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Should we or shouldn't we? Getting a new dog after losing your best friend

(27 Posts)
piknmixer Wed 31-May-17 00:01:31

We lost our gorgeous girl (border collie cross) at the beginning of the year, she was 15.

DP said he never wanted to go through losing a dog again, so he didn't want another dog. Then he said we'd have one in a year's time. Now he's saying let's get one now (we had a bereavement over the weekend and we've realised life's too short to put things off).

I'm totally torn.

I miss our girl so much, but a new dog won't be the same. It won't be her.

At the same time I've been really excited about looking at dogs on rescue centre websites and I'm going to see two gorgeous pups tomorrow.

I suppose I just want to hear other people's experiences of getting a dog after losing one. I'm worried it's just not going to be the same sad

ScattyHattie Wed 31-May-17 01:06:01

It won't be the same as the new dog will have its own character and little quirks, even if its same breed and looks similar there all individuals.
You'll love them for who they are, but also I think its normal to feel a bit odd and possibly compare early on before you've had chance to get to know your new friend.

My new dog (i've had her 6yrs) was a relative to the one that passed and at the time i still had his littermate. She did look similar, even shared a few characteristics with both dogs but i hadn't set out for a double, she just needed a home. I liked that it raised happy memories though as you don't just forget past dogs.
I got over the visual oddness after a few days, but early on i found it hard to bond with her, i think i worried that she maybe too much training work for us and didn't want to open up my heart in case she had to go back to rescue, it seems silly in hindsight we were doing fine. She did help me move forward with the grief, being busy with training and she's a daft, big lap dog who forced me to love her and smile a lot. I've had a few failed fosters here, its hard not to fall in love with dogs.

Blackfellpony Wed 31-May-17 05:51:13

We got a new dog a month after loosing our lovely boy of 14 years.

New dog is the total opposite and couldn't live up to old dog but is lovely in different ways. I can't really compare the two!

Hope it goes well smile

FenellaMaxwellsPony Wed 31-May-17 05:57:20

I got my old dog when I was 11, and she was my very best friend. She passed away when I was 27 and even though it's been 7 years I miss her all the time. I have another dog - waited quite a few years - and I don't love her the same way and she isn't a replacement but I love her just as much and in her own right. Do it! A new dog will never replace the one you've lost, but it doesn't mean you'll love them any less.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 31-May-17 10:49:08

flowersIt's tough, losing a loved dog. We went through a similar process when our previously dog died suddenly... ended up finding a 10 month old who needed a home within a month or so. No, it's not the same - 'different' doesn't mean better or worse. I guess its a bit like people who have more than one child, you don't compare them do you?

SparklingRaspberry Wed 31-May-17 10:58:32

My best friend died at the beginning of this year. I was heartbroken. I ended up getting a puppy 3 weeks later who is now a gorgeous 6 month old gsd!

She is mischievous like my last dog but other then that they're completely different. The breeds aren't similar at all.

I love my pup with all I have, she has her own little quirks and makes me laugh. She helped me with coping with the loss of my last one. If I'm totally honest I don't think I will ever love a dog the way I did my last one, she was my absolute best friend and she just understood me completely. She helped me through some horrible times in my life.

But that's okay, because I don't love my new pup any less. I adore her, I wouldn't be without her - I say go for it! Getting another dog isn't a replacement, it doesn't mean you're being disrespectful towards your last dog (that's how I felt to begin with). Your last dog would want you to give another dog a life like they had smile

LimeJellyHead Wed 31-May-17 20:41:51

Bless your heart. I am sorry for your loss.

No, it won't be the same. All our furry friends are different and bring their own special qualities into our lives.

You'll know when the time is right for you. The fact that you are going to see some potential new friends and feeling some excitement says you are getting there but still with some hesitations, so take it slowly. No rush.

Me and my husband have always been quite quick to get another dog after losses. I would say about 2-3 months is our average. It's just when you are ready in your heart. I would only say one of our dogs was maybe too soon for me and I struggled to bond with her. I was still way too heart broken. But in all other cases it has helped, as it gives a new focus and somewhere to channel all that love.

Go with your heart but don't be afraid to talk it over with DP and speak up if you feel a little unsure or that it is a little too soon. Not everyone is ready at the same time and one person may have to wait a little while. One day you will just wake up and know it is time smile

Booboostwo Wed 31-May-17 21:10:13

People tend to fall in two categories. Some want to get another pet as quickly as possible; it is not the same dog, it is not a replacement for the loved and lost one, but it does feel a void. Others need a period of quiet and a bit of distanc to get to grips with their feelings before they commit to another dog. I am very much the first kind of person but neither is wrong or right, do what feels right for you. If the thought of looking at possible dogs gives you positive feelings then maybe the time is right?

piknmixer Wed 31-May-17 21:49:54

Thanks so much everyone. So sorry for all of your losses.

I met a lovely 18 month old girl at a rescue centre today.

She was just like DDog (temperament-wise) when she was young sad Very clever, very bouncy and very loving. But it just didn't feel right.

We've decided it's too early. Maybe we'll try again in a few months.

At least I had fun playing with her and giving her a good walk. She was a sweetheart.

piknmixer Wed 31-May-17 22:43:42

I'm now worried I've made the wrong decision because she was so like Ddog sad

FenellaMaxwellsPony Thu 01-Jun-17 04:43:04

I don't think you should try and pick a dog to be just like your old dog - that may make it more painful on the long run.

LimeJellyHead Thu 01-Jun-17 08:58:52

Keep going with your gut. You are doing well. See where your feelings take you. You may leave things for a while or go back to this girl. Just go with the flow.

piknmixer Sat 17-Jun-17 21:38:20

Good news! We've found the one smile

She's a nine month old, wiggly, cute black and tan mongrel. Name to be decided.

Met her today, she's just lovely and different to last DDog in the sense she's a lot more calm (!)

We're waiting on a homecheck. Even our NDNs who loved our old girl to pieces are excited!

user1495915742 Sat 17-Jun-17 21:48:32

That's fab! So glad you decided to get one.

Thing is, your collie had a good innings and was very loved. I am sure she would want you to have another dog. Lots of homeless dogs out there and it would be a shame to not offer one a home. Your new doggy will have her own personality and you will grow to love her too.

Best of luck with her!

ToothTrauma Sat 17-Jun-17 21:51:06

When my old cat died I was devastated and put off having another animal for a long time because it wouldn't be the same. Then someone said to me that the cat had hollowed out a place in my heart, and that my next animal wouldn't fit in that space, but would make a new hollow. But you need to give them time to burrow in.

Congrats on finding your new friend flowers

honeyroar Sat 17-Jun-17 23:46:53

Lovely news. I hope that it all goes well and I'm so pleased you're getting a rescue.

I think you never forget a dog you've loved, they're always in your heart and memory. But each new dog comes into your life and is so loving and devoted to you, that they dull the ache. I have been lucky enough to have a fair few dogs over my lifeline, all very different, and I look back on them all so fondly.

I think when you lose a dog a tiny piece of your heart goes with it, but the next dog gives you all of its heart to make up for it.

piknmixer Sun 18-Jun-17 00:33:20

You've all made me cry blush

I'm so nervous about the homecheck, I don't know what to expect. NDN said tonight "well you've had a dog for 14 years so it'll be fine!" Bless him.

Ddog was just handed over to us by a rescue with no homecheck and previous dog to that I was a teenager, he was a stray my mum brought home from work.

honeyroar Sun 18-Jun-17 01:25:58

The home heck should be fine if you've had dogs before. They look at your house to check it's safe for a dog and that the garden has a decent height and secure fence, that there's somewhere planned for the dog to sleep and have quiet time if it wants (bed/crate). They'll chat to you and ask what vet you use, what insurance or other financial arrangements you'd have for emergencies. They ask who lives there, how often the dog will be alone etc. I only ever had one for my dogs, and I was scared too, but it was fine. I'm sure you will be.

honeyroar Sun 18-Jun-17 01:26:33

Check not heck!

piknmixer Sun 18-Jun-17 01:42:02

Thanks Honey.

Should I put a bed and bowls out to show the rescue people where our new girl will sleep and eat? Old Ddog had her own small sofa (which we still have minus dog blankets!) but she mainly slept in our bedroom at night as she was blind for her last year.

We have a nice house, huge garden. All fenced to 5.5ft both sides. Ddog could (and did) clear 7ft+ in younger days. New Ddog is a fair bit smaller and isn't a crazy collie so doesn't appear to have escape artist tendancies!

user1495915742 Sun 18-Jun-17 08:59:37

It all sounds fine. The huge garden sounds great! They just want to check you have adequate space and the house is safe, nothing in the garden she could injure herself on.

I agree with pp about old friends/incomers. I was devastated when our old cat died. It was unexpected. He just disappeared then I found him a couple of weeks later in the woods. DH was away and I had to carry him back on my own. Was awful. I cried my heart out.

The place was so empty without him we decided to get a new furry quite quickly. userCat2 is completely different. It took a little why to get used to him as he's a bit of a schiz but I wouldn't be without him now. He's such a lovely boy.

honeyroar Sun 18-Jun-17 11:44:18

No, you shouldn't need to go as far as putting bowl and beds out. They'll probably just ask where the dog would sleep etc.

Smoothyloopy Sun 18-Jun-17 11:53:35

It won't be the same, it'll be a whole new person to love [Flowers]

piknmixer Sun 18-Jun-17 14:42:25

Well she'll sleep in our bed our room (if she wants to) blush

But there's plenty of places she can choose, her own sofa and a bed on the floor behind it as well.

Haven't heard back from the rescue about when the homecheck will be. I'm resisting texting them again because I don't want to look pushy but I can't wait!

Chloecoconut Sun 18-Jun-17 18:02:10

Good luck for the home check - I'm sure it'll be fine smile We are picking up our rescue dog tomorrow. I lost my boy in February last year and it's only been now that I could think about getting another dog but then I know people who've got another dog straight away. Each to their own I think - this one is obviously right for you - hope it all goes well smile

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