Dealing with loss

 Many lessons were learned from Tilley and Jessie; they are constantly in my thoughts and my heart.  Just thinking about them often brings a smile.  That is what it is all about.   

The loss of a canine companion can be life shattering.  For some, it will be the thing that changes their life forever.  Many opt to never do it again; having a dog means losing a dog and they just cannot live through it one more time.  Others will do it again and again; knowing full well that it means the devastating and inevitable loss.  But before loss there is life and that life makes our life a whole lot better.  I truly believe that each and every one of our dogs makes us a better human for the next dog.  I know that I am not the person that I was 30 years ago; much of the change was due to the dogs in my life. 

Each step we take with a dog by our side gives us insight.  Around every corner is something new; each day brings new lessons.  How can we not be better having lived with a dog?  Someone asked me a question that I am asked frequently, just a week ago.  How long is the normal time to wait?  Meaning how long should you wait before adding another canine to your life after a loss?  There is no answer for this question.  Grief must be dealt with first; after losing a companion. 

Grief:  a cause or occasion of keen distress or sorrow.

When you lose a canine companion there will be grief.  No matter how young or old that dog was; a loss like that of a dog leaves a huge void in our life.  You must give yourself time to grieve.  Now that time is where it gets confusing.  I have known people to add another dog to their life the next day and I know people who wait five years.  There is no right or wrong.  There is only what we feel we need to do. 

Adding another dog to your life when you have suffered the loss of another, helps us to move on.  Yes there is life after the loss of a dog; there is always another to love and fill a different spot in our heart.  Choosing to add another dog to our life is in no way disrespecting the life that you lost.  That life and those memories are in there forever and it is those thoughts that you will look back on often.   You loved that dog so much, so honestly that their is room for another.  A companionship so great and so powerful that not living with another dog is not an option. . 

Everyone needs time to grieve.  There can be fallout issues if you don't give yourself that time; and that time will vary vastly from person to person.  The life that you had with one dog will be like no other.  There is no replacing of a canine companion; each is very individual.  What our dogs give us is the desire to share our life with a dog.  When one leaves our heart and our life; another can help to fill the heartache.  Our dogs have so many lessons to give us in the time that we share.  I truly believe these lessons are meant for the next life that we will share with a canine. 

When you are no longer willing to be dogless, you will know that it is time. 

More on Dealing With A Loss(coming soon) and other topics on my website article store


  1. Lynn Scherer PetskaThursday, October 10, 2013

    You are so right in that there is no set of amount of time to grieve. We lost our Holly 9 years ago and I still miss her terribly. When we put our Bailey to sleep on 10/15/11 we said we would wait till spring to get another dog and 12 days later we had Starbuck. We just couldn't be "dogless"!

  2. I know myself, I LOOOVE my dogs! So, when my first dog was 7, I got a puppy, with the thought that when it was #1's time to depart Earth, #2 would be a bridge. I'm SO glad I did that! It's about that time again, but unfortunately, with these &%$# economic problems, it's just not in my budget now.

  3. I say that the pain we feel at their loss is the price we pay for the joy they bring to us each day.
    The right time is different but the right dog finds us when we need him/her the most.

  4. I don't think I could ever be without a dog. They fill all the nooks and crannies in my heart that no one else can! I do worry about years from now... if something should happen to me, what about my dogs??? There will come a time, sadly, that I will not be able to have a dog for that very reason. I do not want to leave a beloved dog behind when I die. It's a real problem.


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