with one “just like Sparky.” We look for the same breed, same markings, and same personality. Not only is this unfair to the new pet, it dishonors the memory of the deceased pet. Animals are as individual as humans. You may find similarities between two, but they’ll never be exactly the same.

I have counseled people to wait who did not heed the advice. Invariably they were disappointed in some way with their new pet. The new one didn’t live up to their expectations. Differences between the new pet and the deceased one were interpreted as behavior problems. “Why is he doing that? My Sparky never did that!” Your new dog isn’t Sparky and never will be. “But I want….” You want your old dog back – or at least the new one to behave like and make you feel just like your old one. This is not realistic. You're still grieving and all amounts of denying it won’t change the fact. The new pet senses your disappointment in him and reacts accordingly. You’re both mismatched and unhappy. People will quite often get rid of the new dog at this point.

Some people get through the grief quickly and some never do. I have had people call me who lost a pet years ago and are still looking for another one just like the old one. They tell me of their search and how unsuccessful it has been. They talk to me about their previous pet, telling me about all the charming things Sparky used to do, and they cry. These poor souls are not ready for another pet and won’t be until they come to terms with their loss.

On the other hand, some people are ready to get another pet right away. They grieve their loss and fully understand and expect the new pet to be different. They welcome the difference. Some folks purposely look for a different color, sex, or breed (maybe even a different species) so as not to confuse the new one with the old one in their minds.They talk fondly of their deceased pet. They don't want another pet to replace those memories - they seek to add to their old memories with new and different ones.

To sum up, know yourself. Know whether you are done grieving or whether you are able to look at things rationally. Don’t rush into anything. Be certain that you are not reacting emotionally. It’s unfair to the potential new pet. Honor the memory of your deceased pet and all the things he used to do. And when you are ready, embrace the new adventure that a different individual will bring to your life.

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Comments 190 comments

Stacie L profile image

Stacie L 8 years ago

Thanks for answering my request.

It's never easy getting over a pet's death.


jimmythejock profile image

jimmythejock 6 years ago from Scotland

Thankyou, some good information here, my kids are talking about getting another dog already but I know that they are not ready.

It has only been three days and I am glad that the children have started thinking ahead.

.....jimmy


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 6 years ago from Northern California Author

Hi jimmy. Thanks for stopping by. Sorry for the recent loss of your pet. It's the hardest part about having dogs. They just don't live long enough.


wsp2469 profile image

wsp2469 6 years ago from Alta Loma, Ca

I tend to think you're right about time varying for adults. For kids though I am thinking it's good to get right back up on the horse as soon as possible IF you truly Do want another animal. Our dog died several months ago now but we have decided we probably will never get another one. Mind you, we DO still have two cats and a bunch of mice!


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 6 years ago from Northern California Author

Mice? What manner of cats do you have anyway? I have cats so that I don't GET mice! LOL!

I agree with you re the adults versus kids thing. Kids do not seem to have the same expectations that adults do. Kids are happy with a NEW friend, adults want the SAME friend.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

I operated a kennel for many years -- boarding all breeds, and breeding and showing mastiffs. I've said goodbye to a number of wonderful pets over the years -- the latest being my Diva who developed bone cancer and I had her euthanised just two weeks ago. It's true that different people react differently to the loss. I know some who will never get another pet because the pain was too severe. Others open their hearts immediately.

I've also thought it a shame that dogs don't live longer, but on the upside, you can get to know more of them this way.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

I am struck not only by the sensitivity with which you have written about pet loss, but with the likeness to losing a spouse or partner, whether that loss is by death or separation.

As you so wisely say: "...ask yourself for what purpose do you want another pet [significant other] now? If you want a new pet [significant other] to ease your pain, wait."

Agreed. Take time to be by yourself, without the other, until you understand what it is you want and are willing to give the next time around.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

Great advice about not trying to replace your lost loved one. My Boston Terrier is getting old and I will have to make these decisions soon.


Christi Haas 6 years ago

Loved the article I lost my 13 year old yellow lab six months ago and I still hurt he was a great companion since I

looked to him comfort since my husband was abusive. I recently have been looking for a dog and I of course I wanted a dog that looked like my old one but when I read the article It made since I guess I am looking for a replacement and I cant get get my old dog back sso I guess I need more time to get over my old dog.


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 6 years ago from Northern California Author

Christi, I'm very sorry for your loss. You are wise to wait until you've processed your grief. Often when a pet dies, especially one that has brought us so much comfort through troubling times, we grieve for more than just the loss of the pet. In your case, examine the other losses in your life that suffering from abuse can cause. Don't overlook the services of a counselor/therapist to help you through it if it becomes too difficult to process. Best of luck to you...


michael 6 years ago

Thank you, all of you. I loved what you had to say Susie. We all do grieve differently. My wife and I just lost our very well loved10 year old chocolate lab Bear. Is it wrong to want to replace a pet for another pet in the house?


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 6 years ago from Northern California Author

Michael, I don't think it is a matter of right or wrong but of timing and knowing when you are ready for another pet. As I wrote in my article, no pet can replace the one lost. They are individuals. Give yourselves some time to grieve and process the loss. Best wishes to you and yours.


Jen723 6 years ago

How do you know when your dog is ready to get another dog? My 9 year old greyhound has never been alone and we just lost our 14 year old dalmatian. He has always had separation anxiety and I am worried to leave him home alone. I also realize that bringing a new dog is stressful too.


carol 6 years ago

My question is like Jen723. My 15 yo Maltese was killed at a dog park 2 weeks ago. I am devastated and feel very guilty about her pain and suffering. My MinPin now cries if I leave her alone - she is fine if I leave my Old English Sheepdog with her - but I often would take the large one and leave the little ones at home for brief periods. I have found a Pekinese at the local pound - 4 yo sweetie. I am thinking about adopting her for myself, but also for the MinPin to hang out with. This might be too soon - but I hate to pass this adorable Pek up and I want to give her a good life in honor of my Maltese.


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 6 years ago from Northern California Author

@Jen723: I am so sorry for your loss. In your case, it sounds like your dog could be helped with his separation anxiety by the addition of another companion. He may still miss and possibly mourn his recent loss but a new companion could help him through it. I say 'could' because dogs are individuals and how he warms to, or even accepts another dog is hard to say without trying it. Maybe try taking him out around other dogs and see if he perks up. If he seems to really enjoy himself, maybe getting another dog would be a good thing.

Best of luck to you! And thanks so much for reading and offering your experience.


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 6 years ago from Northern California Author

@carol: What an absolutely horrible experience! (I'm assuming another dog killed your dog?) I can't imagine having to witness such a scene. I'm very sorry for your loss. Guilt serves no purpose for you in this situation. We all ask ourselves "what if" when things go wrong. Of course had you known an out of control, aggressive dog and/or an ignorant owner was going to be at that park you never would have gone there. The fault and any guilt lies with the owner of the other dog. People who have aggressive or untrained and unsocialized dogs should never take them to dog parks. But they do.

As for the Peke, only you know if it is too soon or not. But it sounds like your reasoning is valid. Best of luck to you. Thanks for reading my hub. I hope it can be of some help to you.


Heather 6 years ago

I had to put my precious Gizmo (cat) down a week ago, She was only 9 and she was my life. We are animal lovers and have many pets from rats, mice cats, horse and goat. No pet will ever measure up to gizmo as there was only one Gizmo but I would like to give another cat a good home that is living in a shelter. I am having some feelings of guild thinking that I am betraying Gizmo. Can you help


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 6 years ago from Northern California Author

Heather, I am sorry for your untimely loss. Guilt is a common emotion that is often experienced as a side effect of grieving. Give yourself some time. Let your grief run its course. You may experience a wide and sometimes strange array of emotions throughout the grieving process. Consider a new pet when you have fully processed your loss and can look back on the fond memories of Gizmo and forward to the joys a new pet will bring. You'll know when you hit that point. Your broken heart will feel better, lighter, and Gizmo will occupy a special,loving place there. Right now, all you can do is feel pain. It's a lot to deal with. Be patient.

Cyber hugs to you...


Judy 6 years ago

Thank you so much for your wonderful article. I just lost my precious Yorkie 3 days ago. She was my baby and I just adored her. As you can imagine my grief is beyond words. My Partner wants to get another Yorkie right away and I am just not ready. Your article shed so much light on why I'm not and I'm going to share it with my Partner this evening.


Heather 6 years ago

I lost my beloved Gumbie 3 days ago very suddenly. She was 15 and perfectly fine the night before but we woke up on Friday to this very sad dog... not our happy go lucky girl. I took her to the vet knowing I was not coming home with her she was so pale and ready to pass on. This was my hearbreaking decision to make. I bottle fed her from 3 weeks old! I am hurting inside but feel I need a dog around I know my Gumbie would want me to give my love to another but I worry about it if is to soon to start looking. Or should I say I worry about what others will think after such a loss. I do not want to replace her since I know that is not possible! But just have another to love and be loved by.


Melissa 6 years ago

We lost our 9 yo dobie Max a few days ago to HGE. This was the first time in 9 yrs he was ever ill so it being so sudden I think makes the greiving process that much worse and more confusing. I am broke and feeling guilt. I know there will never be another Max but since we first got Max at 10 weeks old we have know we could never be without this breed. I want another right away of coure I miss Max and yes I am looking for one that looks like Max mainly natural long ears black and Tan, Tall and thin not real stocky, and yes I would like a male but I found a female who brought love at first visit then a female is great too. I know all these things sound like replacing but I also have taken much comfort in having a large dog in the house. My husband works third shift and the kids and I are alone at night and my kids like to stay home alone now that they are old enough and I always took comfort know Max/ a large dog was there not to mention everyone around knows we have a dobie in the house which gives me comfort as well. We have two tea cup poodles still but I don't think they look as intimidating. I don't want to go to long because i don't want anyone knowing there isn't a big dog in the house. I am however trying to make sure feeling safe is not a cover up for replacing. I have look at rescue sites because I'm fairly sure I do not want a puppy/ (not real intimidating)

I think I want an adult mainly because I want everyone to see my house being business as normal ya know seeing the dobie out side with us like nothing is different. Prior to Max passing I had thought about what I would do when he died because he was 9 and I understand a dobies life span is 10-12 yrs with the averg being 9.6 so I had processed if I would want a puppy or adult and markings like Max or not like Max for the past 6-7 month little did I know I would have to be making the decision so soon. Can you help with some advice? I don't want to wait because I feel like I have to but I don't want to rush inorder to replace becaues Max can't be replaced.


melissa 6 years ago

correction: I meant to say broken as in my heart hurts.


molly4682 6 years ago

I just put my 5 yo cat to sleep. Her and I had a very unique relationship, she was very special. I had to put her down because she had too many behvioral issues that I couldn't deal with anymore. We have one dog and another cat left...I was offered a puppy today as well, and I have wanted another dog for a while...I just don't know if it's the right time but I don't know if I can pass up this puppy.


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 6 years ago from Northern California Author

@melissa: The key is to know yourself. I am the type of person who must have at least one dog around all the time. I grew up with them and have never been without at least one. I have Dobes too. I love them, but not for their intimidation factor, they are simply fantastic dogs and oh so smart. They aren't for everyone, to be sure! But they suit me and my lifestyle well. I have a girl that is over 11 yrs old. I know that when she goes, I will get another right away. I know that I can do that without expectations of the new one being like my Cookie. So with that, I repeat, know yourself. Only you know how much time you need and what your deepest intentions are.

I would encourage you to give deep thought about why you want an intimidating dog, however. That would not be high on my list of criteria for a household pet. Most dogs, even the smallest of breeds, can be intimidating to a stranger or someone intending to harm you. Police will tell you that any barking dog is a good deterrent to criminals due to the noise they make and the attention that draws. Dobes can certainly back up their intimidating looks, however. But with that comes added liability - and responsibility of ownership. Best of luck to you...


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 6 years ago from Northern California Author

@molly4682: Behavioral issues can be VERY challenging and when we make the decision to put a pet down because of it, we can suffer a lot of guilt. The fact you are considering another dog rather than a cat makes me think you will not be expecting a replacement for your cat. :-) But the fact that you "don't know if it's the right time" indicates you may want to give it just a little time to sort it all out in your head and be sure it is the right time before proceeding. However, only you know what is right for you. Best of luck to you...


PS 6 years ago

hi there

Thank you for posting this it was very helpful.

I lost my furry friend a month ago to bloat it was fast and totally unexpected therefore the grieving has been intense. We had him for ten years and he grew up with us as my children are now in their late teens. We are currently in the process of getting a new puppy.....this time is different. It is a different breed since we did not want to compare and different circumstances since there are no small ones in our home so he will be mostly my dog with which I am totally fine. We researched the breed thoroughly and the breeder and have already named him. The breeder has him on reserve to come home to us this nest Tuesday. We are still grieving but the house is empty and we have the perfect setup for a dog and it seems such a waste not to share our lives with one. Unconditional love these days is very hard to find and we do find that in our pets ultimately I feel that this makes us feel whole and more in touch with ourselves and our emotions.......something I think we can easily dismiss in our busy everyday lives...this is our ground to who we ultimately are.....the saying "be the person your dog thinks you are" us a good mantra for life. we can learn much from our furry companions.

Again thank you for posting this as it made sense out of why we wanted another furry companion to share our lives.

PS

Ontario Canada


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 6 years ago from Northern California Author

My condolences, PS. Thank you for taking the time to post your comments. I'm so glad you found my hub comforting.

Best...


dani2648 6 years ago

I recently came back from vacation to find one of my cats just recently dead. I have another cat and they had been together for 10 years, my boyfriend suggested getting another cat to help my surveying cat not be sad. I need advice!!! I'm having severe guilt that he died while I was gone but can't bare the thought of my surveying cat being sad!!


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

This is a lovely hub about such a terrible subject, but Susie, you've handled the topic well and sensitively. I wrote about this issue in a hub not too long ago, while facing the reality of impending death of my dog, Birthday. This 'event' was only a few weeks ago, and I find myself in tears over the slightest reminder-am I ready to adopt another animal? Absolutely not.

As you said, you must do your grieving first.

Thanks.


sarah 6 years ago

i lost my dog 3 days ago as he was very ill and was only ten tears old yorkie iam so upset but i feel i need an other one very soon to get over the pain and just think off the good times i had with him

am i thinkin straight


Almie 6 years ago

I lost Puppy 3 months ago. The pain is so intense since he stayed with us for 9 beautiful years.Last night I made a decision to buy a new one but when I read your article, tears started falling so I told myself... I am not yet ready...


Richard richards 6 years ago

My boston terrier 14 years old has lived with me since i was 2 i am 16 now an i don't know anything else to do i know i wont get sassy back unless she gets better over night because tommorow were putting her down because she deaf blind in 1 eye and cant walk at all now . Yesterday my aunt and uncle came over it was so sad because she mustared up all her strengh to get up and wobbly walk 5 ft to him and fell down right next to him i had to go to my direbird and go cry so they don't see me because its hard to se my best friend hurt so badly, right as we speak im supposed to be in bed but she barking sadly because she wants someone to be around her in her last night on earth. Right now i keep trying to tell my self i need to be like when m grandpa died but its harder becase i known sassy for 6 year longer than him. Right now im trying to start building cars to take my mind off of my going to be lose. I keep trying to tell my self shes going to a better place and be better off


Randy 6 years ago

I just lost my dear Cassie to Addison's Disease. The vet diagnosed her with a hurt back and this went on for weeks giving her meds and watching her shake all the time and barely get around. She stopped eating, but was taking water. Another vet diagnosed her with a hurt back also, but I told him something else had to be wrong because I knew Cassie really well even though she was only 2 and a half years old. I got her (mountain fiest) at 6 weeks old. After a blood test revealed she had addison's disease she lived only one week on meds and fell over with a heart attack. I'm devasted. I also have a 14 month old fiest that Cassie raised from 6 weeks. It's only been three days and I'm still a wreck and now the other fiest is looking for what she sees is her "moma". I'm thinking of waiting till spring to get another fiest pup for Sandy, my 14 mo. old fiest. I'm looking ahead only because I can't stand the pain I feel right now. I'm going to have to hurt my way through this, I guess. GEEZ....it SUCKS!!!


Rupert Singleton 6 years ago

My cat and another was killed in the most gruesome way possible – we think they both had their throats cut by a cat hater. SPCA say unfortunately in SIngapore it is not uncommon for cats to be targetted this way. Lucca was only 3 years old, a tragically short life. And an incredibly unique cat with a strong following on Facebook as I am a pro photographer I kind of catalogued his life in the most creative of ways. He was killed 2 weeks ago. I told myself I would not get another cat UNLESS one came along almost fated to be with me, like the first. This happened yesterday and though still of course grieving out of utter respect for Lucca (but not depressed) I see saving the stray not as a replacement but continuation of the cat race. The new one is totally different in such a way as he cannot and will never detract from my Lucca. So I guess I blur the grieving period in so much as how to act – to get a new one or not but everyone is different including the 2 cats. I am in no way sad with the new one as like it has be said this is very unfair on the new animal.


Lhasa Lover 6 years ago

My big guy Freddy died yesterday at noon. Three days before he died I went to the breeder to buy another all white, male, Lhasa. I did this because I love the look of the Lhasa and their protective nature. I am suppose to pick him up next Wednesday. After I read this I am worried that I will reject the little guy if he is not like Freddy. Is there anyone who has replaced their pet with the same breed and been okay with it.

I really appreciate the time people take to respond to these questions.


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 6 years ago from Northern California Author

@Lhasa Lover - Don't worry too much. Use the information you have learned here to be aware of the feelings you may experience when you bring your new pet home. If you feel impatient, angry, and disappointed with the new guy because he is not doing the things your Freddy did, you will know that you are still grieving and that more time and patience is in order.

To answer your question, yes, there are countless people who replace their pets with the same breed and are okay with it. The key, as I wrote in my Hub, is to know yourself and your ability to be objective about the differences in personalities of new pets compared to that of the deceased pet. Don't have unreasonable expectations that the new pet behave like the newly departed pet.

I wish you well and thanks to you and all the others for reading.


Sarah 6 years ago

This helps...in many ways for me. I just lost my cat early this morning that has been with me for 19 years from kitten to adult to senior cat. I woke up for some strange reason and since my cat wasn't outside my door like usual I went looking for her and found her on the living room couch. She was acting normal before I went to bed the night before, but when I picked her up she was like a rag doll, drooling and couldn't stand up or walk. I took her to the emergency vet and on the way there she was panting with her mouth open, drooling even more and spasmodic; along with yowling like she was in pain. The vet tried oxygen and barely got any response and her pupils were already becoming cloudy so I had to put my cat down. I didn't want her to suffer needlessly and not even a minute later after administering the euthanasia she was gone.


Kelly 6 years ago

Hi thanks for the advice, its nice to know some other people don't think im being pathetic mourning over the loss of my dog. Pheobe was a 7 year old Cavalier King Charles. She was gorgeous and the most playful and loving dog :) 5 weeks ago I took her to the vets for a tooth removing as it had cracked. The vet gave her too much aneasthetic and she never woke up! ita broken my heart i miss her so much and the pain is worse knowing she wasn't ready to die yet. i feel as though i have put her to sleep for no reason and i feel very betrayed by my local vets.

Pheobe left behind her Daughter Ruby who is 5 years old. since then Ruby will not play, she will not greet you and she refuses to walk or even be outside the house. I try to give her as much attention as i can, i know she is also grieving over our loss. I don't want to speak to my vets about Ruby i don't trust them anymore.

I considered getting another dog but i feel no dog can replace pheobe and that pup will only have the same loss when Ruby dies.

Please advise me how i can look after Ruby.

Thanks Kelly


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Heartbreaking comments show how much this article was needed. I lost my beloved Dachsie Tabby 5yrs ago and i still can't bear to "replace" her as i know how special she was. now my surviving dog is eleven and slowing down rapidly. Soon I realise I will have to go through the same grief. It makes pet keeping so sad as they have such short lives. Thanks for this hub, I found it comforting.


Simon 6 years ago

We have recently lost our cocker spaniel at the age of 7 to liver disease. It was a terrible experience really as we knew once he was diagnosed he didn't have much time left. Its now nearly 7 weeks since, and we are thinking about getting a new dog. We used to enjoy walking with our dog and other things he made enjoyable. We are not looking to replace him, just have another dog for company etc


Sara 6 years ago

I lost my 16 year old Persian to kidney failure two days ago. He was diagnosed a little over a week ago, and the medicine the vets gave him did little to help him. The vet told me that kidney failure is not painful, only uncomfortable. The morning of the day he was going to be put to sleep came, and I knew he wouldn't even make it through the ride to the vet's. He died while I held him, as comfortable as he could be. Even as sick as he was, he never wanted to be left alone, and always wanted to be held. I've never seen more love from any other pet or animal than the kind he gave me. I adopted him only 2 years ago, but he was my baby. I know I will never have another pet like my Gabriel.


shannon 6 years ago

I lost my guinea pig today , he was 7 years old and sadly he passed away on my lap he was my best friend so kind gentle and loving and he was 1 in a million , one of a kind


Brian 5 years ago

I am also in the same boat as Simon. I lost my lab about 7 weeks ago to Liver Disease. He lived for 6 more weeks from when he was diagnosed with it. I knew it was going to come at any time and I cried a lot those last 6 weeks. And when the time came it happened so fast. He was only 10 and I feel he was taken well before his time. The house is so lonely without him here. But as the weeks have gone by I am not as sad. And I am getting used to living my life without him here. And now I know I am now ready for another dog and plan to look for another black lab. I like the end of this article when it talks about honoring your pet's memories and getting ready for the new adventure with the next one. I think you know you are ready when you are willing to except the new dog will not be the same dog and you are ok with that. I am now starting to look more seriously for our next great adventure. Thank you for writing this article as it helped and reading the others comments helps to see that there are others just like you dealing with a loss of a great pet. For all those mourning a loss... you are not alone.


louise barron 5 years ago

I lost my boy Dillon 2 months ago to DM. I have planned on buying a new pup in a month. I'm excited about that, but still cry over Dillons loss. Does that mean I'm not ready for a new boy


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California Author

Not necessarily. But only you know whether or not you can be objective and not pin expectations on the new pup to fill Dillon's paws. Best of luck to you. Thanks for reading.


carla 5 years ago

My cat just died suddenly, 2 days ago. He had a rare heart condition and blood clot was what killed him. I was there witnessing his death, as he went completely paralyzed. It was the most helpless i've ever felt, yet I am so grateful I could be with him in his final moments. My other cat (his sibling) was there with me watching. I think we both are experiencing some post traumatic stress from seeing him die that way. She's not eating but I'm going to take her to the vet tomorrow if she doesn't eat tonight. Part of me wants to get a kitten for her, but I'm just not ready. She doesn't like to be left alone during the day and I am worried about this. Should I get a kitten for her soon or give it some more time?


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California Author

@carla - What an awful experience! Sounds like your other cat is in mourning too. Animals do seem to mourn the loss of a companion too. Give her some time and she'll come around.


Kayla  5 years ago

We lost our black lab/golden retriever mix 3 days ago. Our chocolate lab has always been insecure and anxious. Since she was a puppy, she has been around my black lab. My black lab hated other dogs and dog parks, mainly she just didn't like other dogs smelling her or taking her balls, so we never brought them. But I decided to get my chocolate out of the house and take her to see how she acted. She loved it, she played with the other dogs, and shared her toys and everything. She seemed really happy, but when we got home she was greatly depressed again. She just laid around and didn't want to cuddle with us, (which was unusual for her). I want to get another dog, but a dalmatian, I am not looking to replace my lost one, just start a new life with a new one. My husband thinks it is a bad time and we should wait months. I just don't know what to do about my chocolate, she is so sad, and I cant stand to see her like that. Do you think she would be ready, since she has adjusted to the dog park so well (better the expected or ever before) ?

thank you


Susie Writes profile image

Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California Author

Dogs can mourn a loss also - especially when it is one so close to them. She will eventually come to terms with it. As for getting another dog for her, I'd say first to be sure you and your husband are in agreement. Because if you aren't, there could be resentment unintentionally towards the new dog. It's always best to have harmony in the household - for pets AND people. :-) Whether or not your choc lab is happy with the new addition depends on how well the two personalities adapt and get along. A new dog in your house will be much different than playing with those in the dog park. Your house is HER turf, the dog park is either neutral or dominated by one of the regular visitors. She will behave accordingly in the different situations. If and when you bring a new dog in your home, go slow, expect and allow her to dominate the new comer. Best of luck.


Dawn 5 years ago

My dog 14 year old male beagle died last week. My little 13 year old female beagle is not taking it so well. I don't want another beagle. I but i do want to get another dog I was thinking of a noregain elkhound. My little cujo that died could never be replaced. I know that. But do I wait to get another dog or get one to help the one left behind.


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Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California Author

I'm very sorry for your loss. I would not bring a young, rambunctious dog or puppy into the household when there is an elderly dog who might be suffering. Younger dogs can and often do torment older dogs with their exuberance and energy. Give your old beagle time to mourn and if you do decide to get another dog before the elderly one passes, do consider getting a mature adult (5 yrs or older) that does not have the vast energy reserves needing to be released like a younger animal does. Best of luck to you. Thanks so much for reading and offering your comment.


nrh 5 years ago

Hello there. My family lost our 1 1/2 yr dachsund. 2 days ago to a car in the street. I ran out to see him laying there.....and there was nothing I could do about it. I was devastated and still am. However we have another dachsie (which is my 7 year olds dog) and he is morning the loss as well since they never left eachothers side! He hasn't eaten and looks for him everywhere. My issue is that charlie, our puppy that was taken from us, was my 3 year old sons dog. He is starting to understand his puppy isn't coming back. He goes through periods of loving/wanting lucky, our survivor, and then he will "hate" him because he wants his charlie back. He is also very persistent on getting another charlie. So my questions are 1. Is it too soon for lucky to be introduced since he still looks for his brother 2. Im not sure that I am ready but I don't want to put my feelings before my 3 year olds. And 3. Is it really ok to get the same breed/color for him since that is what he wants......will it cause more hurt and confusion? Please help, I can't take my 3 year old crying for his puppy anymore- but I don't want to make it worse either.


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Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California Author

That's rough! Very sorry for your troubles. Your question #1 - No. Dogs adapt so easily and Lucky will realize the new dog is different and not his brother. It may not stop him from mourning his loss though.

#2 - If you are not ready, don't get another dog. You are the main caretaker, no? Therefore, the dog will look to you as leader and if you are not ready, problems can arise.

#3 - You answered this one earlier in your post. "He goes through periods of loving/wanting lucky, our survivor, and then he will "hate" him because he wants his charlie back. He is also very persistent on getting another charlie." He will do the same thing with a new dog, maybe even more so because he will be deeply disappointed you have not brought his Charlie back.

Loss is difficult - especially to such young children who don't fully understand it. But it is a part of life. Rather than trying to prevent or stop the pain (you can't)help him, and yourself to deal with it and come to terms with the loss before getting another dog. I am not a child psychologist and don't know the best way to help a young one with this. I wish I could do better for you here. Possibly have him draw some pictures of Charlie and tell you stories about him. Be honest with him that Charlie will not be coming back and that you will have to rely on memories of him. If my children were still young, that is how I would handle it with them but I am not saying that is the best way as I don't know. Wishing you luck with this...


nrh 5 years ago

Thank you, that helps a little. I was worried about lucky being tossed into a deeper depression with an addition of a dog that isn't his brother. My main concern is still my 3 year old. Thanks for your advice! It was such a tragedy and has turned our happy home upside down. I never thought I would be in this position. :(


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WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

We are at a stage where all our pets are nearing the end and we are preparing to retire and go on the road, so I think we'll probably take a pet break until we become home bound.

We just lost our yellow lab and she was such a special dog that we are still in mourning. I wrote about her on my Hubsite.

Excellent Hub!


Jax 5 years ago

My kitty was missing for a week. I handed out 100 flyers in my neighborhood, and someone called to tell me they had found him in the street dead. I'm devastated. He was only 3 and we had a special bond. Everyone called him a mamas boy, he was obsessed with me (and I him, admittedly). Today is his funeral and I have found that the only time I stop crying is when I'm looking for a new baby. I don't want another cat, I'm looking to adopt a 1-2 year old small dog. I don't know what's right. But I know I would be happier with a companion. I'm worried it's too soon, even though I know it will make me happy. I'm looking at three dogs this weekend to possibly take home. Maybe I'll know when I see them??


jess 5 years ago

My rat was 2 years old when he got sick. after visits to the vet and antiboitics he got a little better but after a few days of not being on medication he got way worse. he died in my arms from a respritory infection about 3 weeks ago. I donated all of Rizzo's leftover bedding and food to another rat owner but couldn't face breaking down his cage. I don't cry when talking about him with other people but i tear up while at home by myself thinking about him. I finally felt comfortable enough to break down his cage last night. I understand that if i get another rat it wont be Rizzo, but i am wondering if getting another one will help ease some of the loneliness i feel now that hes gone. how do i know if i am really ready or not?


Rick 5 years ago

We lost Katie, our adopted English Springer 3 weeks ago. She was just over 13 years old and we got her when she was 4yrs. I miss her terribly. I do love the bread though and found a family who is relocating and are looking for a good home for their 3y/o ESS. He looks similar to my Katie, black and white. I'm telling myself that I'm not trying to replace Katie, because no dog could, I just love the breed, and their dog needs a good home. I miss having a dog around. We'll we have a shitszu, but that doesn't count:) I do still tear up sometimes though just talking about Katie.


John 5 years ago

I really appeciate the info here. I lost my Doberman Zeus 5 days ago to bloat. Zeus was with my family for 8.5 years, he joined us at 10 weeks old. My first 2 children have grown up with Zeus and were crushed by his sudden death but not as crushed as I am. I miss my dog. I have been looking at pups that last couple of days and after reading the info on the site I am sure that looking at pups is to in some way treat my sorrow. We also have a 7.5 year old Maltese that has seemed lost since Zeus passed. Whenever the time arrives to add another companion to my family it will be a different breed to add new memories. All the best to everyone that has lost someone. Google " the rainbow bridge"


sad cat girl 5 years ago

I put down my eight year old cat. i feel very guilty because there were measures i chose not to take (tube feeding) because there was an underlying disease to his fatty liver. He also was diagnosed diabetic. Instead of putting him through such a long process i chose to put him down. he had lost half his body weight. did i make the right decision??? i miss him so much and feel so bad because he was only 8


Sarah 5 years ago

My heartfelt sympathies to everyone who has suffered the loss of a cherished pet. Our beautiful lab x beagle puppy Ziyal died only four days ago. We are very saddened and lost without her. The hardest part for me is knowing that it was my fault - she was run over by accident on my way to picking the kids up from school. We took her to the vet for surgery to repair her broken hip and she suffered from complications and went into cardiac arrest after the operation. She was only five months old and such a gentle and loving girl. Our three year old lab x rotti is not coping very well without her. I think this is due to him having never been on his own, always having a playmate. We are now considering getting another pup (of a different breed) We do know that we could never replace our beautiful girl. This article was very helpful and comforting. Thank you.


ND 5 years ago

Even though this subject matter is extremely difficult, it helps to know other struggle with the loss of a loved pet and the prospect of a new one. Like everyone on here, I lost my 6 year old dog one week ago. She was my first and only dog. Since I have never had another one, it is hard for me to understand why I immediately started looking at dogs at local shelters (considering I still spend most of my night crying).

There are always a list of "practical" reasons to delay getting another pet...time, money, responsibility, but honestly, these reasons seem secondary to the hole in my life that a true companion leaves behind. I think there is some truth to the statement "if you are thinking about a new dog, you may be more ready than you realize." This of course is tempered against the reality that a "new" dog is just that...a new experience and not a replacement.

I think I am going to call a rescue an inquire about a dog I saw. They have an adoption process and it is a few hours away from my home, so there is some built in reflection time.

Reading everyone's comments has been comforting, there is no way to describe this type of loss other than to share with those who have suffered (and hopefully loved again) in the same way.

"...every time I lose a dog, they take a part of my heart with them. And every new dog that comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart.If I live long enough, all of the components of my heart will be dog, and I will be as generous and loving as they are."


HELP ME 5 years ago

I am so sad I lost my 15 year old yellow lab dog last night and My family wants another dog but I don't know when I will be ready. ps my cat is already devestated.


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andrebreynolds 5 years ago

Nice hub.


John 5 years ago

Hello I post a little over 2 months ago, one week after my Doberman Zeus died(5 posts up). Well 2 days ago I took my family to see some Aussiedoodles that were only 11 days old, we left after we put a deposit on one. I did decide to get a different breed because no other Dobe could replace Zeus, he will never be forgotten. New memories are on the way come the end of June! Good luck to everyone.


luke 5 years ago

I recently lost my dog, he was my best friend and a great companion, the only way to describe him was that he was a real character. I absolutely love my dog and always will.

I keep finding my self wanting to look for another dog, not to replace scruff but to comfort me as a new friend whilst im upset about the loss of scruff & to give a new loving home to another dog.

I keep thinking that if scruff was still here he would want us to bring a new dog into the family to give it the same love and care as we did for scruff.

Is this ok or am i being selfish?.


candi 5 years ago

i had to put my darling kelly boy down 4 days ago, i cant stop crying, im crying right now, i have no one to talk to. they all think i should be over it by now. i was with him when they did it, and i cant get that picture out of my mind. i keep thinking i didn't do something i could have done to keep him alive. he was 10.my regular vet took blood and urine 2 months before, said everything looked okay, he was not sure what was going on. then he got so he would not eat, vet said he would be alright, whenever i called the vet, he acted like i was just a big worrier. so i stopped calling him and he never called me back. so i believed kelly was just older and would be alright. so stupid of me... anyway, 4 days ago he started bleeding from his rear end, i took him to another vet right away... thats when he was put down. now im about to die, i feel like my heart has been ripped out, and stepped on.. kelly and i went everywhere together. im lost and i just want another dog to love and care for, even thought i cant stop crying for kelly. i know you say wait, but wait for what, to start crying again. everything is horrible...


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Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California Author

@luke - Selfish? For wanting to love another dog? I don't think so. Only you know if you are ready to bring another dog in the house and not expect it to be just like your beloved Scruff. It sounds like you have it figured out and can keep Scruff in a special place in your heart and love another as well. Love has no limits. There's always more to give. Best of luck!


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Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California Author

@candy - Your story is a sad one. That must have been devastating for you to experience. Sometimes they go gently, often times not. It's hard to lose something/someone we love so much and spend a good part of our time with. I'm so sorry for your loss.

And yes, this is a situation where I would advise to wait a bit. How long depends on you and the time you need to process your loss. For some people that can be a few days, for others ... much longer. Do not, nor let others, put a time limit on how long it takes. Your wound is raw. You're looking for salve to soothe it and I think only time will do that for you.

While it's possible that a new dog *could* help, it could easily (and more likely) make it worse if the differences between the new dog and your Kelly cause you distress and disappointment with the new dog. Read some of the other posts here and you will see you are not alone in the grief you experience from the loss of a pet. That doesn't lessen your hurt by any stretch, but perhaps you will see that what you are feeling right now is a natural part of the grieving process and in time you will feel better and can be happy about the time you had with Kelly and grateful for all the experiences you shared together. THAT'S when it's time to get a new dog. Right now all you can feel is hurt. Feel that hurt, process it, and heal first. Cyber hugs to you and best wishes.


gracie 5 years ago

A week ago Saturday we suddenly lost our 8yr. old Chocolate Lab Gracie. The vet seems to think she had a tumor on her spleen that ruputered, she was gone by the time we got her to the vet. This was absolutley devastating for myself and my husband as we woke that morning to a perfectly healthy, happy dog and in the blink of an eye she was gone. We went from shock on Saturday to reality setting in on Sunday. We had just had our house built and moved in when we decided we wanted to get a dog, walking in the door without her here, without her running to greet you is a heartbreaker. We do not have children so Gracie was definitely more than just a pet for us, she was family. I am glad I took the time to read your article as we too tried to decide when would be a good time to start looking for another one, NOT to replace Gracie but to love just as much as we loved Gracie. We know what kind of home we would give this animal and it is a very good home. We both decided that yes we did want another lab but we did not want another female nor did we want one that was going to look like Gracie as we were not trying to replace her. We also decided that it would not hurt to go and look at a puppy, this way we would could be sure that we were not doing it to replace her or ease the pain of losing her but rather doing it for the exact reason we got her, we knew we wanted a dog and now after having one for 8yrs. we know what kind of home we can and will give one. We called on a male choc. and the breeder told us she had one male left (the rest of the litter had been picked up by their new owners) we went and looked at him during the week. Now this is where the tale takes another very emotional turn, he was born on the exact day we brought Gracie home 8yrs. earlier, this little guy was already spoken for and ready to go home with the rest of his brothers & sisters however, the day we lost our girl the person that was supposed to take him decided they weren't ready for a dog. I am not a firm believer in karma or anything of that nature but to me there is a reason for this. Both my husband and I saw him and both said the same thing, I know he's not Graice, I know i'm not replacing Gracie this guy needs a home and we can give him a good one filled with love just like we did with Gracie. The only thing I am sad about as we pick him up today is that Gracie will not be here to meet him, I think she really would have liked him. Thank you for article I too was kind of struggling with the not how I feel but how are people going to react to us getting another one so soon. I know we are not doing as replacement or to ease our pain, I will always have that place in my heart for Gracie that no dog will ever replace.


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daviddwarren22 5 years ago

Great hub, I enjoyed to read it.


Li Fu Xia 5 years ago

Three days ago our sweet little puppy was killed by a hit & run driver. He was truly a baby--always wanting to be held and craving attention. We miss him greatly. I know that there will never be another dog like him, nor do I want one just like him. However, I would like to get another dog in about 8-10 weeks. My reason, I want to love a dog that needs a home and to be loved. So I will go to the animal shelter to find my new friend. It is NOT important what the dog looks like, I just want to be able to give a dog love and the best care I can.

My little sweet puppy is not replaceable. But I can love and care for another dog, who will be entirely different and another beautiful animal with a different dog-an-ality. Another dog will be fun to experience and bond with. Each dog has special gifts to give to its owner.

I am very grateful to have been given the honor to have loved my sweet little puppy, He will always have his memory engraved on my heart. I will never forget him.


Pepsilovr 5 years ago

I lost my beautiful sweet great pyrenees mix Sammie yesterday to an intestinal volvulus (similar to bloat "only worse" according to my vet. It was incredibly sudden, she was fine one day and dead by noon the next.

All I can do is cry. I live alone and am basically home bound so really need a canine companion, but I know I am not ready yet. Still, I was looking at the dogs on Pet finder this morning. Your point about not trying to replace the old dog is a telling one; I realized that was probably what I'd been doing.

Still, I really really want some companionship. For me, when I get a new pet, it's never like love at first sight, it is more like an arranged marriage. We have to grow on each other.

Right now, I can't imagine any other dog eating out of her dish, lying in her bed, hanging out in her yard. This is Sammie's house.

I am devastated and the last 24 hours have been hell. It would be so nice to have a canine friend to help me through this, but at this point I think what I want is to have my canine friend back. My OLD canine friend. I can't imagine life going on at this point, but I know it will.

I am just rambling at this point... I just hope I will be ready in a few weeks.


cheyenne 5 years ago

hey im just 13 and i need help my nana found my dog dead on the main road and im always crying she died today i want my dog back and want her to be here right now!! plz help mee what stage am i up to now?

thanks


Bella's mom 5 years ago

My family lost our dashound mix last week due to a snake bite. We did everything to save her. Money was no object. After 4 vials of anti venom were given Bella developed a blood clot and had a heart attack and passed away. She was only 2yrs old. I love her more than anything. She left a void in my heart and house. I want to fill that void with another rescue dog but I'm afraid the other pack members will not accept a new member.


5 years ago

My beautiful boy Toby had his life cut short. He burrowed under the fence and wandered out onto the road. He was my closest friend, and nothing in my life was as important as his wellbeing. I had been travelling for months, and the only thing that I was looking forward to upon my return was a cuddle from the little guy. I received the dreadful news a week before my return, and I could barely contain my devastation.

Now, a year on, I believe I have come to terms with it, and would love to find a new companion. However, every so often I get caught up in thinking about Toby, and it makes me distraught. This leads me to believe that maybe I am not finished mourning the loss of my dog, and should wait for these irregular periods of mourning to completely pass before finding a new dog.

Would you recommend that I wait, or are these relapses of grief a normal progression in someone who has mostly come to terms with their lifechanging loss?


LESLEY 5 years ago

I lost my baby girl, Mya, 6 days ago. a truck hit her in front of our house (i was in the yard, i saw it all happen, the man didn't even bother to stop or anything). She had just turned 8 years old, she was my baby, my princess. I had had her since she was 4 weeks old.

Myself, my husband, and our 4 year old are taking it day by day, each day seems to get a little bit easier (as long as I don't think about it)...but our 6 year old black lab is not doing so well. Since we lost Mya, our lab has been depressed (not wanting to go outside, just lays around, etc.). I feel so bad for her, she lost her best friend and doesn't have anybody to play with or hang out with. We are contemplating on getting other dog to help us with all this, and to help our lab. Is it too soon for our family to welcome other dog into our family? or would it help us and our lab?


Luke 5 years ago

First of all i just want to say thankyou for your time susie.

Secondly here is some free advice to anyone who has recently lost an animal that was close to them.

My little Scruff passed away suddenly and i was devistated, i thaought it was my fault and blamed myself for stupid things just trying to find some closure on why he passed away, i still haven't its been just over 3 months now and we decided to get another dog to help us through the grieveing process.

It helps A LOT, however it does come at a price although when im with max my thoughts are with him when i am alone the memorys of scruff and the image of him lying there just lifeless comes back to me harder and it hurts and at times i feel guilty for trying to get over what has happened.

My main advice is just try to wait that little bit longer if you can before buying another animal, if not just be prepaired for a little bit of a guilty feeling

whatever you decide just make sure its for the right reasons and that you are 100% ready and hope you get through your hard time.

miss you scruff love you loads PAL xxx


Michael 5 years ago

I'm still grieving the loss of my 16 year old terrier, and it's been 18 months. As much as I would love another dog, I don't think it is the right time, I feel like I would be betraying him.


madison101 5 years ago

hi, I lost my 11 year old dog two years ago and still have his sister who is 14. She seems lonely and I made my mother wait until getting a new dog. I am now considering it but don't know how she will react. And then when she dies I have one left over again after losing it's companion. So should I get a new dog or wait until she passes away? if I should, would it help if it was an older dog too? if you know what I mean. Thankyou.


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Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California Author

@madison101 - I'm not sure I would bring in another dog as companion for one as old as yours. It depends on the dog but in most cases I would say no. When a new dog comes in, there is always a significant adjustment to be made for both dogs. It oftentimes proves to be too much for these seniors. If you do decide to bring in another, I would most definitely make it an elderly dog and not a rambunctious puppy or energetic young adult.

People often think a younger dog will perk up their senior dog. And it often appears that way initially but is more the old dog feeling threatened and vulnerable and so tries to put on an act of more strength and energy as a form of protection when it really just wants to lay around and enjoy its retirement. Best of luck in your decision making and thanks for reading.


gez 5 years ago

My 15 1/2 Brittany died three days ago...she was my first dog. I had her before I had any children. Three years ago I went threw painful divorce. I still live in the house I lived in when I was married, with my two children. I really want to get another Brittany since mine was such a big part of my life. I know there will never be another Maggie. I just have a need to give my love so a dog. My children are gone every other weekend and I very alone. I know she was alot of work, I go her as a puppy. I am thinking about getting an older Brittany. I am so confused and lonely but I do not want to make the wrong desion.


Kath 5 years ago

I put my ailing English Setter to sleep 4 weeks ago after 13 years of companionship; he was there for me through some very hard times. But the hardest thing I have ever done was decide to let him go. The past few days I was starting to think about finding a new dog but reading the entries here have brought it home to me that I need to wait and not let the sadness I feel now get in the way of the joy of a new best buddy.


Tomahawk85 5 years ago

Susie,

Here is my situation, I'm a 30+ year recently retired US Army Blackhawk pilot. I am now flying as an EMS helicopter pilot and I live in Central Texas. I have also been a Los Angeles County Emergency Paramedic in the 1970's for 8+ years. So I have been there and seen that if you know what I am saying. This past Friday our oldest daughter (27) who lives in Austin is visiting El Paso, Tx and she took her Chihuahua (Chiquita of 7 years). My wife and I tried hard to have her leave Chiquita with us during this visit. Late Friday afternoon she called my wife and told her Chiquita ran outside during a big storm and disappeared. My daughter looked for 8 hours that night with no luck. My wife and I got in our car and drove 800 miles to El Paso Saturday morning to help in locating Chiquita and putting out flyers. After a day we did all we could and returned back to Central Texas. Three hours into the return trip my wife received a call from some man who found Chiquita but he said unfortunately she was hit by a car and did not make it. :(((. Our daughter had to go to the site and see her and I was told she started screaming and freaking out,it was devastating for her, Chiquita was her life!!!!. She placed Chiquita in the car and her hubby took Chiquita to a Mountain Preserve just west of El Paso and buried her. Not only is my daughter deeply distressed the rest of my Family are also deeply distressed including me BIG time. Like I said I have 30+ years in the military and have seen this and that, 8 years as a Paramedic and also seen it all. I just don't know how I am going to get over this, They plotted the exact location where Chiquita was buried (Latitude and Longitude) and sent me the Goodie Maps Pin so I can see the exact satellite location. I look at that site and freak out knowing that our little Chiquita is now buried there and NOT with our Family. I read the comments you have posted here and someone wrote about how your dogs give unconditional love without reserve and that is so true. I would take a good Dog over a human any time of the day week year or century. Humans just can cause you grief where as your pet is your best friend. Chiquita was the only one who would greet me at the door when she was visiting and then always jump up on the front room sofa waiting for me to give her attention. I have this absolutely EMPTY HOLE IN MY HEART and I just don't know how I will get over Chiquitas loss. I know there are heartless people in the world and would just make fun about that, well screw them. I personally don't recognize the USA and world today and I don't like it. I am going to include my email address, you can reply in here and if you wish to send me an email feel free :)). Is there any book I should read to help me deal with her loss that you might recommend? If you can recommend one or two please do so!! If anyone else wishes to reply to my email address go 4 it. As a Christian, I know I am suppose to place this burden on the Lords shoulders but its just so hard right now. I want to cope so bad I just Pray that the saying "Time Heals Everything" is true in my case. I think what if this, what if that, What if I bought my daughter a Pet GPS, if I did I would not be writing this. Its Gods will and So Be It, but that doesn't make it any easier. I'm thinking about starting up a Web Internet business that deals with the safe return of lost pets, I know there are many out there already but I don't care. I would offer the many different Pet GPS systems so people would have a one stop choice as to where to compare and purchase these devices. In our situation it would not have made a difference because Chiquita wasn't wearing her collar :(((. The ONLY good thing about my wife and I driving to El Paso is the very next day was that if we didn't we more than likely would never know Chiquitas whereabouts. The reason being, our daughter also put out flyers BUT it was one of our flyers that by the Grace of God this man saw and realized it was the same dog that he saw on the flyer. He went back to the flyer and got our phone number and called us. At least our Family has "CLOSURE.!!!!!!!!! If he had not seen this flyer we would be thinking and waiting for someone to find Chiquita and take her to the Animal Shelter which my daughter would be checking daily. Now she has a final resting place and I Pray our daughter and not to mention the rest of us can move on with nothing but good memories. Thank U Very Much.. Anyone feel free to reply to email me tomahawk85@gmail.com CB is outa here


k8rich10 5 years ago

I just read your article tonight and agree that it was beautifully written. However, it has made me feel kind of horrible about something. I lost my dog of 15 years about two and a half weeks ago. Today I bought two new puppies of a different breed that I will be picking up next week. I was very excited until I read this article and some of the comments that follow it.

I loved my little puppy so much and miss her very much and wish I could have her back. However, I do feel like I've grieved and that I am ready for another dog. The house just feels so big and empty and lonely without my dog. I feel like I need to fill in that gap and give my love to another puppy and get some love back. I am not trying to replace my dog. The new puppies are, as I said, of a different breed and not a replacement in my mind at all. Also, my dog died unexpectedly and shortly before I was considering adding another dog to the house. However, after reading this article and the comments I feel really guilty. I'm afraid I'm saying that I didn't love my dog enough or that its really easy for me to move on. Because its not. I cried for hours and hours after she died and refused to go downstairs (where she lived) for over a week. Have I made a mistake? Is it too soon or is it natural to feel a little guilt at getting a new dog? I just love animals so much and I loved my dog so much that I want that love in my life again and I want the emptiness in the house to go away. I truly feel ready, yet horribly guilty at the same time. Please please help me. :'(


k8rich10 5 years ago

It also makes me feel bad to read about people who couldn't dream of getting another pet because they are so deeply hurt. My friend recently lost her cat and didn't even want to think about getting another cat until a month later and even then she wasn't sure if she wanted one. I feel like I'm a bad person who didn't really love my dog because I'm ready. I feel like others will judge and think that means I didn't love, care, or hurt at the loss.


hether 5 years ago

im so sad about my cat he moved on to kitty heavon i liked reading


Ericka 5 years ago

This article really means a lot to me. Last week on September 6th 2011 we lost our Pug Crazy to PDE like symptoms. I could not bare seeing her hurt the way she was. Seizure after seizure, she was not her self any more. I chose to euthanize her to stop her suffering. I feel so guilty as I wonder if there was anything else I could have done to save her. I read up on PDE and I knew with in days she would have died a horrible death which is why I did what I did. I can not get over the fact she is gone. It is sad to say she was the first animal that I actually took care of, I was not a very good pet owner until I got my Crazy. She taught me so much, she taught me how to love and appreciate animals.

After losing Crazy I told myself never again will I get another pet, the pain of losing her I never want to feel again. It is killing me, she was and always will be my best friend. Crazy will NEVER be forgotten nor will she EVER be re-placed ever. I have been doing a lot of reading on Pug dogs and I know not only did I fall madly in-love with Crazy but I fell in-love with her breed as well. I know in time I will get another Pug. I wish it could be sooner than later as I know in my heart Crazy will never be replaced. I know there will never be another Crazy, it is just so hard knowing I will never get to see her in person ever again.


Ericka 5 years ago

I forgot to mention that I am so sorry for every ones loss, I know the pain, I know the hurt, the guilt, everything that comes with losing your best friend! I'm so sorry!

I know my Crazy was here for me for a reason and I am not going to let her down, I am going to do what I can to help raise Awareness for PDE! I will love again, in time, Crazy taught me how to love and I will!

R.I.P Crazy girl momma loves and misses you so very much, I am so sorry that this had to happen to you. you are in a better place where you have no pain any more! 3/12/07-9/6/11 R.I.P baby!


k8rich10 5 years ago

my dog died a month ago and iam ready to move on the only thing is my dad says i need to give it more time b/c a month is not enough what to do?


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Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California Author

Since I don't know your age, I will assume you are a minor and live with your dad. He knows you and has your best interests in mind. Listen to him. There is plenty of time. You might start planning and researching breeds so when you AND your family are ready, you'll have plenty of information. Best wishes to you...


Lisa 5 years ago

I'm very sad, my bichon lee lee was just attacked and killed by my brothers pit. Ive had lee for 6years, and everyone loved him, he was so calm and chill.He hekped me through my divorce, ge was just always there..no matter where I went or how long I was gone he would wait for me at the door, peering through the little glass panels. He was always there nudging my hand so that it rested on his head.I left him at my parents and he got bite and bleed out, I feel so guilty that I wasn't there, he died without me and I cant stop crying and wishing I had chosen to stay home then he be alright. I haven't even see him, bc I didn't want to see him bloody and lifeless..I don't know what to do, how do you cope with the guilt that I didn't do enough for my bavy and he died without me being there.


Jessica 5 years ago

I lost my cat four days ago. He declined suddenly over the course of ten days. I didn't know what was wrong, but I knew it was serious and began grieving before he passed. Chui was the perfect companion (snuggly, talkative, outgoing, funny, loyal), and he filled a huge part of my heart. When I get another cat, I want him to behave just like Chui, even though I know that's an unreasonable expectation.

I do want to get another friend, but at this point even imaging going to the pound makes me tear up. I like adopting adult cats because you have a better sense of their personality. But Chui's age was a mystery to me, and we only got 3.5 years together. I am not ready to take that emotional risk on another adult cat yet. At the same time, knowing that there are other sweet animals stuck in cages and I have love to give makes me feel guilty.


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Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California Author

Thank you all so much for reading and posting folks! I am glad you find this article so helpful and or comforting.

@DogMama - I would love to post your comment as well - in a condensed form. However, there is no edit function for comments left by others on the hubs. Please, if you can, condense it down to a few paragraphs and repost so I can approve it. Thanks.


DogMama 5 years ago

I am sorry it was so long! I am feeling better today. I think it was cathartic to write that. I am afraid i don't know how to condense it - is it okay if I don't? Of course I don't mind if you do not post it. Thank you again -


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Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California Author

Thanks DogMama. I completely understand. Let me just say, it is not unusual for one to have pangs of guilt or sadness when remembering a dog long past. There are some, and I have had many, many dogs in my life, who touched me in a way that still brings tears to my eyes when I think of them. The emotional power that having pets can bring to our lives, is sometimes overwhelming. Don't try to stuff it. Feel it, acknowledge it, then move forward towards new adventures. Best to you...


Charlotte 5 years ago

I just lost my puppy in an accident 3 days ago. I'm devastated. I came to this site to see if it's normal to want to get another dog of the same breed and to see how long most people wait to get another dog. Given that I couldn't get through the article without bursting into tears, tells me I might not be ready.

I'm curious about K8Rich10, did you get the new puppies yet? I'm hurting so bad and I wonder if getting a new dog sooner, rather than later takes some of the pain away? I know my Penley isn't coming back, but I miss him so much. I'm just not sure what to do.


Me 5 years ago

Hey Susie

I'm 14, and my cat Dusty who was also 14 died about 3 days ago. It was a massive shock, around 7 o'clock I just went downstairs to feed him and I saw him laying on the couch in the garage under the window they go inside and outside through. He was cold, so he was there for a while. He had one eye open, the other one he was laying on was closed. I knew straight away he was dead. I screamed out to my mum and she ran downstairs and we started crying. I'm not completely sure how he died, I think old age, but I really miss him I've been crying everyday and I keep thinking I can just go downstairs and he'll be there, alive and normal. It's so weird. I know people have worse experiences with the loss of their pet, like seeing them die or their pet being killed by another animal or something, but I can't stop remembering seeing him dead. I feel really really really bad, I have another cat, who may have been there when he died, but when I put my cat next to our dead one, he just sniffed him and walked away like he didn't care? He has been acting a little different lately, but not like he knows Dusty is gone. Idk. I want to get another kitten but I feel bad just thinking about getting another one. I dreamed Dusty was still alive, then I woke up and started crying again, I grew up with him, he was a couple months older than me, I still can't believe hes gone. I have one cat and one rabbit now, but I feel like I don't like my other cat and rabbit as much anymore, I still love them too, but I feel weird. I just wish my old cat was still alive. I don't know what to do, I talk to my mum about it but I can't get over Dusty. I don't know what to do. ;/


kim 5 years ago

My husband and I lost our beloved almost 14 year old miniature Schnauzer over on Aug 15, 2011 to cancer after 2 years of her having it. It has been a terrible time of mourning and missing her. We have been married 15 years, so it always seemed like our family included the three of us. I know I want to get another dog, not to replace her but to have a dog to love and enjoy. I promised I wouldn't until after the first of the year. My husband never wants another one, because he does not want to grieve again. He is fine with me having one, but does not want to get too close to the dog. I don't think this is fair to the dog, but I have to respect his feelings. I don't know if I should ever get another one or not. Any suggestions?


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Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California Author

@kim: I do recommend that all members of the family be in agreement when it comes to owning a pet. While your husband may feel right now that he will not ever want another pet, that can change given time for processing his loss and healing. No one wants to grieve and it is normal to try to avoid grief, but death and loss are a part of life whether you own a pet or not. It is something we all have to experience at some point in our lives - and it sucks. Give him time and gently help him to recall the fond memories you both had with your pet - stories that make him smile or laugh. And when the timing is right, gently show him how he would not have experienced those wonderful moments in time had he not risked the inevitability that he would someday mourn the loss of his friend. If we don't risk feeling grief, we will not experience the joy that those risks can also bring. Good with the bad and that sort of thing.

I commend you for taking your husband's grieving into consideration. The process isn't the same for everyone and some of us it seems to take much longer. You are wise to wait a while longer for your husband's sake. It could indeed be unfair to the new dog if he resents its presence. This can happen if he is still mourning his loss. He might be angry that the new dog isn't his beloved pet. Not intentionally, but as a part of the process. Rushing the process if he isn't yet ready can be unfair to your husband. Best to you both.


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Susie Writes 5 years ago from Northern California Author

@me: I'm sorry you are going through this and had to witness your pet's death. Guilt is a part of the grieving process. Let yourself feel it and tell yourself it is normal. It will get better. You sound like a very caring young person. Most pet owners are. Give yourself some time before thinking about a new pet. When you are ready, I'm sure you will be a wonderful, caring owner to the new pet - just like you were to your last one. No matter how much time we have with them, when they are gone, it always feels like it just wasn't enough. This is a normal reaction as well. That will get better too. Best to you...


Me 5 years ago

Thanks


becky 5 years ago

A few weeks ago i had to have my four year old collie cross put to sleep. She was a rescue and had chronic renal failure. We have always had family dogs but she was the first dog who was mine. I think my emotions keep yoyoing between wanting to cry and just looking back on the wonderful memories. I will get another pet but I just don't know if it is too soon.


Jennifer 5 years ago

I found this site thru teary eyes. I lost my best buddy Bigsby 4 days ago.He never snuck out of the house, he did on Sunday. He was only out 1 minute before getting struck and killed by a car. We have a fenced back yard for a reason, to keep our pets safe, somehow I failed. To say I'm sad is an understatement. My son & I do not know how to handle this. Neither does my 5 year old dog. How do you handle something like this?


Sandhya Krishnappa 5 years ago

I recently lost my dearest pet - Whiskey; 3 days back. He was 7 year old Labrador Retriever. Died of acute renal failure. Me and my family are unable to handle this loss after my Dad's death 7 months ago. More than my Dad's death, Whiskey's loss have left us devastated. He breathed his last in front of our eyes. We were helpless. We have decided not go for another pet. We might not get attached or love the new pet like Whiskey. This will not be good for the well-being of the new one. Also its hard, only God knows how long will the new pet will be with us. We cannot bear another loss.


lauren 5 years ago

we lost our 8 yr old cocker spainel to kidney failure in march this year the same month as my birthday me and lacy have been togeter since 2000 we were both born in the same year and her death was devastating to me... lately ive been noticeing that our oldest cat has been behaveing like lacy shes been close to my mom and sleeping a lot more my mom has been thinking on getting a new dog i did some research on cat friendly dogs my brother doesn't wait a new dog and i think im pretty much ready to accept that lacys not comeing back and i think the house isn't the same without a dog but im thinking what if this dog is hyper and needs a lot of attention lacy was always calm and cool i don't know if i chould handle a hyper dog


sara 5 years ago

I got a golden retriever in october 2001 and layed him to rest september 23 2011 it was the hardest decision to make to put him down, he was blind and running into walls, and was having difficulties walking, occasionally he was falling, his back legs gave out, but hated seeing him suffer, i miss him so much, he knew every trick, i trained him, he was the smartest dog i ever had, he healed my broken heart from a bad relationship and putting him down broke it again, He lived a good life of 10 years of great memories, he was always happy to see me, and always made me smile, Always brought me gifts in his mouth, the phone, the remote from the tv. I cant even think to replace him, or want a new dog right now. RIP ERNIE Sept 3 2001- september 23-2011 I love you forever!


JACK L BAKER 5 years ago

Everyone tells me, get another dog. We lost the love of our lives,Tye, on July 5, 2011. He was our best friend and companion and went everywhere with us, even around the US in our motorhome. He was a Chow mix, and so very beautiful. It has been three months, plus, now, and we have grieved, so hard, for him. I will never get another dog. I set up a memorial in his honor, a nice large picture, his collar hanging over it, his favorite treats, hair and the beautiful box of his cremains. I still talk to him and God, and still cry. The depression is still overbearing. I am so lonely, even though, I have a wonderful wife. The house is so different. I look for him all the time. I have pictures, with captions on them, everywhere, and shirts with his pictures, on them. I'm looking at them now.

I feel so sorry for all of you, who feel the same, as I do. It has been the worst time of my 79 years. I don't know how long, I will have this depression, but when I had to put him down, I cried for days. He was 14 1/2 years old. He had hip displacement and would not eat and he would go a few steps, when he could get up, and then fall, and expect me to help him. I did help him. I slept next to him, on the floor, where he had 3 fans and his bed, for the two nights, before the Vet put him down. I know he is with God and has crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is waiting for me there. He is no longer in pain and is with his family.

Tye, We love you with all our hearts and miss you so much and will till we die. See you, in HEAVEN,our beautiful one.


dg 5 years ago

I lost my yellow lab on Sat.and this house and family are lost without her, i miss her so much, and its so quiet here. She was with us for 7 and a half years I have had to be storng for my kids the last couple days and now im feeling the loss more for myself. I want another dog but not sure if we are ready. Its just to empty here..


Elle 5 years ago

It's been two years and today I'm balling (watching the pilot of Revenge with the old dog). I was wondering if we've waited so long that it's past time to get a new dog, and that made me more upset lately. Are you telling me I still need to wait a lot longer or that I can never have a new baby? Dogs are my babies. I never wanted a "same" pet unless it were by magic (actually Charlotte). Who wouldn't want that? The only thing is I know that breed works for me (the websites say find the right breed, but they don't say switch to a new one after she's gone!) and is generally the cutest to boot, but I also might like a similar breed (Bichon to Havanese) I think we will adopt, so we'll take what we can get regarding breed between the two. I'd like a brown Havanese, perhaps. What do you think of Maltese? They don't seem to score as well with me on websites. Anyway, I also would prefer a dog who likes to be picked up, because I don't know why my father's dog barks at me when I come over but then cries when I pick her up (perhaps she needs to be picked up a different way, but my father didn't know it!). We do think she was abused by her old family's KID (dog was "adopted" then they had baby) though. On the other hand, if there were another way to stop "we just got home" barking, that would also work. So what do you think? I don't know how you'll be able to contact me. Oh well. Bye. :-(


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RussellLHuey 5 years ago

I'm afraid to face the situation of having a pet's death. That's why I hesitated to adopt another pet.


Me 5 years ago

This discussion is amazing. Thank you.

We lost our most beloved pet yesterday! So sudden at almost 10yrs of age, we think poisoning. :(

Today I am thinking of getting a puppy to fill the massive void he left and to keep us looking forward to something gorgeous and positive.

Of course I don't want to do the wrong thing, by me or my children, but I think I'm ready. There is a puppy available at the breeder who previously sired our boy, so we may have our new family member tomorrow.

I think my children are ready for a puppy and I think we are ready for the adventure a new puppy brings. It is with such a heavy heart that we replace our dear loved boy, but I have know he will not live forever. I hope I'm doing the right thing. :(


Amanda W 5 years ago

I lost my precious little ragdoll boy yesterday he was only 7 months old and died suddenly from heart disease,suddenly his back legs stopped working and he was trying to crawl everywhere, we rushed him to the vet and the doctor said he will never walk again, he also had a blood clot in his lungs, so I had to let him go. The death is so horrible to me I keep thinking it was wrong to end his life and I wish there was something I could have done other than all the medication he was on. I live alone at college and i would come home to him everyday with him running to the door greeting me, and now I come home and there is no one there, everything is so empty, I feel empty. I found myself looking for one to ease my loneliness and seems like the ones I'm attracted too look exactly like him already, some reasons are because of the way he looked I love, I know that no other can have the same personality and I accept that, I would never want to replace him. I am afraid however that I will want so badly for the other cat to be as wonderful as he was. But I don't want to be alone,and depressed anymore. Ive tried to surround myself with friend but they cant always be there, so I'm alone again, What should I do? I know I'm not done grieving, but another kitty would make me happy so I have someone to come home too.


Addicted2killn 5 years ago

Adopted Butch (red nose pitbull) 14 years ago from a local animal shelter.  I remember it like it was yesterday, freezing outside with snow on the ground.  Butch was shivering with his head hung low.  He pawed at the cage door when he saw me. On the ride home he rested his head on my shoulder, looked into my eyes and sighed as if to say thanks for saving me.

If I went some place he couldn't go I gave him a dog treat, he wouldn't eat it until I returned. That was his way of telling me he would rather have gone for the ride.

He liked putting his paw in the palm of my hand or resting his head on my shoulder.  

About 2 months ago he was having trouble walking down the patio steps so whenever he had to go outside I carried him.  If he walked more than a few minutes he would lose his breath.

Took him to 2 different animal hospitals where more than 4 doctors checked him out.

I suspected Cancer and asked about a biopsy. They said he was old and would probably die on the table. At that point I knew it was time to prepare to have him put down.

When his breathing troubles became more frequent I brought him back to the vet where they gave him o2 and said it was his time. They got ready to put the needle in. I called my mom and although they had given Butch meds to keep him calm he started to struggle when he heard my moms voice.

It was his time and keeping him alive beyond that point would be considered selfish on my part. What I then realized was that he wasn't ready to leave us, I can't explain it in words, but knowing Butch for so many years I knew he wanted me to wait.

So home we went and every day after that it was a struggle trying to decide when the right time would be. I knew as a responsible person I couldn't allow him to suffer, but I oouldnt end his life even a moment earlier than needed. So I waited and watched his actions and mostly his breathing, very carefully.

He swas eating and drinking like normal and when he was not using energy his breathing was not labored. He was playing with his toys and still wanting to go for

It bothered him to watch the 2 dogs running around playing in the next yard. He would just sit in the kitchen and look out at them through the patio doors. When I saw this I made sure to play with him with out having him use too much energy.

3 days before he died I took him for a ride in the car at night since the air was cooler and easier to breath. He loved every minute of that ride. The next day I got him a chew bone.

On the last day of his life I rested alongside him on his dog bed and listened to his breathing while petting and praising him.

Around 4am he wanted to go outside to do his biz. I carried him outside and then back in. Right away I could hear his breathing was labored. This wasn't a surprise because they told me this is how it would happen.

Not taking any chances I rushed him to the 24 hour animal hospital. I got there within minutes.  They said I got him there just in time before he suffocates.   

As they gave the injection that ended his life I felt relieved he wasn't suffering and at the same time felt a sense of loss that was overwhelming.

I understood it was his time and that i waited till the last possible moment.  Still after it was done and the doctor checked for a pulse I couldn't believe he was dead.  I pet his head and put his paw in the palm of my hand. I couldn't leave his side until I told the vet a little about him, I felt if someone else knew a little about him it wouldn't be like leaving him with a stanger.

Sent from my iPad


Broken hearted 5 years ago

My wife and I had to put our 6 1/2 year old yellow lab down 8/8/11. he fell ill quickly. we did all we could to help. we went to the top Vet School in Indiana, Purdue.

The has some ideas of what was wrong but needed to do testing. MMM was the first possiable Diag. he would not eat or drink. they took some blood & had to send it out to Calf for testing this was a Sat(5 Daysfor results) so we picked him up sunday , he still woild not eat or drink. his face muscles were degenerating his eyes were sunk back in the sockets. we ended up taking him back tuesday as he still did not eat or drink. we had him to our local vet to give fliuds under the skin. Tue, Purdue wanted to get him on IV and try to get him to eat. they also suggested we do add test MRI.Cat -Scan, Muscle Biopsy of degenerating muscles, we agreed , anything to find & fix the problem. They took him down the hall & he was happy to go never looking back , which was very odd to us as he never liked leaving our side. we came back home & waited for updated info. still he has not ate and only has drank a little water, he lost 12 pounds.

The tests were done and again had to be sent out, 5 more days , by this time the orignal blood work came back neg for the MMM enzime. we oked a feeding tube to be put in to feed him until the test came back ,this was a Friday.

they suggestd we pick him up to keep him comfortable at home. we picked him up that Sunday , the taught us how to tube feed & supplyed us with the correct food.

I feed him , and he knew what I was dooing and would lay on the kitchen floor like a good boy . he was happy alert, would go for walks. afted that week of tube feeding he visably was declining. would just sit in the corner, his bark was gone. Finaly the Purdue vets called.

They have no idea what was wrong with Charger. he did not have the MMM. but the muscle biopsy showed his muscles aged to be that of a 12 year old dog. ???? we said. they said that there was nothig to treat as they did not know what was wrong. and there was no recovery of the muscles. he would have to tube feed to keep him alive. Like some other posts here, we also do not have children so this was our son, my son ,my best friend

we were never apart except when I went to work. This was no way for this dog to live. he was a champion.people marveled at his talents,speed agility.

we agreed that it was best to end his suffering & free Charger of his painfull body. as I type this I am crying.

its been over 2 months and I still look for him in the house.yard, I still visit the park we played in for years & look to see if he is in the seat next to me in the Big Red truck. M wife wants to get another dog to fill the void. I would like another dog to keep me company. we have started looking at lab rescues and applying. some days are better than others, the past few days I have been missing Charger bad & I hope its not too soon to get another dog.


Sophie 5 years ago

I had to put my cat Molly down two weeks ago as she had vascular cancer. She was only 8. Two days ago I went to the vets to pick up her ashes. They told me about Poppy, a 6 year old cat that had come in that day to be put down, as she was stressed due to a new baby at her previous house. I couldn't let a perfectly healthy cat be put down due to stress, so agreed to bring her home. She's beautiful with a lovely temperament, but I'm really struggling. I know it's not fair on her so I'm trying my best to help her and care for her properly, but it's too soon. I need more time to get over my cat as I really miss her. I shouldn't have agreed to have the new one. She's innocent in this and can probably sense my frustration. I don't know how to deal with this to be honest but I suppose I just have to get on with it. My husband and I also want children so am concerned about the future with her. I feel rather put upon by the vets but not too sure what I can do about it now.


Jenny 5 years ago

Last year l had to say goodbye to my dog Bubby l had for 18 years it was truly the worst pain l had ever felt (even worse than losing my dad).

2 months after my bubby passed l went to the local shelter and adopted a new dog benjie , l will be honest with you the first few weeks where tough he was nothing like Bubby and as hard as this is to admit l resented him for that ,of course l was never cruel l showed him lots of affection and spoiled Benjie but the feelings wernt the same, l knew this wasn't Benjie's fault and l had enormous guilt over not bonding with him instantly. What l did was write my bubby a letter explaining l had a new dog now and how l would always love her and be devoted to her but l was capable of providing love care and shelter to a needy dog and that l was going to do everything in my power to make sure benjie had a happy life as l had provided for Bubby, this helped enormously l love Benjie with all my heart we are very close and spend all our time together, the letter also helped me let go of the guilt allowing me to love Benjie, yet my love for Bubby has not gone and never will


topsyo1 5 years ago

My beloved Roxy passed away not even a month ago. She was diabetic for 3 years but was then quickly diagnosed with liver cancer and rapidly declined to the point where i had to put her down. She was only 11 which is not too old for a Silky Terrier. She was my first dog and i am devastated by her loss. I ran out and bought another Silky Terrier with hopes to fill the void and fix all of the mistakes that i have made raising Roxy. The dog is great, wonderful but its a puppy and this makes me mourn Roxy even more because she was so smart and in tuned with what i was thinking as i was with her. Was it a mistake that i rushed out and got another puppy? Definitely... It will take me a good year to get him to the point where he understands anything. Although i didn't buy him to replace Roxy and just bought him to fill the void, it is only natural to compare the two of them and that s not fair to the new puppy. Roxy was the same way when she was a puppy but it took a while for us to form that bond (we actually hated each other in the beginning) . I hope i can have the patience to form a bond similar with the new guy but i miss my little girl so much. I'm embarrassed by the way i cannot handle it and how much her loss has taken over me. People just get sick of hearing me and i cannot blame them however i lost my child and I'm not dealing with it good at all.


Cheryl 5 years ago

Wonderful article. I just lost my 2 1/2 year old toy poodle today. I cannot stop crying and hate the thought that someone would hit your dog and keep going. I cannot face the thought of getting a replacement for the family's best friend. No dog can do the tricks that she did,, and so lovable. My 9 year old is devastated. We will miss Milan always.


Josh 5 years ago

I thought I wanted a new pet. It's been 5 months and I thought I was over him until now... Been searching for a dog with a different breed and color so as to not "overwrite" my memory of him. Alas, everytime I go looking, I keep holding back - like there's something amiss. Turns out, all I want right now is my old dog back. He was my bestfriend... I might never get another dog again. It's just too painful!


wayne clarke 5 years ago

i had to put my cat down today, she was only 5, my ex wife and i had 3 of them, all from the same litter, but she was the runt, had a lot of health problems, last going off her kidneys went, it has been the hardest thing i had ever had to do, i sure do miss her


Alistair 5 years ago

I lost my beautiful Jack Russell Molly 2 weeks ago and I've never struggled with anything as bad as this in my life. She was hit by a car after running after a cat and stood no chance. She wasn't a typical wee Jack Russell in many ways as she was scared of so much and loved nothing more than cuddling up with myself and my wife in a warm house rather than running around outside. She was our little baby and was taken far too early, she was only 5. Ive done the whole blaming, being angry, not accepting it things but just cannot get over the thought that she will be so lonely without out us, I still worry about her even though she's gone. She was an absolute gem and helped me get over my bouts of anxiety that I used to get and also taught my mum to like dogs (she never used to like them) as she was so tender and loving. I miss her so much and don't know if I'll ever be able to get another dog as I fear forgetting my wee Molly.


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how-to-make 4 years ago from India

Its very hard to feel the grief for longer duration of time. I know as it really feel bad to any pet who was so close to us. Just after few days, you should buy another one to feel you a little better and then you would start loving your new pet as before.


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

@how-to-make: Though I completely disagree one should run out and buy another pet just a few days after losing a best friend and without giving proper time to the grieving process, I do thank you for reading and for your differing opinion.

Pets cannot be replaced per se. They are individuals - just as all our human friends are unique, so to are our pets. And while we can love them as deeply, it is not exactly the same. We love them differently and for different reasons. But we do love again once we have healed from our loss. Thanks again for your comment.


kelly 4 years ago

i just lost my 13 year old dog and im already looking for another but im afraid to let the shelter know because they'll think its way to soon please i need your advice


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Some people need a long time to grieve and process their loss, others don't need as much. I fall into the latter group. Sadly, I've had a lot of experience with this type of loss so I know what to expect. I have been breeding, showing, and training dogs for over 30 years and can process it fairly quick. But if this is a new experience for you and those closest to you are advising you to wait, you would be smart to at least consider their wisdom. I don't know what to say about the shelter folks except that they see dogs returned to them far too often and will try to avoid that. There is never harm in giving yourself more time. There is the possibility of a gross mismatch by moving too soon.


Andrew 4 years ago

I really like this article. I was hoping you can give me some advice about our situation. My wife and I have been married for almost 14yrs now and on our 1yr anniversary I bought our Miniature Pinscher "Hercules" from a breeder when he was only 8 weeks old. We picked him because when we held him in the palm of our hand, he litterally winked at us. We knew from that point, we had the dog we wanted. What originally started as an anniversary gift for my wife, eventually over time, turned into man's best friend. More importantly, MY best friend... In 2009 my wife and I were blessed yet again with the birth of our son. We wanted to hold off on having children while I finished my undergrad and after that, we wanted to do some traveling so in 2008, we decided it was time to start a family. Now my son AJ is 3 and Hercules is going on 13. In the beginning it didn't seem like my son cared for Hercules all that much but lately, they act as if AJ and Hercules grew up together. They play with each other often and when my son sits on the couch, he always asks me to have Hercules sit next to him. After we put our son to bed at night, Hercules sneaks into his room to sleep on the futon rather than in his own dog bed. My son picked up on that and now wants Hercules in the room when we put AJ to bed. All this is causing my wife and I to be concerned about the future... Just typing this out causes me to get emotional. I don't know how I am going to handle the inevitable. My wife suggested maybe getting a new dog now in hopes that it would ease some of the pain when the day comes. She thought it would also be a nice thing for Hercules as it can get lonely by himself while everyone is at work/school and the new dog can learn from Hercules (i.e. HouseBreaking) but after speaking to a good friend of mine, he said he's not sure if that would be a good idea. He said Hercules could take offense because Hercules is an Alpha dog. At this point I'm not sure what to do but what I do know is that when the day comes, I'm going to be a total wreck and I only hope God gives me the strength I need to be able to help my son. Susie, please let me know your thoughts. Thanks!


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

@Andrew: Well, it's hard to say whether your dog would be alpha or not since he is the only dog and I don't know him personally. But he is elderly. Often people think the right thing to do is to get their aging pet a young buddy but more often than not it isn't wise. The exuberance and energy of a pup or younger dog often proves to be too much for the aging dog who lacks the stamina and physical ability (not to mention patience!) to keep up with or fend off the youngster. My advice is that if you are certain another pet is what is best for your situation and family right now, adopt an older pet - middle age and up, one that is quieter and will not pester the older dog too much.

As for your son and the future without the Herc, loss is a part of life. There is no way around the fact that it hurts. And as much as we want to spare our children any pain at all, it is often a valuable life lesson and an opportunity to teach good coping skills. You must make your response age appropriate, of course. In my household we experienced the loss of a beloved pet more often than most folks since we have always numerous pets at a time. I gently explained it to my kids and they cried, sometimes got depressed for a bit in their mourning but I felt it the best thing for me to teach them about it as youngsters. All grown up now with pets of their own, they still weep when they lose a pet but appreciate the time they spent with them. When we recently lost our Doberman, my 30 something son and I hugged and cried together. He grew up with her. Now, after the tears of grief have dried, we talk and laugh about the things she used to do and how wonderful she was. We also talk about getting another one in the not to distant future. I hope this helps you in some small measure. Best of luck...


Rebecca 4 years ago

I am writing to see if anyone can give me any advice to help me overcome the pain and grief I am experiencing. I lost my beloved Bichon, Lilli last month. She was without a doubt my most treasured companion. She became a member of my family 6 months after the untimely death of my dog Robbie. I was quite ill when Robbie died and I was hospitalized as a result of my additional emotional loss. My family was quite supportive and after 6 months of recovery and healing I decided I was ready to take the leap and bring another companion into my life. I did my research and decided a Bichon was the breed for me. I had only one wish for my new friend, that she would be a companion for me.

I named my new puppy Lilliput, Leap of Faith,” Lilli “for short. She lived up to her name every day of her life. I experienced such happiness with her. She adored performing her tricks for everyone but was always at my side, sleeping with me, sitting on the sofa with me and wherever I was in the house, she was there. She developed a cataract at age 3 and even after surgery she lost the vision in her right eye. She had years of expensive treatments to retain the eye and protect the vision in her other eye but went on to live many healthy happy years. She began developing heart problems at around age 13. I did everything possible to help her with the help of our wonderful vets. She lived 6 to 9 months longer than expected because of the care I provided. I made her food from scratch, managed her medications and spent as much time as I could caring for her. In spite of her health, she was always with me. She became quite slow and because of her poor vision would sometimes get “stuck” next to a chair or between furniture and the wall. I will never forget the image of her slowly walking around the house trying to keep up with me as I cleaned or cooked for her. I often picked her up and carried her to the next room to save her the trouble of looking for me. I became quite sensitive to where she was and it was second nature to realize she wasn’t with me, so off I would go to find her in the house. I had to go outside with her because she became disoriented with the lack of visual clues in the grass.

I knew she wouldn’t be with me for much longer and had prepared a local home care vet to come and help her out when her quality of life declined too much. Unfortunately my vet was unavailable when her condition deteriorated suddenly. Even though I knew how much she hated to be in the crate or the car, I drove her to the vet for help out of her crisis. Even though the event had been scary and stressful for her, I held her and talked to her as she slipped away.

I miss her so much. Everything in the house reminds me of her: all the cooking tools I used to make her food, the special items I used to keep her from getting lost, the bedding I used to make it possible for her to be able to sleep in the bed with me. I feel a huge hole in my life. I know she had a wonderful long life and I feel privileged to have shared it with her. I have set up “Lilli’s Garden” in my yard and have her ashes in a special container to keep with me forever. I still find myself in tears, especially when I use the tools I used to help her and our life together.

I am not sure if I should try to find another special friend to share my life with and fill the void I feel or if I should wait. I am 62 years old and am afraid to wait too long to get another dog so I have the time to devote to this friend and be there for him/her.


Anonymous 4 years ago

I am 11 years old and my first pet ever, a Golden Retriever, Journey, died at 3 this morning. I keep hearing her walking, but then i realize its my imagination.Today i went to give her my bread crusts, and when i found out she wasn't there,i went into my room and sobbed. We had to put her down at age 13,and i feel like i really need a new dog. My mom doesn't want another, because we were lucky with Journey. She never left the yard, and wasn't any trouble. I feel like if i don't get a new dog soon, i'm not going to be happy. My dog was literally my bff,and put up with everything. What do i do??


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

anonymous, I am so sorry for your loss. The first time you lose a special friend is very hard. Give yourself some time to grieve. It is supposed to hurt, a new dog will not make you feel less sad. It might be a distraction for a bit but you still need time to mourn your loss of Journey. Please trust me on this - you will feel better in time and that is when you should think about getting another dog. Best of luck...


aria 4 years ago

I lost my most precious baby girl at 4 about 15months ago, I loved her so much but my grieving process was double, because she was killed by my other dog, which had to be put down a few days later, i am to this day still very heartbroken and cry every time I think of her. I did resent my other dog and I could come to turn with things for a long time, I had two more dogs at the time, one of which didn't take the loss well at all he stood by her body and cried, the other one didn't want to look at us for days and stayed in his bed. My dogs were never dangerous they were sweet and good dogs. I have in the past gone to look for a puppy but I felt bad and left, I think I'm ready now, I know nothing will ever replace her, I've looked at the same breed and the same colour as well as a different color, I don't ever want to dishonor her memory, I want to start fresh, my dogs I have I love but I've always felt the presence a small dog is missing. What should I do? Should I go ahead with the purchase or not get one at all, I want her to know that I forever love her, is till have all her things and don't let anyone touch them, I feel I want to do over my mistake and care for a puppy and do the thing I missed out on doing with her, she was my rock through everything, I hate admitting it but I loved her more than any other of my dogs, she was such a happy beautiful girl everyone loved and she loved everyone


Stephanie 4 years ago

I am 23 years old and have had Raider since I was 11. I was a military brat and we moved around a lot. He was my one consistent and best friend throughout all of this. Yesterday, we had to put him down. He had Cushing's disease and it had deteriorated rapidly. We put him on some medication for a week and the side affects were terrible, though it did stop the seizures. My parents decided to put him down instead of trying another medication or level of the medication. I wanted to try more, and the vet even thought we should. My parents decided to put him down because they didnt' want him to be a guinea pig and wanted him to die while he still had a good quality of life/before it got worse. I'm angry they wouldn't try more, and I can't believe he is really gone. I know I couldn't make the decision they did and I know he didn't understand what was going on. I don't think he was ready to go. Saying goodbye to him as we put him to sleep is the hardest thing I've done in my entire life. Waking up without him next to me has been devastating. I'm not sure if I really have a question in this, I just wish I could have him back and have more time with him. Is this normal? Will I ever get over this pain? Right now my husband is stationed elsewhere and I can't see him either so I feel like I have nobody to comfort me. It is so hard right now. I was hoping to go visit him in August and bring Raider with me. Losing him right now was so unexpected and sudden. My parents decided the morning of that it was time to let him go. I barely had time to spend with him after the decision before we had to say goodbye and I feel like I'll never be able to cope with this.


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

@Stephanie: 12 years is quite a good long life for most dogs of medium to larger build. I do understand your pain and anger in this situation. These are honest, valid emotions. It is so hard to judge when the right time is to let our pets go. If in your parents shoes, I would have made the same call they did.

Yes, Raider may have been able to live a while longer. But to what end? That is usually the question I ask myself before deciding to put a pet down. If doing it a little bit sooner will prevent a traumatic end full of suffering for the dog, I opt to let them go out on a good note. I have seen situations where a pet has been coaxed through some trying health issues to buy the people a few more months, days, moments, with their pet friend, only to have the pet's life end horrifically, searching out a vet in the middle of the night or weekend to end the poor creature's agony. I try to spare the pet what I can.

Please try to find it in your heart to understand and forgive your parents for what was ultimately a great kindness they did for Raider. Much better to remember his attributes rather than the indelible memory of his suffering.

And, I hate to say this but have seen it far too many times, some clinics will encourage people to go to any and all means to save a pet. Some will make the client feel guilty for not doing more. It's how they keep their doors open. Not saying this was the case here - nor at most clinics. I'm just saying I have seen this happen and have talked to numerous people who experienced it at the their chosen clinic. It's something to be aware of.

Your feelings are quite normal and though it seems it can never happen, yes, you will get over the pain. It's all part of the normal grieving process. Give yourself some time.


Brandon Reid 4 years ago

i reasently have delt with a loss of my dog he got into a fight with another one of my dogs who was much bigger than him and i just don't know what to do with the dog that killed him every time i look at him im reminded of the horrable event i just don't know what to do someone please help me.


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

That is a hard one to answer since I don't know the whole story and what lead up to the final fight. Dogs fight and kill for varying reasons. When something awful like this happens, we need to remember they are dogs and not humans. They do not have the same moral reasoning that we do. You will want to gain some understanding about this situation before taking action - unless of course this dog is a danger to you and any other pets you may have. Protect yourself and them first, if that is the case. Get a GOOD trainer/behaviorist to talk over the situation and hopefully gain some insight. That will help you with the direction you need to go in. Best...


leo 4 years ago

We put our dog down about a month ago. He was as all our dogs are to each of us, "the best." I feel like I have a hole in my heart and don't want to think about getting another dog but my wife keeps saying how much she wants another dog. She says she's not trying to replace our dog but it feels that way to me. I just know I'm not ready and feel like I don't want bear the pain of loss again


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

In the past when I placed pups/dogs it was my policy that if BOTH partners were not on the same page as to getting a new pet, I didn't let the dog go. If the two of you don't *yet* agree, I say wait - for the sake of the dog. People do not process the grief the same nor at the same rate. Your wife is ready again for the happiness a dog will bring to her life. You are not there yet. This is normal. Please don't let it come between you. Let your wife know in a kind way that you need more time to grieve and will keep her desires in mind while you come to terms with the loss. Possibly suggest to her that in the meantime she might volunteer to be a dog walker for the local rescue. That will give her a short "fix" of doggy love until you are ready and will help dogs in the shelter too.

Additionally, keep in mind that loss is a fact of life and there is no way to avoid it or the ensuing pain. With our dogs who naturally have a shorter lifespan than humans, it is the price we pay for the immeasurable amount of happiness they bring to our daily lives. Don't deny yourself such happiness for fear of the pain of loss. Personally, my life would not be as fulfilling if I didn't have a dog. Best to you both...


LolaMontez 4 years ago

Susie, the problem I have with your advice here, is that if a person has a purebred dog of some kind (or a cat for that matter), you can pretty well replace a Pomeranian with a Pomeranian, or a miniature red dachshund with another miniature red dachshund or a Siamese cat with another Siamese cat.

I once read an article by a man who had had 3 identical dachshunds, all named Max. He said "the dogs didn't care, but it gave HIM a feeling that his original dog was still there, 30 years on".

However, there is no similar comfort if you lost a unique dog or a "heinz 57 mutt" or one with unusual markings, or temperament.

Your advice to "just find a totally different dog" might work for some people, but cause others an increased sense of grief and loss -- and I fear, impatience and then rejection of the "new" dog who is so different. (This is a bit less so for cats, as cats don't vary as greatly in appearance.)

We lost our beautiful border collie last week; she was almost 12 but that is young for a BC. She had some health issues, but nothing that should have killed her so suddenly (she died in her sleep). We are utterly devastated. We got her at a local shelter, and we can't afford to buy a purebred border collie; even the "border collie rescues" are really more than we can pay.

The whole shelter industry has changed greatly in the past decade, and it seems more people are competing for fewer dogs -- good for the dogs, not so good for the adoptees. The kennels I have visited are full of nothing but angry-looking pit bull mixes and abused dogs -- I have pity for them, but they are not suitable for us. They don't even have puppies anymore, just older dogs.

The only thing that would comfort us would be to replace our darling BC with another very similar BC -- younger and healthier of course -- but the same kind of temperament and personality. And that seems increasingly impossible. We've been to every shelter in a 100 mile radius of our home; we can't afford to travel much further than that.

We have only seen one adoptable BC in all that time, and even the shelter warned us off of her aggressive and unsocialized behavior. We never even got to see this dog, BTW -- a border collie rescue got her before we could get there (5 hour round trip).

So this has only INCREASED our grief and suffering. I wish you'd address this. If only they could affordably clone dogs! I just don't think we will ever be happy again, or have our family again and we are just absolutely desolate.


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

@Lola. I appreciate you reading and commenting on my article. I am sorry for your loss. I do need to point out to you and others who may read this, I did not in any way advise to "just find a totally different dog." Perhaps you read another article and mistakenly attributed this quote to me? I did write that "Some folks purposely look for a different color, sex, or breed (maybe even a different species) so as not to confuse the new one with the old one in their minds." People have different ways of dealing with pet loss and this was but one example and not my specific advice.

I understand your pain and anger. Loss of a beloved pet can be very hard to cope with. My best to you in your search.


Savanna 4 years ago

We adopted a shelter puppy on 06/05/2012 and he died 06/21/2012. He was two months old, and I named him Jack. After several vet visits, we didn't find out that he had distemper until his very last visit. I held his little paw until he stopped breathing, and even though I know I did the right thing, I still feel guilty at the fact that if I had caught the distemper sooner, he could have made it. I really would like a new companion because being an only child, I get pretty lonely. My parents will support whatever I decide to do, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to get a new puppy yet or not.


Elizabeth 4 years ago

Suzie,

Thank you so much for your hub and the time you take for everyone's comments. We lost our Australian Shepherd black lab mix 3 weeks ago this past Wed. He was chasing something through our woods and impaled himself on a stick. Such a sudden unexpected freak accident. The stick wasn't even attached to anything. I raised Jack from a puppy and he would have been 5 July 21. I delivered our new son the day after Jacks death. Do you think this may have hindered my keepmi picturing him meeting me in the driveway as I pull in. I REALLY miss him. I caught myself looking for a dog "just like him" so I'm glad I read your posts. Do you think I will ever be ready for another companion? My oldest daughter asked me not to get another dog....she said the loss was too painful. The other two haven't really said much.


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Oh dear! That is a freak accident. I have heard many times of dogs having odd accidents - just like we people have. Such a sudden loss can be quite devastating. With a new baby and dealing with a recent pet loss, you need some time. I'm sure your feelings run the gamut right now and likely conflict with each other between the joy of the recent birth and the loss of your dog. Guilt is likely sandwiched somewhere in between. It is normal and will pass. Be kind to yourself and take your time. You will be ready again and you will know when it is time. Best of luck...


Shae3 4 years ago

I'm 20 and lost my 14 year old poodle  just over a year ago. Clyde  was given to us after being poorly treated, he soon became my little brother ( being an only child) and, my life. Not a day goes by where I don't miss him, " the decision" was heart breaking, and  the pain that I've continued to feel is indescribable. 

BUT, now i can actually talk about him and smile, knowing how lucky I am to have spent my time with such a loving "little man."  Mind you, I get very teary and some weeks are worse than others. 

I had been dog hunting, missing the companionship, missing something to love and stumbled across the rainbow bridge poem plus this amazing column months ago, which I give a very big thank you for . All of the dogs i was researching, just weren't right. They weren't Clyde. I wasn't ready. 

Time does heal, and sure enough,  I'm picking up a little pup ( different breed )  tomorrow. Im not one to melt at every  puppy I come across, but there is something about this little girl that I've fallen for. 

I will never replace Clyde, or ever stop loving him. However, opening up my heart to new adventures will be the best thing. Understanding that loss is a part of this " roller coaster" life and coming to terms with that, is key for me. I'm certainly going to  cherish whatever amount of time I am given with this little girl. :) 

After reading through many of these posts over the year, I wish the same for all of you too. :) 


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

@Shae3 - You have beautifully illustrated what it is like when one comes out the other side of grief, feeling the acceptance and peace that comes when one is ready to move forward out of mourning and open their heart again to new love. For myself and all who stop by here, I offer thanks to you for sharing your experience. It will no doubt be of help to those who are not sure if they are ready yet or not. Best of luck and much happiness with your new companion.


jasmine 4 years ago

I was 3 when i got my husky. He was diagnosed with arthiritis. He got spooked on the 4th of july an busted down the fence. We had to put him down the next day because he couldn't walk. I feel like it is all my fault. I want a new dog an so does his bestfriend a rottie named taz. Lex will always be special to me he was my baby. I am now thirteen. His 10 bday was only in a few days. Im soo sorry lex ;(


Kiaa 4 years ago

Hi I’m 16 and my dog passed away 3 weeks ago she was a minture pincer and was about 13, it was the worst day of my life, because she was my best friend and all of a sudden she was gone. For the few days after all i did was blame my self for not looking after her as well as i should have. i think i came up with every reason in the world to blame my self until about a week ago i finally accepted that she was just old and that 13 is a really long time for a dog, and there was really nothing else i could have done. I still miss her badly and every night i just wish for one more cuddle to hold her in my arms and tell her i love her. Everyday i say something to my mum about her like remember when she did this or when we did that, and i guess its just me trying to remember all the good times we had together.

But over the past couple of day i keep talking about other dogs and i have even been looking online and in pet shops at other dogs, except every time a see a cute dog I think about buying and brining in to my family makes me a little sad because I feel a little bit as if I am not honoring my past dog yet I still want another dog, but my parents won't let me get another dog because we cant afford it which makes me even sadder because i just need a friend to cuddle and tell everything to and it makes me miss my dog even more. Im not sure if I should keep looking at other dogs and save up my money to buy one or just wait longer, any advice?


Lisa 4 years ago

We lost our 7 yr old lab/shepard mix last friday. He died of a massive heatattack in my arms. We have come to terms with the fact that God had other plans for him but right now we are worried about our other dog. They were both adopted from the shelter together and were pretty close. Now she is sleeping alot and not eating a whole lot. I have been trying to give her something to look forward to like a walk just the two of us, and even just special car rides. As of right now I am trying to take it slow with her she is about 8 years old and let her come to realization of what's going on. Am I doing the right thing?


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

@Lisa. Yes. You are doing the right thing. Dogs do sometimes mourn the loss of their buddy. Give her extra activities - as long as she is enjoying them. Also recognize that she may want extra "down" time too.


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

@Kiaa. You sound like a very level headed person. At 16, you have little choice but to honor your parent's wishes. Owning a dog can be very hard on a tight family budget. Your parents want to be able to provide proper care to a dog and if they know they cannot due to budget issues, they are being responsible parents and citizens by not getting one.

If you earn your own money and feel you are ready for a pet, do sit down and have a discussion with your parents and be prepared to show them what you can contribute towards the care of a new dog - and if they go for it, make sure you honor your part of the deal. If it doesn't work for them, you will need to wait. But that is okay too. Finding patience can be difficult but know that it won't be forever. Best of luck...


Mark 4 years ago

They say everything happens st once. My wife has just been made redundant and returned home after attending 2 interviews on Monday morning to find our 5 year old basset dead. She called me at work and I rushed home to find her lying in her bed cold, we suspect either a heart attack or an aneurysm. It was completely out of the blue, she was fit and healthy, there no signs whatsoever, she had been walked that morning and eaten her breakfast. I could have accepted it if she had been older or ill. I miss her so much and I want my friend back so badly. I found myself looking for another dog online today -local breeders and rescue centres- but I know that it is far too soon, it's a natural reaction to want to find something to fill the void. I really liked the article and it's gret that people have taken time to share their thoughts.


Elyse 4 years ago

I lost my 1 year old dog 8 weeks ago to parvo. After three days, the vet thought she was improving and that because she wasn't a puppy anymore she would recover. On the third night she was looking for my boyfriend and laid down next to the couch where she can see the whole house. Wanting to keep her company I laid down next to her, petting her and cuddling her and telling her she'll be better soon. She took a nap in my arms and after a little while I fell asleep too. When I woke up an hour later she had already passed away. I went through all stages of grief; denial until I held her urn after the cremation, anger at people who don't properly take care of their wonderful and healthy dogs, barganing and begging God to let her come walking up the driveway, major depression as she came into my life while I was going through tough transitions-graduation and saying goodbye to many close friends, and acceptance that death was more peaceful for her than the disease she was suffering though. I was able to talk about my memories of her and be grateful for the year I was able to have her in my life- even if it was too short. Two weeks ago my boyfriend said he wanted another puppy- he missed having a pet since during the week we have opposite schedules and are often home alone. He found a local family looking for homes for their pups and when we met them we instantly fell in love with our newest puppy Sunshine. Despite cleaning everything and boxing up our old dogs things, I was worried that the new puppy would catch parvo too- so far she hasn't! She is a complete joy in my life and I believed I was ready for her until she got an infection and colitis. The vet says its very treatable with antibiotics but to see her sick was like ripping open my old wounds. I'm not ready to watch another puppy suffer through bouts of diarrhea and tummy problems. I am hoping every day that she make a full and speedy recovery.


Justin 4 years ago

On July 15th my pet bearded dragon, Marvin of seven years died. I do not know how old he was when I acquired him in November of 2005, but based on his size I'd say he was hatched in early to mid 2004. The original owners had no clue how to raise a dragon and he was terribly mistreated. He had a clear case of metabolic bone disease and had not eaten in three weeks when we got him which is why we named him Starvin Marvin. He had bone deformities on his jaw and tail as well as a mal formed front left arm or it had been broken and never healed right. We nursed him back to health and found him to be a inquisitive and funny little guy. His reptilian features made him look like he had a perpetual grin on his face. We let him roam free and he had a gentle and friendly personality. He was with me thru some very rough times in my life, switching jobs twice, losing my nice apartment and finding myself a few grand in debt. He was a constant with me. Starting in 2011 his apatite started to diminish. Slowly his health imperceptibly began to diminish. He seemed to bounced back a little in the summer but once the winter of 2012 got going he health began to decline visibly. He started to fall over and not be able to right himself, he lost his muscle tone. I learned that I had been supplementing his diet with the wrong kind of calcium and made correcting measures. I tried to vary his diet but he always was a picky eater. The spring and early summer he was starting to bounce back, he was hunting on his own again and could get meal bugs and crickets on his own. We found we could position his tank to get some early morning sunshine and he seemed to perk up a lot. Then on the morning of July 15th I found him dead. I can not shake the thought that had I been more on the ball and less absorbed in my own projects and troubles in 2011 I could have arrested his health's decline. I feel I killed my little scaly buddy threw neglect. I know he was old, at least 8 and maybe more and never was in good health. He had chronic issues steaming from his mis treatment in young. For example he never shed properly, doing so only splotchy, here and there. This resulted in a build up of dead skin that eventually resulted in the lost of the last 3 inches of his tail in 2009. I had to cut off the necrotic flesh myself. I though he was dying then and each year he made it thru was a year that surprised me. Now he is truly gone. I know they say reptiles can not feel emotions but I think he could to a limited extent. He knew I was his source of food and protector and I failed him. A bearded dragon can last 12 even 15 years, he should have had more life in him. I recently when out and put a deposit on a new dragon, only four days after Marvin's death. I purposefully sought out a young female that looks nothing like Marvin that is in a scene also a rescue. She got a cricket leg stuck in her mouth as a juvenile. The pet shop owners both experience dragon breeders had to surgically remove it. Now she is very shy of being handled tho does look the attention of people. I am wonder if I am making a mistake. I know she can't replace Marvin, nothing can. I just miss something terrible and feel I have to prove that I can properly care of a dragon.


Justin 4 years ago

I apologize for the grammatical errors in my overly long and rambling post. My mind just is not on the ball as of late.


jasmine 4 years ago

Why wont susie reply to my comment? Written by jasmine about lex 2 weeks ago.


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

@jasmine: Probably because you didn't ask me a question. :-) There are many comments on this piece that I wrote over two years ago so I now usually comment on specific questions or requests for advice. I keep the comments open however, so people like yourself who have lost a beloved pet can publicly voice their grief, as you did. I am sorry for your loss. Best wishes to you...


jasmine 4 years ago

I did but it probably didnt show up.i got my husky lex wen i was 3 an his friend a rottweiler 2 months later. When lex was little he broke his leg. It grew back crooked an the vet said there was nothing to do. He ended up getting arthiritis. On july 5 2012 he could no longer walk. We decided the best thing 2 do would be to put him to sleep so we did ;(. I am now 13 an lost my best friend/ first dog after only 10 short years. I miss him so much. We wer considering getting a new dog an english mastiff in particular so it doesnt seem as if wer replacing him. Taz the rottie hasnt been acting the same after his death he has lost about 20 pounds an wont eat much nor play any suggestions on what 2 do for him???? LEX 2002-2012 Forever Happy in Rainbow Bridge


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

@jasmine: Some dogs mourn too when they lose a friend. Some more than others. Give Taz extra attention. Take him out for walks and try to engage him in some play - but don't overdo. Let him have his time to grieve too. He will get better. He's just processing and adjusting to his loss too. Dogs will also react to the energy in the household. If you and your family are depressed and grieving, Taz can pick up on that and feel bad right along with you. Again, take Taz for some nice leisurely walks, even day outings to someplace different so that his mind is engaged. Best of luck.


jasmine 4 years ago

Thanx :).do you think getting a new puppy would help???? Even though he is 9 years old taz is VERY active an full of joy. Well he was until we put lex down. :( do you think a new puppy would help?????? LEX 2002-2012 Forever Happy in Rainbow Bridge


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

That is hard to say. Normally, I advise people with older dogs to NOT get a puppy. They just annoy the older pet who does not have the energy level & patience, that a young adult dog will have around a youngster. Nor do they enjoy the same activities and all the nonsense that goes along with a young pup. People often mistake the senior dog's *tolerance* of all the lip biting, body slamming, and pouncing that a young pup does as a sign the senior likes it. More likely it is the good nature and tolerant attitude of the older dog they are seeing - not that senior actually *enjoys* it. I like to see people get a young to middle aged adult dog if they are looking for a companion to their senior dog. They are usually more compatible in terms of activity level, games enjoyed together, and personality. There are plenty available who need a good home and a friend. :-)


jasmine 4 years ago

Once again thnx ;) we're just worried about taz he's lost alot of weight. He now only weighs 73 pounds. Do you have any ideas on how to get him to eat more or maybe a tasty dog food brand you would suggest?? LEX 2002-2012 Forever Happy in Rainbow Bridge


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

It is unlikely he will let himself starve to death - unless there is an underlying medical cause why he is not eating. I still suggest what I did before, give him extra attention, play games with him, take walks. That should help bring him through his mourning and stimulate his appetite. Best...


George 4 years ago

Lost my incredibly goofy and handsome Doberman Rudy unexpectedly. I have not had a cry free day in 3 weeks. From 6 weeks to 9 1/2 years, he was my best friend. I have had a dog in my life for 36 years but after Rudy I won't even consider another dog. He was a special dog, so much personality and we shared a unique bond, that I don't think would or could ever be duplicated. Miss and love you bud...my Roo-Roo.


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

@George - nor should you try to duplicate it. Keep his memory close to your heart. I hope that you will let yourself love again after mourning your loss. I too have Dobermans and lost a cherished friend a few months ago. She will never be replace but I do want to create more fond memories with another one at some point - not expecting them to be the same or even similar. I love having these magnificent creatures in my life. Best...


jaymetal 4 years ago

2 days ago, August 16th, 2012, i lost the best friend i think one could hope for. He was my everything and as a result, his death has left me nothing short of alone and devastated. He was a beautiful black and white domesticated handsome boy i called Chad. We lived together for a happy 11 years. Everything went down rather quick. I found some mass of lumps on his hind front leg and under the arm pit that turned out to be my worse nightmare. The big C word had come to claim my boy. I cried and cried and have not stopped. My heart is sore from the pain and grief. My stomach feels like i was run over by a bull dozer. I tried holding on to him as strongly as my love would allow. He got where he wanted to hide, because i think he knew he was dying. I would retrieve him and put him in bed with me. I put his water bowl in the bed and he would drink like there was no tomorrow. Well, for him it wasn't many tomorrow's left. He lost his zest for life. He looked at me so pitifully. I hugged him and cried. I told him of how deep my love was for him. I read him a poem i wrote for him. I took him to my grandmother's graveside and i talked while he listened silently in his carrier. I fed him his last taste of tuna juice the night before. He use to always run when he heard the can opener. He would run no more. I carried it into the bedroom and placed it on the bed in a paper plate. He licked up some, but ignored the rest. I continued to lie with him and cried and i tried not to move him much because of a more recent sound he was making that made me think he was starting to hurt. I wept out loud. I WAS and still feel his loss. I took him in to the vet on Thursday. Along the way i played for him a song from my ipod by Rob Thomas. It is called Now Comes The Night. A song to me which sings about life, love, hanging on to one another and being there for each other at the coming hour of our final goodbye. I applied it to my boy Chad. I cried again and petted his cheeks while i drove. We got to the vet and it was no time they took me into the back. She explained what she was going to do with the needle and i grabbed him and loudly said, I LOVE YOU CHAD! I LOVE YOU SWEETHEART! I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER ALWAYS ALWAYS! Then she did it and i lost it. I bet everyone in the building could hear my pain and grief as i released it. I could not care at that moment. To see my boy's head gently fall and his body went limp. I spent the next 50 minutes with him. Crying and holding on to his semi warmth. I wailed out in the worse pain i have ever felt in my life. He was my first ever cat. I grew to love him so deeply through the years. We had some pretty tight times. Lots of smiles. He was a good boy. I can't fault him for much but being a sweetheart of a boy. I'm grieving so and i haven't even gotten the ashes back yet. Round 3 i guess. I know i have a heart, because it is broken into sharp fragments of jagged confusion and pain. Chad, i will love you till i take my last breath. You are on my mind alot and i can't look at all the wonderful pictures i took of you through the years just yet. Will i ever? You were my everything. RIP my little man. I love you with all my being!


mike 4 years ago

I have three cats and a dog who is 13 and was wondering ig i should wait to get a new dog or get one while she is still here....she has a heart of a puppy and seems to get jealous when my one cat who she has grown with plays witn the younger cats ...mainly was wondering if she could use a companion to play with in her old age


mike 4 years ago

^…but i dont want my old friend to think im replacing her


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

@mike. No. Wait until your older pet is no longer with you. Bringing in a young boisterous pup can be very stressful on an aged pet - no matter how much energy she seems to still possess. She is set in her ways and used to the other pets you have there. She knows what to expect each day and finds comfort in that. If she were a couple years younger I would advise to get an older adult of at least 4 years if you were set on bringing in another dog, but for one this age, it is best to wait.


mike 4 years ago

Thanks for the advice...much appreciated


Jennifer R. 4 years ago

I just lost my Golden very unexpectedly, he was only 4 years old and we believe he had an underlying condition we did not know about. I feel so much grief that I can't stand it, he was really my rock. My relatives are urging me to get another dog to help with the pain, but I don't think I can. I just keep thinking "they're not him" and I know that's not the right way. I think I'll wait, as long as it takes. Thanks for this article.


barbartk 4 years ago

My husband and I lost our beautiful golden Maggie in April 2012. She was 10 and it was unexpected as we did not know she had a brain tumor. She was so important to my husband and me and we were known as Grammy, Pop Pop and Maggie. We were 3 not 2 and we took her everywhere. My husband was so close to her and now that she is gone there is no "normal" with out her. I have talked with him about a new puppy but he says he could never go through that kind of pain again and that how could we just replace her. So I suffer in silence because it created a big argument. I now am so obsessed with looking at Goldens, websites for puppies, Spca, Rescues and such I really feel like I am loosing it. I am so lonely with out her and I want so desparately to have another pet. I will not say anything to him cause I don't want another argument. I am becoming resentful because I am 61 years old and should be able to get a dog but I can't. Is this a grieving process and not an obsession? I don't know but its really consuming my day and I can't think of anything else.

Just wondered am I going crazy?


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

My apologies. I don't know what is going on with this hub but my comment did not show up as I intended and when I edited it, it still published the original, very long comment. Now it tells me my comment is hidden. I will check this again in a few hours and see if I can correct it then. Sorry if it causes any distress. :-/


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

@ barbartk: You are not crazy. I suspect your “obsession" has more to do with you trying to end your pain and fill a void that you and your husband are still feeling rather than a readiness to move forward with a new dog. It has been my experience that if one in the home is not yet ready for another pet it is best to wait. A person's grief and time of mourning cannot be forced. It is different for individuals and we all need to be allowed the time needed to process it – be it a couple of weeks, months, or years. That is difficult when there is more than one person who was close to the pet and their grieving times do not coincide. I agree that at 61 you should be able to do what you want – and that includes making a compassionate choice to allow your husband more time to process his loss.

My advice to you is to stop searching for the time being. Allow yourself to feel everything you are feeling, the loneliness, the resentment and anger, and know that it will eventually lessen and pass. Don’t react to it, just observe it,then let it go. Once you are *both* through the grieving process and are certain you are ready to move forward, that is the time to start searching for a new companion.

The other thing I have suggested in the past that worked for some people who had differing grieving times in the same household was to volunteer to be a dog walker for the local rescue organization in the interim. You help the animals, the organization, and yourself all at once. Possibly make a donation of some sort to your local rescue organization in Maggie’s memory if that works better for you.

These creatures are truly gifts to us in this life, though we have them with us for such a short time. It can hurt terribly when they are gone.

And please, take what you need from this advice and discard the rest. Everyone is different. Only you know what works best for you and your family. My best to you…


barbartk 4 years ago

I see what you mean. All I can do is wait I guess. I thought I went through the grieving process but I guess I am still looking for something to help get back my normal. Being sad is not in my nature. I try to avoid it at all costs. So looking for pets and looking at pets probably just gives me a little hope that normal can come again. Time is the only thing that will probably help. I guess at my age I just don't want to wait. I am going to sit him down and tell him what has been going on with me cause I hide it well and maybe he can see how it is affecting me and we can at least come to a compromise. I have gone to a shelter to ask about volunteering. It is a place I really don't think my husband could bear. He hates seeing pets in a cage. But maybe he would go for fostering that isn't a committment.

Well, at least I am not crazy!!


csev 4 years ago

I adopted a husky almost a month ago as a companion for my GSD. He was truly an amazing dog. Just as we we had settled in, he was ripped from my life. They managed to get out of the yard a few days ago, and my boy Ace was killed by a car. I mean I know I didnt have him that long, but the grief and guilt I feel is just unimaginable. He was only 8 months old, just 8 months! He never got a chance to live, which is the truly crushing part. I know I am in the grieving and anger stage right now, but I believe my gsd could use another companion. She wasnt really accepting of my husky at first, but over a course of a week or so, they seemed to be getting along just fine (albeit with some very aggressive playing that went on) How long would you recommend waiting before I pursued the matter of whether to get another dog or not?


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

@ csev: First things first. Secure your environment. Figure out (you may already know) exactly how they got out and take steps to prevent a recurrence. Some of these creatures can be ingenious escape artists and as you painfully discovered, they haven't a clue as to the dangers they face. So sorry this happened to Ace and to you, my heart goes out to you. All we can do is our best.

As to when to get another, time is on your side. The anger and guilt you feel is understandable. Learn from it and move forward. Give yourself time. Once the guilt and anguish are gone, or at least substantially diminished, and escape possibilities secured, you'll be ready. Best...


Jess D 4 years ago

I just recently had to put down my 10 year old Bichon Poo, Polar, on the 23rd. I'm sixteen and she has been with me for about fourteen years. She had many kidney stones that were getting too big for her stomach. It was either put her through a traumatic surgery (which we didn't even have the funds for) or put her down before her quality of life was too low. We chose the latter, and I cried for a few days afterwards. She always used to sleep on my bed with me at night, and it was very hard the first night without her beside me. Is it bad that I feel like I am already over her death, though? I guess I just don't grieve as long as others. I really want another dog, but is that bad of me? It makes me feel like I never loved her--but I did! I'm not trying to replace her, I'm looking at a totally different breed, colour, and a male instead. Is this bad of me? I love Polar so much, but I don't feel guilty anymore. I just miss having a dog in the house and I would love to be able to watch another dog grow up happy. It all feels so weird because it has only been five days since she passed. I feel like a bad person.


Jess D 4 years ago

Also, my dad isn't a fan of dogs and it took him a while to finally agree to get Polar. I asked him if we would ever get another dog and he said no, because he didn't think I would help out. I can admit I was pretty lazy with Polar, but I think that was because I took her for granted. I now have the experience and I would most definitely train, walk, feed, and do everything I could for my new puppy. He used to say that Polar was a good girl, even if he didn't like dogs. Is there any way I can change his mind? I think he's scared of the dog having accidents in the house, but I would try my hardest to make sure that didn't happen. I feel so lonely and incomplete without a dog in my life. I grew up with a dog and I feel like we should have another.


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Susie Writes 4 years ago from Northern California Author

Thanks for sharing Jess D and I'm sorry for your loss. Your feelings do not make you a bad person. What you are feeling is normal. Since you ask the question, I'd venture a guess you are feeling guilt - which is a normal emotion that goes along with grieving. Give it a bit more time.

The situation between you and your father is out of my realm of expertise so I will just say that it can be quite difficult for dog lovers and those who don't share that love to come to a mutual understanding about having them in the home they share. It has been my experience that when it comes to teens and taking care of pets, your best bet is to prove yourself and your willingness to take the responsibility of pet ownership and care to your father. That will work better than any amount of talking to convince him you have changed.

Possibly take on some pet sitting jobs, or if there is a dog rescue in your area, commit to walking and training the dogs that are up for adoption. It will help out the rescue animals, give you some insight to their plights, more training experience, and possibly prove your dedication to your father. Best of luck.


margot 4 years ago

I lost my 6 year old doxie 2 days ago very unexpectedly she was my best friend I thought I would have her for a lot longer I really miss her but I want to get a new dog soon I have a 2 year old boykin spaniel who also seems to be missing her but is it to soon


Rohan Shah 4 years ago

My dog has been dead for 2 years now but I still


Amanda 3 years ago

Thank you for this I really needed it. my pet passed away about a week ago. I got her when I was five and I basically just grew up having her with me. we've never been separated. it has been so hard; my parents are already trying to get a new dog, my heart would just not be in having a dog and to be quite honest I do not think I want I different pet. I need more time to grieve and this really opened up my eyes. thank you.


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Susie Writes 3 years ago from Northern California Author

You are most welcome, Amanda. Losing a pet is hard, especially those who have been with us so long and we are particularly close to. Condolences for your loss. Best...


TheBigAnimation 3 years ago

What should I do when my dog Copper passes away? He's 15 and my parents got him when I was just a baby, he's been with me my whole life... I'm turning sixteen in a few weeks, and I honestly don't know how I'm gonna take it when he dies. I could hardly take it when my hamster died and no one - not a human - in my family has ever died. So death hasn't really been experienced often. This article and other's comments have made me cry and really rethought about things - I just don't know what I'll feel when he passes... I'm scared D : I don't want to feel that pain...


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Susie Writes 3 years ago from Northern California Author

Yes. It sure does hurt when our beloved pets die and I understand not wanting to feel it. There is no way to avoid it - unless you never have a pet. But then you would not get to experience all the joy that having one in your life brings. All that joy is what makes it so painful to lose them. I choose to deal with the pain their loss brings by remembering all the joy they brought to my life and by letting them go, albeit it sadly, with my heart full of gratitude. Don't be afraid to feel it. It will hurt and you will get through it and you can love another pet at some point when you are ready and experience the joy of a new friend. But for now, enjoy every moment with Copper. Best to you...


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Marisol Zaldivar 3 years ago

My 7 year old Pom was killed by a Pitbull two days ago at my job, i work in a grooming salon, and to avoid this dog on jumping at a customers dog that was on the table i didn't realized that my little one was behind me so i pulled him where she was and he grabbed her by the neck, i scream for help and grab the dog by the neck, the owner that was there he ran and tried to open his mouth but was impossible, finally after what it seemed forever he left her go, i grab her little body from the floor and ran to the vet next door, and minutes later they called me in to tell me her signs, she had broken ribs, a punctured artery , a punctured lung, and they were trying to keep her alive but she just didn't respond, he asked what i wanted to do, and i decided to stop trying to resucitate her i just wanted her to stop suffering. I asked if i could come and say goodbye, and they let me. I saw her little eyes closing while staring at me while i lay next to her, This has been the worst experience of my life. I feel depressed, angry with myself, with the owner for not telling me his dog was aggressive, with all the choices i made that day, and the worst part is that i have to come to work everyday, and everything reminds me of her, i haven't touch her donut bed that she was used to made when going to sleep, i have to walk by the area where it happened and i close my eyes , and when i go home is the same story again. I have another dog, a pitbull too, he is been getting train by me since he was a puppy. I just can't bare to be around him and not because he is also a pitbull, but because i was so use to have them both going up and down. And to see him walking without that little shadow right next to him it seems so abnormal, i feel incomplete i can't stop crying i feel like i am going crazy, i even start looking poms for sale yesterday that looked like her and then i start crying because they didn't have "that" spot right there or they didn't have her tiny little white paws, and i realized i don't want another one i want her, and i am never getting her back. At this point i understand now that will be unfair to get another dog if im looking to replace her, but if i ever want another one, how will i know that means that is me getting over my grief, or is my depression talking. Please i need help.


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Susie Writes 3 years ago from Northern California Author

Give yourself time. Your loss is fresh and painful. Losing one in such a gruesome manner makes your grief all the worse. Feel it and know that it will pass. My best to you...


victoria 2 years ago

my fiance and I were super excited and ready to get a puppy... we did and in five days she was crate and potty trained. I took her to see my dad and with out warning my sister's dog attacked and killed her. We could not save her I was helpless and watched her die. I have sooo much guilt I feel totally responsible for what happened...I couldn't save her and I'll never forgive myself.. after it happened I was given the puppys sister from her litter my family thought it was a good idea because they looked so much alike. After two days of torture I realized the relationship between me and this newpuppy was an unhealthy one and I was not being fair to her..so I gave her back. I'm grieving the loss of two pups I failed them both. Since the attack I've cried four days straight I cannot stop picturing the last time I saw my little puppy during the attack...I blame myself. A part of me believes a new puppy will help me heal.. I was thinking of visiting the shelter just to see if I feel okay around dogs again. But I feel guilty like I'm betraying my sweet little puppy. Should I feel this way? I was thinking maybe a new dog will honor her memory


sara 2 years ago

Ive lost so many pets a 18 yr old


sara 2 years ago

Ive lost so many pets over yrs my last one was a 3 month old kitten named tinker bell by a silly mistake she was a turtie only 2 days ago. I feel so damme depreesedand lost angry . We took her to he vet but she dies in my arms i kisses her goodby and said sorry. But i cant live wih theguilt its the 3rd kitten in the last 18 monthes . The first onr was memes my cats kitten she got hit by a car and got hit then we got a kitten straight after she fot out side and never came home. 9 months latter

We got tinker bell and 8 weeks later she get squashed by a mistake i cant beleive iy still.forgive me tinkerbell please sorry angle im so so so sorry please forgive me i dissapointed u so much. But i hope one time u can forgive me .ur a angle in heaven and i know ur in heaven with lassie 1989 tara2003 cheyenne 2006 chino latta and milo 2010 keggie 2013 and last and not least tinkerbell 2014 rest in peace all my angles may obe dat i will see u in heaceb i live u all and i know jesus lives u and has taken u to keep forever i hate pets dieing its terriable but every one looses a pet pray for them and they will love u all .no matter what the situatuon was ok god bless every one

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