Post # 1
I have had my beautiful Springer Spaniel for 16 (!!!) years. I was in 6th grade when we got him and he is the greatest thing to ever happen to me. It was just me, him, and my mom growing up so he really is like 1/3 of my family. As the years have gone on, he saw me through middle school, high school, leaving for college, moving back home after college, and leaving to move in with FI. He is slowing down but still has bursts of puppy energy and I go to visit him several times a week because I know our time together could end at any moment due to his age.
During the past few months, FI and I have noticed how lonely our own home is now without a dog. I can’t bring the family dog to our apartment since it would be unfair to take him out of the home he has known for 16 years and we live on the third floor and with his arthritis, he can’t handle stairs. We have been thinking of adopting a young pup for our own home. The problem is, I FEEL SO GUILTY. I feel like I’m betraying my dog since I couldn’t take him with me and I am getting another. I just feel like it might help me even the slightest bit to have another dog around if something should happen to my family dog. And it will help to ease the empty feeling in our home. I still plan on visiting my family dog multiple times a week as I have been doing and I know a young dog could aggravate him so I won’t force them on each other if my senior dog doesn’t respond to playtime with a new dog.
I just don’t know what to do. I know I sound so dramatic about a pet but he is really like family to me since I don’t have any other family besides mom and FI! Should I wait to get a second dog or is it not a big deal since my family dog and the new one won’t be living together? I know dogs don’t think this way, but I feel like I am cheating on him! haha. Any other pet owners have this problem??
Post # 3
@PrincessBride2014: I completely understand the intense doggy love you are feeling because I would feel the same way. I highly recommend getting a pup before your family pet passes on. It will help with the grieving and you will NOT feel like puppy shopping when you are mourning the loss of your family member. I agree that you shouldn’t make a senior dog deal with a puppy (it is stressful and annoying for them) but there is nothing wrong with having an addition to your home. Saving another animal is never a bad thing and you will still visit your number one furbaby.
Post # 4
Don’t feel guilty at all! Like you said, I wouldn’t bring the puppy around your older dog but otherwise I think it will be fine.
Post # 5
@PrincessBride2014: Have you thought about getting an adult dog (i.e. 2 years old +)? You could also think about taking your older dog with you to make sure you get a dog that will get along with him.
Post # 6
I think there is room in your heart to love more than one dog. Giving your love to a puppy/new dog won’t make you love your family pet any less!
What is the saying?… something like a candle’s light doesn’t diminish by lighting another flame or something?
Post # 7
@PrincessBride2014: I have almost the exact same situation as you pretty much. I adopted my dog a few years ago, and when I got engaged and moved in with my DH, we couldn’t take him with because DH lived in an apt. He went to my parents. Well, more than two years later, we moved into a house, but didn’t want to take him with.
One, we had a split level home and he has some joint issues, so it was unfair to expect him to climb the steps. Two, he bonded with my parent’s dog. Three, he was so comfortable there and enjoyed all the luxeries that my parent’s spoiled him with.
When we considered our St. Bernard this spring, I felt SO GUILTY for even considering a dog knowing that I could take mine back, and I didn’t want to leave that “burden” ith my parents, even though Furby was no burden at all and they said they were happy to have him.
We did get our St. Bernard. My parents won’t take any payment for Furby, but I do make sure to give him attention when I go back home, groom him, and handle any issues or trouble he gets in to if they need me, and I am ALWAYS willing to take care of him, even if it means driving 15 miles at 5:00A to let him out.
Don’t feel guilty. Do what is best for your old guy, and I think what would be best is to leave him where he is comfortable at and get yourself another dog 🙂
Post # 8
As someone who just introduced 2 new pups to my 15 year old this past spring I would say wait. My experience hasn’t been horrible but I do have guilt some days and every day I make a conscious effort to make sure my old guy is top dog and loved the most. I bring him to work everyday while the other two stay home and he gets special privilages at home, such as he’s the only one allowed in our bedroom and the 2nd floor of the house. The new dogs don’t bug him because they have eachother but if I had only gotten one instead of 2 I would see them really torturing my old guy. Your dog is old and won’t be around much longer, could be days or even months I would make him feel as special as possible for his short time left.
Post # 9
@PrincessBride2014: Aww, dont feel guilty! I have the same kind of attachment. I got my JRT for my 10th birthday and he was my first for real pet. He’s 14 now and my baby. But I also have 2 other dogs. I love the other dogs equally, but Patch will always have that special part in my heart.
Post # 10
@PrincessBride2014: Rather than feel guilty, have you considered how awesome it would be to get a puppy, have it spend time with your family dog, thus have the pup learn from your him? Puppies learn so many things from older dogs. When the time comes and you lose your older dog, you might take comfort in knowing that he passed down parts of himself to the puppy (hopefully the good, well-behaved stuff, not the naughty habits!). We had our older dog come with us to meet our puppy before we adopted him to make sure he got our big girl’s stamp of approval. We felt guilty considering gettting a second dog, but it’s been 100% positive. Our older dog seems happier, less anxious, and more entertained with the puppy around.
Post # 11
My parents did something similar with their dog (also a springer spaniel). When their dog was 13, they adopted another springer puppy for the companionship and also to prepare for the inevitable with the older dog. Both dogs got along surprisingly well, and the older dog became more energetic, possibly to keep up with the puppy. The younger dog also helped us cope when the older one finally passed away. Focus on what you and your FI want. Your dog is going to be just as happy and excited whenever he sees you if you get another dog. That’s just how dogs roll.
Post # 12
@nickels: Your dog is old and won’t be around much longer, could be days or even months I would make him feel as special as possible for his short time left.
That is so sad 🙁 You do have a point though.
Post # 13
@PrincessBride2014: we got a puppy when the family dog was getting towards the end, that puppy added 5 years to old Henry’s life. I read that in Japan they have puppy rooms you can take your geriatric dog to and it makes them act/feel younger and live longer. it makes sense based on our experience! PLUS your new dog will get to learn from a dog you love. win win
Post # 14
Having your own dog at your own home will not take away the love you have for your family dog. You can still spend time with him, love him, visit him even with your own dog and it does not take away from the relationship you have with him. As other posters have said, younger dogs often help perk up senior dogs and they enjoy the companionship. So once your new dog is old enough and fully vaccinated you can introduce them and have play dates if they get along.
Post # 15
@PrincessBride2014: Don’t feel guilty.
Think of it this way, your current dog is the family dog and is with the family. While he is your dog he must be shared and in an environment that is best for him, especially in his aging condition. This new potential dog will be YOUR dog and the two can absolutely bond if you take the time to introduce them. Sometimes younger dogs bring out the best in older dogs, I have seen it happen over and over again.
I would recommend finding a 2+ year old rescue dog that is in need of a good home. You will have helped a pup out and added more to love to you home. We have two dogs and they are quite the amazing twosome and are absolutely inseperable.
Post # 16
I feel similar to you except our dog lives with us. She has been an only child for so long and while I REALLY want two dogs, and have always wanted two dogs, I can’t get another one b/c I would feel so guilty.
However, since the dog doesn’t live with you, I would def get a dog. You can still go and visit your family dog, but have one to come home to as well, I think that is the best of both worlds!