|My girls with our new puppies, Sargeant and Sebastian.|
About six months ago, our dog passed away after being my companion for fifteen years. My family wanted a new dog right away, but I wasn't ready. Finally, over the past few weeks, I started thinking we should get another dog, and I've been watching the dog rescue sites. For a variety of reasons, we wanted schnauzers, so I've been waiting to find one. A little over a week ago, a pair of brothers showed up on the rescue site, and we fell in love. We went through the adoption process, yesterday, the rescue group brought the dogs to our house for a home visit. Everything worked out perfectly, and we found ourselves with two new puppies at our house!
Even though we were ready for the dogs, it's been an unexpected experience. The dogs turn one this week, so they're still at the puppy stage, and because they spent much of that year being neglected, they are not your typical one year olds. We're working on potty training and socialization, among other things. Because of the lives they led until now, if you leave them for even a minute, they think you're leaving forever. And when you walk into a room, they're like, "oh yay! She's back! I missed you so much! Never leave me again!"
We adopted a set of brothers who'd never been separated. With our dog, Grant, we always regretted not having a doggie companion for him, so when we found these guys, we thought it would be perfect. Except I forgot how much work one puppy was, let alone two! When you finally get one calmed down, the other decides to be worked up. The rescue organization said that they were very quiet and not your typical puppies. HA! These guys have been nothing but happy little bundles of energy since we got them. Every time I go to sit down, I have a dog crawling all over me, saying, "hey! Did you forget about me? Do you still love me? Are you going to keep me?" And when I finally get one settled down, the other one thinks it's his turn.
Even though our Grant had been sick a long time, and I knew his end was coming, losing him was hard. We'd had him since he was a baby, and he was my constant companion. The last year or so was hard, because he required a lot of care, and in some ways, it was like having a puppy- minus the energy. I'd forgotten about the energy!
Losing a pet is hard. Especially when it's been someone who is like family. And even though I still miss Grant, it gets easier every day. We got the dogs when everyone in the family was ready. I think the girls wanted a new dog within a couple of weeks, but it took me months to be ready. Grief is a really personal thing, and what I've learned from this process is that you have to let your process be your process. People will give advice and tell you what they think about where you should be in grieving your pet, but here is my take: let it be whatever it needs to be for you.
We have these great new puppies. I'm enjoying them very much. But I know there will be days when I still miss Grant, and that's okay. Of course, these guys are such bundles of energy, I'm not sure when I'll have time to miss him!
How about you? Have you ever lost a pet? How did you handle the grief? And if you have some good puppy training tips, let me know!