Dog Adoption…When you Lose a Dog…When are you Ready to Adopt again?


Dog Adoption...When are you ready to adopt again?Dog Adoption. This is a very touchy topic.  I am living it right now.  It’s not fun.  We lost our 17 ½ year old Chloe almost 2 months ago.  She was in 24 hour emergency care for a week before we lost her, so we have had a “quiet house” for a full 2 months now.  We had to place her in emergency care to try to stabilize her elevating kidney values, and because the Blizzard of 2013 was about to hit us; our vet feared, and was very honest with us, that they would not be able to be open and provide her the care she would need to try to have a chance to make it.

We all did our best, especially Chloe; a trouper to the end.  She tried to rally, and there was a bright day when she was better, but age won out in the end.  I remember calling in to check on her and hearing a dog barking in the background, “Is that Chloe?!”  My husband said my face lit up like a Christmas tree.  It was music to my ears…but I never heard it again.  She went downhill from there and started having seizures even though the kidney values were normalized.  A brain tumor was suspected.  We did everything we could, and so did she.  In the end, we had to make the hard decision to let her go.  Her quality of life was gone.

We light a candle for her several times a day, and she is always on our minds and in our hearts.

My husband and I differ greatly on how to proceed.  He is not ready to adopt again. (he wasn’t ready when I brought Chloe home from the shelter 13 years ago…)”don’t you dare bring that dog home…”  yeah, right…   Best thing I ever did.

Yesterday, I had had enough of being in my office and headed down to Buddy Dog to drop off some things people had donated.  I always arrive at my desk to find dog toys, blankets, etc. left by my coworkers for my Buddy Dog friends.

I hadn’t been able to go to the shelter since Chloe died, and when I went in, the staff, whom I count as friends said how sorry they were I had lost my girl.  I couldn’t talk about it, except with Marie, who is the vet tech.  Don’t know why, but I was able to tell her what happened.    Marie has a quiet sadness about her that speaks to the plight of the animals.  I picked up and held her little rescue, Lila.  Sweetie.  Talked to Marie about the 10 year old dog there with Lila who had been surrendered to Buddy Dog.  She had never been taken to the vet and now has a serious heart condition.  Her prognosis is not good.  People really can be so disappointing.

I decided to stroll through the shelter and fell in love.  She had just come in that morning.  Why did I go to the shelter?  Just like when I found Chloe…

They named her “Tootie”, and she came in as a stray from animal control.  I bonded with her…she looked like a shrunken version of Chloe.  Smart…did the nose thing rooting and lifting up your hand

I took her out for walkies and then sat on the curb at the front of the building enjoying her and feeling the warmth of the sun.  She jumped up and licked my face relentlessly.  I laughed and was happy without effort.  First time in more than 2 months… dogs are part of who I am…

I can’t stop thinking about her.   I don’t feel I’m ready to adopt another dog.  I’m so tired, and still mourning Chloe.  The last month or two with her  was exhausting.

On the other hand, I can’t stand life without a dog.  It’s in my dna.  Part of who I am.  Not just a pet. Part of me…

What to do…I long to see that little dog again and feel her little/big presence.  I need to have a dog in my life…

To You Dog’s Good Health!

Cheryl Major

Chloe at 17



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About Cheryl Major

Cheryl Major has been a volunteer at The Buddy Dog Humane Society in Massachusetts for 14 years, and has been on their Board of Trustees since 2008. Her blog,, is a labor of love. She has also been involved in passing animal protection legislation at the city and state levels and was a regular guest on New England Cable News (NECN) for their "Adopt a Pet Segment". This blog is dedicated to the joys and challenges of dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages with whom we share our lives.

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