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Discussion Starter #1
I lost my 'heart dog' last November, my beautiful Golden boy Teddy, who was nearly 11 yrs old and had struggled with lymphoma. I am by no means "over it" and have a lot of difficult days and sleepless nights. He truly was my 'heart dog' as I've heard it defined and life without him still feels like a nightmare that I can't wake up from.

A lot of people say that they have felt better able to make peace with their loss and find healing and happiness again with the addition of a new Golden. I'm considering the possibility of a puppy for springtime. I do have some questions though:

1. When looking at getting another Golden, did you find that you wanted to choose a dog that would look as similar as possible to the one you lost? I know you can't replace or duplicate, but the breed does vary quite a bit in colouring and style (english v american etc). Did you find yourself pulled towards going for something completely different in looks/gender/colour so as to not be reminded or did you feel that you sought out the familiarity of the memories? And now that you have, do you think this was the right way to go, or would you have chosen otherwise if you were going to do it again?

2. After losing a 'heart dog' that feels like it comes along once in a lifetime, my biggest fear is that I won't ever experience a bond like that again. I know it takes time and every dog is different. Teddy was my first and only Golden. I have had other breeds growing up, but none that have compared to this dog/owner relationship. I'm wondering if maybe it's a "golden thing" and maybe there is still hope. Or (for those with multiple dogs) do you think I am just setting myself up for failure with high expectations/hopes.

3. How long did you wait before getting another dog? Based on the joy/happiness that the new dog brought into your life during the healing process, do you wish you'd done it sooner or later than you did?

Thanks in advance for any guidance/input or suggestions people might be able to offer!

*** Also, I just wanted to say that I *have* considered the idea of a rescue. Teddy was actually a rescue that I got at 1 yrs old (returned to an 'iffy' breeder because he had hip dysplasia) and he came with multiple health problems that I loved and nursed him through. To be honest, the terror of health problems after an unbelievable roller coaster over the last couple of years of his life (tumors, lymphoma, chemo, hypothryoid etc), I am just focused on maxing out my odds of getting a very healthy dog from a good breeder because I don't think my heart can handle rolling the dice again at this point. I just wanted to be honest so you know where I'm coming from. And as well, I missed the puppy'ish stages with him and it just feels like the right fit for me to start from the very beginning at this stage in my life.
 

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Gracie's mom and dad
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I hear you and can understand how you feel. We lost Sofie and were so grief stricken we could not even think of getting another Golden.
About six months later , we got a puppy, Lilliegrace. She did not do well from the start. She refused to walk and was in obvious pain. A full orthopedic work up showed her to have the worst kind of hip dysplasia you can get with a very gloomy prognosis. Her pain got worse and she became immobile. We just could not physicaly or emotionaly handle euthanising her, so soon after we lost Sofie. We called the breeder who offered to take care of her and to have done what was necessary.

After a year or so we started to look around and have friends help us search for an adult Golden to rescue. We are too old for another puppy.
Yes. We wanted a Sofie clone, but realised every dog has his or her own personality. Our hearts pined for another Golden. We then got a call about this show dog who was a flop in the ring and the owners wanted her to get a new home.After a lot of calling and paperwork we flew to an out of state location and brought Grace home. Grace is about as opposite from Sofie as you can get, but the same color and build. We never compare and never tried to make her another Sofie.

So thats our story. We needed time to grieve and to let the agony of loss subside before getting another kid. Time is a great healer and the addition of another Golden has helped the healing.
 

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Hi,
I've been in your shoes - three times. My husband and I loved Sagebrush, Buckskin, and Brewer with all of the love that a person can possibly share. We cried as each one struggled with illness and old age and eventually passed on.

Raising a puppy and going through the challenges and antics that only a puppy can bring brought laughter back into our home. We did not wait very long because each time we went to see a litter our saddened hearts melted.

Nugget is our newest golden - just over a year old now. The first three were red but they all looked a bit different and had vastly different talents and personalities. Nugget is gold. It just worked out that way.

I am glad that we we didn't wait too long because the companionship of a golden is like none other. "Replacing" a departed dog is not a disrespectful act but rather an honor. There is a little baby out there waiting to snuggle in your arms.

Keep us posted when you decide!
 

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Momma to angel Cody
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It took me eight months to open my heart to another golden after losing my heart dog Cody in July 2005. I went through a rescue (for whom I now do a lot of volunteer work) and I did get a dog with similar coloring, but not through intent. His build is such that I don't ever confuse the two, and his personality is very different, although he is just as sweet.

Cody had a great many medical issues, so I was used to caring for a dog that was on a first name basis with his vet. Poor Finn's previous owners broke his back, so he had to have spinal surgery once I got him. My assumption, and nothing has happened to change my mind, is that I had that once-in-a-lifetime, almost cellular connection with Cody and won't ever have that again. Do I love Finn? Unreservedly. Did it take a while? Yes, almost a year before I told him I loved him. I think I waited the right amount of time because I was not ready any sooner (I visited with a number of potential adoptees and simply wept after meeting them....none were "the one"). If I had waited any longer, I likely wouldn't have ever had a dog again. I don't think you ever get over losing your heart dog, you just learn to live with it. The pain still comes at the least expected times, but mostly there's a scab over that hole in my heart. I'm very sorry for your loss and hope you find the perfect pup to be your new companion.
 

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Kristin, I can only share my experience with losing 2 goldens at separate times. When our Paul died of complications from cancer I honestly thought I would never want another dog again. After two years of cancer treatments, ups and down, seeing him suffer and then rally, I was emotionally drained. A year later we ended up with a new golden puppy named Simon, and I'll be honest enough to say it was a tough bond initially. Simon came to us with some relatively minor health problems that made it hard for me connect with him. But, over several months it all changed around and I totally fell in love with Simon. He had a different personality than Paul, lighter in color, but just as silly, sweet, loving, precocious and all-too-golden.

When Simon died very suddenly (same day) of cancer 3 years ago I was again devastated. It's so hard to comprehend that these beautiful, innocent creatures are subjected to the same health problems as people. Again, we weren't planning to get another puppy for some time, but within months we found out that a really reputable breeder in our area had a litter coming of age and we ended up getting a little boy named Connor. He is so sweet, funny, mischievous, loving, yet also has a different personality than either Paul or Simon.

We have subsequently adopted a sweet foster golden named Duke and I simply can;t imagine him living with any other family. Duke and Connor have my heart just like Paul and Simon before them.

We're all different and grieve differently. But I can guarantee you that if/when you get another dog they too will steal your heart. A new dog could never replace Teddy, but a new dog will find just as much room in your heart.

Good luck and best wishes.
 

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Riot's mom
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Others have given great advise. I just wanted to add one thing that you should keep in mind...

The new dog or puppy is not going to be like your heart dog, especially at first. You have to be prepared to love a dog that is going to have a different personality, different way of doing things, different everything. I think a lot of people get into trouble when they constantly compare the new dog to the old dog. I know I did when I got a puppy after having to euthanize my other dog. I cried, a lot, because all I wanted was my other dog back.

If you decide to get another dog (and I encourage you to do so), make sure you are ready for a "blank slate." Especially if you get a puppy. But as you two grow together, you may just find yourself with another "heart dog."
 

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Love my Golden Boys!!
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We lost our Phoenix very suddenly almost 3 years ago. He left behind his brother of 8 years, Reno. We were devastated over Phoenix's passing but honestly we didn't hesitate at the thought of bringing home another puppy. Reno was grieving his brother's loss and we wanted another puppy in our lives. I thought many times, "what if I can't love this puppy like I did Phoenix"? What if he's not like Phoenix?

For the next 2 weeks, I searched everywhere I could to find a Golden that was just like Phoenix. I wanted a big Golden with the big blocky head. I had no luck. Eventually I found a puppy who was the last one left in his litter.....that was Austin!! The day we went to pick him up, I worried that I wouldn't love him or bond with him because I was still grieving for Phoenix. I was a nervous wreck.

The moment I held Austin in my arms, I cried!!! He placed his little head on my neck and I felt such a bond at that moment....my heart just swelled. He couldn't be more different than Phoenix....and he is the light of my life!!! Each of my dogs has a special place in my heart and I love them more than anything!!! But, this dog that I was scared I wouldn't love or bond with is my shadow and the sweetest boy I have ever had.

All four of my Goldens are totally different and truthfully, I prefer it like that. It would be kind of boring if they were all identical. Each of them has their own distinct ways of making our lives entertaining on a daily basis!!!

You'll never be able to replace Teddy nor do you want to. When it is time (and only you know when that will be), a new Golden baby will enter your life and one look at that precious little face will melt your heart!!!!!
 

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Kate
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I'm scared thinking about that time to come... if I ever lost Jacks, who is my baby boy. I think I've bonded closer with him than I have with any of our dogs and I just love everything about him. He's that "perfect dog" in my brain.

Because he is fairly "standard bred", I think it wouldn't be too hard getting a puppy who "looks" like Jacks, but it's everything else that I would miss. The way he is. Everything he does is just so cute. He's not your average golden when it comes to how he is. :(

But overall... bringing a new puppy home... it helps. It takes your mind off that painful empty spot in your life. It keeps you too busy to dwell on your pain and bring laughter and freshness back into your life. It doesn't stop the pain or "replace" that previous dog. So please do not feel guilty moving on.

*** To answer your questions -

1. Yep. If the time comes for me (hopefully 10+ years down the road), I would look for a dog of a similar type to Jacks. That's mainly because his coat is so easy to deal with. And I do prefer his type over other goldens I see out there. :) That's more overall preference though.

2. As I said above... I don't know how it will work. I've never bonded so tightly with a dog before, and golden retrievers have a way of especially bonding with whoever suits them best. They give their heart to one special person, while they love everyone else. If you are the person feeding, training, playing, walking, going for car rides everywhere, doting on, sleeping with, and over all being that main person in that dog's life from day one, maybe that bond will happen again?

3. Well...

- Charmy died in January. My sisters found a breeder in February and bought Danny (before he was born). He came home on April Fools Day.

I remember it being a very long empty and dark time... even if it was just three months. I had a hard time sleeping at night, every night, because I missed the presence of my dog sleeping next to my bed. Or I'd dream about him or think I'd see glimpses of him everywhere around the house... in all the empty places where he used to be. When Danny came home, he started to fill that hole and answer my need for a dog. When I put my hand down at night, I'd feel the back of a dog again instead of empty space.

That was only 3 months. I can't imagine going much longer than that. :(

- Sammy died in early December. We contacted a rescue person about a 2 year old collie a week later. We met them the following week and we all fell in love. We opted to wait to bring him home until after the holidays. He came home this week, four years ago. :)

- I think in a way... when I brought Jacks home 2 months after Sammy died... it was also my way of getting ready for the loss to come. When Danny died, there was no talk of puppies. I just bonded all the more with Jacks. Basically Jacks filled the hole left behind by two wonderful dogs for me. :eek:
 

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IKE- Canine Blood Donor
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You've gotten some great thoughts and observations so I'll just add that I went through what you're going through. Sam was my soul, so how could I ever replace him? But, I knew that I MUST have a Golden love in my life again. Long story short, I have Ike who is everything that Sam was not. There is not one thing they share, other than their breed...and I've been absolutely blessed! I refer to them as my two havles of the whole. Sam was everything I needed at that time in my life and Ike is everything I need now. You can bond that incredible bond again. It will be different because it will be unique to our new Golden love...and your heart boy would it that way.

Hugs and tears...it will get better.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for everyone's answers so far. It's nice to know that so many people have gone through the thought processes that I am and that everything I'm thinking is normal.

Sometimes I question how I can possibly think of getting another dog and going through the loving and ultimately losing again. Quite honestly, I'm just not sure how else I'll be able to survive the grief I feel now. Distractions can only go so far, and as many have mentioned, the lack of having a dog there when you're so used to their presence just compounds everything so much more.

My immediate urge is that I want a look-alike on some level. To me, he was a perfect Golden on every level (ok, well, putting those health issues aside, of course), but I loved his blocky head and colouring etc. My heart takes me in that direction but then I start wondering if it would end up bothering me at all to be so reminded constantly.

I'm anticipating a different personality and temperament and preparing myself so that I avoid making the comparisons. Besides, a puppy is not going to be a whole different energy level for a while. Teddy was docile and calm even from when he was 1 yrs old, hence making him one of those "oh if my Golden was like *that* I'd own ten of them!" sentiments from neighbours, friends and even vets. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to luck out like I did with him twice in a lifetime.

I do feel the guilt though, which I'm trying to come to terms with. I don't know why... We were just so closely bonded, and while he would tolerate it before butting his head in and taking over, he didn't really like me giving attention to other dogs. He would just give me that look like "why are you petting that dog?". Because of this I think I'm leaning to getting a female so that he'll always be my #1 boy. Sounds strange, I know. On the other hand, I have endless people telling me that the female goldens aren't the same as the males and that for the personality/bond I want, it *should* be another boy dog. I'm literally amazed at how many people (including vets and breeders) have been insisting on that!

Anyway... we'll see how things turn out. One step at a time, I guess...
 

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My first heart dog, Tasha, went to the bridge almost twenty years ago at age 16. I was devastated and couldn't bring myself to get another golden, but I did go to the county shelter within about a month and, of course, didn't come home empty handed - I had Desi, an ACD mix. And so it continued...I loved all of my dogs, but Tasha set a very high bar.

Finally, several years ago after much thinking....I signed up to foster for a golden rescue. I could get my golden fix and not have to worry about not bonding or comparing...I was helping a dog find a new home. I was a miserable failure. Yes, two of my fosters went on to forever homes and although I shed a few tears I knew they weren't right for me or my life. Then came Buddy and Kyra....a bonded pair of seniors and the ones I couldn't give up. I love Kyra dearly, but Buddy has become my second heart dog. He's the polar opposite of Tasha, but he makes me feel the same way when he looks at me. He's a true gentleman with moments of silliness that make me laugh and when I laugh, he does it again....we have such a connection.

My dogs are all seniors (8, 11, 13) so I know the day is coming in the not too distant future and it terrifies me; but I also know that I will never be without a golden in my home again. Each is different, yet they almost all seem to have the goofy, loving nature and the desire to always be with their people and please them.

You might consider my middle ground....fostering and then failing when you find the one that you can't give up.
 

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I completely understand what you are going through as I am going through the exact same thing. I just had to stop by Petsmart to pick up some cat food for my kitties and when I got to the counter I found dog treats/toys in my cart that I had apparently picked up without thinking about it. It broke my heart to put them back. The last time I went through this, it took me 12 years to get another dog and then the perfect little ball of golden fluff bounced her way into my heart. I don't want to wait another 12 years.

Like you, I want a puppy for many of the same reasons. I figure that if I get a puppy I won't make the natural and automatic comparisons with Mazlon. Besides, I could really use the giggles that a Golden puppy naturally elicit.

I also feel the guilt ... as Mazlon was extremely jealous of my attention ... one of the reasons why I didn't get a puppy while she was still alive.

I look forward to watching your progress to healing. :)
 

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Get the Puppy!

Hey Kristin read your posts and it felt all too familiar. I lost my female Golden in July. I had her for 8 years. She was as everyone said "better than a human." Having dogs all my life I never had a dog like her. I know I never will and when thinking of getting a puppy I felt guilt and fear. Coming to the realization that I will not share that connection with another animal I now know that I don't want what I had with her. She got me through some tough years, loved endlessly and I miss that daily.

Enter Chari....I got Charli in September...soon after only because I needed another Golden. I picked her because she was darker in color like Kennedy and she stood out in her litter just as Ken do. So many things Charli does reminds me of Ken. In no way is she the same but I always say Ken is sending down tips from above. The connection I have thus far with Charli is so satisfying and filling such a void in my heart. I now find myself thinking of so many fond memories of Kennedy.

So if you think your ready, do it. You will be surprised. I wish you luck mostly with training a dog and always remember the "perfect" dog that came before :)
 

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I understand what you are going through as well.

I've done it both ways actually. I've had two heart dogs in my life. Personally, for us, waiting was the right decision, so that we can both deal with the grief and the emotions attached to it. Others; however, feel otherwise--it's a personal choice that only you can make for yourself.

I feel exactly the way you do--we've rescued 3 dogs, all with special health issues, and this next time we are going through a reputable breeder in hopes of finding a dog with a good start in life health wise, even though we realize nothing is guaranteed. We hope to add the newest family member sometime later this year or next year, which will be over 2 years from the loss of our sweet Barkley. As far as physical characteristics, we have no preferences because we've found each dog is different in personality and character, making each of them unique. Our first two dogs were similar physically and by color and it wasn't a problem for us after the first dog died.

Good luck in your puppy search!
 

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Personally, I don't think you do ever "replace" a dog you have had that special relationship with. The next dog is always different. There will probably be similarities (especially if choosing a similar type) but, from what I have experienced, occasionally one particular dog comes into your life and for that one special dog for you will always feel the loss - You don't forget, you just come to terms with it - you store the memories and move on adapting to a different dog sharing your life.
When my special dog Zac died I didn't try to replace him. I didn't want to. Zac was a flatcoated retriever and he was like no other dog I ever had. I didn't want to risk comparing and being disappointed and so I decided that different breed and a different sex would be better for me; a new start. So about 5 months later I chose Bonnie, the golden retriever pup I now have. She is different. Bonnie is definitely not a flatcoat like Zac or any of the other flatcoats I have had, I decided Zac was irreplacable and was to be the last of my flatcoats - the end of an era.
Bonnie is lovely in her own way and she is now part of our household. She is a young dog and cannot possibly compare with my old Zac, but in time, as we share our lives, I think she may also become a bit special. :)
 

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Yes, you can love another again, i lost spencer, my heart boy, it will be two years this month, he was the best boy ever, i will never love another like i did him, there is a lot to say, about the bonding he and i had,,i had him about one year, before my son died, he spencer saved me, he really did, i was a nut case, after shane died, so spencer was everything to me, when he got cancer, at 12 yrs., 5 months old, this was the second hardest thing i have dealt with, by chance , his breeder was going to have a litter, ended up being just two pups, i got the boy, spencers grand nephew, his name is spirit, and i love that boy.
 

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flykelley
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I lost my 'heart dog' last November, my beautiful Golden boy Teddy, who was nearly 11 yrs old and had struggled with lymphoma. I am by no means "over it" and have a lot of difficult days and sleepless nights. He truly was my 'heart dog' as I've heard it defined and life without him still feels like a nightmare that I can't wake up from.

A lot of people say that they have felt better able to make peace with their loss and find healing and happiness again with the addition of a new Golden. I'm considering the possibility of a puppy for springtime. I do have some questions though:

1. When looking at getting another Golden, did you find that you wanted to choose a dog that would look as similar as possible to the one you lost? I know you can't replace or duplicate, but the breed does vary quite a bit in colouring and style (english v american etc). Did you find yourself pulled towards going for something completely different in looks/gender/colour so as to not be reminded or did you feel that you sought out the familiarity of the memories? And now that you have, do you think this was the right way to go, or would you have chosen otherwise if you were going to do it again?

2. After losing a 'heart dog' that feels like it comes along once in a lifetime, my biggest fear is that I won't ever experience a bond like that again. I know it takes time and every dog is different. Teddy was my first and only Golden. I have had other breeds growing up, but none that have compared to this dog/owner relationship. I'm wondering if maybe it's a "golden thing" and maybe there is still hope. Or (for those with multiple dogs) do you think I am just setting myself up for failure with high expectations/hopes.

3. How long did you wait before getting another dog? Based on the joy/happiness that the new dog brought into your life during the healing process, do you wish you'd done it sooner or later than you did?

Thanks in advance for any guidance/input or suggestions people might be able to offer!

*** Also, I just wanted to say that I *have* considered the idea of a rescue. Teddy was actually a rescue that I got at 1 yrs old (returned to an 'iffy' breeder because he had hip dysplasia) and he came with multiple health problems that I loved and nursed him through. To be honest, the terror of health problems after an unbelievable roller coaster over the last couple of years of his life (tumors, lymphoma, chemo, hypothryoid etc), I am just focused on maxing out my odds of getting a very healthy dog from a good breeder because I don't think my heart can handle rolling the dice again at this point. I just wanted to be honest so you know where I'm coming from. And as well, I missed the puppy'ish stages with him and it just feels like the right fit for me to start from the very beginning at this stage in my life.
Hi Kristin
First thing sorry for your loss. Many of us on this forum know how it feels and it sucks. I just lost my second heart dog. My first and 3rd Golden were my heart dogs, now don't get me wrong Golden number 2 and 4 are great dogs they just don't grab my heart like Carmel who was my first or Katie who I just lost. Its not what color or size that makes them your heart dog its the dog or even better the dogs heart. You might have 5 more Goldens before one stills your heart again. I love each of them to death but there seems to be some more special than others. My suggestion is to get another a puppy and enjoy it and remember the special times with Teddy, you never know you just might end up with another heart Golden. This much I do know, life is too short to not have another Golden in your life to love.

Regards Mike
 

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Kristin,

Excellent questions and responses. Have lost 3 goldens over the past 16 years, both rescue and raised from a pup. Lost my favorite tucker about a year ago and certainly have gone through all of the things you and others have experienced and accompanying questions. Just a few comments.

1. Pup vs rescue. You never know when that heart dog comes long and it can be a pup or rescue. Since your last guy was a rescue would suggest getting a pup. Different early experience and they require so much attention that it does distract you.

2. Can you ever bond with another dog as close as you did with Teddy? Maybe...maybe not but you will not know until you try. Also sometimes that Strong bonding takes some time. For Tucker it took a few years for me until one day I woke up and realized he WAS my heart dog. He was aloof and a bit ungolden like..but somehow he became my favorite boy ever . There Likely will be some days you think your new guy is your special dog and sometimes you will think..."he is not Teddy". You will love any golden you get

3. Male vs female. Tough one. Gonna definitively answer this in my last comment. If you have it in your heart that you lean male...then go that direction. Don't chose female because you feel it is different than Teddy. There are plenty of folks on this website whose heart dogs are female. We have a rescue girl and she is wonderful.

4. Don't try and necessarily pick color etc based on Teddy. As we all know you end up loving them because of their personality.

5. Lastly... As someone earlier said....life is to o short to not get a dog soon. You won't regret it. As to my previous comment.... Get your boy pup soon then after a few months go rescue a female.....!!!!! Solves all of your issues.

Sorry for your loss of Teddy. We have all been ther and know how hard it is.
 

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Kristin, I can only share my experience with losing 2 goldens at separate times. When our Paul died of complications from cancer I honestly thought I would never want another dog again. After two years of cancer treatments, ups and down, seeing him suffer and then rally, I was emotionally drained. A year later we ended up with a new golden puppy named Simon, and I'll be honest enough to say it was a tough bond initially. Simon came to us with some relatively minor health problems that made it hard for me connect with him. But, over several months it all changed around and I totally fell in love with Simon. He had a different personality than Paul, lighter in color, but just as silly, sweet, loving, precocious and all-too-golden.

When Simon died very suddenly (same day) of cancer 3 years ago I was again devastated. It's so hard to comprehend that these beautiful, innocent creatures are subjected to the same health problems as people. Again, we weren't planning to get another puppy for some time, but within months we found out that a really reputable breeder in our area had a litter coming of age and we ended up getting a little boy named Connor. He is so sweet, funny, mischievous, loving, yet also has a different personality than either Paul or Simon.

We have subsequently adopted a sweet foster golden named Duke and I simply can;t imagine him living with any other family. Duke and Connor have my heart just like Paul and Simon before them.

We're all different and grieve differently. But I can guarantee you that if/when you get another dog they too will steal your heart. A new dog could never replace Teddy, but a new dog will find just as much room in your heart.

Good luck and best wishes.
This is well said by ggdenny. I also lost my sweet Magic last spring at age 11.5 to Cutaneous Lymphoma. I added Jazz to my family when Magic was 9 years old knowing that my heart would be broken when it was her time to go. It did help me to have Jazz to focus on when we lost Magic. We love being a two dog family so Maverick joined us in August and we have not regretted it. Each of my dogs has a different personality and they have captured my heart in there own way. Good luck on your decision. There is a lot of good information here if you decide to move forward on adding a new golden to your family.
 
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Kristy
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This much I do know, life is too short to not have another Golden in your life to love.
Mike just hits it out of the park... there is so much risk with everything we do in life. Needing a dog under our hand at all times seems to be a genetic component for some of us, everyone on this forum anyway. It says a lot that we all have had a dog we love so much, who was so special, that we are willing to risk going through it all again, or almost as tough, committing to a dog which may give us less of that connection we need so badly.

It's worth it. The flip side to the risk is that the reward is so wonderful. Please don't worry, these stories (all of which have moved me to tears) are filled with one message, hope. You move forward with what feels right in your heart and it will all be good. There is no real wrong path here, the only mistake would be closing yourself off completely to another dog ever again. (my uncle has done this over the loss of his heart dog, a lab named Magnum and it just breaks my heart).

When I lost my first golden, Baxter, I wanted another golden but wanted him to look completely different and searched on the other end of the color spectrum. Duncan looked 100% different and I loved him with all my heart, we were very bonded within a year. When I lost him, I was so torn between wanting someone completely different or another golden. I researched collies (a breed I've loved all my life) and also a special golden litter. When the golden breeding was pushed back a year, I decided it was fate and went with my collie. I love Mack, and we are developing quite a bond - he is never far from my side, but saw pretty quickly that there is something missing for me without a golden in my house. I adore Mack, but I still need my golden. Hopefully my litter will come through toward the end of the year, but if it doesn't I will work out a new plan involving a golden somehow.

Blessings to you on your quest to make your life right again. Please put the guilt behind you. I believe dogs are like marriage. Whether it's a spouse or heart dog, the greatest tribute to the one you've lost is admitting to yourself that your first love was so wonderful that you will risk anything to have that special connection be a part of your life again.
 
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