Saying Goodbye To Your Agility Dog is Never Easy
It’s so hard to say goodbye to our dogs. If any creature deserves immortality, it would be them. They aren’t with us very long, but it’s a great run while they’re here. I needed to let my girl Nova cross the Rainbow bridge last year. It was a difficult decision, but she was very ill for numerous weeks, and quite old (she was a large breed). I still miss her smiling face and her barking as she ran after squirrels. She was a joyful, mischievous soul.
All our dogs have something to teach us while they part of our lives. Nova showed me how to let go of presumptions of perfection, and to stay in the moment. Unless the moment is unpleasant, in which case she advocated going after something else, like a squirrel.
Coping with the passing away of a pet can be challenging, even if it’s something you’ve recognized was coming. When people ask me for suggestions on this, I generally say, “Whatever makes you feel better.” If that’s lamenting and framing their collar, then do it. If it’s holding a memorial service, do it. If you simply just want to embrace your remaining dog, then do that.
When is it proper to move on? There is no uncomplicated answer. I don’t feel you should head out and look for a dog that looks just like your old dog and name it the exact same thing. Each dog is incomparable and precious and has something to teach you that’s different than every other dog. They are worthy of their very own name, I think. Whenever it feels right, go for it! Find a new companion, but never forget the old. It’s not inappropriate to choose another dog. Dogs have a way of mending hurts, even the loss of another dog.