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Posts: 2
I lost my golden retriever in June 2019, I’m 19 years old and he had been in my life since I was 7 years old, recently I’ve been looking at golden retriever puppies as I’ve came across pages on Instagram and it makes me really wish to have another dog, however recently viewing videos it reminds me of my dog that I have lost and every night i have cried watching videos of puppies and watching videos and picture of my own dog on my camera roll, I can’t look at videos or photos without crying or even speak about him without crying yet, I feel like I can’t speak to anyone about it because they don’t understand the pain, my parents say they would not get another dog however I feel empty and feel as though something is missing, I do not feel if I got another dog that I would be replacing my old dog I just feel that I need to fill a whole in my heart and feel the happiness I felt when I had a dog, I’m unsure whether or not though it would be a good idea to get another one yet and I am unsure how to talk to my parents about what I’m feeling? One parent would like another one however my other parent wouldn’t, I’m just not sure how to tell them how much it would mean? To get another dog?

Posts: 4
Everyone on the site feels and understands your pain. Only you knows if you’re ready for a new dog. No other dog could take your Golden Retrievers place but that doesn’t mean they won’t have their own place. If you really think you’re ready for a new dog, sit down with the parent that isn’t for it and explain your reasonings. Maybe foster a dog to get the feeling if you’re ready. 

Posts: 42
Hey there, 

I'm sorry for the loss of your golden retriever. I have a similar story to yours. I just recently turned 24 and I live with my parents. We put our dog Patches to sleep on his 11th birthday this past March. I felt like a part of me died with him. I cried for WEEKS. I couldn't get myself out of bed, I barely ate, I didn't go to work, all of that. I would think about him and cry, hear a song that reminded me of him and cry, see his picture and cry, watch a video and cry... it was honestly the worst.

My parents said, "no more dogs" which absolutely crushed me. Our vet recommended waiting at least 1 full year to even think about getting another dog. Here's why: The grieving process is different for everyone. Some may feel ready immediately, some within weeks or months... but some take much longer than that. Waiting a year gives the person the opportunity to go through all of life's events without their buddy (Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, gotcha dates, etc.). Let yourself heal and take care of yourself the best you can. I was asking myself the same question (and still am)... Am I ready for another dog? Someone on one of my posts mentioned that if I'm questioning it, I'm probably not ready. 

The first month without Patches was seriously rough. I'd look on petfinder and adoptapet for HOURS everyday and beg my parents to rethink their "no more dogs" rule. They finally did, and we adopted a little terrier mix named Jackson. We picked him up at the end of April, just shy of the 1 month date of putting Patches to sleep. I was nowhere near as ready as I thought I would be. I cried the entire next day because I regretted my decision. I was not even close to being ready for another dog. I was in denial thinking that things would be back to "normal" once I got another dog to take care of. I cried at the pet store when we bought toys and a crate and food and treats... I didn't want to buy that stuff for Jackson, I wanted to buy them for Patches. I kept thinking about how happy I was the day we got Patches and it hit me that he wouldn't be the one coming home with us. When we picked up Jackson, I didn't even want to be near him. I looked at him and thought, "This is not my dog." He made me mad, frustrated, and even more sad than I thought possible. Puppies are supposed to make you happy, but I felt none of that. We contacted the rescue and helped them rehome him. He's now living with my cousins where he has another dog friend. I missed the routine of caring for Patches, and I looked for it in another dog. I didn't take the time to think back, reflect, and truly work through my emotions. I still struggle with it everyday, but I feel like I'm slowly getting better. 

I also heard that, once you can think about your lost pet and smile or laugh at the memories instead of immediately breaking down into tears, you might be ready to think about adding another member to your family. The books that have helped me get more clarity are "Signs From Pets in the Afterlife" by Lyn Ragan and "The Pet Loss Companion: Healing Advice from Family Therapists Who Lead Pet Loss Groups" by Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio and Nancy Saxton-Lopez. They can both be found on Amazon. 

As for talking to your parents, that might be a little bit more difficult. I wrote my parents a letter outlining the reasons I felt it would be beneficial for all of us to get another dog at some point. After giving Jackson to my cousins, they went back to their "no more dogs" rule. I talked to them and wrote them a letter. For my parents, it was a bit difficult getting them to listen that's why I opted for the letter later on. They weren't able to interrupt me or yell, they just had to read it and think about everything I had to say. I also got some of my family and friends to talk to them for me. 

In the meantime, I'd recommend doing things to honour your beloved friend. I turned to writing as well as arts and crafts. I put together a little shadow box and filled it with Patches' favourite toys, sweatshirts, and bowties. It's a nice way to remember him and I feel like he is always with me. You could even put together a scrapbook!! I'd also suggest going to some shelters or adoption events. If I had, I don't think I would have adopted Jackson. I say this because maybe seeing the available dogs will help you figure out if you're truly ready or not. It might make the situation more "real" if that makes sense? Taking Jackson home was what really made it hit me that Patches was never coming back. 

I'm sorry for this long post. I figured that it might help because our situations are so similar. 


Posts: 2
Thankyou so much for your help I’ve been having a long think about it, I feel like adding another member to the family would be a great way for me to start fresh, I know I can never replace my golden retriever but I feel like adding a new member to the family and giving them a loving home is a great idea. my parents keep saying its too much of a handful as they have an apartment abroad and they go away every children’s half term holidays, they said if they didn’t have the apartment they would be 100% certain about getting another dog but because they arnt here during half term they wouldn’t want to put it into a kennel, but I am an adult and I feel like it would be great raising a new puppy the way I want and the best I can, I explained how I would be at home whilst they were on holiday and If we got another dog I’d take responsibility as I did with my recent golden retriever when they went on holiday, I know this might sound silly but I really want to have a bond with a dog again because I feel like there’s nothing that compares to a bond like that, A friend said to me once you get a dog you’ll realise it’s not your old dog and you won’t feel the same but I don’t feel like that, I feel like a fresh start is good and being able to start a new bond now that I am at an age where I can take responsibility would be amazing and I feel like it would help me a lot. I know that might not have made sense or that I might’ve repeated myself, im not good with words lol. But thankyou so much with your help and helping me understand:) I’m just struggling and scared to talk to my parents as i don’t think they will understand how much it would mean to me to have another member to the family.

Posts: 42

I'm glad that I was able to share my story and help you a little bit during this difficult time in your life. 

It seems like you know what you want in regards to getting another dog and that's great! I understand where your parents are coming from, but maybe they will understand if you sit down and talk to them heart to heart about how you're feeling. It might be a difficult conversation, so maybe write up some notes beforehand so that you can refer to them as you tell them what's on your mind. 

Good luck!! 😉 
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