ryoverde
My spouse told me last night that he's still grieving for our 1st dog, Brandy, a half-Boxer mixed breed, who died in 1998 -- 2 generations of dogs ago.  He told me he didn't want to hurt like that ever again, and so was trying to NOT become close to any of the dogs (or cats).  He apparently sees no value in befriending a pet that makes it worth the loss.  I am at a loss; I thought he just didn't like dogs, or really even cats -- he was always more of a cat-person, but still...  He makes jokes how the dogs -- Australian Shepherds -- don't like him, but I think that's more that the dogs are respecting that he doesn't want them to be around him.  Second generation of dogs since Brandy died, the younger of the 2 is now 7 1/2 yrs old, the elder 11 1/2 yrs old.  The younger of the pair, a red merle female named Rusty, really wants him as her best buddy, but seems to have given up...  I've always thought that my pets are my buds, and their friendship is worth the pain of losing them, but that's not working for him.  Can anyone help me out with what to tell him?  Thanks.
Cara
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BojiPat
Cara,

This is a tough one. It sounds like your husband never recovered from the loss of Brandy. Sometimes the pain is so intense that some people avoid making themselves vulnerable to a similar loss by distancing from animals that could bring them joy and enrich their lives.

I’m certainly not an expert in psychology, but by joking about how the dogs don’t like him is likely his coping mechanism to keep his emotional distance. It’s very difficult to coax someone with this mindset into accepting that loss is worth the benefits and joy of loving another pet. Some think opening themselves up to another animal is a betrayal to the one that was lost. I’m not certain that your husband feels that way, but you might want to run that past him and tell him it is not. Many people continue to grieve and still bring another pet into the household. I’ve done it several times.

I know you were looking for a more concrete answer, but I hope my message offered a little insight into what might be going on. Good luck!
Pat, Quinn’s mom 🌈
You may visit Quinn's memorial at:
https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/QUINN004/Resident.htm
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ryoverde
Thank you for the suggestions, I will try them. I hope someday... but we're getting old, and I had thought these might be our last dogs...

Still, thank you!
Cara/ryoverde
Cara
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BojiPat
I understand. Best wishes!
Pat, Quinn’s mom 🌈
You may visit Quinn's memorial at:
https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/QUINN004/Resident.htm
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