Recently a friend of mine lost an elderly canine companion and not only was he was having a hard time dealing with it himself, but also how to help the other dog in the household with the loss of his brother.
Grieving the loss of a pet is different for every person, but difficult for everyone. Support of friends and family can make the process easier, but often we still feel the need to fill a “void.” A lot of people feel that quickly getting another pet as soon as possible is the answer. I highly DO NOT recommend that. When we lose anything in life (i.e. a romantic relationship) one of the worst things we can do is try to fill that void with something (or someone) else instead of waiting until we are stable again. In the end no matter how hard we try it can’t fill the void because we haven’t properly mourned the loss. I recommend waiting until things have slowed down and we are emotionally / spiritually stable & back on our feet before making a decision to get another pet.
Another mistake that us pet owners make is thinking that immediately replacing the pet with another pet will make it easier on the other pet that we still have. Well, same thing applies above!
The main thing is this: If we, the calm-assertive pack leaders, make it a big deal… guess what? … it’s a big deal! Our remaining pet will feel our negative / depressed / unbalanced energy and that’s when their emotional and behavior imbalances will occur.
As tough as it may be, us pack-leaders need to be calm-assertive leaders. We need to be strong. Our remaining pets are counting on us to lead, not feel sorry for the pack.
When the time comes find a support group, properly mourn, but remember to still be a leader if you have a remaining pack that relies on you.
And remember… wag more, bark less!