jimmy17
I have read The Dogs Last Will and Testament a couple of times and each time I read it , it makes me feel guilty. I lost my beautiful old boy Jim a little over 5 weeks ago. He was a rescue dog, we had him from age 4 months, until the grand old age of 17, he truly was our Once In A Lifetime dog, kind, gentle and loving. We have no children, so he was like our baby, everything revolved around him - I could not envision a world in which we would be separated. I have finally accepted he has gone over the Bridge, and that we will be reunited one day, but I am in touch with the animal shelter we got Jim from, and when I read about all the poor little souls on there that are crying out for a loving home, such as we could provide, I really don`t know what to do. Do I give a home to a new little friend while I am still grieving my best little friend ? Or is it too soon? 
     Part of me is saying `Yes`, but the other part of me is saying I am being disloyal to Jim - how could I possibly think about about bringing another dog into my heart so soon? My husband thinks it is far too early, but if any of you lovely people could give me any advice, been in the same situation, I would really appreciate your experiences. Jackie. xx
J Taylor
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JerseyNonna
Jackie, first let me say that after reading your posts about your "beautiful old boy jim" I know that he misses you but also that our babies would not want us to close our hearts off from new fur-babies who may need our love and companionship.  perhaps the reason you have been in touch with the same shelter jim was chosen from is he's leading you there.  jim sounds as if he wasn't only kind, gentle and loving but also very wise and giving.  makes sense that he knows you both still have plenty of love to give to another (jim knows he would not be replaced but rather you're offering the same wonderful chance you gave to him for a great life with two fantastic humans to another fur-baby in need of a "forever home").  perhaps you might find it too soon and that is surely ok, but maybe jim is just letting you know he expects you to help another as you did him.  it won't alleviate any pain you feel missing jim since omg he was your life for so many years and grief for anyone lost after so long is expected to only fade with time.

I think you and your husband have huge hearts and when you feel the time is right - or jim nudges you to check out the lonely babies at the shelter in need of a loving family, give yourself the reminder that jim was once one of those lonely souls looking for a forever home and he might just be of the thought that he doesn't want you two to be so alone.  you know hon, today I started thinking about a few things I've instructed my daughter about my own passing and how she should handle it.  told her I want a second line with jazz playing and my life celebrated not mourned.  I want her to remember how much I enjoyed the life I was given even in bad times and to be ok since I won't be in constant chronic spinal pain any more; won't worry about my legs going numb and going out from under me and all the other issues.  after thinking of that I started to realize that roxie would want me to celebrate her life and how she lived it to the fullest aussie potential she could (even the few times she really got herself in trouble, lol...she always brought a smile to my face and I could never be mad with her).   I could be angry with feeling cheated that I only had her for 9 years but have to say they were spectacularly loving years that I feel so blessed to have shared with such a soul for any amount of years.  I would really love to get another service dog to continue roxie's legacy with helping me but unfortunately they are just too expensive and frankly i'm not sure quite yet.  when my first service dog goldie died suddenly December 12, 2006 from the contaminated pet food issue I was blessed to find this gorgeous black tri aussie pup who's litter was rescued and she needed a good home.  that little ball of fur was my dear roxie and we brought her home January 22, 2007. 

anyway sweetie, your heart will assure you when it is time....unless jim nudges you forward with another very special fur-baby.  when you see that new face looking at you with nothing but love in it's eyes I'm sure you will know "it's time".  many many hugs, thoughts and prayers.
JerseyNonna
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jimmy17
JerseyNonna, so many thanks for your beautiful reply. I would really like to think our little Jim is encouraging us to help another little friend, just as we helped him all those years ago. He really was a wise old soul in a little body, I had such a connection with him that I think he may be truly guiding me on this matter. 
  You so much remind me of my mum, she has an envelope ready for me with the requests that I ( as an only child), have to adhere to, one of which includes a reminder of how much Jim meant to her, as my husband and I have no children, Jim  was the nearest thing to a Grandson that she had, she absolutely adored him. 
  Roxie sounds such a special girl to you, you must miss her dreadfully especially as your service dog. May she and Goldie be running freely over the Bridge with my Jim. Loving wishes, and peace to you, love Jackie. xxx

J Taylor
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Manjack
Hi Jackie,

I too read The Last Will and Testament which of course made me cry, not an unusual occurrence with me.

My niece has a rescue dog that she adopted from Taiwan. He is a Doberman and she knows she is going to lose him soon. Yesterday she posted his picture on Facebook along with a quote she found.It reads "Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love. They depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog. It merely expands the heart".

I thought of this posting as I read what you wrote. i know she is already preparing herself to bring another unwanted, unloved creature into her home.

We lost our beloved tiny toy poodle in April. We adopted him when he as 5 or 6. In September I brought home a puppy who' owners were downsizing from 5 dogs to 2. Our little one brings us much joy. We have no children and have so much love to give this energetic, chewing machine, little white ball of fur. I look at it as a tribute to the dog we lost. He had been our first pet and through him I have become much more aware of animals in need, much more sensitive to the plight of homeless and mistreated animals and I am a huge supporter of rescue groups.

I still miss my poodle terribly. After 9 months I still cry multiple times per day but I forge ahead telling myself that in his memory and as a tribute to his life I will give this puppy the best life possible.

JerseyNonna can express things so well. I agree with what she said. Nobody can tell you there is a certain amount of time. It is probably different for everyone. Perhaps you could spend some time at that shelter, maybe walking a dog or two just to be around dogs to see how you react? In any event I think you have a lot of love to give and you will know when the time is right.

Sending you healing thoughts.
Diane
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camunki
Hi you will know when the right time is, your gut will tell you......you will never replace Jim, you will just add more love to a pet who needs to be rescued and given a life of love. Your Jim will appreciate that!

In the past I lost my 1st dog i ever had, and within 3 weeks I started "looking" for another pet, just to give love to........and I did end up actually getting a pet about 3 months later......filled my new pets life with love and the story goes on...........now that i lost two pets
last year.............i am going to rescue one most likely in the next month or two.......I lost my recent Munki on Dec 3rd and Daizy the same year on Jan 2nd.............so in a month or so..........my love will go to a new rescue.......its all good!!!!!!!!!! and you will know when the time is right

Cam


 
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Larissa
Sometimes your " need to mother" instinct needs nurturing. It's a calling some fulfill with children,and some with fur babies. When you loose your friend,your baby,the " need to mother" part of you doesn't go anywhere.thats part of YOU, inside YOU. I'm sure Jim took a piece of your heart when he went,but the part that loved him so deeply is still very much alive inside you. It's hard when a family member isn't ready at the same time you are to find another creature to love. Talking about it some maybe will help open his heart to the idea too. If you feel that tug to find a new friend,that's Jim just saying " yes mom,yes,that's what I want for your heart. " to me that's not disloyalty, it's loyalty to honor his life by saving another.

God bless your heart for rescuing these beautiful pups that need a family and love. You're their blessing,don't forget that!
Larissa
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lostlittleboy
We lost Buddy, our little boy of 4 years a couple of months ago in an accident - he was our once in a lifetime companion, loved and utterly spoilt by the whole family.  It hurt like nothing I'd ever felt before, to carry on feeling the same way about him, but knowing he wasn't around.

A month of hurt later, I wondered if giving a home to another would help.  We went to see a couple of dogs at rescue centres, and finally found a little 18 month old greyhound girl who had never raced (too small, perhaps) and reminded me of the way I felt about Buddy.

We decided to collect her after the holidays, she's been with us for about 3 weeks and is settling in slowly - we named her Cassie.  
She sometimes looks at me the same way, does similar things (down-dog) and loves fuss and the odd cuddle.  She's not a replacement, and is very different in many ways - she doesn't pull on the lead, follows me around everywhere (insecurity I presume), doesn't sleep much, doesn't know how to play/sit and hasn't chased the cat...yet.
I talk to her about Buddy when we're on walks, and she shares a few things, odd toys, a Kong he never played with and a bean bag he used to curl up in.

Only you can decide when is the right time - it is not right for others to force their will upon you, as they're not feeling the same way - my mother-in-law didn't agree with our decision, made it known, and is the only person that Cassie has growled at :-)
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jimmy17
Many thanks for your lovely replies, and for telling me your stories. Lostlittleboy, so sorry about Buddy - only 4 years old. That must have been a dreadful time for you all, we lost a 2 year old cat in a car accident many years ago, and I still think about how short his life was , how unfair it was.  Cassie sounds a lovely girl, and it`s so nice that you talk to her about Buddy, as you say she is not a replacement for Buddy, she has her own little character.
   
Larissa, I do think you are right about the nurturing instinct - I feel totally lost as JIm was 17 and most of the days were spent taking so much care of him, from giving him his meds, sometimes if his legs were bad we would carry him out into the garden and  follow him around to make sure he didn`t have a major wobble. Eventually near the end, we were hand feeding him also. So to have that su
ddenly taken away is very hard. The only way through this is to give another little one a home, probably sooner rather than later.

 Camunki, bless you for rescuing so many doggies, it is like a kind of `calling` I suppose, the need to help all these abandoned little souls ( so, so many of them ). I love the idea that the story is ongoing, it would be a kind of testimony to Jim also.
  
Diane, your new puppy sounds adorable, I love the description of `chewing machine`, Jim was like that when we first got him. Its strange that a lot of our memories of him as a pup are only just surfacing now, like he was an old man for so long, that was all we could remember of him for the first few weeks after we lost him. Your niece`s quote about love and loss and about how a new dog never replaces an old dog is so true, in my heart I know Jim would understand this.   Jackie. xx
J Taylor
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ahartofilis
Hello Jackie,
       I read many of your posts this morning and would like to leave a message in this topic.
       Firstly I want to express my deepest condolences for the loss of your special canine Jim. The way you express the life and years with him are so eloquently and beautifully written. He was obviously a huge part of your life, a gentle, sweet, child, companion, forever dog. The many blessings he gave you are now matched by the angst and sadness in your heart for all that he gave. I am sorry Jackie. You have endured his loss with such wisdom and graciousness. I admire how you have reached out to others, have received much needed comfort and also shared of yourself and given much needed understanding to those grieving here.
        I lost my dear girl Coco, a Labmix, to bone cancer 13 mts. ago. I have been on the grievous roller coaster for quite a while and truly resonate with you and so many others here. Sometimes I feel that no matter where we are in life, we can have a little, a lot, have other pets, have none, nothing truly prepares our heart for the loss of such a special furbaby. All of our experience in life up to that point seems to mean nothing. Loosing a treasured member of the family, our child, our companion for years can bring a pain that defies explanation. I had so many low moments of pure grief over the loss of Coco those first few month's. It pains my heart to even recall them. I say this because I totally empathize with you, how you feel and also others here that have recently had to face such a loss.
        I want to share with you that there is a light at the end of the dark grievous tunnel. There is a light, not a replacement for our beloveds but a way to gain some perspective, time does bring a little more peace, more importantly, it brings all that we had with them to the front burner for us to learn and eventually share if we are open to it. I honestly didn't think that I would get another canine for a long time after loosing Coco. I was careful to honor my feelings of grief for her. Personally I think that I needed to be in a healthier place emotionally before adopting another. I would not want to replace or compare what Coco brought into my life. She has her special place, she is the Queen Canine of my heart and soul, always will be.
         After a few month's I started to look at the area shelters and how I may be able to help another canine in need. I saw Rudy, a Labrador, his picture of sad eyes, his dirty face, I had to see him. I don't know how to explain it yet after a few visits I took him home. Yes, I got the same breed, a black male, big paws, how I knew he would grow! 
        Rudy came into my home and instantly I could feel Coco's spirit on him. For real, Jackie, it was as if she was showing him the ropes. I have been raising Rudy and he is growing, growing, into a handsome young man. Has it been easy, no. There have been many moments of grief for Coco mixed in with happiness for Rudy. Yet its alright. If we wait until we are completely healed, we will be waiting for a very long time! I have written about my journey with Coco, Rudy, now Vadie, through my posts.
       I just wanted to share a little bit of my journey with you today. I am sorry if it is a bit of a ramble.  Sometimes I feel as if I am grasping for words and idea's to best assist someone else. I only hope that you find comfort, peace, and healing in the day's ahead. I know that another furbaby would have a wonderful, loving, home with you. Yet if that is not your calling then I also know that you will forever honor Jim in many special ways..........Please take care of yourself..............Sincerely, Andrea, Coco, Rudy.....
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jimmy17
Andrea, thanks for sharing your story, its lovely to have so many caring people to try and help - and to receive such good advice from. Coco sounds such a special girl, and I love your saying `Queen Canine of your heart and soul`. They surely do have a way of getting inside our very being, to the point of leaving such a huge hole when they leave us. 
 Rudy is certainly a lucky boy to have been taken into your home, and I think its lovely to think Coco is helping him settle in with you, I hope this is how it will be with us when we make that decision to adopt another furry friend.  I am on the facebook page of our local shelter ( the very same one we adopted Jim from), and some of the sad tales on there are heartbreaking. I know we have so much to offer another dog, though at the moment there seems to be so many conflicting thoughts going on in my head - it`s too soon, will we constantly be comparing a new friend to Jim.... 
    This is the first time in all our married life we have been without a dog, and the house is so empty - we`ve no kids - so I do have a feeling that it`ll be sooner rather than later when we make that decision. I`d like to think Jim would want another little soul to come and have a loving home with us too.  Hugs to you Andrea, and Coco and Rudy too. 
                              Jackie x
J Taylor
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