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Better to have loved and lost?

Posted by: Shailen Posts: 100 - Joined:

#3 - by Shailen >> Wed Jun 8th, 2011 02:50 pm

Over the years many pet carers have said to me in the immediate period around the loss of their pet, "Why do we put ourselves through this?" and "Never again". When Ralph died I was clearly devastated but I also knew that when I felt ready I would give a home to another animal, not as a replacement but as a new friend, a new relationship. I wonder whether most people end up doing the same or have you lost a pet and decided never to go down that road again?
Shailen (The Ralph Site founder)
Posted by: jackpat Posts: 1 - Joined: Fri Jun 24th, 2011 03:44 am

#7 - by jackpat >> Fri Jun 24th, 2011 03:50 am

Much better to have loved and lost. The thought of never having known the ones we've lost is almost worse than losing them.
They leave such an enormous gap behind them that its only then you realise how much they filled your life.
Just this evening I was talking about the dog I grew up with, Suzie, a staffie cross. She was a beautiful lady and my parents bought her home when I was three. I had finished school and started my own career when we said our final goodbyes to her. My childhood wouldnt have been the same without her. She came everywhere with us, even out on horse rides - I cant imagine never having known her.
Run free babies.
Posted by: LucyBarton Posts: 2 - Joined: Fri Jun 24th, 2011 03:06 pm

#8 - by LucyBarton >> Fri Jun 24th, 2011 03:19 pm

I also muttered the words 'never again' after losing my beloved boy, Albert-Jack. He was my right-hand-man, my best friend, my baby. It is no means an exaggeration when I say my heart broke that day. It devestated me more than any other loss or grief I have known and I never wanted to suffer that loss again, nor did I ever want another dog to come into the home we'd shared.

As time went on and the raw, intense pain was lessening I became more open to the idea of maybe, one day, I would offer my heart, my home and my love to another dog. The house (and my life) felt so empty without a canine companion there with me and I knew that I had a kind, loving home to offer, as well as the knowledge that there were a lot of dogs out there desperate for such a home. As I became more open to the idea, I said a silent to prayer to Albert asking him to send me the right dog when it was the right time. I had already decided it would have to be a girl as Albert would always be my baby boy. A couple of weeks later a small, mange ridden stray terrier was at work one evening. I knew immediately that she was 'The One' sent for me. Unfortunately when I phoned the rescue kennels they had already secured a home for her. I was upset as I really felt like she was meant to be mine. A couple of hours later the kennels rang again saying they'd rang her new 'owner' to say that she wasn't ready to be rehomed due to her mange - yet they wanted me to have her now as they knew she'd get the right treatment. At that moment I knew that she had been sent to me - to teach me to love again but more importantly to give me a new focus and drag me out of the depressive slump I'd got into.

As horrific and intense as the pain is, every second of it is worth it for the love, joy, companionship, understanding, happiness and memories our fur babies bring us every second of every day we share with them.
Posted by: Lynn Posts: 1 - Joined: Thu Jun 30th, 2011 01:49 pm

#12 - by Lynn >> Thu Jun 30th, 2011 02:00 pm

Hi all I have now lost my second faithful comapanion at a young age.

My first Max an Australian shepherd cross who contracted cancer at 41/2 and after 8 weeks had to be put to sleep.

Second was Ollie my Bernese who was again only 41/2 he had 3 rare diseases none of them were able to be diagnosed till post mortem and we now know they were incurable and untreatable. He had to be put to sleep February this year.

In the very beginning of losing Max I said never again once I began to get over the grief I realised I needed a new friend that was nearly 4 years later. I find myself again saying the same thing this time though I have made the decision to have another companion later this year and am now on a puppy waiitng list for another Bernese I want another crack at a puppy of the same breed and cannot leave it so long as age is against me now.

I know the pain has been so raw for both but I will always be immensely grateful they came into my lives and thats the price we pay for loving. I know again when the time comes it will be just as hard or harder but I suppose we must not dwell on that.
Posted by: Shailen Posts: 100 - Joined:

#13 - by Shailen >> Thu Jun 30th, 2011 07:02 pm

Hi Lynn,

Really sorry to hear about your losses. Personally I do think it is better to have loved and lost and that the grief although devastating is a price worth paying as it were. In my profession as a veterinary surgeon, I do find that most people come to feel the same way eventually and do get another friend and then another friend...Of course there are some that simply cannot face it again and that is entirely understandable too isn't it?

Good luck with the puppy! We would love to see some photos of the new arrival which you can add in the New Friend tributes page of the website.
Shailen (The Ralph Site founder)
Posted by: sugarplumfairy Posts: 1 - Joined: Sat Jul 2nd, 2011 05:51 pm

#15 - by sugarplumfairy >> Sun Jul 3rd, 2011 05:23 pm

I took my Weimeraner from a lady who no longer wanted her when she was 2 years old. Over the years we were inseperable..I am a runner and every where I ran she would come...even on marathons! It was as if we had been together somewhere before, sounds daft I know! We moved to Cyprus 4 years ago when she was 11....and she stayed with me till 14 years old...about 6 months before I finally had to have her put to sleep I found another dog wandering near where I live and kept him, I often wonder if he was sent because someone knew she was going to go soon (or did she do it?)...however, as much as I love him he will never take her place...she always was and always will be my beloved dog (she was also my first dog) and when I go to sit where she is laid to rest I always find a sort of peace there.
death leaves a heartache no-one can heal, love leaves a memory no-one can steal !
Posted by: Admin Posts: 72 - Joined: Wed Jun 8th, 2011 01:05 am

#22 - by Admin >> Mon Aug 1st, 2011 05:04 pm

Some posts from our Facebook page:

"Definately, because it's not about me, it's about them. Why should I deny an animal a home just because I will get upset when he/she dies. That would be horrible."

"yes i agree because we mustnt think of the lost we must think of the love we gave and the home comforts etc plus the love and the companionship we had together to deny any pet a home this shows us to be a selfish and shallow person well it does me no rather have pets to love and home than none at all :D xx"
The Ralph Site Admin
Posted by: Stockdalecarina Posts: 2 - Joined: Wed Aug 17th, 2011 07:00 pm

#27 - by Stockdalecarina >> Wed Aug 17th, 2011 07:50 pm

I feel that it's a tribute to the pet that I've loved to welcome a new pet into my life when the time is right. The pet that's left my life will never leave my heart and the memories of the years we shared will stay alive for evermore.

i have so much room in my heart to allow my love for the pet that's gone to live alongside living pets. Every animal has it's own character and deserves to be loved for itself. Every relationship is unique and special.

It takes time to grieve and to accept that you will never again stroke that lovely head and never be able to gaze again into those deep and trusting eyes. Yes, it breaks your heart, it truly does. In time though you come to realise that you wouldn't have missed those wonderful years for anything, you realise just how much your life has been enriched by the unconditional love that your pet provided. They leave behind such a great big empty hole that you think will never be filled. One day though, for some and not for others, a new friend arrives to take his/her place and to create a new set of memories.

Yes, it's hard to grieve but I wouldn't ever deny myself the love of a pet. Grief is the price that we all have to pay for love but I'd never let it stop me enjoying love.
Posted by: Fudge21 Posts: 2 - Joined: Tue Apr 24th, 2012 06:02 pm

#196 - by Fudge21 >> Tue Apr 24th, 2012 07:58 pm

I always find that finding a new pet, not to replace the previous one but to create a companion for myself and any other animal. I would never say 'never again' after pet loss
Posted by: Almera Posts: 1 - Joined: Thu Oct 6th, 2011 01:02 am

#198 - by Almera >> Tue Apr 24th, 2012 11:04 pm

I agree that it's better to have given a pet a loving home than never having knowing them. Just over a year ago I lost my cat Julia-she had been beaten & dumped outside my gate & it took me months to get her to trust me. I looked after her for four years until a dog got into my garden, attacked & killed her. I was devastated & still get upset to this day when I think of her. I decided that I needed a new companion-never a replacement-& I knew that there were loads of cats looking for a home..I picked up Sabrina about two months later & I love her to bits...she's my baby. Her previous "carers" moved house & just left her behind.
All animals deserve a loving home..
Posted by: Natalie Posts: 6 - Joined: Sat May 5th, 2012 08:49 pm

#217 - by Natalie >> Sat May 5th, 2012 08:58 pm

I agree all animals need a loving home. I had to have my 12 year old Cat put to sleep today and I am heartbroken. I do not know how I am going to get over it, just feel numb. I hope one day I can offer another a home but can't think about that right now as it it is so raw. Anyone offer any advice?
Posted by: Cathy Swendell Scicluna Posts: 1 - Joined: Sat May 5th, 2012 09:19 pm

#220 - by Cathy Swendell Scicluna >> Sat May 5th, 2012 09:28 pm

We had to wait for two years before we could even think of having another cat....we lost our 15 year old Tabby, Crackers, 15 years ago, she was our baby really. I totally get how you feel Natalie pet. Be prepared to keep 'seeing' your cat out of the corner of your eye, because I believe that our animal friends never leave us! We now have two 12 year old black adopted from a Shelter and was feral when we got her. I will never forget Crackers and still 'see' her now and then! I think we never get over loosing a friend like that, we just learn to live without them eventually. It will get better hon...... sending virtual hugs xx
Posted by: Natalie Posts: 6 - Joined: Sat May 5th, 2012 08:49 pm

#222 - by Natalie >> Sat May 5th, 2012 09:35 pm

Thanks Cathy. I appreciate your reply and its good to know somebody understands. x
Posted by: Admin Posts: 72 - Joined: Wed Jun 8th, 2011 01:05 am

#225 - by Admin >> Sat May 5th, 2012 09:38 pm

Natalie, there are quite a few posts also in your 'Help' forum including from our Facebook page:
The Ralph Site Admin

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