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nickiestango's avatar

My dog died recently, what's the best way to move on?

Asked by nickiestango (23 points ) October 11th, 2010

My childhood dog, one I grew up with, trained, and made a part of my life died last week. He lived at my father’s house and I believe my father’s fed him some food that got him sick. I still cry almost every day, and I’m afraid of losing my other dog (who is only 1½). I just can’t seem to move on, what are some ways that have helped you move past the death of a beloved pet?

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20 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

Buy a new puppy as soon as possible. you will never forget your childhood dog. you both enjoyed each others company and learned a lot from each other. time waits for no one. sorry for your loss. buy a new puppy and now look to the future for the both of you.

Coloma's avatar

The best way to move on is to celebrate the good memories and find a new pet to pour your love out on when you are ready.

Things die, it’s a part of life, nature.

I lost my old cat in May and have started over with a new pair of teenage cats/kittens. While they are unique unto themselves they promise to be the next longterm pair that will bring joy and amusement into my life and I am happy to give them a great home!

You sound young, and first losses are always the hardest. You never get happy about losing anything to death, but, you do become more accepting as you grow.

Of course, since you mention your dog lived at your fathers house you may not be in a posistion to care for a new pet right now.

Maybe volunteer at an animal shelter or rescue and channel your greif into something positive and helpful for others. :-)

janbb's avatar

Time, time and more time. It took me about two years to get over the death of my cocker. The pain does eventually lessen.

perg's avatar

With all due respect to @john65pennington, I would NOT get a new dog right away. They’re not broken dinner plates – you can’t replace one with another (plus, you have another dog already). Allow yourself to grieve and don’t set a time limit on it. Spend time with your surviving dog. Don’t blame your dad no matter what you suspect – if he hurt the dog, it wasn’t intentional (unless he’s got other issues, which is a subject for a different question). Find a good picture of the dog and frame it as a little memorial.

I have survived the loss of three dogs of my own and two pets my family owned while I was growing up. You never forget the ones who are gone – I still dream about my own dogs that have passed – but the pain and anxiety will abate over time.

downtide's avatar

You already have another dog which I think is a good thing, and gives you an outlet for the love and the grief.

Yorkshire shepherds have a trick for dealing with the death of their dogs. They get a new young puppy as the old one is nearing the end of its days. They say it’s so the puppy can learn from the older dog, but truth is, it’s for the shepherd’s benefit, because it makes the loss easier to deal with.

marinelife's avatar

A new dog. It fills the ache. Although it does not replace the love you felt for your previous pet, it offers you a lot of back-up love.

xxii's avatar

Don’t rush to get another dog. Besides the reasons that others have mentioned, getting a new dog before you’re ready can be frustrating when the new dog is extremely unlike your old one (which happens very often through nobody’s fault). Focus on the good times you had with your dog, and take your own time to grieve.

partyparty's avatar

First and foremost let me say I feel for your loss.
Only time will ease the hurt you are feeling right now.
Perhaps you could collect together photographs and make an album, and save a few favourites and frame them.
Try to treasure the happy memories you had with your dog—-those memories are yours and only yours – keep them in your heart—.
Today is another day, and perhaps you will be able to replace the hurt you are feeling now, with happy memories of your much loved dog. Good luck

Written's avatar

Time heals all wounds. In my opinion, getting another dog ASAP is not a good move. Especially since you already have one. Take it easy, and best of wishes.

lillycoyote's avatar

It just takes time. A week isn’t very at all. I lost my 18 year old cat about 4 years ago and my 21 year old died a year and a half ago. It took me a while do deal with both their deaths. I absolutely adored those cats. I still haven’t been able to bring myself to get new cats. And I agree that you shouldn’t push to get a new dog quite yet. Finding the right dog at the right time will probably be better for both of you rather than to push it to soon.

faye's avatar

I agree with everyone who said it takes time. I also lost a 19 yr old cat that was so sociable with me- she was company when my kids went off to school. That was 2 years ago- I just got a kitten this summer. Spend as much time with the other dog as you can and explore the feeding issue with your dad.

BoBo1946's avatar

I’m very sorry for your loss….it ain’t easy! Time is the only healer. Took me over a year to even think about getting another person after Spunky passed away. Having said that, I’ve been very blessed with Sadie who is my new family member.

Lorenita's avatar

Im so sorry for your loss… it’s terrible, but perhaps you could buy or adopt a new puppy :)

rooeytoo's avatar

I always have dogs of different ages so that when I lose one I still have one to love. At the moment I have 2 who are 13 and 1 that is 3. I know the time is coming soon for the oldies and I will hate to lose them but I have the young one to devote my time to. I go along with the ones who say get a new dog. It doesn’t replace the one you lost, it simply gives you a new friend. I say go to a shelter, walk down the aisle and look into the eyes, when you see one whose eyes speak to you, you will know that is the one for you.

chyna's avatar

Love the one you have. It will take time to get over the loss of your dog and that dog will always have a place in your memory and heart, but the dog left behind will also be missing his companion, so he will need lots of love.

spdy85's avatar

i lost my dog of 15 and a half years in June. i still get upset about losing her. it gets easier. i still won’t get a new dog but it’s getting easier to think about a new dog. i had her cremated and she sits on the piano with her collar and a print of her paw from Christmas. but since it has gotten easier to think about getting a new dog I’ve gone through looking through shelters on line. that way if something hits me that looks like it would fit good i can honor my dogs memory by saving the life of another dog and giving it a good life.

chrisorangeskate's avatar

try to accept it. and realize that when it was alive that you had great times with it.

Goeez's avatar

I am so very sorry. We just had to put down our beloved dog of over 9 years. Here are some of the things I did to work through my grief.
I wrote copiously about the experience and posted it on my site. I created a photo card in memory of her to give to our close friends, the vet clinic where she was known and loved, and the shelter where we adopted her.
I used a photo of her that we took on her last day at the dog park, and superimposed the poem Rainbow Bridge over it. I added her birth and death dates and framed it .
I lit a candle on line from the Rainbow Bridge site and observe the Monday night candle lighting remembrance.
I am in the process of making a file with all of the pictures we have of her and the videos.
We had her cremated and have her ashes sitting on the mantle.
I had her coat brushings made into yarn that I will use to create a small knit memento.
I let myself cry whenever I need to.
I talk about her to other pet lovers.
I love my remaining dog and pay attention to his needs. We get lots of cuddling time in.

Hope that helps some, I agree with those who suggest waiting to adopt another dog. You need time to grieve, just as you would if you had lost a person.

rooeytoo's avatar

I forgot to mention there are many grief counseling services offered by vet schools, rescue groups,etc. Here is a partial list.

Justice13's avatar

Get another dog, or better yet: a cat.

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