The question on my mind today is how long before I am ready to get a new dog?
By no means do I think Maverick will ever or can ever be replaced. At the same time, now that he has passed, the void is so profound, part of me feels like I will do anything to cure it. Even though I have read you can experience two or more Heart Dog's in your lifetime, I find it hard to imagine having as strong a connection with another dog as I did with Maverick. So, this lends to the question - will getting another dog actually help the healing process or simply remind me that he’s gone?
During Maverick’s last day, I was so distraught, I even seriously considered retaining samples of his DNA in hopes of cloning him one day (apparently this really is possible and has been done with animals before!). I have since decided against this for several reasons that I will share in a future blog post.
Besides no longer having Maverick or going forward cloning him, I am used to having two dogs. For the first two years of Maverick’s life, it was just the two of us until the itch to “double the love” kicked in and Marti joined the family (she is a sheltie from the same breeder as Maverick). What followed was 11 years having two shelties at my side. So now, two dogs are my normal. They keep each other company when I go to work and offer each other companionship even when I am around but preoccupied with work. For Marti, being the only sheltie on the block is a brand new experience.
As I contemplated all this, I reveled at the thought of my next sheltie coming from Maverick's lineage. It would not be him, but a part of him. Plus, Maverick’s spunky personality was so unique, I figured it’s my best option to ever find another sheltie like him.
For my next step, I contacted Maverick’s breeder. She is no longer breeding shelties but did pass along the name of another breeder who has the dogs which remain of Maverick’s line. Knowing this was my best bet for finding a family connection to Maverick, I called them up and learned that puppies from Maverick’s second niece (the granddaughter of Maverick’s mom) are on the way!
The breeder told me that all the shelties from this lineage have an outgoing and quirky personality. This was music to my ears! I will never expect my next sheltie to be just like Maverick but to have some familiar characteristics, I suspect will feel like going home after a long vacation away.
Ironically, puppies from Maverick’s family will be ready come the beginning of October…just in time for my birthday! Is it a sign? I actually have never had a small puppy before. Both Maverick & Marti were being grown out for show so they were each around the 5-months old when I first brought them home. To have an 8-week old puppy will be a brand new experience I am excited to take on.
The breeder promised to contact me once the puppies were ready for a visit and I am so excited to meet them. I think by doing so, I will get a true sense if I am ready or not for another sheltie family member at this time. The bottom line is that when you are ready for your next dog is different for everyone. I have heard some people get their next dog the same day of their passing while others are never ready for another dog, especially if it was their Heart Dog. There is no right or wrong time and hopefully you will know if and when that time is for you.
How long before you were ready for another dog after your Heart Dog passed away? Please share your insights and experience about this very personal choice.
How can this blog help you?
This website and blog originated from the experience of learning to let go of my beloved Heart Dog, Maverick. By sharing my story and offering the opportunity for you to share yours, I hope we can all truly celebrate their lives. pay tribute, and heal from the loss of our one true canine companion. I hope this website will also raise awareness of the meaning of a Heart Dog because it is a concept that is not largely understood.