Looking For Love… Again
Having gone through the loss of a beloved pet many times, I am sure of one thing. It never gets easier. Losing a furry family member is difficult, but loving the one you have a soul connection with is sometime so unbearable that you think you just can’t love again. Loving, then losing them, is just too painful. Sometimes we feel like we are disrespecting their memory, or we feel guilty for giving love to another.
The feelings of risking the pain again are real. We grieve equal to how we love. Initially, guilt may creep in when considering love again. However, there is no better way of honoring your companion’s memory than giving another pet an opportunity to know love. There is just no greater gift than love.
Some of the mistakes that are often made when seeking out another companion are trying to replace the furry, scaled, or feathered baby you lost – such as looking for a pet that looks just like the one you lost. Remember, all of God’s creatures are made individually. You may succeed in finding a very close match in the looks department, but what you may also find is that the personality — the part you fell in love with — is completely different. This is when the problems begin. Your expectations will never be met. Your new companion has no idea the paws he/she is expected to fill. It is unfair to all involved, and many times the pet is returned to a rescue or shelter through no fault of their own.
Some people try to go in a completely different direction and end up with a breed or mix of breeds that do not fit their lifestyle. You need to do your research when finding a companion. Think about where you live. Do you have a fenced-in backyard or do you live in an apartment? What you like to do in your spare time? Do you like to hike, take walks, spend time on the lake? Believe it or not, sometimes a breed you think will love the water won’t go near it, and the couch potato lap dog you thought you were getting will not stop obsessing over that tennis ball! DO YOUR RESEACH. DON’T GIVE UP. Give any pet a chance. They do not know that you spent $125 on that pair of shoes, nor do they know where they are supposed to relieve themselves. All they know is that they need to chew and they need to go. Some of the best companions have had the rockiest starts. They are looking to you for guidance.
Another word of advice when checking out pets to rescue: Be patient. Most rescues organizations are volunteer-run. They give of their time for the love of animals to make a difference in this world. The questions and information they are asking for is to protect the pets. Do not take the questions personally. Everyone has to be vetted. You want them to do this, so that you are both getting a good fit.
So in closing, give love another chance. To find a pet who is a good match for you and your lifestyle, contact reputable humane societies, rescues groups, and shelters in your local area. Also, check out the pets looking for their forever homes right here on the Adoptable Pets page of ReHomeYourPets.
By Leslie Reid, Pet Pilgrimage Pet Crematory & Memorials