Monday, December 27, 2010

Remember Not Replace

Cosmo And Elvis 1995

One of the hardest parts of being a dog owner is when one has to say goodbye to their longtime friend. Over the past 29 years I have had dogs, those days have never been easy and come to quickly. You think about all that your dog meant to you and how empty your life is without them around anymore.

What can be even more difficult is the time it takes to grieve. All dog owners grieve in their own way. Some decide to have a new dog join their family right away. Others can't ever think of having another dog ever again. It's a unique bond, that's for sure.

I think that replacing a dog is a common misconception when it comes to bringing a new dog into your household. Dogs are irreplaceable. Even if they don't live as long as we would like, they will always be remembered. I think the best way to remember your dog is to help another dog by letting it become part of your life.

Time is the most important factor. Sometimes, a person needs more time to pass and other times time doesn't pass quickly enough. When I had Cosmo and Elvis (as pictured above), the loss of Cosmo really hit Elvis hard. He didn't know what to do and was terrified. He would pant excessively and had severe separation anxiety, even with one of our family members there. He refused to eat and after 10 days, it became a necessity for him to have a companion.

After visiting the animal shelter, my mom and I decided on Cookie. She looked nothing like Cosmo and was a female. This way Elvis would know her as another dog, not a replacement. It took a few days, but Elvis came to accept her as a companion.

Dogs don't live as long as us, but they live life to the fullest. They always teach us so many life lessons without saying a word.

Let's Discuss!

When is the right time to add a dog to your family?

Recommended Reads

The Loss Of A Pet by Wallace Sife
Paw Prints In The Stars: A Farewell and Journal for a Beloved Pet by Warren Hanson
Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet by Gary Kowalski
Coping with Sorrow On the Loss of Your Pet by Moira Anderson Allen
When Only the Love Remains: The Pain of Pet Loss

Related Posts

How Cookie Came Into Our Family

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