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Looking for a New Dog After a Loss

Sometimes it's hard to imagine ever loving another dog as much as one you've loved and lost. We're all different in our need for time to grieve, and even in how we grieve. You will have to decide what's best for you.


The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master.

—Ben Hur Lampman

When you're ready, look for a new dog. Don't try to replace the old one—you'll only disappoint yourself and rob both dogs of their distinction as individuals. If you focus too much on looking for identical traits in the two, you'll be likely to miss out on the wonderful little things that make your new dog special in his own right. If you love the breed of your first dog, then by all means get another of the same breed. But don't expect the new one to be the same as the old. He can't be your old dog; he can only be himself. If looking at a face, coat, and color similar to what your old friend had will be difficult for you, then consider a different breed, or the same breed but a different sex or color.

I've often heard people say that they'll never have another dog because they loved the other one so much. I find that idea even sadder than the death of a dog. You can never replace a dog who's gone before, but you can love another one, and he can love you. I think the best tribute we can give to the dogs we've loved before is the faith in their species that sends us out to look for another to love and care for. Dogs are social animals. They don't want us to be alone.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting and Owning a Dog © 2003 by Sheila Webster Boneham, Ph.D. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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