After losing a pet, how long do you wait to get another?

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
After losing a pet, how long do you wait to get another?
Fri, 08-17-2012 - 12:25pm

My husband and I have never agreed on this. When your pet dies, do you wait, and how long, before getting another one?

I have two friends who recently lost dogs, and both of them, within a week, had new ones. One got a puppy, and the other got a rescue dog about a year old. I am inclined to do the same thing because I don't like being without a pet, and having a new one makes it easier to get over losing one. It would be different, maybe, if I had two dogs instead of one. 

My husband, on the other hand, thinks it's disrespectful of the pet to 'replace' it. I tried to tell him that getting a new pet doesn't lessen the love we had for the old one, but he doesn't feel that way. Once, after our 13-year old cat died, I took a cat that had been living on the golf course. He had already been fond of this cat because she used to follow him around, but once I got her home, it took him almost a year to really warm up to her. 

This isn't an issue right now, but I know it will be again sometime becasue our pets are getting on. 

Anyone else ever been in this situation, and how do you deal with it? 

Community Leader
Registered: 11-21-2001
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 4:28pm

I agree that it depends on the person...and the circumstances.  For most of my life, except for now, I have always had two dogs.

Before I married DH I had a shepherd/collie ^Jebu^ that had been found wandering by a friend.  DH fell in love with Jebu and they were inseparable.  After we got married we adopted a puppy from the Humane Society, a retriever/mix, ^Maxwell^.

When we lost Jebu at 12YO DH did not want to even think about getting another dog.  Maxwell became very used to being alone and it was almost two years before DH would talk about getting another dog.  And then it was only if we could get a dalmatian.

We went to a breeder and brought home ^Samantha^ as a puppy.  Maxwell "tolerated" her....but they never really bonded.  I think part of the reason was because Maxwell was alone for so long before we brought home another dog.

When we lost Maxwell to cancer, Samantha was very lonely.  DH and I worked/commuted long hours and, even though we had a pet sitter, I know that Samantha didn't like being alone.  So we lost Maxwell in June and by January we started talking about getting a dog.  DH wanted a puppy and I tried every rescue/shelter I could think of; no one would give us a puppy because of our work hours.  So I fimally went to a breeder and brought home ^Valentine^, a yellow lab.

Valentine was my "heart" dog....I was so attached to her, and she to me.  We lost her to kidney failure at only 8YO and I was devastated.  I told DH that it would take me a very long time to even think about another dog; we still had Samantha.

A few months after we lost Valentine I went to an Open House at my local shelter.  Of course, I had to check out the dogs and there I saw a small lab/mix huddled in the corner of one of the runs.  She looked so sad and she just touched my heart.  I told DH about her and he wanted to see her.  So...we lost Valentine on August 2, and brought home Cleo on November 21.  I never thought it would happen so fast.

We lost our Samantha on October 24 at 16YO and still have not gotten a second dog.  Right now with running two businesses it's not the right time, but I would definitely get a rescue dog as soon as we are able.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2002
Sat, 09-15-2012 - 4:01pm

I agree with everyone else, it just really depends on how you feel. We have not lost any of our dogs...they are small and our oldest is 10, so we are hoping it will still be years until this happens...but I did lose my cat who was with me since college and had lived in every city and apartment or house with me as an adult. My husband loved him dearly as well, and when he died I really didn't know if I would ever get another cat. He was a special cat and I was devestated. That was in September of 2009 and we ended up adopting Alice from the shelter in March 2010 so it was about six months for us. It wasn't even a thought for me for the first months, but then for about a month before we brought home Alice, we both felt like we missed having a cat in the house (my husband also had a cat when we met whom we lost back in 2006). Since we have four dogs, I don't see us bringing home any additional dogs when that sad day comes for one of ours, but I'll never say never.

The one thing is that I don't think you can force someone into being ready, and we all know the stresses that come along with bringing a dog into our lives...if someone isn't really on board with it, it can lead to bitterness or blame during tough times and I don't think anyone would want that. Of course you can always end up with the reverse where he falls in love with the new pet despite his reservations and it ends up being a great decision, but it is a bit of a gamble if you're both not ready.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-1999
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 4:24pm

I own two senior dogs and a cat, and I have a senior foster dog.  I volunteer at the city shelter, and I foster for Pug Rescue.  As soon as a spot opens up in my house, I take in another rescue or foster.  The rescue you adopt or the animal you foster saves two lives.  The one you take in and the one that takes its' place in the shelter.

It has nothing to do with me being "ready," or respecting or disrespecting the one that has passed on.  Another animal out there NEEDS me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-1999
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 11:02pm

I lost Moe on Monday morning and brought home a new foster this afternoon. 

Roly Poly, my previous foster, is going to another foster home with a vet tech who can monitor his diabetes.  Anya is here alone.  I have three dog beds, four dog bowls, three different kibble formulas in containers.  I can share my home and my food with another homeless dog.  He has surgery scheduled for Friday.  If I have him three days, three weeks, or forever, we don't know, but he is safe, comfy, clean and has a full tummy tonight.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2013

As soon as possible. It makes me feel better. Mine just pass away 2 months ago, it was a rescue dog from a firefighter person. It's more different having these abandoned animals. Im just so devasted when I lost him.

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