I only lost my boy 3 weeks ago, and am not close to being ready to get another dog, but I wonder if I’ll ever feel ready. Life really really sucks right now, and truly the only thing I’m looking forward to is the day I can get another dog because the love of a dog makes every other problem in life so much better. But it feels wrong and selfish to feel this way. But this emptiness is too much to bear and I wonder how long I’m supposed to sit with it before adopting again. To those with experience or advice, do you ever feel ready adopting to the point where it doesn’t feel like you’re cheating on your beloved pet that passed? How long should I sit with this grief and feel this terrible before opening my heart to another pet? I know that I am not ready at all yet, but I’m about to move to a new town all alone and I’m terrified of that and know I need to have a dog to be okay. I want Kipper back and he’s the one that helped me through the last 13 years, and without him I just feel so lost. I’m not trying to replace him, but I feel such a deep longing to fill the role he played in my life because I can’t bear it being empty. Is this wrong and disrespectful to Kipper?  Is this a normal feeling? 
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What you are feeling now is perfectly normal. No, you' re not being disrespectful to Kipper by thinking about possibly adopting a new dog. It's only been (3) weeks for you and I know that you're experiencing the full spectrum of emotions. I lost my little girl (10) months ago and know in my heart that I'm not ready to get another dog. Everyone is different. Talk to lots of people. Let your grief runs it natural course and reassess your feelings again in a month or so. Maybe, you will feel the need to have four legged companionship again. If so, it might be time to seriously pursue that passion. If you still have doubts in a month or so, you may want to hold off. In the meantime, I would suggest that you frequent this Forum and read a lot of the posts to get an idea on how others cope. This Forum really helped me alot when that fateful day struck. Whichever road you take, I wish you much success in managing your emotions. And lastly, make sure you take the time to eat right. Please let us know how you are coping when you feel up to it. We all understand and care.

All the best,
Jim Miller
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I’m so sorry for your loss, Jaime. I lost my baby boy a little over 4 weeks ago and I’m still hurting. 

Almost two weeks after I lost my boy, I hastily filled out an application to foster a dog. I didn’t know what would happen but they reached out to me just a few days later and two days later, there’s this fearful and anxious dog “invading” the space I had shared with my Jake. At first he kept me very busy, and then I started to feel that having him around wasn’t helping me grieve properly for my boy (even though it wasn’t his fault, of course, and I knew it was my choice to foster him in the first place). I’ve had him for almost two weeks now and he’s the sweetest dog and I’ve finally gained his trust but having him around helped me realize that I’m not ready to be a forever home yet. It’s been nice having a dog in the house again but I’d like to keep Jake’s space HIS space for just a little bit longer after he gets adopted. So I’m glad I did this. If not fostering, I would probably have volunteered at this shelter.

Of course, everyone is different. You do what you feel. But the advice I’ve read from those who have lost a beloved pet that has stayed with me is that we remain open, and open to love another animal. I hope this advice helps. 

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