How do you handle

HandyMacAugust 18, 2010

the loss of a long time pet and when do you replace it?

We've had cats, dogs, and horses. Had to deal with the loss of all of them. Some traumatic, some due to selling.

None were easy and most were unplesant. I am a pretty tough SOG(son of a gun), but I cried every time.

Our solutions were to replace the lost pet/horse fairly soon. We replaced the lost pet/horse with a new/different animal. Not as a replacement for the lost one's personality/relationship, but as a new adventure to take. That never detracted from the memory/love for the lost animal , it just started a new relationship. That helped us fill the void and go on more quickly.

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I always call my pets my "little heart-breakers." It's too bad a pet's lifespan can't match our own -- don't know how that would work, tho.

I can't stand an empty, pet-free house. We tend to rescue a "new" pet before the lost of an old pet and keep the rotation going. Doesn't always work, and certainly doesn't stop the pain, but we seem to always have a little life to take care of and keep us busy.

For example, we lost three pets in under four months 3 years ago -- one of the worst times of my life. However, in between pets 1 and 2, we adopted 4. Shortly after the loss of our 3rd we adopted 5. Each addition did not lessen the grief of the loss, but did allow us to start (using your words) a new adventure.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 3:56PM
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We never replace our dead pet but we found that a house empty of our beloved dog was more than we could bear, she was the heart of the house and someone who was always so happy to see us when we got home from work - our evenings were filled with interaction between each other and our beloved dog.

We got another lab about three months afterwards and that was waiting too long. I don't know what in the heck we were waiting for, it would not have been "disrespectful" to her memory to get another one right away - it would have been an honor to her memory to get another one right away.

Our lab is now 9 years old and is slowing down. Instead of waiting for hopefully five years when we would expect to have an empty house again until we found the perfect dog, we have one on the way very soon. We are going for a totally different breed this time, a much smaller breed as I'm just no longer up to the physical control it takes to work with a large puppy for those first two years but am more than ready to work and have fun with a physically small breed puppy for as long as it takes for her overactive puppyhood to pass into adulthood of more of a relaxation.

I have no doubt that losing our beloved lab will hurt no less when she dies though. Not one bit less. The difference is that our house will still be filled with a beloved pet, one who can comfort us while we return that comfort back to her - the house will still be filled. I really do think that will make a bit of difference during that painful time.

We get years and years of wonder and contented companionship from our pet but there is always that price we all know we will have to pay for all those years of wonderful devotion, devotion which flows both ways.

All that wonderful gain is more than worth the pain, to me.

It's been more than 9 years since we lost our last beloved lab, I still, to this day, get misty eyed when we speak of her, but I also laugh too. She was my heart.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 8:46PM
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