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ISO: Advice on adopting after recent losses

5038 Views 62 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  PatriciafromCO
So, I realize this is an intensely personal question and only my husband and myself can make the best decision we can for us, but I could really use some advice or stories or anything helpful regarding adopting a new dog after yours dies.

Sebastian, the dog my husband and I adopted when we first moved in together, died on January 3rd, just a few months after my family dog from childhood died as well. Obviously, it's been a lot of loss in a short period of time. I have not lived in a house without a dog since I was 13 and I will be 30 next year. I hate being in a house without a dog even more than I thought I would (and it is a "house" without a dog, not a "home"). I hate it so much. I am so lonely without both of them. Further, I have serious and chronic health problems of my own... neither Bailey nor Sebastian were service animals, but I did not realize how much my health relied on them until they were gone. Or maybe the stress of their passing has thrown my system out of whack, which is also entirely possible.

Basically, I feel like I'm ready to start looking for our next family member. The idea that a new dog could in any way replace Bailey or Sebastian is absolutely unthinkable to me, so believe me that is not what this is. Or, that's certainly not what we want it to be, but I am also well aware that my husband and I are still very early in the grieving process for Sebastian and that we need to be cautious in our decision making. I think we are, though. We are keeping the lines of communication open with each other and when we browsed on Petfinder we sent an enquiry about ONE dog that looked like he'd fit our lives... not 100 questions about 100 animals that who knows if they'd work for us.

Anyway, I guess I'm just looking for stories about when you adopted after losing another pet. Did you do so quickly? Did it take years? Have you reached your last dog? I would also be extremely curious to hear from those who have fallen in love with specific breeds. Sebastian was Pyr mix and we are hoping for another mix or full bred Pyr, but want to be congnisant about not comparing him to Sebastian. At the same time, we know lots of people who will get the same breed over and over again. Bailey was my first dog from childhood and Sebastian was my first dog I adopted myself as an adult so this is the "first second dog" for everyone and we are all feeling a bit lost about it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, while recognizing (again) that no one else can make this decision for us.

Thanks in advance.
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Like you acknowledged, I think it's very personal. Every person/family grieves differently, and that effects when they get a new dog/if they will get a new dog. I have never been in your exact situation, as we have always had multiple dogs.I got my first dog as an adult 3 years ago, and luckily haven't been put into the position to have to consider this topic much. I've always said that if not for the other dogs, I probably would never get another dog after one passes. Having the other dogs is probably the only thing that helps me through that grieving process. Realistically, it would probably be a few years before I could get another dog. However, growing up, my parents always got a new puppy remarkably fast (like, days). When I was young I was fine with it, as I got older, I would have preferred to wait a while. That said, I know of other people who get a new dog as quickly as possible to help with the grieving process.

My girlfriend's mother lost her heart dog Elmer, a pitbull, in early 2017. They adopted a pitbull who looks very similar to Elmer in late 2017. Ever since, her mother has been frustrated and disappointed with the new dog for not behaving like Elmer did, not having his quirks, not being an old-reliable good dog, etc. It's sad, and luckily my girlfriend is there to love the dog, because her mother doesn't. I think for her, it was too soon and a bad idea to get a dog of the same breed, especially one who looks so similar to the dog who passed.

I think as long as you can make the disconnect that just because a dog resembles your old dog does not mean its personality will be anything like your old dog, getting one of the same breed or similar mix would be fine.

You may also consider fostering - that way you have a dog around, are helping out an animal in need, and when you are ready for a dog of your own again you can adopt.
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