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:
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!
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