I have a friend who is struggling with the loss of her beloved dog. She wants to adopt another dog, but she is afraid that it’s too soon, that she is being disloyal or dishonoring to the dog she lost. A veterinarian I know said once, “I encourage my clients to adopt again as soon as possible. The love has to go somewhere.” How true! The following reflection echos the same sentiment. It is by Kent C. Greenough, from the wonderful book Animal Blessings: Prayers and Poems Celebrating Our Pets, edited by June Cotner (reprinted by permission).
The Love They Give Us
“Not only is there always another good animal in need of a good home, but we must remember to be thankful for the time and love our animals give us while they are here. Take some time to enjoy them and learn from them. As painful as it is to lose them, they teach us to love unselfishly, they teach us to live each day to the fullest, they teach us how to grow old gracefully, and they teach us how to die with dignity. We do them a disrespect to focus only on the sorrow of their death when they have given us so much joy through their life. If we wish to honor them, take what they have given us, all that love, and give it back to another animal in need of help.”
What do you think? Have you struggled with feelings of disloyalty to a deceased pet, when you think about getting another?