By: Rebecca Braglio
It’s been 22 days since Finn passed away.
I’m slowly getting used to coming home and not hearing him at the door. I’m slowly getting used to not hearing him bark like crazy every time a car drives past. His collar no longer smells like him.
But, last night, I found a blanket he had slept on. I buried my face in it and just burst into tears.
I’m spending more time with the cats. They are clearly enjoying the absence of a canine companion and have commandeered the apartment.
But, for some reason, it’s not enough. As much as I cuddle with them, comb them, and play with them, it’s not filling the void.
What is it about dogs?
I’m missing the early morning walks. I’m missing having that responsibility that I need to hurry home to let Finn out or feed him his dinner. I miss our routine. And I feel guilty. I have a space in my home for a pet that could be rescued from the shelter. I look at all of the urgent rescue pictures in my Facebook feed and I feel a responsibility to respond.
But is it too soon?
The morning Finn died, a friend posted one word on my Facebook post: “Astrid.”
Astrid is her most recent foster dog. Found wandering all alone in Philadephia’s Pennypack Park, Astrid is probably a 15 year old Maltese. Blind and hard of hearing, she was covered in matts and mammary tumors. She only weighed 4 pounds.
And she could be Finn’s twin.
But she’s gentle. She’s easy-going. She seems resilient.
I watched her as she explored my apartment, bumping into furniture, unfazed by it all. My cats sniffed at her, baffled by this creature half their size who plodded around with the zombie eyes.
I could pet her. I could hold her. Without a growl or a snap.
So, while she certainly looks like Finn, she certainly is not his carbon copy.
But is it too soon?
When you lose a pet, is there that lightbulb moment when you know that you are ready to move on? Or, do opportunities mysteriously present themselves to not only help us heal, but also to heal the heart of a needy animal?
And is it wrong to adopt a dog who looks just like my former dog? It seems…kind of creepy in a way.
How do you know when you are ready to move on and open your heart up to a new pet?
If you're experiencing the loss of a pet, please check out the Pet Loss Support in the Pet360 Community.