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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Are there any other threads on here that deal with Poodle grief? I think losing a Poodle is very particular sorrow and I am not finding enough info about it right now.

The irreplaceable face of my Pella, who died last summer;



Just wondering if other people would be willing to share about their own experiences grieving the loss of their Poodle? My reaction to the death of my mini, Pella, has been to get another Poodle puppy NOW. I read an article recently that talked about the grief of losing a family dog, and how it's important not to try to replace the dog you lost with one of the same breed/color/gender. No dog can replace the dog you lost.
While I suppose I agree with that to some extent, I can't really imagine myself having any breed other than a Poodle. I loved my Poodle. I think we were a good match, and I can't think of much I would have changed about her, if anything. Looking at puppies has been frustrating because it turns out none of the puppies are Pella.

I got her when I was in my early twenties, and she died at age 12 last summer, so this is my first time facing the loss of MY dog. It's hit me harder than I expected it to. It feels a little like the world has gone wonky and can not be put right without her here. So many of my daily activities are different now that she is gone. Have other people on here had their lives run by their 10 lb minis? Pella was full of opinions, likes and dislikes, and she had a flair for drama. One thing she would do is always run under the furniture and look at me scornfully whenever I had the hiccups. How dare I?? Both my terrier Poodle mix and I are adrift without her.

After a grieving for a few months, I recently decided to foster a dog. I didn't feel ready to get a puppy, and commit to another dog for life, but I wanted to have an interactive dog again, and my terrier has been impersonating a lump since Pella died. A foster wouldn't be MY dog, and I didn't have to be emotionally attached to it, but I could enjoy the daily activities of having a dog again, and save a dog's life too. So, about a month ago I decided to foster a Pit Bull mix that was on NYC ACC's death row. I purposefully chose a breed I am not terribly fond of, so it would REALLY be just a foster. (Pit Bulls are great dogs, with big hearts and a lot more willingness to please their humans than some other breeds...they just aren't MY breed.)

Matilda has been a great distraction in many ways, totally nerve-wracking in others, and has reinforced my opinion that I am a POODLE PERSON. I've learned a lot more about dog training while I've had her...out of necessity! My Poodle practically trained herself and I got away with not knowing much at all because she behaved so well. Matilda, being a rescue dog without much of an education, has been a very different story.

Matilda is probably on her way to her furever home soon, and I am left with some questions of my own. Am I now ready to get my Poodle puppy? Should I foster a Poodle instead? I'm still torn about getting a small standard, a moyen, or a big mini when I do get MY next dog. I have a horse and chickens and a big yard and while I plan on having a fenced in yard I also like having a dog that keeps me company while I do animal chores. A bigger dog seems like a better idea for country life. My first Poodle was a Mini that I got while I lived in apartments and condos when I was younger. On the other hand I love having a lap dog that truly fits on my lap, minis eat less, and cost less to groom. It's easier to take them places and in theory they take up less of the bed...

Anyhow, it would help me to hear other people's stories...of how they journeyed from first Poodle to their next dog, how long that transition took and how they managed to find a replacement dog that felt similar enough to be a good match without being literally a replacement. I'm also curious to hear how other people feel about Standards vs. Moyens. I have my eye on a red standard pup, but she is a STANDARD standard not even a small standard and while I love her temperament I am not sure about getting one her size.

One other thing...my Terrier Poodle mix, who I rescued four years after I got my mini Poodle...has never known life without her. She dictated when it was his turn to eat, and she got first choice of spot in the dog bed at night. he always curled up around her and guarded her. Now he is lost...He's developed an ulcer and is quite sad and droopy most of the time, even though it's been close to four months since she died. He livens up as soon as my foster dog is out of the house. I'm worried about getting a bigger Poodle puppy, or any puppy at all really, and having that be stressful and awful for him. (I'm also worried about him staying droopy as an only dog.) At eight years old he is not really into puppies! Not sure how to sort out getting the right dog for me, while also having it be a positive for him too.

The Canoodle (Cairn Poodle mix) and Pella;



Sorry for the rambly post--I haven't been online much lately so this is a few weeks' worth of thought crammed into one post.

If anyone knows how to make Poodles live forever, share that too ok?





Pictures of my NOT A POODLE foster dog Matilda, for fun;






 

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I lost my Annabelle (poodle mix) in August 2013. I tried to get another dog (different breed) in Sept. 2013, that was unsuccessful. I wound up with anxiety. I was in a depressive state similar to yours because of Annabelle. I kept a friend's toy poodle for a week in December 2013. I fell in love with that dog...so, I started looking for a toy poodle puppy. I found a breeder in January 2014 that I liked. I got on her wait list... Then, she let me know that there her dam was expecting. I had to wait for 63 long days to find out if there was a girl in the litter...there was only 1! Then, I had to wait 10 seemingly endless weeks to bring my puppy home. I visited her at 4 weeks (to check out the breeder) Finally, I was able to pick her up... I love her!

I really feel like the wait helped to give me time to really grieve for Annabelle and built the excitement for the puppy's arrival. Now, I did not have another dog to take into consideration. I also prefer toys.
 

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So sorry for your loss. :(
The only advice I can give is not to wait too long. Some say not to get one too quick but my exp is different. I lost my beloved Golden Retriever to cancer and was not prepared for the grief and how long it lasted. I resisted getting another dog for 5 yrs. Looking back I wish I had gotten one much sooner. But I would of still need that 1st yr to grieve I think. This is my first standard poodle and we are totally totally in love with him.


OH BTW Matilda looks like so much fun and personality. :)
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your mini poodle. It's hard, and 12 years old is still fairly middle-aged for many dogs. No matter their age, though, we never have long enough with them.

Here's my story:
I lost my first dog, a red mini, in 2012, when he was 17.5 years old. We had been on the waiting list for a standard for some time before Rusty (our mini) passed away; he had CHF, we new he wasn't doing well, and we'd already decided before Rusty passed away that we didn't want to be without a dog for too long. We weren't "waiting" for Rusty to pass away; we just knew that when the inevitable happened, we wouldn't want to be a dog-less household indefinitely, and we knew that waiting lists for puppies could be fairly lengthy.

In the end, we were dog-less for about six months after Rusty passed away, before our puppy was born. For us, that was a good amount of time to rest and recover some. as caring for Rusty was time-intensive and emotionally draining for about a year before he died. That time gave us the time to mourn Rusty, be able to start feeling less sad about him, and excited to welcome a puppy to our house. We decided that we'd get a standard poodle this time, but we got the same colour and the same gender as Rusty. It wasn't that we were trying to replace him, but for me, especially, I knew that poodles were the breed for me, and I didn't want anything else. I should mention that even after six months, I was so accustomed to having a senior dog, that having a puppy was a bit overwhelming in terms of how much work it was, and how different the work was. There were moments that I was so overwhelmed with puppy work, that I cried because I missed my old, sleepy, senior poodle so much. On the other hand, the work of a puppy was certainly distracting. I only mention that because I think I want to express that we didn't stop missing Rusty when we got Begley as a puppy, so a puppy isn't a "cure" for the sadness of losing a dog, for sure. Now, we love Begley just as much as we ever did Rusty, but in a way that's unique to him. Begley is a different dog, with a different personality, and we love him in his own way. He didn't replace Rusty, but he made his own place, if that makes sense. Too, Begley is a small standard (41 lbs, 22.5" at the shoulder), so he's still sort of a lap dog. :)

Best of luck with your decision! And what a great thing to do, to foster a dog, in the meantime. Good for you!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Rusty--I think that is so very true. In having Matilda who is 1 yr and 8 months old, I have very deeply missed my well behaved senior dog too! Everyone thinks about how cute puppies are and how exciting it is to have a new member of the household, but man are puppies exhausting. Having had Matilda for an intensive month of housebreaking, BAT training, and Basic Manners class, I am remembering just how much work goes into puppies. Here's the thing though...Pella was such a well-behaved puppy! My terrier mix was draining and exhausting for awhile as a puppy, but Pella was not. I don't know if that's a Poodle thing, or I just got very very lucky with my specific Poodle...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
hopetocurl Thanks for sharing that you had anxiety! One of the ways I can tell it's really too soon for me is that I end up feeling a bit resentful of Matilda, and out of sorts over her totally normal Pit Bull teenagery behavior. She's such a great love, and very smart but man! The counter surfing, housebreaking, barking, reactive to strangers...boy is this all making me realize how wonderful life was with Pella...
 

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I can understand your grief for Pella. I did not have my minipoodle Merlin as long as you, but I grieved so badly I probably should have seen a professional and been on medication. I got a new puppy about 6 months after Merlin's passing, but the puppy was not as playful as Merlin and suffered greatly by comparison. I was very angry at the puppy for not being Merlin. Obviously I was not ready and also I should have asked more questions of the breeder about the puppy's temperament.

I think getting a different color and/or size might help to not expect the puppy to act like Pella. All poodle puppies are not the same. Think about the temperament you want and talk to the breeder about it.

I think your terrier/ poodle mix will get use to a poodle puppy easier than your pit mix. Even so you will need to watch them for a while.
 

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If you have the time and energy, get a standard puppy. No more than 10 weeks if possible. You will be very busy with it. 8 y/o is not to old for a puppy friend. It gives an old dog a new lease of life. The older dog will help with the training of the new and, if a puppy, the new will bow down to the old. You will never forget your loss but you will have a distraction. A smaller breed if you lack the energy and staying power. I have had a lot of doggie members of my family over the years. I miss and grieve them all. But I know just how good their short lives were. If they could they might thank us for that.
Eric.
 

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I'm very sorry for your loss! I'm glad you decided to foster - there are so many dogs in need. Only you can decide when you're ready for another poodle. You can foster one, but I'd choose one that appeals to you to begin with, so it would be easy to become a foster failure! :D Also, I'd pick a dog that does NOT resemble Pella. You don't want to be tempted to compare the two dogs. You need a fresh start with a new dog. Good luck finding your new furbaby!!
 

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You have already been given plenty of great advice. I will say that I space my Standards eight years apart and the older one is plenty young enough to enjoy the new pup. This last time my poor spoo was an only for the first time in his whole life and he was miserable. Within a few months, my daughter's terrier came home to us to recover from Lyme disease, and my new spoo pup arrived; the old spoo is so much happier now. He even went through a stage of acting up like a bratty puppy himself. It was funny because he never really had a bratty puppyhood. Go ahead, get a pup. I would get a different color than your beloved Pella, so you won't be as likely to expect a reincarnation of Pella. Be kind to yourself. We all mourn the loss of our previous poodles, but we, also, find a way to open our hearts to new love.
 

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A gift--and curse--of being human is our hearts can have many doors, yet they can be terribly hard to find and open, by other humans and pets. I'm not sure why.

Your beautiful and precious Pella I'm sure is wishing everything good for you as the days and weeks go by. From my own experience--Oliver is my first Poodle, but not my first dog--I had to change looks and even breeds after my last dog. A big benefit of Poodles is they come in so many colors and sizes that one can switch a lot but stay in the same breed. Very nice :).

I'd just say take your time and realize during grief people are vulnerable, so extra thorough checking of a breeder may make even more sense at this sensitive time.

You have helped your darling *not a Poodle* Matilda so much, and she will benefit for the rest of her life from your loving care. Now may be a good time to start researching and contacting Poodle breeders. Since you are in the Northeast, a trip to Westminster to chat up handlers and breeders might not be out of reason a few months from now :).

I will say I did not fully recover from the loss of my last cat until I adopted my current one, several years after she passed....There were grief, logistic, and health reasons I waited five years, but when Charles came home, my heart quickly found that new door I'd never realized was there. And it was and is a big, *big* door :).
 

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I don't think the grief process is different with different species or breeds. I believe it's the level of relationship you have with your pet.

I had a cockatiel for just under 4 years, she was an amazing little bird. She died expectantly while we were trimming her nails with a new tool. I knew she was afraid of it (would run up my arm if I brought her close to it), but we had it out for her to see it for about 2 months. Glenn held her while I trimmed her nails. I should have done one nail - I did all 4 on one foot, it was too much for her, she died in Glenns hands by my hand. It was awful, I cried for hours, my face hurt.

Glenn insisted I get another bird the next day, I did, I shouldn't have. I couldn't talk about Luna without crying for over a year, I still get choked up, now writing about this. I did get another cockatiel the next day, different color, I wanted a girl, it turned out to be a boy. Boy was he different!

What it comes down to is YOU have to be ready!

I think it's ridiculous to get a different breed altogether! I think it shows honor and is a testament to how much you loved her and what a great part of your life she is.

Write a list of the qualities you want in your next dog. Start interviewing and researching breeders to find out which one breeds for those qualities.

Finally, don't make a decision while in a high emotional state! When emotions go up, intelligence goes down. You are in an emotionally vulnerable state of mind and making decisions that will affect your life may not be good!

For your other pup, maybe you could take him to a class, the dog park or something for him to play with other dogs.
 

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I have found puppies are usually very easy to love, as long as you do not expect too much from them, although it does sound as if your beautiful girl was a particularly easy puppy - add in that one tends to remember a beloved dog as they were as a well socialised, well trained adult, thoroughly adapted to our lives, and forget the peeing, pooping, nipping, harum scarum puppy antics, and it may take an effort to cope with a really mischievous pup! I think you have been so sensible fostering, and helping another dog while testing the waters.

It is not so much transitioning or transferring love - more that love expands to embrace the new dog, if you let it. If you constantly compare the pup to Pella, resenting ways in which she falls short of your ideal and feeling guilty when she exceeds it, both of you will be dissatisfied and unhappy. Celebrate her for what she is, giving thanks in your heart for all that you have learned from Pella and Matilda and the other dogs in your life that help you to raise a puppy into the best dog she can be, feeling a little tearful when she does something reminiscent of Pella and delighted when she shows her own personality by doing something in a completely and utterly personal way, and making the most of every day together. I hope you find the right pup soon!
 

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First, let me say how very sorry I am that you lost your dear Pella. I know how difficult, really awful, that can be.

You have received some wonderful advice from other forum members. This is such a caring forum community. We are lucky to be in their company.

When I lost my dear Rose I thought my heart was broken, maybe forever. But of course it wasn't. I could not even look at another dog, of any kind, for about three months. Then I gradually, and reluctantly began my search. I found a wonderful breeder and made my selection. Told her what personality I wanted, a confidant dog - sort of an "Alpha wanna be type". Confidant, brave, but not too pushy or dominant. I could not see it at first, but as Iris emerged from her puppy stage she became exactly the right dog.

A friend told me, wisely, when we lose a dog, then get another, it is not a replacement. We move the first one over in our heart a little bit to make room for the next one. They are both always there. One in memory and spirit and the new one makes his own place in your heart. You have to always be careful to celebrate the differences and the similarities.

My Rose was a 70 lb blue girl with a loving, but very dominant aplha personality and Iris is a smaller 35 lb spoo with a loving, cheerful alpha wanna be personality. I LOVE Iris' more portable size and she firmly believes she is a lap dog.

My breeder, Ann Rairigh, who is fabulous, currently has a couple of cream/white spoo pups about 6 months old and I am aware of another excellent breeder who has blacks born just at the end of October. . . . Hint, hint, hint. Of course you may not be ready but I just thought I would throw that out there. PM me if you wish to have details.

I wish you luck with whatever decision you make. And hope your heart is on the healing path.

Photo sharing time. While visiting my cousin last year we "lost" Richard and Iris after dinner. We found them like this, together with her asleep in his lap.

Enjoy the picture and I wish you well with your poodle decision. I am sorry the pic is sideways. Don't know why :D

Viking Queen
 

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Wow It's not something I think I am ready to talk about but I lost my toy poodle Baby at 8 years old this past July, it was a freak accident where she ended up paralyzed and I had to euthanize her. She way my first puppy as an adult and how I missed her I couldn't stop crying and I how much I wanted another puppy when I really just wanted my puppy back.

Baby.jpg
Baby

The other dogs grieved the loss of Baby too, my mom's Gracie Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix 9yrs old missed Baby the most, this was her playmate and she kept looking for Baby to come back.

A lot of people would disagree but I got my girl Princess Beatrice less than a week later because she would an excellent addition to the senior dogs in the house with her happy sunny disposition.

A little soon maybe, why couldn't I be happy with the dogs that I already had. Was I trying to replace her all this went through my head before and after I got Beatrice but I wanted and needed a new furry friend.

I've now had Beatrice almost half her life she almost 34 weeks old and has a different personality compared to my dear sweet Baby though she fills those holes Baby left in her own hilarious way and I am so in love with her now.

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Beatrice


As far if you are ready for a new furry friend everyone says you'll know it, I wasn't quite sure of anything except I wanted and needed a puppy so I got Beatrice.

Because no dog can replace Pella, you have to realize that no dog will be like her, she was special but you might meet a new furry friend who will be special to you in their own way.
 

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This may sound trite, but I believe it to be true. There will be a sign. You will know what it is. Only you. Just keep yourself open and listen. Mine was the color I was hoping for and a birthdate shared with DD. If it was wrapped up in a big neon bow it could not have been clearer to me.

What a great bunch of posts here, I kept nodding in agreement to every one.
 

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Most of us on this board have lost one or more beloved dogs in our adult lives. I have owned 6 poodles since I was in my early 20's. I have never had more than two dogs at one time, and most of them lived well into their teens. Part of my way to deal with their unfortunately short lifetimes was to decide that as long as I am physically able to properly care for a dog, there would be a dog in my life.

In 2004 I had a silver mini named Merlin. At 3 years of age in the span of 48 hours he went from healthy to my vet telling me he had died from an auto-immune disease. I was thrown for a loss. I shed many tears as I couldn't imagine how this had happened. At that time I had no other dogs. As the days passed I decided I needed a dog in my life, so I began a search for a new poodle. I was sure this would take many months.

I thought I wanted another mini as that is what I had always had. I drew up a list of breeders close enough for a visit, and started calling them. One of the breeders on my list bred toys, but she showed, health tested the parents, all the good stuff. One February morning I began calling. My first call to a mini breeder would not go through-trouble with the phone lines. I called the toy breeder thinking that maybe she would give me a referral to a good mini breeder. It turned out she had two puppies that would be available in a few weeks-a silver male and a black female. I decided I would go look at the pups. A toy might be fine, if it wasn't too tiny.

I visited, and the puppies looked so small. The breeder gave me an accurate idea of what their adult size would be. I selected the little male, because he was larger, and I was still afraid of too tiny. I am so delighted that Beau has been in my life for almost 10 years. He is such a sweet boy.

I guess what I am trying to say is that when to perfect pup comes into your life, you should not worry about how much time has passed-just enjoy the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you to everyone who has replied to this thread--when I posted it last night I was worried no one would reply! It felt like an awkward subject to put out there, and I wasn't at all sure how people would react to me admitting how much losing Pella has affected me.

Thank you to the people who shared their own stories--I've reread this thread at least 3 times today, and each time it helps. It helped to read that others have felt the loss as keenly as I do...my heart goes out to those of you who lost your Poodle to autoimmune issues and CHF and a freak accident. Pella was hit by a car, with me maybe 100 ft away, so I can relate.

It helped to hear from multiple people that I'll know when the time is right. (Any thoughts on tolerating my lack of a Poodle in the meantime??) Viking Queen thanks for recommending your breeder. :) I think I need a moyen or oversized mini though. fjm, your words really helped. Luce, so did your story about your bird--so sorry you lost her. Streetcar thanks for pointing out that what I learn from Pella and Matilda will serve me well with my next dog, and for pointing out that what I have done for Matilda will serve her well for a long time to come. :) It helped, hearing that.

It really helped hearing from everyone. I am so thankful to this community for being so kind. Now to share the two dogs I am looking at as possible next steps...just in case anyone enjoys "window shopping:"

Sadie:

Sadie




or Grace (who has been saved from NYCACC like Matilda, and will probably be available for adoption some time soon):

https://www.facebook.com/Urgentdeat...2876678058553/905423112803902/?type=3&theater

 

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I got my second a couple months ago in the mind set that if I lost my older one I'd be able to offset the level of grief I'd feel if I wasn't forced to leave the house everyday and I just couldn't imagine not having a dog. But I haven't lost a dog yet so I'm going to put this from a training stand point. No one can ever tell you how long to grieve, when to move on (I don't think it's ever), or how to "deal" with your grief. They can just tell you how they dealt with things.
It's been my experience that some people perpetuate depression in their dogs I whole heartedly believe dogs grieve but it's the owners job to to help them past it which might help them in turn. I can't tell you how many times I've dealt with dogs who were fillers for certain difficulties (abusive relationships, death ect) and the dogs were unstable. I think you should wait until you aren't thinking of the new dog as a replacement. It's so unfair to your new dog to have to come into the house with the expectation of mirroring a dog it has never met. It can make them very anxious.
Just my opinion
 
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