Can you find happiness with a new dog after an Older dog passes away?
When my golden retriever, Maui passed away in April 2020, the thought of getting another dog was the last thing on my mind. Moving on after the death of a dog is difficult to say the least as your home feels so empty without having your canine companion around. I live on a lake and enjoyed time on our beach daily with Maui, she just made me smile every time she charged thru the gate and leaped in the water to fetch yet another coconut. Life in our house without the love of a golden retriever just didn't feel right.
As my daughter left for college and my nest became empty the thoughts of getting another golden entered my mind. But I often felt guilty thinking that it wasn't fair to Maui, that enough time had not passed and did not want to feel like I was trying to replace her. I wondered if I could love another dog like I loved her. I was fearful that I would make comparisons between Maui and a new dog and that would not be fair to a new puppy. Even though I knew in my heart that nothing could ever replace Maui I just felt guilty to want another so soon.
The changing moment for me was when a friend sent me this quote, "DOGS COME INTO OUR LIVES TO TEACH US ABOUT LOVE, THEY DEPART TO TEACH US ABOUT LOSS. A NEW DOG NEVER REPLACES AN OLD DOG IT MERELY EXPANDS THE HEART!" I thought about Maui and her heart was so big and her dog smile was so bright that at that moment I realized that Maui would want me to have a FURever companion and she would want the coconut retrieving days on the beach to carry on at our house forever.
This is when I started looking into breeders knowing that I wanted to make sure to pick the dog that fit into our family best. I found the perfect breeder, unfortunately she was all the way in Minneapolis but I knew this was the perfect fit for what I wanted. In September I traveled with my son from Miami to Minneapolis to pick up our little ball of fur. From the moment I held her in my arms I felt an overwhelming love for this new little puppy that we would name Piper.
I write this blog today to encourage all of those that have lost a dog to understand that one of the most important things to remember is that by getting a new dog you are not seeking to "replace" or forget your last fur companion and you must not, therefore, feel guilty or disloyal - there is arguably no better way to honor your deceased companion's life than by giving a new chance to another one. There are plenty of dogs in the world in need of a good and loving hime and you will be forming and enjoying a new human/dog bond not replacing the last one.
In the past 2 months Piper has added so much joy to my life with the sloppy kisses, tail wagging, doggy smiles and her big golden heart that only wants to love and be loved. She is learning to swim and fetch coconuts and I feel like Maui is smiling in heaven as she looks down and sees that another dog gets to keep our beach alive in only a way that a golden can do.
My final quote, " DOGS HAVE A WAY OF FINDING THE PEOPLE WHO NEED THEM AND FILLING AN EMPTINESS WE DIDNT EVER KNOW WE HAD!"