I recently lost my dog Max who was only a little over 3 years old. He was hit by a car on a road that I never knew he went by. He was on his way back home when he was hit and killed. This is the first pet that our family has lost and it has been very difficult. It gets a little bit easier every day, but the pain of it all is still very much there. It seems like a bad dream. No more Max to greet us when we come home. No Max to play fetch with in the yard. Atleast we can now talk and laugh about him without becoming depressed. I am uncertain if I want to get another dog, we probaby will because my husband said it will help with the healing process. However, I do not know if I can go through this again. I know someday the animal will die and we will have to go through this all over again. I am confused and uncertain as to what I should do.

Nora from MI

13 Responses

  1. Keren Says:

    Hi Nora, I’m so sorry about the loss of your sweet Max. The way you lost him was so tragic. It’s perfectly normal to feel depressed. It’s very traumatic. Don’t rush and get a new pet too soon. When you are ready, you’ll know it. I just lost my Cheyenne this past Monday and I just can’t replace her right now. Some day you’ll find a dog in a place or a situation you wouldn’t expect, and you will know that this dog is the one. Take care and may God bless you and your family always, Keren, CT

  2. Carol Says:

    Loss is always hard, but just like with other relationships, the greatest respect you can pay Max, when the time comes, is to open your heart again and love another sweet, loving animal. No other dog will ever really take his place, because, like people, all pets have their own personalities. Too not love again disrespects his love and importance. Give your heart time to heal and the right pet will come along when it’s time.
    Been there.

  3. Debbie Says:

    Hi Nora,
    I know what you’re going through as I have been wondering the same thing. I lost a dog that was only 8 years old to a disease. We still have her Mom and she seems a little lonely and lost at times. I hate to have her by herself for much of the day and because of where we live, she is inside all day. I would like to give her a companion but don’t want her to think she’d being replaced or downgraded. Take your time in making this big decision as the cruelest thing I think could happen is when people take on a pet only to change their mind later and give it away. What confusion and pain that must cause a pet! You’ll know what to do when the time is right and no matter what you do, your memories of Max will keep you warm. Best of luck to you.

  4. Carol Says:

    Nora – don’t be afraid to love again. I feel like it was honoring my best friend Ginger to get another dog after she passed away. She gave me all her love and how could I dishonor her by holding my love back again in the future. I now have a wonderful dog named Joy who has brought wonderful joy to my life. Yes one day I will lose her – but the love and joy she has poured into my life I would never have wanted to miss. Honor your pet by loving again!

  5. Susan Miller Says:

    Better to have loved and lost than to never love at all. It is very painful to lose a companion — but don’t let that stop you from that investment of enriching your life and another pet’s.

  6. Joann Says:

    Nora, I’m 70, have had a dog every day of my life. Have had to put several down, but got another within days. It’s never the same as the previous but you love them each as individuals. My present one, Frecky (a doxie) saved my life. Soon after a stroke, I had to put Kippy down and then found Frecky who has become the love of my life. Just try it.

    Joann from MI also

  7. Thomas from Colorado Springs Says:

    Nora, I’ve read all the responses to your story, I went through a similar loss and didn’t think I was ready to adopt another dog, but my wife took me to a local animal rescue 4 days later and we found a German Shepard that needed rescuing, we brought her home and I discovered that my wife was right, filling the void helped my heart heal faster. I think if I had waited, the pain would have left a bigger scar. Keep your eyes and heart open, don’t be shy about visiting your local humane society or a private animal rescue. Look at it this way, there’s a wonderful dog out there somewhere, sitting in a cage, waiting for you.

  8. Mary Says:

    Nora, The comforting words from all who understand says it all; especially from Carol.
    I have been thru the heartbreak too many times. On April 13 ’06 I lost my beloved Annie & have cried gallons of tears. She was so special. I said I wouldn’t get another dog (have 2 cats) but I couldn’t stand the emptiness I felt. I only have rescue pets. So on Nov 17 ’06 I adopted Dixie from Caring for Creatures. She is now about 8yrs & entirely different than Annie
    but she fills the void left by Annie (somewhat)

  9. Nell Says:

    You have so many people who know what you are going through-and so much good advice. Don’t be afraid to fall in love again–there are so many great dogs who need homes. No other dog will ever take the place of your Maxie, but there’s a four-legger who really wants a “forever” home.

  10. Diane Miller Says:

    Nora, (and also replier Debbie), I once read that dogs don’t feel like they’re being replaced by getting a new puppy when they get old or when they die. Actually, it is a wonderful way to honor them because it lets the dog know you loved them so much you are willing to go through the experience again with another dog. This leaves them with a feeling of immense joy and satisfaction knowing that they did their job well!! And as much as it hurts to lose one, the pleasure they bring for the few years they are with us is well worth it.

    Diane also from MI

  11. Mike Moody Says:

    Hi Nora,

    I was reading about your dog, Max, and how you felt when you lost him. Your description of your feelings brought back memories of when I lost my beloved Black Lab, Chelsea, over two years ago. Unlike you, I lost her through illness, but I feel her loss very deeply to this day. I had adopted her when she was six, and had her only three years.
    I was surfing around the web today, and I ran across this site, which has a series of articles on the very topic of pet loss. I thought of you, and what you said, as I read some of the articles. If you haven’t already found this site, I think you might enjoy checking it out. Some of the articles are quite helpful in dealing with the loss of a beloved pet.

    Scroll down to: Pet Loss and Related Topics

    Time will help heal your grief, and I know you will find happiness by rescuing another poor little soul in need of love. There are so many. http://www.dogsindanger.com is a good example.

    Best wishes,
    Mike from Brisbane, near San Francisco, CA

  12. Laura from L.A. Says:

    If you could ask Max, what would he tell you to do?? Would he want you to be happy again or saddened by his memory?? Dogs teach us alot about “unconditional” love.

    If you are on this blog, it’s because you are a listener of Dr. Levin. He went through the same thing you are now experiencing. Mrs. Levin knew what to do. She brought Griffin into the family not to replace Sprite, but to help mend the broken hearts. Now Dr. Levin has a new friend to sit at his feet while taping the show, and life goes on.

    I think Sprite is happy for his family & for Pepsi’s new buddy right now. I think Max would be happy for you too.

  13. Tatum Says:

    Hi Nora, I have had 20+ dogs in my life. It’s never easy. When I was a small boy we had 6 St. Bernard’s. One died as a puppy. His name was Tank. We lived on a farm in Central Missouri. We don’t even now what happened to him, but we all cried. It’s easier to get another pet as fast as you can. Get one from the Pound. All Dogs need a home. Try not to be sad. Your Dog is with Sprite now running in a field.