Jane: I’m afraid of losing my dog. How do I get rid of this fear?

Dear Paws to Talk,

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to have a dog. At the age of 11, my parents agreed our family could get one. We loaded into the car, drove two hours and met our new dog, Pumpkin.

I spent my free time loving and playing with Pumpkin. That dog was my best friend.

Sadly, Pumpkin died of cancer when I was in college. That experience was completely devastating.

It has been several years since Pumpkin passed away. Recently, I adopted a dog of my own named Buddy. He is the first dog in my life since Pumpkin. Buddy already has a hold of my heart. I love him so much but am afraid of losing him.

Obviously, all of us don’t live forever but the fear of losing another animal close to me is really bothersome. How do I let go of this awful feeling?

-Jane the Human

Howl Jane,

Sometimes life can be like a box of treats gone stale. We hate when that happens. Spitting out a treat goes against every fiber of our being.

We wish whoever decides life and death would forget the death part. However, that doesn’t seem possible.

It must have been so sad to lose Pumpkin. You probably felt like curling up in a ball, clutching his favorite toy in your mouth and crying. It is important to allow yourself to feel upset.

Although, no matter what happened in the past, it is no good to constantly be afraid. By worrying about losing Buddy you are missing the fun stuff. Sure you may regularly play fetch with your new canine love but it is a flawed game because your mind is distracted by fear.

This may be difficult but you have to let go of the pain from losing Pumpkin. Perhaps, you can write down why you are so sad after all these years? If you still have Pumpkin’s toys maybe you should get rid of them or store them somewhere far away? This way you won’t be constantly reminded of your loss.

As you said, we don’t live forever. All the more reason to sink your teeth into the present (or a juicy bone).

It is okay to turn blue once in a while but just make sure your coat returns to its normal color sooner than later.


Bella and DiDi
















© Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

22 thoughts on “Jane: I’m afraid of losing my dog. How do I get rid of this fear?

  1. We all have the fear of losing our loved ones. I so relate to Jane! I remember how I was afraid of losing my rabbit, especially when I first got her. I finally overcame this fear once it sank into me that as long as I love her, take care of her, and all the while living in the present moment — everything will be alright. 🙂

  2. Don’t worry about the future, I know it’s hard, smile because you have Buddy with you in body and Pumpkin with you in your heart. Loving a dog is really special so don’t spoil it with fear.

  3. My Mom and Dad do still miss my ‘before me’ siblings, both cats and dogs…but they also remember them with great joy. They still say, after 35 years of marriage, tha in the toughest time in their marriage, their Sibe kids kept them together! And yes, they also had cat kids too…but none the less…their aniFamily kept them able to hang together through that tough time. We Rock! savannah

  4. It is very hard to lose a loved one…it’s even harder to always remember the pain of losing that loved one instead of the love and joy we shared. You’re so smart DiDi and Bella! xoxoM

  5. I can totally empathize, as well. Bailey is my FIRST dog, and, for the first year or so, I was so terribly afraid of losing him, as I love him so much. I think, because I’ve never had an animal, I was so surprised how attached to him I became. We have to just enjoy them while they’re here, and I know that I do, so I try to not think too hard on the (hopefully distant) future….

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