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My heart dog, Stella, crossed the rainbow bridge on June 8th and I am devastated. I haven't posted here for years, but something drew me back. Some of you may remember me from years ago when I posted about a crisis week I had when Stella had p y o. She was only 5 /12 and she died at age 13 1/2. The only thing that makes a dent in my grieving is the thought of having another Golden. My husband and I have that ineffable love for the breed, and the house feels all wrong without a dog.

Do any of you have wisdom about how long to wait before getting another Golden? The litters I'm considering probably won't be here until winter. There are some pups arriving sooner, but the bond I've formed with the breeder of the winter litters is special, I love the dogs behind the breeding, and I think I want to be loyal to her.

Anyway, tips for recovery most welcome though I think there are things we just don't "get over," we may move on but the hole in my heart will always be there.

Thanks for listening everyone!
874217
 

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So sorry to hear of your loss and welcome back to the Forum. I think the decision is an intuitive one and there are stages of grieving you will pass through. Covid and the demand for goldens will unfortunately (or fortunately) mean that some time will pass before a new golden comes into your home. And you are right, there are things that we never "get over." The experience over time gets integrated into our life journey and we are hopefully richer for it.
 

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Puddles
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I am so sorry but how wonderful you had so many years with Stella! That's a happy face and can tell she lived a happy life.
I have never been one to start over quickly but as I get older my mourning time grows shorter. My 4 yr old was actually born on the day I lost my last girl... fate? I had already been contacting breeders to add a 2nd dog to the family. I really thought it would take a while to find a pup and this would allow me to grieve. Guess fate had other plans and brought this girl home just 2 months after my girls passing. It had been a very long time since I had a baby in the house but found myself so busy it really helped with the grieving process. I found myself seeing certain behaviors in the pup that reminded me of all the wonderful traits my last girl had. This girl brought laughter back into the house instead of tears.
But everyone is different and only you will know when the time is right... there is no wrong time. Don't let the empty house get in the way of finding a reputable breeder.
 

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I'm very sorry for your loss of Stella, she was a beautiful sugar face girl.


There is no right or wrong time to get a puppy, follow your heart.
When you're ready to welcome a pup into your life, do it.

Run free precious Stella
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone. I know all of us have been there and know the feeling.

I'm on a list for a puppy from a well respected breeder. Her pups are expected this winter if mother nature cooperates! This gives my husband and me something to look forward to and prepare for...it's like waiting for a baby!
 

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Kristy
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My heart goes out to you on the loss of your lovely Stella. I am one of those people who needs a new puppy in the works to help me move forward or I have a hard time with the grief process. I am glad that you've started reaching out and working on a plan, it can be very hard right to get a spot on a wait list for a well bred puppy at any time but especially now with people staying home so much.

I think your plan is perfect and I applaud you going with the breeder who you have bonded with. That's the best. Unless she has more than one litter planned in the coming year, I encourage you to have a backup plan just in case. There are times when a breeding doesn't 'take' or there may be only one or two puppies, it happens more often than we realize. It's very deflating when it happens if you are counting on a puppy, might be nice to have done research on someone else just in case.

I hope you will hang around here, that has been what helped me in the past, joining groups to see photos of other people's Goldens and sort of living vicariously until I had a new puppy. Allow yourself to grieve Stella but don't forget that the greatest testament to your relationship with her is your need to have that kind of love in your life again. Planning on new training, maybe exploring a new dog sport/hobby and shopping around for puppy things can be part of moving forward. Please stick around. Wishing you the best.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about Stella, she has the sweetest face and my heart breaks for you. I hope you update us on your puppy plans, good luck. Run free dear Stella.
 

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Thank you Ffcmm - While we remain devastated and miss her so much, I had to give all of her things away and only have one picture of her up right now. I know I'm among kindred spirits here who understand how this pain is so searing. But it helps a lot that we are on a great breeder's list for a big male for winter. :)
 

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I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful Stella, would you like me to add her to The Rainbow Bridge List?.
 

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I love your photo in this post: what a gorgeous sugar face! I'm so sorry for your loss. I've lost 3, and I know how hard it is.

There's no formula for when it's its "ok" to get another pup - it's whenever it works for you and your family, and you're ready! Our boy was born in late October (very close to the day my heart dog was born: 10/23 for pup and 10/26 for heart dog), and I went to get him just before Christmas.

Winter pups aren't for the faint of heart, and I just had to deal with a very wet and cold California winter - can't imagine dealing with snow.

If you're looking for a fix, can you possibly foster, or help your local GR rescue in between now and your winter pup?
 

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Anyway, tips for recovery most welcome though I think there are things we just don't "get over," we may move on but the hole in my heart will always be there.
To me, "recovery" implies a return to "the way things were". Those who touch our lives leave indelible imprints. Not only do they change us in ways that make it difficult to "return to the way things were", sometimes we have no desire to do so. I prefer to cherish my memories, and honor them in how I move forward.

Grieving is an incredibly personal process. Even those closest to you cannot point out a path through this journey, though they can provide encouragement and support along the way. I hope you can find a way to carry your memories forward in a manner that brings you joy and gratitude for the shared moments.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Grieving is so personal. My husband is compiling an album of every photo he can find of Stella and I can't bear to look at the photos. He's processing this loss one way, I'm processing it another. Thank you for your wise words.
 

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I would love that. Her full name and dates are below:

Godiva's Thanks My Lucky Stars, RN 11/12/2006 - 6/8/2020

I have added your precious Stella to the list x
 

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I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my 15 year old golden/lab December 3rd. I got Molly on March 18.
I thought I would never want another dog due to the pain but saw the quarantine coming and I have a condition with my lower leg. I usually walk at the highschool or swim at the senior living home and that closed for me. With all that and some depression it was time for a friend.
I still miss My Olivia every day but I know she would want me happy. Molly gives me a reason to get out of bed, go for walks and a purpose.
 

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What a great post. It reminds me of the friend who encouraged me to start looking for a puppy now, even though Stella has only been gone a short time. I, too, suffer from depression from time to time, and my girl was my best therapy. The next pup will be too and like you, I know Stella would want me to be happy. And expecting another dog takes the edge off the grief.
 
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