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SergeantQueen's avatar

How do I learn to be okay with our new pets?

Asked by SergeantQueen (12746points) April 30th, 2022
19 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

We got new dogs.
They are adorable and only 4 months old.

But the one is wanting to cuddle up to me and lay in my room. This is all too much.

I don’t want them right now. I don’t want these dogs so close to me. I think they are so cute but this is too fast.

I just want my other dog back. I would give up anything to have him with me.

It has only been 3.5 weeks since I lost my other lil baby…

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SergeantQueen's avatar

This was all parents idea. I don’t feel I am ready but I have no say.

Pandora's avatar

if you have a kennel, for now just work on rewarding them when they go in the kennel. Puppies need a nice warm place to cuddle to stay warm but they love rewards.Get them use to sleeping in the kennel for now so you can at least have some away time from them.
Yeah, its a bit too soon. It took me at least 8 months before I got my dog after my previous pet died and I still didn’t want a dog.

I felt it was too soon. Then it took me 3 months before I could warm up to her and a year before I could say I loved her. I didn’t want to get attached to another animal that I would probably outlive. I didn’t want that heartache again.

But I eventually fell in love with her, but my detachment made it easier for me to train her to like her crate. She sometimes will sleep with us now but most of the time she leaves our bed and settles in her crate. And if I don’t invite her to bed, she will stay in her crate and sleep well.
Explain to your parents that you just can’t handle it right now and if they can keep the dogs at night till you are ready to recieve them.

longgone's avatar

Think about your own boy’s puppy time, and how these two remind you of him. They don’t need to be your dogs, they can be family dogs. But they’re puppies, and they love you. So let them help you grieve.

You can be very, very sad while you interact with them. It’s okay to cry while they snuggle up to you. Maybe it helps that a part of Bruno lives on in these new dogs? If it doesn’t help, discard – but some people like to think that their new dogs were “sent” by their old ones. Even if you’re not inclined to be spiritual about this, maybe imagine how Bruno probably wanted all puppies to be accepted, being such a gentle guy himself.

The puppies are there to stay, it sounds like. Practice radical acceptance about that, and do not expect anyone or anything to replace your beloved dog. That’s not what the new pups are about. They are just family dogs who happen to love you. You don’t need to love them back.

janbb's avatar

Close the door to your room when you don’t want them around. Crate train them.

LadyMarissa's avatar

You don’t have to stop loving Bruno in order to give love to the new puppies!!! I can tell that you don’t think that you’re ready for this; but, I found it helped me to let go of some of the pain that I had when I lost my baby boy. The new puppy needed & gave a lot of love that I found comforting once I opened up my heart. My boy has been gone almost 35 years & I still miss him daily. Since he had to leave, I’ve had 4 more loving babies. NOT one of them replaced him, yet they offered me TONS of much needed love!!!

seawulf575's avatar

Dogs are social creatures. They love their pack and the young love to interact with the older members of the pack. These new babies are trying to fit in and see you as an important member of their new pack. They need the interaction.

You lost your last dog that you loved immensely. I get that. And Dogs are not fungible. I get that too. But you don’t have to forget or “replace” Bruno in your heart. It isn’t an offense to his memory to pet another dog. And these new babies might make a new place in your heart (not replacing the old one) and bring you happiness again. Allow yourself to love these little ones and you might find your heart starts healing.

ragingloli's avatar

You submit to them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Just give it time. Whatever you do, don’t be mean to the babies, Bruno would not like that, he raised you better.
It is really quick and probably should have been a family decision, I agree with you on that. But its not the babies fault, they just lost their mom, too. Like you did Bruno. Comfort eachother if you can.

smudges's avatar

It took me about 8 years to get a kitty after mine passed. And he irritated me. I was mad at him. I wasn’t mean, just kind of unloving. I tried and tried to figure out why, and one day it came to me. . .I didn’t love him because he wasn’t Pepper. After I realized that I was able to get closer to him. I ‘forgave’ him for not being Pepper, and apologized. And to honor him, I adopted his name for my online name – Smudges.

It takes however long it takes. Don’t feel badly. Puppies are adorable, but they are a lot of work. I don’t know if you talk out loud to your pets or not (I suspect you do), but when you’re with them, maybe it would help to bring Bruno into the conversation if it’s not too painful, like, “You guys would wear Bruno out!” “He would lovelovelove to play with you guys!” “I bet he’s watching us right now and would definitely approve.”

You take care of you first and foremost. The rest will come in good time. <3

p.s. I happen to know a bunch of jellies who would love to see pictures when you’re up to it.

SergeantQueen's avatar

I think that is my problem. Right now it’s “I love the new puppies… But they aren’t my Bruno”

I just… I don’t know. I thought this would be easier than it is.

And I would never be rude to the pups. Beau sleeps in my room in the mornings and is super snuggly to me. I wonder if that’s what is making it hard. Bruno did that when we first got him. It just feels wrong.

SergeantQueen's avatar

My dad bought them frisbees and my first thought was a bit of anger. Like No. Frisbee was Bruno’s thing. How could you do that??

seawulf575's avatar

Trade the frisbee for a good ball. The Dogs don’t care. What they DO care about is that you are playing with them and they are making you happy.

LadyMarissa's avatar

WHY deny yourself & the pups the love you ALL deserve??? Bruno would be sad that you can’t let go. He would want you to be happy with the new playmates that he sent to you!!! YOU are the one that’s making it feel wrong. You need to work past that & open your heart. You can still love Bruno & the pups at the same time. Bruno is NOT feeling betrayed by you…he would just want you to be happy with the new pups!!!

longgone's avatar

I really get it, SQ. I had two dogs when my girl died, and the younger one (Wilson) was only one. Even though I loved him very much, the grief damaged our relationship for a while. That’s just what grief does. You only just lost Bruno, and you will heal a little bit more every day. But you don’t have to force anything (and you can’t, anyway).

I also understand the Frisbee thing. My old dog had a stuffed vulture that the young one is not allowed to play with, to this day. It just seems too special. And when I told my sister I was teaching Wilson the cue “Search” for going back to find things I dropped on walks, she cried. She asked me to use a different cue instead, because that particular one made my old girl so happy, and it’s attached to lovely memories for her. Of course, I did.

It’s okay to hold space for Bruno. If your dad will understand, ask him to keep the Frisbees in storage until the pups are older. If he wouldn’t get it…I personally might hide them and get different toys so everyone forgets about them. However, be aware that your dad might be trying to help you heal here. Talking to him would be best.

smudges's avatar

Awww…I sooo get it and I’m sorry you’re going through it. Grief is hard enough without feeling like you’re supposed to just get over it. I agree with @longgone. Talk to your dad and try to explain how you feel, while also letting him know you appreciate him trying to be helpful. although, if he’s the type of guy who’s all macho and wouldn’t get it, maybe keep it to yourself.

Bonding takes time. Even if we’re not in a grief period, not everyone just immediately has that special feeling in their heart about a new animal. Animals are the same way…they ‘love’ us instantly because we give them attention and food and playtime, but even they don’t have the bond with us that they’ll eventually develop.

The best I can say is to take care of you, really. Try not to feel guilt or ‘shoulds’ about the puppies, or to force yourself to feel something about them that you simply don’t just yet. They’re getting everything they need from you and your family and are quite happy. You have loads of time to grow closer and develop those bonds that make them special.

And keep coming here and unloading. We get it. {{hugs}}

p.s. on the right side of the page are previous posts about animals. It might help to read some of them.

SergeantQueen's avatar

Well. Update.

When we first were looking at the puppies, they had a sister that we were going to get as well but didn’t.

She was adopted but according to that family, she wouldn’t eat and cowered in the corner and shook a lot. When a friend of theirs brought another puppy over, she was fine and played and was happy.

They returned her. And the agency called us.

We now have a third puppy. She is eating just fine, she isn’t shaking, and she is laying down by us. She is the sister of the two brother we already have.

She seems to be doing better here with us than she was with them based on what I’ve heard.

She has a birthmark on her nose almost identical to Bruno.

I wonder if he did send them to us and it’s a sign. It sounds dumb. But I wonder if it’s a sign.

SergeantQueen's avatar

We are technically fostering her until we are sure she is okay with us. I almost guarantee we will keep her.

She wouldn’t even walk on the leash until I got home. She walked just fine with me.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I don’t think it’s dumb to see the sign that Bruno’s sending…ENJOY your new puppy…she NEEDS you!!!

smudges's avatar

Omigoodness! 3 young puppies! You guys have your work cut out for you. LOL I hope you have a fenced in back yard and a doggie door. Those would help a lot. Their poor sister needed them, and bless your hearts for taking her in. She was terrified without them.

As for Bruno sending them, I believe in that sort of thing. It’s almost as if he sent her, saying, “Yes, I’m sure this is the right thing!” Like he sent you two and you questioned the decision, so he sent another to reinforce it.

She walked fine with you on the leash cause she knows you’re safe and an ok human. ;)

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