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Hello everyone,

I just recently had to let my wonderful boy go to a place where cancer doesn't matter. Willie was a Golden/Newfie rescue that I met when he just turned 1 y.o. That day he had diarrhea and the staff was scrambling to clean him but I didn't care and hugged him anyway. He was my second dog. My first dog, Café (Coffey), was a sweet and loving family dog but we never had the same connection I felt with Willie. After a period of adaptation we grew to be connected to each other like I would never have imagined. I guess the episode when he fell through the ice on a Canadian winter day (-25C) and I had to crawl on the frozen lake and pull all of his 120 lbs out of the water is probably when our bond and the level of trust were set. From then on, we'd go everywhere together and he understood what I wanted from a simple nod. I also understood his needs and desires by the way he walked or his posture. He was a very expressive dog in a quiet friendly way with a "very beautiful energy" as my neighbor put it. It's been a month since he passed and perfect strangers still stop on the trail behind my place, looking for him and asking about him as he used to stand there, by the trail, to get pets from joggers/hikers passing by. He was one of a kind.

So now, I'm thinking of getting a new pup but I wonder: since Willie set the bar so high, won't I be disappointed? What if my new companion ends up not being as friendly with other dogs and strangers, not as delicate with kids, not as calm and fearless during storms, not as tough and eager on hikes and not as trustworthy off leash? How can I get a new dog and lower my expectations after spending 8 years with a dog that I understood and who understood me better than most humans?

Water Sky Dog Dog breed Cloud



For those of you who get what I'm talking about when I speak of this soul dog or once-in-a-lifetime dog, did you get another one after yours, how long did you wait, did you get the same breed/mix or did you get a very different dog so as not to compare them all the time and how did you manage expectations?
 

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I'm so sorry for you loss. We all deal in different ways. I can only tell you how it was for me.

Sometime ago, because I'm the kind who grieves and swears she'll never have another dog (and once went without for several years until a prowler inspired me to get another), I decided to always have two dogs of different ages. So when I lost my heart dog, I still had another dog. In fact two.

Even so it was a year before I stopped puddling up every time I thought of Schara or someone mentioned her, and there's no use pretending I felt the same about the other dogs I still had.

I may never feel the same way about another dog, but I've loved them all in different ways, and they've each been their own different, unique selves. And it's not that Schara was perfect, just that her imperfections didn't bother me and her strengths were things that mattered to me. We fit.

And last year I got a puppy of a different breed who is different in many ways from any dog I had before. He isn't and won't ever be what Schara was, but I have to say I'm thoroughly enchanted with him.

IMO you don't manage expectations. You try not to have expectations and approach each new dog knowing you have a unique individual you're going to get to know and appreciate for what he or she is, not for what he isn't.

That said, you also choose a dog that you can appreciate. For instance, for me that means nothing that's a barker, nothing with a lot of coat. Since I still hope to compete in some dog sports, I need a dog from one of the breeds that tends to be human cooperative, as opposed to some of the northern breeds I love for their looks and attitude.

Good luck. You'll find you way,
 

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Many of us can relate. When I first joined this forum, I had just lost my once-in-a-lifetime dog. I've had several very good dogs since then, including my current one, but I am resigned to the fact that there will never be another like that one. I have avoided trying to find a similar dog, because the comparisons would not be fair to either of them.

Go to the memorial subforum and tell us all about him.
 

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Each dog, like all people, are unique. You have the opportunity to bond with another friend. The important thing to remember is that you are not replacing the dog you lost, you are filling the place he once had.

My family has had many dogs over my lifetime. Some were my parents, some are mine. Some I bonded with more than others. All of them, aside from my Father's one dog, I loved for who it was. That's what matters.

I can't tell you whether or not sticking with a similar breed, or breed mix, would be right for you. That's a personal decision. I do know that golden retrievers, the show line ones, tend to have that type of laid back personality. My parents had a wonderful male show bred golden who was on the larger side, 90 LBs. He was an amazing laid back dog that lived for 12 years. He and his working dog predecessor, who was not laid back, were both amazing dogs in their own ways.
 

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Cat-dog, GSD spayed female and Tornado-dog, JRT mix, neutered male
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I'm sorry for your loss.

I don't believe in that "one perfect dog" anymore than I believe in that "one perfect person". Dogs are individuals and should be apprecieted for their uniquenesses not their samenesses.

All my animals have been "once in a lifetime" animals because they were all unique. I look for those qualities that move me in each animal. Some have more of those qualities than others, but every animal has had qualities that made them special.
 
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I'm so sorry. I understand, though not yet with a dog. I sent my once in a lifetime cat to the bridge coming up to 9 months ago.

She was, and I know deep down will remain, unmatched. Loved everyone, protected me from a pitbull attack, laid down with rabbits and helped rehabilitate an abused one. I had a little piece of paradise in my home while she lived.

It gives me comfort to think of new animals as heirs of those who have gone to their eternal rest. The heir of Holly is my puppy Ruby. She got her brushes, scissors, etc. My other cat would never accept another cat. I got confirmation of work-from-home post-COVID two months after her death. So, having always wanted a dog, I set about getting one.

When the time is right, I'm sure you'll get the right dog. I'm not sure if you should switch types/breeds. I'll probably always have a sheltie, TBH. But in my last case, I got an entirely different species. So, you never know what will happen, but it will be for the best.

RIP, Willie. 🕯
 

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I looked at this post and responses before answering.

My first great dog was a mixed "looked like a small Labrador" female named Sheba. She had been dumped on a farm preggo. After her puppies were weaned that farmer was going to shoot her. I asked to have her and so had a dog. I had her spayed. That dog only had eyes for me and was with me when I ended up on my own farm. I was a very lousy dog owner back then (over 50 years ago). No dogs in the house sort of situation. Sheba made up for my short comings. She died in an accident. I have never forgiven myself (especially knowing what I do now).

I had other dogs on the farm that were good.. then I got my first pure bred German Shepherd. She was an amazing dog. I wish I had known then what I know now... she was a great dog and a true partner (her choice!). Anything I needed her to do she would. She herded cattle for me. She worked with the horse herding cattle. She would also herd the destructive deer out of the corn fields. She was like having a third hand. She would have helped me repair machinery if she could have held a wrench! I had her 14 years. The last 4 years of her life she lived part time with my parents. She recognized my Father's hearing loss and took up as his "hearing dog." Mom could go out and relax knowing that dog would tell Dad when the phone rang or there was someone at the door.. or any other emergency he could not hear. Heartbreaking when she crossed the bridge.

I went 11 years with No Dog then got another German Shepherd.. and that eventually led to my current dog.

When they say you will never get another as good as a past heart dog, don't believe it. This guy is as good as the other two heart dogs.. better in some ways.. and every bit as much a partner as a dog could be. He is an extension of me and, the way we work together I think I am an extension of him. Sometimes we look at each other and just "know" the next step. For the first time I am not sure I will find another dog as good as this one. He us 5 years old and often I think "Dogs don't live long enough."

I expect next year after recovery from shoulder replacement I will start the next puppy... while this dog is still young enough to enjoy that play.

I have been very blessed with good dogs. I am grateful though the sorrow when they go is the hardest part if dog ownership.

It is never easy to lose a great dog. You can never expect the "next dog" to be like the one you lost. You must not constantly compare new dog to the heart dog you lost as hard as that is. Each dog is unique.
 

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My first dog was the special guy. I liked to say we finished each others' sentences. He was my sun in the morning and my moon at night. When I lost him I wasn't sure I wanted to go one, but out of nowhere came a thought. I realized that I had been so incredibly lucky to have something in my life that I loved so very much that it hurt that bad to lose it. That simple thought kept my head above water until I could find a puppy I wanted. My relationship with my new dog is very strong, but it's not the same. I hope that someday I'll have another Hunter in my life.
 

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Hello everyone,

I just recently had to let my wonderful boy go to a place where cancer doesn't matter. Willie was a Golden/Newfie rescue that I met when he just turned 1 y.o. That day he had diarrhea and the staff was scrambling to clean him but I didn't care and hugged him anyway. He was my second dog. My first dog, Café (Coffey), was a sweet and loving family dog but we never had the same connection I felt with Willie. After a period of adaptation we grew to be connected to each other like I would never have imagined. I guess the episode when he fell through the ice on a Canadian winter day (-25C) and I had to crawl on the frozen lake and pull all of his 120 lbs out of the water is probably when our bond and the level of trust were set. From then on, we'd go everywhere together and he understood what I wanted from a simple nod. I also understood his needs and desires by the way he walked or his posture. He was a very expressive dog in a quiet friendly way with a "very beautiful energy" as my neighbor put it. It's been a month since he passed and perfect strangers still stop on the trail behind my place, looking for him and asking about him as he used to stand there, by the trail, to get pets from joggers/hikers passing by. He was one of a kind.

So now, I'm thinking of getting a new pup but I wonder: since Willie set the bar so high, won't I be disappointed? What if my new companion ends up not being as friendly with other dogs and strangers, not as delicate with kids, not as calm and fearless during storms, not as tough and eager on hikes and not as trustworthy off leash? How can I get a new dog and lower my expectations after spending 8 years with a dog that I understood and who understood me better than most humans?

View attachment 266730


For those of you who get what I'm talking about when I speak of this soul dog or once-in-a-lifetime dog, did you get another one after yours, how long did you wait, did you get the same breed/mix or did you get a very different dog so as not to compare them all the time and how did you manage expectations?
I will be completely and utterly devastated when my 15 year old street poodle leaves me. She's attached to me. I don't know how I could go on without her. She came from the street and now is a princess and I cannot go on without her. I even told the cemetary to make sure that she and I are together in death. How could I ever get another dog to replace the love orf my life?
 

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Who says best friends need to be human? Meet Basil my happy go lucky lab
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Sorry for your loss and completely understand how you feel. It will take time and its true no matter the breed of pup you have they all have their own unique characters. What ever happens I hope your next dog brings you as much joy
 
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