Losing a loved one is extremely difficult to deal with. Dogs become members of our family so it is typical for you to feel intense pain, devastation, and even depression. You might even be showing signs of guilt and denial. Just remember, you have a right to feel anger and grief. You must face your feelings because only then can you work through them. Talk to people, open up, write about it, do whatever you must to express what you are feeling.
I’ve been asked, ‘should I get another dog right away’? My first response is no because you need to wait till you have dealt with your feelings before you bring someone else into the family. What often happens is you think a new dog will ‘replace’ the old one. They never do though. They will have a different personality, different needs, and needs to be treated as a new member of a strong pack-not a new member of a weak, vulnerable, grieving pack.
Dogs often take a significant place in our lives. They can represent a child, a spouse to come home to, a sibling, etc. That is often why it is so hard when we lose them. You will need to understand that everyone will not necessarily understand how you feel. To you it is no different then losing a human friend, but not everyone feels that way. Make sure you don’t let that make the grieving process harder. Find that person who feels the same about their pet as you did yours and express yourself to them.
Finally, try to get as much closure as possible. Don’t be afraid to talk to your vet extensively. They understand because they deal with this on a regular basis so make sure you ask all the questions you can think of so you don’t wonder later. You can even revisit that vet to ask questions after your pet has passed. They should be happy to pull out their chart and answer everything they can.