Getting a dog. I’m excited but it feels wrong?

Back on April 5th I lost my heart dog Panda suddenly to hemangiosarcoma. Within 6 hours he went from fine to gone.
I got Panda just 11 days after my lab Bella died. He helped me heal tremendously. I’m not sure if the difference here is I had Panda for 8 years and Bella for 4 (I didn’t have her, her whole life)

I did visit the animal shelter two weeks after Panda died but I couldn’t do it. Now I’ve been thinking about it more and more and instead of feeling sad about a new dog (though I would give anything to have Panda back) I feel excited. It’s empty without a companion in the house. I’ll be looking in July

I figured I’m ready because I can smile at some memories of Panda now instead of crying and don’t cry when thinking about other dogs. Why then does it feel almost wrong to be excited?

Guilt. Let go of it.


I think the way you’re feeling is completely normal. I had to drive to pick up my pup from the breeder a few weeks after losing my little old lady (crazy luck that she had a pup available at all) - 3 hours alone before picking up a friend. I had to blast road trip music and sing at the top of my lungs to keep from bawling my eyes out. One look at the pup and I was cured. If it’s not normal, you’re not the only one, and keep kicking!


Well, I don’t think you should feel guilty or feel like it’s wrong, but if that’s how you feel, it’s how you feel.

I have not had only one dog for more than 20 years. I have 2 now, and my oldest is 11, so I am planning for my next puppy already. That’s part of the fun, too - planning ahead, thinking about the right timing, etc. It doesn’t mean I don’t love my dogs, just that I love dogs.

If I suddenly had no dogs I’d be making plans asap to get the next one; I’d probably go to breed rescue and take a senior dog as they are often hard to place. But then I’d be contacting breeders for the next puppy.

Companion animals are called that for a reason – lots of people like having them. There doesn’t have to be just the one.


I think the guilt you’re feeling is partially you projecting human feelings onto your dog that thankfully, dogs don’t have.

Even if your Panda dog did know you were thinking about another getting another dog, do you think he’d be sad, resentful or jealous? Nope, because he was a dog, and dogs just want to us to be happy and to love us. Dogs are more giving and generous than people that way.

But I do sympathize. We have two absolutely wonderful dogs right now. One is 15, the other is 3. The last three years have been the only time in my life that we’ve had two dogs at the same time, I’ve had one at a time before. Well, now there’s no going back. We have to have two.

So we’ve said, openly, that when senior dog crosses the rainbow bridge, we’ll get another dog. And we spend some time kicking around what the next dog will be like. And then we look guiltily at senior dog and give him a treat and reassure him that we wish he would stay with us forever. :slight_smile:


Sometimes it can feel almost wrong to move on quickly after we lose an animal we love. We think we must grieve longer or we are being disloyal.

Nothing can be farther from the truth. You are excited because you are ready to open your heart again. It won’t change how you felt about your other dogs and you will still have your memories.


There is no right or wrong way to feel. Embrace your feelings and go on from there. I lost my first ever dog in Feb. 2020. I knew the end was coming and when my mom asked if I would get another dog, I declared an emphatic “no”. 2 months later an adult dog of a breed I never would have considered came along needing a home. She was a 2 year old and I fell in love the moment I met her. Why feel guilty when a loving being presents itself? I still tear up when looking at my first dog’s picture book, but life is too short to deny yourself or another soul of love.


Guilt as others have said. I really liked what one poster said about how our dogs just want us to be happy, emphatically yes! :slight_smile:
We have room in our hearts to love again and again, so remember your sweet Panda with love but embrace the next chapter with the new puppy.
Post pictures of the new darling. :slight_smile:


Look at it this way - You are not getting another dog to replace the last one. You are getting another dog because the last one showed you how wonderful life is with a dog, sharing your love.

People and pets that love us, want us to continue to be happy even when they are not here anymore.