It’s so hard to let go of dogs. If any creature deserves immortality, it would be them. They aren’t with us very long, but it’s a great run while they’re here. I had to let my girl Nova go to the Rainbow bridge this week. It was a difficult decision, but she was very ill for several weeks, and very old (she was a giant breed). I will miss her smiling face and her barking as she ran after squirrels. She was a joyful, mischievous creature.
All our dogs teach us while they’re in our lives. Nova taught me to let go of preconceived notions of perfection, and to live in the moment. Unless it is unpleasant, in which case she advocates chasing something.
Coping with the loss of a pet can be hard, even if it’s something you’ve known was coming. When people ask me for advice on this, I generally say, “Whatever makes you feel better.” If that’s crying and framing their collar, then do it. If it’s holding a funeral, do it. If you really just need to cuddle your remaining dog, then do that.
When is it right to move on? There’s no easy answer. I don’t think you should go out and find a dog that looks just like your old dog, and name it the same thing. Each dog is unique and special and has something to teach you that’s different than any other dog. They deserve their own name, I think. Whenever it feels right, go for it! Find a new friend, and remember the old. It’s not wrong to want another dog. Dogs have a way of healing hurts, even the loss of another dog.
Do you have any advice you’d like to share on how to help grieve the loss of a beloved pet?