A New Pet To Help Me Cope?

Hey everyone, need your advice on this one… so I was thinking about getting a pet to help cope with the loss of not only my mum, but my Jack Russell as well. My dad doesn’t want another dog and isn’t keen on cats so that’s out of the question, he sees them as a burden as he’s going through his own grief… but I do feel like I need something to take my mind off of it, plus I’ve always had pets growing up, so to suddenly go from nothing to that, it feels strange. My JR was the only thing keeping me stable after Mum, and how I feel like I don’t have anything. Any advice on this would be great as I don’t know what to do…

Dear SP93.

So sorry to hear about the loss of your mum and your Jack Russell. If your dad does not want a dog at the moment maybe you could consider dogwalking for other people. The Cinnamon Trust is a charity which needs volunteers to walk the dogs of people who are housebound and need someone to walk their much loved pet. They have a website.

There is also a website called borrowmydoggy which links owners who need help with their dogs with people who want to have a dog in their lives but for whatever reason aren’t able to own one themselves.

I know it’s not the same as having your own dog but it’s something until maybe you are in a position to have a pet.

Take care. Xx

I have given a lot of thought to this but, unfortunately, we are not allowed dogs here, but we can have cats. The RSPCA sanctuary is nearby and I keep meaning to go there, but I just don’t feel it right at the moment. This feeling of ‘it’s not right just now’ often comes over me and I can only assume it’s my inner intuition that’s telling me something, or my wife. I don’t know. It’s a strange feeling. We always had dogs so a cat would be new. My neighbour who has a lovely cat tells me I should go for it, but my reluctance to do so holds me back. Any ideas??

I am so sorry that you have lost both your mum and your little dog…I know some people find it difficult to understand how losing an animal can cause such grief but i know that losing your little companion on top of losing your beloved mum must be so hard for you…and your dad.
It might just not be the right time to get another pet…your dad may actually be fearful of more eventual loss…and others have made great suggestions but perhaps you could also look into short term fostering…as you are out at work it is obviously important that your dad is on side. Alternatively you might consider a smaller pet like a hamster or budgerigar…sometimes we just need another living spirit to call our very own!
I hope so much that you and your dad can navigate the days ahead together…many many years ago I lived with my dad after my mother died and I remember how hard it was to try to help him when I was so lost myself…do make use of any local service which may offer support to either or both of you.
Take care…you will find many friends on this site so please keep posting x

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Hi there, I have two dogs, one from a Dog Pound on her last day and small terrier that I fostered and eventually kept. They came to us before Brian died and as I had always owned dogs I was pleased to take them in. However I know without doubt that without them I would have been lost after Brian died. They give me a reason to live and get up and I have to walk them because they insist. They sleep in the bedroom and please themselves if it’s on their beds or mine. If I lost them I would me a complete mess. If your dad is normally a dog lover then I think having a little dog to love and look after would be a really good idea, even if he protests at the moment. Offer to foster at a rescue centre at first and see how it works. I never wanted a terrier but here I am with one and I adore him. He’s asleep by my side as I type and I will be giving him a big kiss in just a moment.
They saved me, not the other way around.
I don’t think there is anything quite like the love of a dog, they give so unconditionally. Some cats perhaps, small animals I can’t say as I’ve never owned one.
Pat xxxx

Hi Jonathan, we have always had dogs but one day Simon found a stray cat. No chip and nobody claimed her so we took her. A friend of ours used to visit and say he didn’t like cats and shoo Millie away. Now he has 3 of them! She was a gorgeous black cat and she lived with us for fourteen years. I would be lost without my dogs. They give me the reason to get up every day. If I don’t, they sit on me!!
Take care. Janet

Hi SP93, I miss having a pet as well. I agree that they can be the “best medicine” when we are hurting. I fully understand your desire to have something to love and give love back, in your time of grief. I must agree with some of the other posters, however, that your Dad’s wishes are to be considered in this important decision. Your Dad is obviously opposed, and bringing a little fur-baby into the home may upset him further. Going through his own grief may be all he can handle right now. Ultimately it will be something the two of you will need to work out. Maybe a waiting period is best, and you could approach the subject again. Some of the suggestions by the others here sound like a possibility. Perhaps a volunteer position with animals, if you are up it. I am so sorry for your losses, so much to deal with at once.
If you need any more input or just need to vent, I am here to listen (I am an avid animal lover myself),
Take care. Sister2Xxxx

I agree Jonathan, if your inner voice is telling you this is not the right time, then this is “not the right time.” One must be ready to make the commitment to a pet, and grief takes so much of our energy, making that hard to do. For me, I have held off getting another cat out of fear. After losing most of my family, I fear loving another being, only to lose him or her again. One day you may just feel ready to go to the RSPCA Sanctuary “just to look.” Sometimes a little furry one will come into our lives when we least expect it. I sense you would make a splendid “Pet-Parent.”

In reply to Pattidot and SP93

I can’t agree with getting a dog if your father doesn’t want one. It would be him at home with It all day if you are at work.
In time if your father wants to go out or away the dog would be left at home all day.

I used to do rehoming for rescue centres and so many dogs came to the centres because people got them, then left them alone and they became destructive.its not fair on the dog.Taking on a dog is a big commitment especially one that’s had an unsettled background.

Your father needs time to make his own choices about his future and if he wanted a dog in his life he’d go and get one.

Take care Jx

Hello sister2 - thank you so much for the lovely reply! I am considering getting 2 rats - they are clean, intelligent & very loving. I wouldn’t get a dog as I respect that it isn’t the right time for my old man, he hasn’t even dealt with it yet and I can’t get him to open up whatsoever (old school cockney). I am thinking about doing charity work for Battersea perhaps. What a sweet message though you are obviously a very sincere and kind lady, thank you xx

Yes thanks for that. I do understand about the necessity to be committed to animals that we own. I counted my dogs and found that Bugsy (terrier) was my 21st dog. Some did come on a temporary basis. I took dogs in when there wasn’t the animal rescue centres that there are now. I have also had cats, pet pigs/sheep and of course spent years with horses. I owned 9 when my previous marriage broke up. How I wish I could go back to those days now.
I also know of people that have not wanted a dog after a bereavement and one case the woman was totally against it but suffering terribly after losing her husband. Her daughter almost forced a stray onto her and the dog made all the difference to her life and brought her back to life again.
When my last dog died I said I wanted no more I was so upset. Then I saw a photo of Beepa in a dog pound awaiting her fate and the rest is history. She came home with me the next day. So much for me saying I wanted no more.

Hi Sister2 , Such good advice about not getting a dog at the moment. It’d be awful if it upset dad even more and for the dog as well. My neighbour’s children got him a dog he didn’t want after his wife died. He’d always had dogs but just didn’t want one around poor thing was back at the dog’s home 2 months later. People change when they lose their partners. Jonathan is being sensible if he’s reluctant to get a cat he shouldn’t let his neighbour persuade him , just wait until he feels ready for one. One thing I have found about grief is everyone has a quick fix for it. There is no quick fix.Sadie

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Sister2 you are so sensible as always with your suggestions. I think you can only go with your instincts on these things. If someone is not keen on the idea of a new pet it just can’t happen for the moment. Liking the idea of a couple of rats though.

For me getting my two cats has changed my life so much for the better. Having them to give a cuddle at any time day or night is fabulous. They are very affectionate too and seem to love me (who knows with cats though). Also give my life a bit of structure, I cannot live my selfish existence any more as have to ensure they have food and water on the floor promptly at mealtimes!

Thank you Mel, and always nice to “see” you on the site. How lovely that you have added two precious felines to your family. I am an animal lover, but have a special place in my heart for cats. I am hoping I will overcome my fear of “loving again” and like you, adopt another cat (or two) some day. Our animals give us so much and give us a reason to go on. Xxxx Sister2

Thank you Sadme. I just believe that a dog (cat) must be wanted by all of the family, and if they are not they will sense it. Always exceptions, of course. I also did animal rescue and saw many poor dogs or cats returned, or worse just given to “any body” because one family member did not want him or her. I find my grief so exhausting and unpredictable that some days I can barely care for myself, and if I can’t give my animal companions 100 per cent of my love & attention, then I will not get one until I can. Just my opinion. Xxx Sister2

Hi SP93, My,You’ve opened up quite a lively conversation on this thread. One thing is for certain, we are all animal lovers and the posters have not only the person, but the animal’s best interest at heart. It is heart warming to hear of the close and meaningful relationships so many have, and had, with their animal family members (and they are family). I know you will come to love your little rats, and they will help you to feel needed and loved back. They are quite intelligent and clean, and will bring a smile with their playfulness.
Some day I hope to be ready to “unfreeze” this grief, and open my heart again too.
Take care. Xxx Sister2