As sad as it makes us to say, the loss of a dog is part of being a dog lover. But what you can’t forget is that death is very much a part of any aspect of life. And if the fear of losing a dog is enough to keep someone from getting one, how do those people have relationships with anyone? Loss is a part of love, and considering our life spans, it is safe to assume that, at one point, you will experience the loss of a dog. Whether it is old age or an accident, nothing prepares us for that loss, but we wanted to address a myth that seems to surround dog owners and the passing of a dog. The act of replacing the dog. The reality is, one never REPLACES a dog, and we need to lose that term from our vernacular.
There are just certain things about dog owning people need to take into consideration, and factoring in the sadness you may experience from a loss is fine, but letting the fear of that loss keep you from experiencing a dog’s love is not. We all go through loss, and that is a part of life, but we all tend to cope with it differently. The main thing we want to address here is how some people say the word “replace” when it comes to getting a new dog after another dog passes, and how sad and unfair a term that is for both the owner AND the dog.
A dog, very much like a person, has a distinct personality. And even though some breeds share characteristics, they are all wonderfully unique creatures that display their own personality once you are exposed to them for extended periods. For that reason, we never replace a dog. We simply find a new dog to save (or have save us) and we commence the next chapter of our lives, which is exactly what our canine friends would want us to do.
If you had a friend who lost their husband, and five years later, they met someone new and fell in love, would you tell them you were happy they found a good husband replacement? Than why is it okay for people to say that about dogs?
We can completely understand that dogs can be a financial investment, so people may be thinking “dog” in the same terms they think “stereo”, but the irony is, you replace a stereo, but you don’t replace a dog. You simply move on with your life, and that doesn’t reflect poorly on anyone or any dog owner. The fact of the matter here is everyone mourns differently, and there is no right or wrong length or way to mourn. The key here is to for the public to be more sensitive with dealing with other’s loss, even if they don’t understand it.
And please, for the sake of us AND the dogs, stop using the word replace. You can never replace unconditional love.