Feeling Guilty About Getting a New Dog After Your Dog Dies
People sometimes contact me after reading the pet loss book I wrote (called Heart Dog: Surviving the Loss of Your Canine Soul Mate). People often ask about feeling guilty about getting a new dog after your dog dies. I have a theory about love that might help.
Tips for NOT Feeling Guilty About Getting a New Dog After Your Dog Dies
Love is unlimited. There is more than enough to go around. When you need more, more gets created on the spot. So, when you are ready to welcome a new dog into your life, to walk at your side, and to snuggle in your bed, etc., the love will GROW to meet the demand. You are NOT taking away any love from your other dog. You’re simply adding even more love into your life.
In fact, adding a new love to your life may grow the love you have for the dog you’ve lost because that dog taught you so much about love. I also like to think that Lilly helped bring our 2 new puppy-girls to us. Each of them has a bit of her inside, it seems, and I know she would be happy that their love is helping us heal. Open your heart to the possibilities.
If you haven’t already shopped for memorial items for the dog you lost, it might help to get that done before you think about bringing another dog into your life. For example, many people like the idea of being able to wear or carry their dog’s ashes with them. I also like the idea of a picture frame that includes a way to mount your dog’s collar.
Even a New Puppy is No Magic Cure for Grief, Though
Living with another dog will help in many ways, but it will not magically fix the grief. I wish it did, but it doesn’t. So you will still have sad times, even amid the joy of a new friend. I will share, though, that it’s tough NOT to make comparisons. I still struggle with that, but in all the ways my current sweeties are different … I try hard to remember that different is just different — not better, not worse. They have big shoes to fill, but they also are their very own special souls, and they deserve to be appreciated and honored for who they are – completely separate from Lilly. Photos and videos you have of the dog you’ve lost will help keep the memories alive as you make new ones with a new dog. Anytime you feel like maybe you’re forgetting the nuances of your other dog, break out the pix and videos. I watch old Lilly videos all the time, even now … years later. I very much hope these ideas help you as you move forward with maybe getting another canine friend.
It’s an individual decision. Only you will know the right time to get another dog (and right dog), if there is such a thing.