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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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