That was the answer Abe gave me when I asked him why he didn’t want a new dog when I offered him a puppy months ago. He said that he wasn’t ready yet for a new furry friend after the loss of his beloved James. “It’s like falling in love again,” he said. You need time to get over the love you’ve just lost.

He was right. You do need some time to get over the one you’ve lost. It wouldn’t be fair to your “new love.” But, “getting over” doesn’t mean you’ll have to forget.

Shantee with Sheero’s framed photo

It took Abe months before he accepted a new puppy from us. It took me less than that—just about a week.

Marc got me Shantee, an Imperial Shih Tzu puppy, almost the day after Sheero passed away. I think he grew quite concerned about me—I’ve been doing nothing but cry all day. Or maybe he wanted me to have a new furry baby who can make me happy, and even lift the pain of losing Sheero a bit. Whatever his intentions may be, I know it was for the good of me.

I’ve honestly felt somewhat guilty having Shantee. Aside from the fact that she cost us an arm and a leg (her breed is expensive), I felt that I was being “disloyal” to Sheero’s memory. Sounds crazy? Well, if you knew my dog, you’d know how uberly possessive Sheero was 😛

It wasn’t until my mom’s friend, Tita Angge, came over did I lose those guilty feelings. She was like me, a dog-lover. Somehow, telling me about her grief of losing her furry best friend of 20 years made me feel better. She understood my pain.

I never said anything about it, but Tita Angge knew that I was feeling guilty caring for Shantee. She told me I shouldn’t. Sheero may have been a jealous dog, but she wouldn’t have wanted me to mope around for her—she would have wanted me to be happy. Besides, Shantee needed me now, and I should care for her. I don’t need to compare my caring for her with that of Sheero’s. Sheero will always be special—I will always love and remember her. But that doesn’t mean I can’t love another dog again 🙂

Shantee has made our house a home again, in her own, different way.

There are many things I learned the past few weeks, and it’s quite surprising that I learned these things through my dogs. Funny, actually. I’ve learned new things about friendship, grief, new life, love… All because of a white and furry little dog angel waiting for me at heavens’ gates.