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Not Sure I'm Ready For A New Pet


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You might think this post belongs in the pet loss discussion, but I posted here because it has more to do with the aftermath of losing my husband.

I love dogs, and since my husband died, only my beautiful little lhasapoo daughter saves me from living alone. I couldn't survive without her. I know how many dogs in shelters need homes, and a one great no-kill shelter near me may have to shut down for lack of funds. So I've been thinking a lot about adopting a second dog.

But I don't know if it's a good time to bring a new pet into my life. I still hurt so much from losing Bill that the thought of opening up my heart again, even to a dog, is scary. And I've been many dogs' human companion, so I know what to expect: bringing a new one home would probably mean some bad behavior, an "accident" or two, maybe some chewing and (I hope not) fighting. If these were normal times, no problem. But with the limited control of emotions I have now, I worry that both the dog and I might be too stressed.

I'm tempted to wait awhile longer before looking for a dog, but so many need help now - the right pet for me might be out there right now, but might not be around if I wait till I feel more settled. It's hard to know what to do.

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Kathy, dear ~

As a fellow animal lover, I can certainly understand why you’re considering whether to bring another dog into your life right now. I also think you are wise to be raising whatever questions and doubts you may have now, ahead of time, as you think about and weigh all sides of this important decision.

It's important to recognize that there are some great benefits in deciding to get another dog. As I’m sure you already know from your own experience with your darling lhasapoo daughter, loving and caring for an animal companion enables you to feel productive, useful and needed; to have someone to talk to and communicate with; to feel companionship and closeness with another, thereby feeling secure, protected, supported and not alone; to feel touched, both physically and emotionally; to engage more actively in life, as your animal depends on you for food, water, exercise and medical care; and to be motivated toward better care of yourself, out of a sense of responsibility for your animal friend. These are very real benefits for anyone, and most especially for one who is mourning the death of her husband!

If you do decide to bring a new dog into your life, you’ll want to do all you can to make certain that the dog you select will be a loving, well adjusted companion, and that he or she gets along with your other doggy daughter. Fortunately there are many books, articles and Web sites to guide you in this process. See, for example,

What to Consider before Adopting a Pet

Choosing the Right Dog

Introducing Pets to a New Dog

How to Select a Shelter Dog

How to Adopt a Healthy Dog from a Shelter

Finding a Dog with the Right Energy

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Since I am involved in 2 rescue groups on the East Coast and have 7 Japanese Chin I am very proud of you for talking of adopting from a shelter rather than going thru a pet store as we all know the ones in stores come from Puppy Mills and can be very unhealthy, besides the fact of the parents being overbred and treated horribly. I had 5 dogs when my Steve had passed and since then have taken in 2 more that needed to be fostered and then couldn't give them up, so I guess you could say I was a foster failure ! Each time I brought another in it helped to temporarily fill a void I had from losing Steve and gave me a sense of feeling needed and useful and gave me some excitement in my life. I love them all dearly but admit that I will never have this many again as it is alot of work and I took the last 2 in for the wrong reasons. So my advice to you would be continue as you are, weighing the Pro's and Con's and make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Go into Petfinder and put in the type of dog you may be looking for as these dogs are already in homes being fostered thru rescue groups and being evaluated as compared to being in a shelter where they know less about their personalities and habits. They will make sure they are neutered first and up to date on shots and will tell you if they are housebroken, if they are chewers, good with children etc. Any resuce group will tell you that if the new addition does not work out you can bring them back. Good luck to you and if you have any questions please feel free to ask me.


Wendy :wub:

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Kathy, Like you, I have my girl, Little Roo, who is such a good friend. Rich

and I loved dogs and he, especially, liked cats...so I now have 4 cats and

1 dog (Roo)...all of them were tiny babes that we found on the rails to trails where they had been dumped....if I didn't have them with me now, and

especially Roo (who is not so little anymore) I don't know if I would be here

now. I think Roo needs a companion - her sister died about 2 years ago and

I thought about getting another dog - but, once again, like you, I'm not

certain that I could deal with any problems that might arise; and I don't

know if I have the energy for training a puppy. Right now, Roo and I are

inseparable and I know the Dog Whisperer would shake his head at me because

I treat her like a "human"....but if it weren't for her, I'm not certain I

would be going outside the house for those long walks in the woods that

she loves and helps me some...or those long rides with her sitting along

side me....if we saved her life so many years ago, she certainly is saving

mine now. But I know that when we first brought her home (we already had

two others that have since died), it seemed as thought every other day they

were digging out from under the fence going on adventures known only to them

We would either have to go searching or just wait and ultimately they would

return.....but I bring this up because I could not imagine how I would handle

that now....but they are love aren't they? Let us know what you decide to


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