Loss of a friend.

I have read a number of Posts recently in the social media about the sad loss of various family dogs.

Ray has impacted my life so much in the 3-1/2 years that he has lived with us, that I cannot imagine what it would be like without him, although one day I will presumably find out (always assuming that I outlive him!). If 3-1/2 years can have that kind of an impact, I can only imagine what 12-16 years could do.

The loss of any living thing that was emotionally close to us is going to be traumatic, and will necessitate going through the “mourning cycle” until such times as life establishes some new parameters, and then off we go again.

My purpose for bringing this up is to consider responses of “I couldn’t do that again”, “That’s it… no more pets” and many variations which express the same feelings. When “pushed”, a very popular phrase is “I could not replace him/her” or “She/he can never be replaced”, which of course is very true at an emotional level and at a physical level.

Ray can never be replaced! Even a “look alike” Ray will have different characteristics so, without any risk of contradiction, Ray can never be replaced.

The issue, and the reason for this Post, is to clarify that (apart from a poorly thought through and supposedly comforting comment made by a well meaning friend) nobody would suggest that you replace your canine buddy.

Getting another dog is not replacing your last one, but rather offering a new life to another dog. A life that included all the benefits that your last dog enjoyed. The best way that I can get this message across is with the pic below:

Last Will

Before anybody comments that I may think very differently when Ray passes on. Yes …. I may, but remembering that I would not be replacing Ray, but rather giving another dog the opportunities that Ray had, could well be a determining factor!

Notes:

Petco Foundation were contacted for approval to use this picture however, apparently it was created privately by an employee who has since left Petco Foundation and who could not be contacted.

The text from the picture was used in the Post “A Doggy Thought”, published February 15, 2016

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44 thoughts on “Loss of a friend.

  1. This is a truly wise and true post. I have lost pets and so have many around me, and I have heard it and felt it – “No, I couldn’t!”. I lost my fur child Mia in September in an awful incident, and beyond the shock there was just the stubborn assertion that “There is only one Mia!”. But it’s true, pets out there need us. And we have to take that dog’s love that was given and pay it forward. Thank you for this lovely post which reminded me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Isabel for your sharing your thoughts, and welcome as a new Follower. Getting a new dog under these circumstances is, quite understandably, a difficult concept… but a visit to a local shelter may well be a first step to moving forward.

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  2. We lost our Rottie at 8 from liver failure..2 years later we adopted Doc..then less than a year later Forrest..Forrest has been gone now 12 weeks..we have cried until i thought my heart would literally blow up..he would have been 13 next month..Doc will be 14 in October and the past 6 weeks he has had two operations and already has a diagnosis of EPI..we know we are on golden time with him..and we will be shattered when we lose him..not one of our animals can be replaced..because like humans they are unique..however i see my senior pets and i know there are others out there that are languishing in shelters..i see how Doc has mourned Forrest and i know these dogs in shelters are mourning a family..and as much as it will break our hearts we will adopt a senior rescue dog at the right time..we can’t do puppies anymore..our lives are different now and so senior rescue will be our choice..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Please accept a big hug Bev. It is wonderful that there are people who are prepared to adopt mature/senior dogs. Puppies are so much easier to find homes for, but those poor senior dogs have a right to live out the rest of their lives in a nice home with lots of TLC. Who knows what their life has been like to date! Again…. a big hug! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thankyou Colin..i know..some usually the smaller ones have lost their elderly person to a nursing home or death and then wham family throws them in a shelter..or they need a knee op ir have health issues and wham people just dump them for a newer version..it breaks my heart..and in fairness a pup could outlive us and so then what! So if we can let a senior live their life here in comfort with vet care and love then even if in a short time we lose them they go with love and dignity and family ..like all living creatures should..i have a saying my pain should never be my pets pain..i would rather have my heart broken from losing a pet than an animal die old and alone with no love because i choose not to hurt..

        Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting comment Ann, and I don’t entirely disagree, but it means that getting another dog is a purely self serving gesture. I would suggest that getting another dog is recognition of the fact that there are so many in shelters that would love a good home; that we already have all the “dog accessories”; that we want to give another dog an opportunity for a good life …… and we want to “plug the huge hole in our heart”. What do you think? Sounds better?

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      • It does sound better, and I certainly didn’t mean that getting a dog doesn’t help a homeless dog. I was just talking about the personal motivation to get another dog after the losing a beloved dog. I don’t think the grieving process is really complete until we have another dog to love. Just my opinion, though, and that might not be the same for everyone.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful sentiment. I really need and love my pets. The ones that go young are heartbreaking.
    Now a reminder to think about your own mortality. What would happen to Ray if both you and Carol suddenly died?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. First I can’t even imagine living without a pet. I also have some friends who have lost a pet and refuse to give another a home. I don’t understand unless you can no longer afford to either through poor health or shaky finances. I have cats and they live a long time but the last year is always hard. Lot of adjustments and compensations for aging pets but I’d never think twice.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A great post, and the picture and poem you posted pulled the heart strings. As one who has had a dog by my side since I been little, I can’t imagine life without! Yes, the times that I lost my furry companions were hard, each one was unique and each has a special place in my heart. BUT continuing on through life without a dog would be even harder. They give so much joy and love to us and we are privileged to be able to give it back to them! It is a Win-Win situation 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I so feel what you write. Our pets – and it doesn’t even depend on what animal it is but on the connection we have with them – are souls that grow together with us while sharing their lives with us. They don’t judge, they don’t lie, they just are thankful for what they are given. Gosh, that is moving!

    Liked by 1 person

    • While my focus here is on dogs, of course it applies to any animal that forms an emotional attachment. I still have fond memories of (in order of entering my life) – Rumble & Tumble (rabbits); Skeeta (cat); Friday (cat); Scooter (cat); Robinson (cat); Brewster Bun (rabbit). As somebody once said (and I quoted it in a Post some time ago) – “I don’t know where dogs go when they die but, wherever it is, that’s where I want to go!” That says it all doesn’t it? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am familiar with this from somewhere else and it still affects me the same way. I have always had a dog, and when I lost Kizzy, circumstances prevented us from getting another immediately. Barney came into our lives in August 1995, and we lost him suddenly in March 2005. We weren’t ready, and I lasted 6 days before getting Maggie. Kizzy was a rescue, but Barney and Maggie were from farm litters as puppies.
    They each find their own way into our hearts and are never forgotten when they pass over. No two are the same, and are equally loved, albeit in a different way if that makes sense. Rainbow Bridge was mentioned to me when we lost Barney, and was a comfort. When my time comes, I want to go with a pocket full of dog biscuits to meet up with my canine friends. Lovely post Colin. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Di – As I just noted to scifihammy (and like scifihammy), your Comments are always appreciated and this is a particularly poignant one. Your ongoing canine friends simply reinforce that we can open our hearts to yet another invitation to heart break somewhere “down the road” however, we can experience so much joy in the meantime. The “rainbow bridge” concept is rather lost on me, but I do believe that, like us, they leave their bodies here while their souls soar to some wonderful place. Like you, I am hoping that wonderful place is where we all eventually go! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Funny you should post this – I have it waiting in my draft folder for when my old boy Mr Spaghetti Legs goes! (I thought he was about to die in April.)
    I have heard people say they could never get another dog after a much-loved one dies, because they can’t go through the heartache again.
    You are absolutely right though; you do not replace the old dog, but your heart somehow expands to make room for the new one, while keeping all the others there forever.
    It is a personal choice, but for myself, living in a country where there are so many dogs up for adoption, I will always have a rescue dog, if I possibly can.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Excellent! Our heart is capable of so much if we allow it……. so why not load it up with happy memories of many dogs, rather than 1 or 2, assuming you have that choice. I can appreciate dog owners taking a “break”, if their lives have been dictated by their dog for any number of reasons. Having a “time-out” to self indulge for a while is understandable but, ultimately, there are so many dogs who would just love the security, TLC and healthcare that many “ex-dog” homes can provide.
      You have been a Follower for quite some time now, for which I thank you. Your comments are always appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. In my life many dogs have shared our home and only 2 were puppies when they decided they wanted to stay. We have had a couple bunk up with us for 10 years plus, most the remaining 4 or five years they had left. We never intended to “get another dog” after any of them, but it seemed like we had a “homeless dog symbol” scratched on our door , so
    have rarely been without the company of a canine. We have had many loyal and varied, furry friends share our lives and I regret none of them and miss all of them. ; ) BTW Almost all happened along one at a time!

    Liked by 4 people

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