Loss of Our Family Pet, Looking for New Dog

Updated on June 07, 2008
E.M. asks from O Fallon, MO
8 answers

I am waking up this morning with a very heavy heart, and could use some resources and referrals for dog adoption. We have had 2 family dogs and now are left with none. Last month we had to put our dog of almost 13 yrs to sleep due to illness. It was hard on my husband and I since Casey was our first "baby." We still had our 6 yr old Boxer, "Rocky," who buffered the pain for all of us. Last night, Rocky got loose, was hit by a car and killed. It was one of the most difficult nights I have experienced, and my home is not the same today. My 10 year old son has struggles we have been working through, but the one thing he has always had were his dogs. They have always slept with him, and Rocky in particular is his best friend. When my son is at school, Rocky just waits to hear the bus in the afternoon, and he lights up. They are inseparable!
Fist I ask for prayers that we can get through this difficult loss.
However, we need to adopt a dog right away. This decision isn't right for everyone, some people need time to grieve, but this is a must for us. When my husband and I lost a dog early in our marriage, I had to turn my pain into love for another, and we got Casey, and that helped me immensely. I know this is what we need to do now for my son. He has a very difficult time sleeping anyway, but this will make it so much worse, he had to sleep with us last night in our bed.
(He's 10 remember, so he's not exactly small).
If anyone has any good resources for dog adoption, or knows anyone who breeds dogs, or any help, I would greatly appreciate it. I am looking into our Humane Society, and saw the dogs they have available on their website. We will look into that, but welcome any other help.
Thank you so much for reading this, and I am thankful to have this website to reach out to other moms.

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So What Happened?

I just want to thank all of those women who responded to my request about finding a family dog after the loss of our 2. I put in an application for a Golden/Lab with the Heartland Humane Society, and in the time of waiting for a response to that my neighbor approached me about a puppy her aunt has. She has a ranch and she has Aussie/Blue Heeler mix puppies. I did some research and found these dogs to be very social, intelligent and good with children. They brought her to our house for a trial, and we just fell in love with her. While she was here I received a response from the Humane Society telling me that the dog I was interested in is now sick and being treated for pneumonia, so has been taken off the adoption list.
That was pretty much my answer, and so we are keeping the puppy, and have named her Dakota.

More Answers



answers from St. Louis on

So sorry to hear about your loss, especially coming so close to the loss of your other pet. There was just an episode on "The Dog Whisperer" that dealt with this issue. It was very sweet and featured a boy around 11 years old who was so strong and wise about the process of grieving/death. I hope that your little man can learn to cope as well. And if moving right on to another pet is the best for your family, well then good luck with your search for a forever friend.

You have the right idea with keeping your options open for your new pet - look everywhere. One of the best resources for adopting a dog is www.petfinder.com It is an easy to use, searchable site where you can enter your location and what kind of dog your are interested in, and it gives you a list to start from. Best thing about this site is that there are literally thousands of different rescue agencies that collectively use this database, including the common ones here in the St. Louis area such as Stray Rescue and those that are found in Petco/Petsmart. I typed in Boxer with a St. Louis zip code and it came up with over 100 matches in a 50 mile radius just for an example.

Another great resource is www.terrificpets.com. On this website you can find some rescue dogs and many for sale dogs. There are some puppy millers on there - so research it fully. If you see multiple litters listed for one breed or someone who has 7 different breeds listed, stay away.

Despite what many people say (or imply), there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a dog from a REPUTABLE breeder. I happen to be a reputable breeder myself (of American Bulldogs) and it really burns my behind when people imply that what I do is wrong. I happen to own show champion dogs with extensive health and genetic screening. I breed once per year - maybe - and have owners lined up who plan to show or work the pups before the pups are even born. And then, we end up birthing a litter of 10 when we were expecting 5 or 6. So, we'll have some really amazing puppies "left over" that we can sell to pet homes for a great price. You might luck into a a great pet this way. Or, quite often a good breeder will have an older female (5-6 years old) who has had 2 or 3 litters and has earned a fabulous retirement with some 2 legged kids. My neighbor got a gorgeous Golden Retriever this way.

The hardest part for you, I think, will be the sleeping issue with your son. If you get a new puppy, until it is old enough to be fully potty trained, it can't sleep in the bed. And, with an adult rescue, you need to be 100% confident that there are no dominancy issues before you let a dog up into a bed with a child. A dog's nature is to believe that if you let it up onto the couch, bed, whatever...that it has ownership over that furniture. With Rocky, I am sure that he knew his place in the home & it was perfectly safe and comfortable for him to be in bed with your son. There will be much higher safety risks with an older dog who needs to learn his place. One great way to accomplish this is to take the new dog to obedience classes with your son acting as the dog's handler. It would be a great way for your son to learn responsibility and to bond with his new best friend. (My daughter is 8 and absolutely LOVES when I let her "train" our show dogs; she thinks it is so cool.)

Again, good luck!! Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.



answers from St. Louis on

I am very sorry about your dogs. That is so sad. I would definitely adopt a dog rather than go to a breeder. There are so many great dogs who need good homes. Your family could save another dog from being put to sleep. The Missouri Humane Society is a wonderful place to find a good dog. Check their web site. Also, there is a pet adoption center at Mid Rivers Mall. (There is also a pet store but I wouldn't go that route.) Also, if you are interested in a particular breed of dog, there are many rescue organizations that specialize in a particular breed or size. My dog came from the River City Chihuahua Rescue group - despite the name, they specialze in small dogs, not just Chihuahuas. Keep your eyes open for pet rescue or pet adoption events in your area. Often humane societies or rescue groups have adoption events to find homes for their dogs. You can meet a lot of dogs at the same time from several groups. Petco and Petsmart both have adoption events every Saturday. Usually the cost for adoption includes the spay/neuter, vaccinations and a microchip. Good luck. As you know, your new dog(s) will probably find you!



answers from St. Louis on

I'm so sorry for your loss. If you would like another boxer try doing a search for the Boxer rescue groups in your area. We have a boxer who will be 9 in August, his age is really starting to show and I don't know what we will do when something happens to him. He was our first "baby" also.

I'll be keeping you and your family in my prayers.



answers from St. Louis on


I am so sorry for your loss. Please go to the Humane Society. They have three different locations in St. Louis county or try C.A.R.E.. Coaliltion for Animal Rescue & Education in Hillsboro, MO.
I will pray for you and your family. Good luck and I pray for a dog to walk into your family.



answers from St. Louis on

E., I sent you a personal message that includes my email address. My sis had to give up one of her dogs, Blue, he is a 9month old Australian Cattle Dog. He is still at The City of St. Charles Animal Shelter. My sister works there her name is Sue. This has been a very hard situation that would be made a little better if Blue found a home. He was on petfinders.com, not sure if he still is. Please go and check him out, he is a cute little guy that really deserves a home, and would love a boy to play with. This was not something that she wanted to do, it was a situation thing. God Bless your family, I'm so sorry for your loss.



answers from St. Louis on

You will have so many prayers.

Get a Lab puppy, they are the PERFECT dog for a sad 10 year old boy.

I'm so sorry for your losses.



answers from St. Louis on

First off just want to say Sorry for your Loss.

This is where we got our dog from:

Westport Area Center in Maryland Heights
Adoption Center
2400 Drilling Service Rd
(Off Dorsett, two miles east of I-270)
Maryland Heights, MO 63043



answers from St. Louis on

I am so very sorry to hear of your tragic situation. I know how difficult that must be. Dogs give such unconditional love.
I work at a vet's office so we unfortunately see families dealing with terrible lose. I pray that your family heals
and God places just the right one into your path.

I would recommend any humane society or stray rescue.
Your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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