A good friend of mine recently lost her dog of 11 years - I know they are broken up about it. When I asked if they were going to get another, she said she didn't know, she was not sure if she wanted go through that again. Anyone who's a pet owner knows the heartbreak of losing them. I think pets have become more like children - we no longer live on farms, anyone with more than two or three children is a rarity these days, we work longer hours and we work, families no longer occupy one town, they're spread far and wide. So no more family dinners, no block parties, aside from work our social lives have become pretty limited. But the dog - there's a friendly face at the end of the day, raring to go on the weekends, will attend all dinners and watch any program you want. As society has changed, so has their role, their rights are more protected - they truly are family. But they are not people, their lives are longer, but so are ours. Being indoors, not being exposed to parasites, good food and vet care have all extended their lifespan and still, 15 is long, but 12 is realistic. David and I have a slew of dogs throughout the years, some have been adopted as adults, some owned simultaneously, one that ran off repeatedly as we had too much going on and she was super hyper(and no we didn't bother rescuing her, we saw her in a car with someone a couple of weeks later, happy as a clam tail wagging. We left well enough alone). But we always have a dog. I know quite a few people that say they don't want another one - but me, I get a new one as soon as I can. Heartless? Uncaring? Quite the opposite. When Pearl died I think everyone who knows me knew how heartbroken I was - she was the cream of the crop. My constant companion, hiking buddy and sofa buddy. But not a month later we were looking and two months later Molly entered our lives. She is not a replacement for Pearl. She is not Pearl and nor would I want her to be. But the hole left by Pearl has been very nicely filled by Molly, for both us an Reuben the Wonder dog. It's a two way street - Molly benefits by Pearl too, all the love and attention, the car rides and walks that Pearl got, goes to Molly now. It gave us the patience and drive to make Molly a part of our family. We did not forget Pearl, but life goes on and when one pet leaves it gives another one a chance to share that happy home, to have someone to care about them, a playmate. So maybe a pet passing is a heartbreak, but adopting a new one, especially one that needs you - that is the heart mend.