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Getting another dog after losing the doggy love of your life.

(51 Posts)
DeadButDelicious Tue 29-Aug-17 10:37:09

My rescue pug Lola passed away in march of this year. She had a condition called NME (necrotising meningoencephalitis) that caused her immune system to attack and kill her brain. She started showing symptoms a few days before her 4th birthday and thanks to the quick action of her vet getting her referred to a neurologist we managed to control it for just over a year before she quietly relapsed and it became clear that it just wasn't right to carry it on. She was 5.

At the time I swore I would never have another dog. Ever. She was it for me. I adored her. Another dog would feel like a replacement and there was no replacing Lola. But as time has gone on I have softened to the idea (as has the husband) and it's become quite clear that I am one of those people who 'needs' a dog in their life. I don't feel right without one. I could never get another pug, I would spend the whole time terrified it would happen again. But another little dog? Yes, I could see myself with another little dog.

So tell me, how did you move on when you lost the doggy love of your life? Did you do it straight away? Or wait a while? I would just like to know that I'm not alone in feeling like this. She set up camp in my heart and there will always be a pug shaped hole in it.

(I have included a picture, because she was gorgeous)

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Tue 29-Aug-17 13:37:02

My lovely old dog had to be PTS on New Year's Eve. There was an enormous dog-shaped hole in my home. I couldn't keep off the rescue websites and the new dog (that felt "right") came home with me on 26 January. It is up to the individual, we are all different in what is right for us. However, I should point out that I've had several dogs in my life and they have each been utterly different in personality (and type) from each other and a joy in their own right. None of them has been a replacement for the previous one(s) in the sense you are worried about.

MissHavishamsleftdaffodil Tue 29-Aug-17 13:58:49

I lost my gorgeous 4 year old cocker to an illness in February. I went in 36 hours from 'I'll never have another dog' to not being able to stand the massive hole in the house where she should be. I found a well known breeder to ask to go on her waiting list and she had a five week old litter with a puppy not yet spoken for. He came home with me three weeks later.

He hasn't replaced my girl, nothing ever will and I miss her all the time, but he is her successor. He's wonderful in his own right, he's a completely different personality and he gladly soaks up all the love and attention and time that I can no longer give to her.

Lucisky Tue 29-Aug-17 14:11:30

We lost our 14 year old jrt just before Christmas, and we got a new puppy at the beginning of Feb this year. The house didn't feel right without a dog. I miss our old dog terribly still, but new pup keeps me moving forward (and now she older, out and about with walks, which I missed as our old dog couldn't walk far). It is hard, but I take comfort from the fact my old dog had a long and very happy life and a peaceful death, and is now forever in a safe place, with a bit of my heart. If you get a puppy I promise you that you won't be thinking so much about your lovely pug, as you will be SO busy!

DeadButDelicious Tue 29-Aug-17 14:26:05

I am actually surprised at myself that I've gone this long. My husband said the other day that he has fully expected me to just rock up with another dog. Losing Lola hit me very hard. I know she was sick but she went down hill so quickly. One day she was fine and the next it was like the light had gone out. You'd look in her eyes and you could tell she was gone. It was all so abrupt.

TheHodgeoftheHedge Tue 29-Aug-17 14:34:28

I think the key here is to not beat yourself up for wanting or getting another dog. It doesn't mean your love for Lola is any less or that your grief has finished. Neither are you replacing your beloved little furry companion. You are allowed to add another furry body to your life though. You are allowed to help it move you forward with your life together. All of what your feeling is totally normal smile
If it helps, I've had gaps between dogs of years and gaps of only a few days. Again, both of those is fine. You need to decide when you are ready to take on another and find the right dog. Perhaps getting another breed would be a good idea?

Big hugs to you - I know just how painful and difficult it is. xx

olliegarchy99 Tue 29-Aug-17 14:34:36

I lost my beloved lurcher (aged 13 and a bit) four weeks and 4 days ago sad
My heart is broken and while devastated and prone to collapsing in tears I have not been able to think of getting another dog. I have found 'displacement activity' in planning holidays and sorting out my future plans - in fact anything (even housework and clutter clearance) to keep me occupied. But I know in the long cold dark stretches of winter I will turn to thinking of 'another dog' - not a replacement but a 'rescue' dog bringing his or her own presence to this empty house.
Last time my dog was PTS I lasted 10 months so I am aiming for this time next year I will be rich (in dog ownership and company) smile
Every one reacts differently OP - it will feel right when you are ready.

frostyfingers Tue 29-Aug-17 15:06:46

We lost our much loved lab aged 12 at the end of April and had no thoughts about replacing her. We had her daughter and felt that one would be fine, however she was so distressed and getting worse rather than better that we reconsidered and 3 weeks after losing our lab we had a whippet puppy. It all happened much quicker than we had ever thought but she has worked wonders for the other lab and they play and sleep happily together. The younger lab wouldn't sleep alone, stopped eating, didn't want to go for a walk and whined almost all the time - it was pitiful and I'm glad we found another companion for her.

SparklingRaspberry Tue 29-Aug-17 15:15:21

I lost my beautiful best friend in January after battling cancer. It wasn't a long battle, thankfully.

It was heartbreaking. She passed away in my arms at home. I missed her terribly and still do. I always will. Some people don't understand but me and her had a connection and I doubt I'll ever have it with another dog.

However, 3 weeks after she passed away I brought home my puppy I have now.

I'm one of those people who need to have a dog. I didn't get her to replace my last one, absolutely not.

I love my dog to the earth and back. I would never be without her. Is it the same? No. Do I have the same connection? No. But it's different, a good different. No two dogs are ever the same.

My new pup helped me with my loss. If it wasn't for her I would've spent the whole time crying and missing my girl. Obviously I still miss her but I didn't have time to sit around.

There's 1 field I never take my new pup to. My last dog loved that place and I can't bring myself to go back with my current dog.

It's hard. But the best thing I ever did.

DeadButDelicious Tue 29-Aug-17 15:56:48

sparklingraspberry That's how I felt about Lola, we had such a strong bond. I was devastated when we lost her. She was my best friend. She really was. It's pants without her.

I think in the new year we'll probably take the plunge.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Tue 29-Aug-17 17:25:26

We lost our old boy Barney two and a half years ago. Within weeks someone on here had directed me to a breeder and we had our new pup after about five months. I felt for absolutely ages that he just wasn't our old dog but I really felt bad for even thinking that. They're like children, they're all different and unique and you can't compare them. I love him to bits though, he's a different dog and he has different aspects about him. Our old boy didn't like our children, for instance, and just ignored them. They never experienced the joy it is to have a dog until Monty came along. He grew up with them and didn't know any different and loved them too. They really enjoy having him. They adore each other. He's grown into a fantastic dog and I wouldn't change him for the world.

A lovely lady on here told me that the need for another dog reflects just how much you loved them and how you need that love back. She was right.

DeadButDelicious Tue 29-Aug-17 18:14:36

A lovely lady on here told me that the need for another dog reflects just how much you loved them and how you need that love back. She was right.

I love that.

dingit Tue 29-Aug-17 18:18:48

What a beautiful photo. Op I've just kept a copy. I do animal portraits. I'll have a go at painting her for you. ( I wouldn't charge, it's just a hobby)

Amee1992x Tue 29-Aug-17 18:18:59

I think dogs teach us how to love but they never teach us about loss, another dog never replaces a lost one but it definitely makes your heart bigger. Every time Iv needed a shoulder to cry on Iv looked for a paw ❤️

MardAsSnails Tue 29-Aug-17 18:19:17

My YoungGirl or YellowDog were never replacements for my poor, awesome, most excellent OldBoy who was my first dog. He was such an awesome boy. However both dogs since have been rescues who were in desperate need of homing. Better to help another doggy whilst helpful by to fill that hole in my life, than worry about 'replacing' him and let more dogs suffer

NewBrian Tue 29-Aug-17 19:20:36

flowers What a cutie. You'll know when the time is right to get another. I felt the same after my boy died (2012) but I got another a few months later. He's still my favourite dog of all time but my new girl did help me heal a bit and I love her to bits.

ApplesTheHare Tue 29-Aug-17 19:25:36

What a beautiful little girl OP. No wonder you're heartbroken 💔

I felt similar after my first ever dog died when I was about 25, and didn't get another dog for about 3 years. One day, I knew the time was right. I've got 2 dogs since then and still have 1, and while neither has 'replaced' ddog1 I like to think they've been very happy and they've certainly brought me a lot of happiness. I also think that there are so many bad dog homes out there so it's upsetting to see a good one go to waste.

Greyhorses Tue 29-Aug-17 22:24:36

I lost my two year old dog and had replaced her within a month blush

I love new dog and she has kept me busy so far but I have felt guilty at times.

DeadButDelicious Wed 30-Aug-17 06:53:33

dingit That is very kind. Thank you.

Lolly got me through some very hard times. Gave me a reason to keep on getting up in the morning.

I won't be getting another pug. She was it on that front. But another type of dog. Yes, definitely.

flowers for everyone who has lost a much loved dog.

DodgyGround Wed 30-Aug-17 07:14:23

OP, I see it as loving humans. Presumably you've loved more than one human in your life? Dogs are like humans with fur instead of skin.

I lost the best friend I ever had, black lab aged 12. But I had a new baby and a new illness, so, although I had always decided to get a replacement the same day almost (can't live without a dog mentality) I couldn't contemplate getting a new furry friend yet.

Then, before I knew it, I had two young children and my illness had got much worse, so I'm not so easily capable physically of looking after my young children without help, and so still can't consider having a dog (would feel like a third child). In a strange way, because looking after my two kids takes every bit of emotional energy I have, I'd be afraid to divert some of that to a dog, fearing my children may miss out somehow! DH has no interest in getting a dog at all whatsoever, so won't step up to help on that score. So here I am, frozen in time and motion by a medical problem, and dog-less until one of my children (also looking like dog-lovers, how pleased am I!) can help with dog-walking and poop-scooping etc. I wouldn't hesitate if I was able bodied though.

Fleshy Wed 30-Aug-17 22:37:49

We waited a month, we had so much love left to pour into a dog and our arms ached to hold the Best Girl again but we got a wee scrap from a kill pound and are giving her the most amazing life, she's absolutely spoilt rotten all because we now know what life is like when they die. They're worth the pain a million times over! If you're able to have a dog in your life you absolutely need one! Thousands get killed in pounds every week thanks to our shitty species. Go get one and you'll love him/her while still having a piece of your heart missing.

Sugarpiehoneyeye Thu 31-Aug-17 18:52:18

OP, I just wanted to say how very sweet Lola was, so cute !
I lost my beautiful boy on Saturday morning. 😩

LaGattaNera Thu 31-Aug-17 21:02:27

I cannot live without a dog, I need a dog for my health and for the love they give me and that I have an outlet for my need to love and care (no family or children). I have lost 3 dogs in 4 years, all rescues and now on my 4th one. Each bereavement was devastating there is no getting away from it but the way each dog has filled my life with unconditional love, laughter, an excuse to talk to people or go for a walk somewhere different was life enriching and I would always take another one on. The fact that I want another is testament to the predecessor being so fantastic as if I'd had a bad experience with a dog, I'd probably not want to do it again. Each dog has been a different breed and come along at the right time and just fitted in to my life. My current dog is only a couple of years old and I got him in April, all my 3 other dogs were oldies so didn't have them for many years, last one was only with me for 2 years.
I got my first dog 10 years ago when I had really bad depression and I am convinced she saved me. I went to the kennels and she chose me and was devoted to me and my best friend.
It does not mean you didn't love your dog OP or that you are replacing her, it means you were a fantastic owner and your heart has love to give to another dog in need.
When life is crap my dog makes everything ok. Cuddling me and running up to see me, playing with his squeaky toys or jumping into bed with me, he just makes life ok! All the best.

DeadButDelicious Fri 01-Sep-17 01:10:53

I have always loved pugs. Always. I was obsessed with Ethel and willy from eastenders as a child. When I was older I went on to work in rescue. And we had a lot of pugs and pekes in from a cruelty case. They were amazing, the days I got to look after them were the absolute best. One by one they all found homes (it was not the right time for me, I still lived with my parents and the family dog would not have put up with a rambunctious pug. At all.) and by the time the last one had gone I knew I needed a pug in my life. I waited a long time. Like 10 years but the day came that we heard of a family looking to rehome their pug and there she was.

We had her from being 11 months old and I just adored her. Everyone did. I'd done my research, I knew the issues they faced. And for the most part she was ok. Then one day a few days short of her 4th birthday I woke up and she was drooling, like drool just pouring out of her mouth and her front was soaked. Her eyes didn't look right so we took her straight to the vet. It was just a blur then between the first fit and being admitted to a hospital. She had at least 12 seizures in about 48 hours, each one getting longer and longer before they got it under control. She would of died that weekend without the vets. That's the way NME works. It's short sharp and fast. Without swift veterinary care a lot of dogs die suddenly after an attack of seizures. Some may last a few months but the end result is always the same. The dog dies. We got her in to see a neurologist as soon as we could, given it was a weekend she was in by late Monday morning. He saved her life. His treatment plan gave her a year with us where she was almost the same dog. Sadly a few days after her 5th birthday we lost her. She had stopped eating. Her neurological symptoms were getting worse. The light had gone out. She was already gone. It was just the body we let go that day.

She got me through some tough times and I miss her terribly. I wish she was here. She should be here.

I'm ready for a new companion. I need that connection. Not a pug. She was it for me. But another little dog. Yes. We'll get this holiday and Christmas out the way and then start the hunt.

Thank you for sharing your stories. It's really helped. I'm so sorry for all your losses. J

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 01-Sep-17 01:15:18

I've nothing to add in terms of helpfulness but my mum feels the same way about her current (becoming elderly dog), she grew up with dogs but this one is her One, he's special in her heart. I think both different breed and sex dog would make things easier for you.

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