child in love with labradors

It’s OK to love again…

In October 9, 2013
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I’m often asked this question by inquiring clients… “I just lost my (insert pet’s name)… How long should I wait before getting a puppy?”  People frequently call us after losing a beloved canine family member, asking about our upcoming litters.  Although many of them also seem to have this guilt about even thinking of bringing a new puppy home so soon after their loss.  To those of you battling this, I’m writing this to you…

Claudia- Endless Mt. Labradors

~~Gone, but never forgotten~~

Losing a dog is one of the most painful times of grief I have ever experienced.  And it never gets easier.  Each dog is individual, and each will have their own place in your heart.

I think people feel like they’re betraying the dog they just lost, by getting a puppy.  Like they’re trying to replace them… I truly believe that our dogs are family, and they want us to be happy and to both love and be loved.  Anyone who has owned a lab (or been owned BY one!), knows once you have a lab, it just doesn’t feel right to be without one…  They know this.  They know we need them.

Sleepy lab and his human- Endless Mt. Labradors

 

 From my labby heart to yours… It’s OK to love again. It’s OK to open up your heart once more.  Someday it will be broken again (though we wish they could live forever)… but it will be worth it.  It’s always worth it.

It’s a personal decision, when to expand your family with furry footsteps again… There is no right or wrong amount of time for grieving…but please don’t think you’ve betrayed the dog you just lost!  Just because you get a puppy does not mean that you’ve forgotten or suddenly “gotten over” them.

I’ve also had people ask if, for example, they should get another black lab or switch it up and get a yellow this time?  Again, totally a personal decision… Some worry they will compare the pup to their other dog if they get the same color/sex.  I think most find that each dog is really so individual, that your new pup will become his or her own self and take a completely new place in your heart.

Dogs are the most selfless creatures on earth.  They spend their whole lives wanting us to be happy, and I don’t think that changes once they’ve gone…

amy and eva watermark

“…Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you…
I loved you so – ’twas Heaven here with you.”

-Isla Pachal Richardson

27 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this! I’ve always felt that I was honoring the dog who passed by proving that I cannot live without one of them, especially since I’ve owned Labbies.

    1. I also believe it honors the dog one has lost to find another. We put down our wonderful Moby on Dec. 27th and had our equally wonderful Theo on Feb. 8th. That is as long as I could wait and I must say, having Theo helped me so much with grieving. He is such a different dog than Moby, I can’t even compare the two except to say they are equally loving. Thank you Endless Mountain Labs for filling my heart up again.

      Blessings !!
      Linda Byramjee

      1. Glad you appreciated it Theresa! And glad to hear Theo is doing well, Linda. 🙂 So happy for you guys… Moby will always be in your heart!

  2. You wrote a great article. Well said! Grady is my 4th lab to love, all are so different and so very special. I will always have a lab. It is so very painful to loose them, but everyone of them have made me smile everyday and fill my heart with unconditional love. I think of them as a gift.

    1. Amen to that, Linda! Love Mr. Grady! 🙂

  3. I think sometimes people get the same breed, sex and color thinking it will replace their pet they’ve lost – but then find the new dog has a completely different personality. Dogs are like people in my opinion – they can’t be “replaced”.

    I had a father and son combo – both yellow Labs and their personalities couldn’t have been more different – except (like you said) they’re huge capacity to give love. The son went on to be a seeing eye dog and I’m very proud of him but miss him like crazy. I know someday I will lose Biscuit (the father) but I also know there will never be another dog like him – they will be big “paws” to fill – but each puppy has a way of finding their way into your heart.

    1. Hugs to you, Maggie! Biscuit sounds like he has a wonderful home. 🙂

  4. I agree….I say I will never be without a dog….my house would never be the same. The love they give you through their time with you far outweighs the heartbreak of losing them…..it just would not be fair to not get another. There is no replacing the love of the one you lost but there is room to love again….My vet told us when we went out the very next day & got our 2nd yellow lab that it is paying tribute to the selfless unconditional love our beloved Abby showed us to not want to be without that love they bring to our hearts <3 I now have a chocolate & a yellow and they are my beloved children, They fill our hearts with love every day 🙂

  5. We have been fortunate to have a lab to come home to after losing each of our labs. Each one we lost, there was one at home waiting to comfort us when we returned from the vet. Some were long time companions, others were a new pup less than a year old. They provided such love and comfort to us and together we mourned the loss. To be able to hug and cry holding the one at home helped so much. You are right, it is amazing how each one is so individual that you never forget the ones that have passed and don’t compare them to each other. We have two now that are 10 and 11 and I hope they don’t go close together. But, yes, in our house….there will always be at least one.
    Jack and Asa’s mom

    1. That really is so true, Cheryl! Amazing how the comfort from our labs matches no other…

  6. My elderly greyhound rescue will not be with me much longer, and I have known this for a while. I do fostering for rescue and have always had dogs that have come and gone from my home. I recently got a beautiful black Lab puppy from a wonderful breeder. Not to replace my Bailey, (he can never be replaced), But because I know that as that time draws nearer, my new pup will help me with easing the pain of loss that I know is going to invade my life. Having acquired her before his loss was a decision I made mostly because I cannot stand the thought of not having a dog in my life. And, she is so different in character, looks and personality that I will not have to feel the guilt of feeling like I am comparing. I have have had ten wonderful years with my grey, he is the absolute best dog! I look forward to many happy years with my Oakley.

    1. What a great thing that you are doing for these dogs, Nancy! All the best to you, Oakley, and Bailey!

  7. Great read!!!! I got my first Lab Coco she was a rescue 2yrs old when she came into my life she was my best friend we had her 11yrs she passed at 13 we had already brought a new pup into our lives before she passed Coco was the best teacher for our Miss Ash. Its true they are all different but their love for you is is endless cant imagine my life with out one in my life. I miss Coco every day I still cry every day also and its been 2 1/2 years miss here so much if it was not for Miss Ash I would have probably lost my mind they are family I call them my furry children 🙂

    1. Aren’t they all wonderful??? Each has their own individuality and steal their own place in our hearts. 🙂

  8. My Molly (a Lab/Golden mix) died on her 13th birthday in the beginning of August. By the end of September, we brought Libby a 5 month old Chocolate Lab home. The house seemed so empty and quiet without a dog in it. Noone came running to greet us at the door when whenever we came home during that month and a half. These 2 dogs are so different from each other. Molly would be happy just to be in the same room with you, did not like being up on the furniture and did not cuddle with anyone. Libby on the other hand, needs to be touching us when she lays down and “sneeks” up on the bed and couch when we are on them, is a cuddle bug and loves to give kisses on whatever part of us she can get her toungue on.

    1. So happy you have Libby now, Kathy! Molly will always have a special place in your heart. <3

  9. I shared this on my FB site….I was surprised at how many positive responses I received from my friends. Thanks so much for opening up those doors that many off us are afraid to open….

    1. Thank you for your support, Deb! Glad you appreciated this article…

  10. When I lost my Yellow Lab in 2007, I died too. She was my four legged child. (No human children) She had been with me through most of my adult life – thick and thin. I had never felt such grief. I thought I would never have another. 3 months later somebody brought me a little yellow puppy just to make sure and she has been with us ever since. I know now that when this yellow angel leaves us that the the best way for me to get through it is to start again with a new baby. They are all precious and bring such joy.

    1. So sorry for your loss Katrina. 🙁 but so happy for you and your new little angel! They really are worth it, everytime. <3

  11. Your words ring so true and I will always remember how kind you were to me when we first spoke after I lost my Ozzy and was thinking of getting another puppy. I thank God every day I found you and was able to bring my gorgeous Maxx home 3 months later. He is absolutely the light of my life.
    Although we can never replace the wonderful dogs that have gone before us, opening your heart to another can be such a healing experience. I would be lost without Maxx, he is truly my heart dog!

  12. It’s been five or more years maybe its time!

  13. I have to say as I read Blog Its okay to love again…, the posts brought up within me a lot of emotions. Of the lose of my beloved dog Mindy in 2004 she was my loyal companion, I remember my ex wife now at the time stated: “Jim, I think at times you love that dog more than you love me.” It is true the bond is unique between a man or a woman and their dog, but this flood of emotions were the bottled up emotions and tears not shed…! Oh, boy the flood gates of heaven opened up.
    I weep too knowing the labs I presently have one named after my last Mindy and Lacey are at some point going to die, I don’t know how I will deal with it, as one of the posts had indicated they hoped that of their 2 dogs they hoped it would not happen to close together. I guess that is my hope……., please lord not at the same time!

  14. Hello, We just lost our girl at age 13 yrs, here April 6th. The entire family has been crushed by her passing,we have not been able to deal with this very well. She was very much a family member to all of us. Finding out she had a tumor two weeks before, the vet said we may have a week with her an we were told to make her comfortable, but Reagan came home made herself strong and hung in there two weeks. During that two weeks you would have never known she was ill. She acted so strong for all of us, as though she was telling us that she refused to left the cancer take over. Two weeks to the day, we got up that morning an she colapsed on the floor. six hours later we lost her. I sit by her side the whole time telling her how much we all loved her an we didn’t want her to suffer any longer. we have all been trying to deal with this and actually said that we may not ever be able to bring another Lab into our lives because we feel as though we would betray Reagan and feel like we were forgetting her. Also the new pup wouldn’t have a chance because it would be compared to our Reagan who we feel is an always will be one of a kind. But I came across this article by some chance?? No clue why or how but I read it and I want you to know that I did find a little peace in my heart after I read it. I plan to have the rest of my family take time to read it and hopefully here in the future we will be able to except another sweet soul into our lives like we once had. Thank you so much!

    1. Patti I’m so very sorry for your loss… 🙁 I want you to know you brought tears to my eyes! It sounds like your Reagan was such a very special girl, and she will certainly always hold a special place in your heart… I’m glad that you were able to find some comfort today. 🙂 It never ceases to amaze me when our hearts seem to grow each time they need to, to hold even more love for another sweet labby love. Hugs to you!

  15. Donna, thank you for this because my grieving for my wonderful Katy led me to your article on dogs going to heaven, which led me to you and to Abbey Grace and Harper. I can’t imagine not loving Katy for the rest of my life, anticipating seeing her in heaven and loving Abbey Grace and Harper while I am still on this earth. Blessings to you for your tireless pursuit of excellence in these wonderful dogs and for sharing them with us. Becky

  16. Great article. Finn is still with us but do not know how long. My son’s girlfriend recently got a yellow lab puppy and he is precious. I am going to have to have one, too!! I think I may get a yellow this time, too Will be in touch when the time is right!

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