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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, I'm looking for some advice I am new and have never posted here before but thought it might be a good place to start.
We lost our Labrador two months ago to cancer. One afternoon he lost control of his hind legs and we knew it wasn't a normal limp but never did I suspect he had cancer, even when the vet said it could be I didn't think it would be there were no signs of illness or lumps he was completely normal so I didn't read into too much thinking surley we'd know.
We took him to the vets who then referred us to the Davies Specialist centre as soon as we got the call my world just fell apart.
The prognosis wasn't good the specialist had said treatment wouldn't change anything as he had a tumour in his chest that had now invaded his spine, we had just over free weeks from diagnosis until we had to say goodbye. I know we are really lucky we got to say goodbye and spend everyday with him and I am so grateful for that but it still really hurts. I just don't feel like myself anymore since this happened. I know eight weeks isn't really long but it feels like a lifetime without him. I feel like I have been grieving for so long, I was grieving for him before he went because I knew what was coming and I've felt sad since.
He was only seven we lost him a month before his 8th birthday.

I thought I was prepared for what would come it really knocked me, everything had changed so quickly and for a long while I think I was still in shock and it would hit me in waves.
I have been thinking of fostering for a lab rescue a friend or mine has recommended Labrador Action Group as they have fostered for them.
It's something I have been thinking about for a while, I just didn't want to jump straight in without thinking it through properly & wanted to be certain.

I just wondered if anyone else had fostered and what experience they have had?
Also I have questions spinning around my head, am I ready for another dog in the house, is it really for us.
I know any dog that comes into our home would be treated like our own but how do you stop yourself getting attached? How did you know after you've lost your dog you are ready to let another in?
I work part-time in a school I'm gone for two hours so I have the time.
Since I lost my lab nothing feels the same the house just feels soulless and empty without him. I hate waking up in the morning without him and just feel crap. I know whatever dog we may end up with will have their own personality and quirks and I feel like we could offer a loving home and put the time in.

We have discussed getting another lab and I know in time we will possibly next year. I will register with lab rescues our boy was from Many Tears.

I think rescues may not have many dogs coming through because of covid and people wanting puppies. In the future I would like a puppy to build that bond & start from the beginning. I'm aware rescues may not get so many coming through so I am thinking of looking at breeder's & educating myself on this side of things in the meantime. I'm also aware some breeder's have really long waiting lists too so I need to be certain.
Our boy was a puppy when we got him and I know in my heart I want that love and that bond again its just a matter of when it's right.

Sorry its a long one I just wanted some advice from people who may have gone through similar or any experience in terms of fostering. Thanks for reading.
 

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Sorry to hear of your loss. It's so hard. How we cope with it is very personal. Some people want another as soon as possible, others cant face another for a while. (I wont label it "Grieving Time" because we are still grieving whether we get another quickly or not) I'm one who likes to get another very soon. But the new pup does not replace the old one. The pup claims it's own place in your heart.

Fostering. Something I've no experience of. For my part I think I would hate having to give the dog back, and the longer I had it for the greater the wrench. But thats just me. By the same token I would not want to puppy walk guide dogs or hearing dogs, but I know people who do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, I appreciate your honesty.

You're totally right I don't think getting another dog stops the hurt of losing your previous dog or the experience you have had its a horrible feeling inside. I feel the reason I want another dog is to experience that love and the bond you make and this is only known because of the dog before had such an impact on your life.

I am trying to remember all of the lovely years he gave us and how privileged we were to feel such love.

That's exactly what my partner has said regarding fostering, is how we will all feel when we have to say goodbye, I guess that's a tough question to answer and will need alot of thought to make sure its the right decision.
Our dogs really do bring so much joy to us and make life fuller that's for certain.
Thank you for taking the time read and reply.
 

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There’s plenty of failed fosterers out there, it’s an opportunity for you and whatever dog you foster.
 

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My best boy ever, Jordi, gone 😪. Ace, 11 year old black Labrador and Bailey 19 month yellow Labrador
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I lost my 14 year old chocolate, Jordi, 2 years ago and feel like I’m still grieving for him. I also have a black lad called Ace so that helped a tiny bit with the loss. We got another puppy 6 months later who I also love to bits although he is completely different personality. Ace is now 11 and has helped introduce Bailey into the way of things. Ace is a rescue dog from Dogs Trust and I can’t imagine ever having to give him back if it was fostering. I know everyone is different but to me losing one of my boys for any reason isn’t something I could do. I do know people who do it for guide dogs but they have a different mentality to me so I’m with John on this one. I hope you reach your own positive decision and to fill that huge gap in your heart.
 

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I lost my 14 1/2 old bear last year and it absolutely broke me for a while, I still miss her every day even though it's been a year and a half. I still have her half sister who has made it to the grand old age of 15, and is only really now showing signs of slowing down a bit, I've had to start her on some OA drugs but she's still jumping over the back of the sofa to get to the front door quicker to go for a pee break. I have four more as well in total at the minute, so lots of dogs but none of them are ever the same or fill the same place in your heart.

As for looking for another puppy, I would suggest you start looking very soon, as there is a shortage of nicely bred litters from fully health tested parents out there. Unfortunately the recent pandemic has pushed puppy prices through the roof as well, which has meant everyone has been bunging two dogs together to profiteer from the situation sadly. I know of a few people who had been on waiting lists who were dumped unceremoniously off them so the breeders could then find more puppy buyers and charge more for the pups. It is getting harder and harder to sort the good breeders from those who are just churning out pups for the sake of it, and coming out with excuses for health tests not being in place etc. So I would start your search sooner rather than later as there is such a high demand as soon as a nicely bred litter is found out about.

As has already been said, fostering isn't for everyone, I couldn't do it, I'd want to offer a permanent home for a dog not just a temporary one. However, if you are looking to try fostering, Foxhound Welfare UK are always looking for good foster homes, a very small and little known rescue, but they are fabulous characters. I have a hound from them and she fits in with my retrievers perfectly, and she is such a funny character, although a bit of a food thief!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Its crazy but its been two months without our dog and in time thats not really long but it really feels like we had him a lifetime ago. I can totally understand even years later you'll still miss them and they still very much have a place in your heart.

It's absolutely deverstating when we loose our dogs It's hard to hold onto the times & years they gave you when you're grieving it never seems to be enough. They go through so much with you and they're for the good and the not so good times and they certainly pull you through and make life feel so much more meaningful.

I know exactly what you mean that is the hard part, I'm not sure if I'll be unable to not get attached I guess only I can answer that one.

I can relate to feeling that broken too, It really hits you hard they are your family and the loss is deverstating.
15 is an impressive age! I imagine it's lovely to have her to carry on after your loss a little piece there still.

I have been thinking more about the future and I want that all consuming love and to have that experience of a dog growing with you.

I feel l have actually learnt quite a lot from this site. As ours was a rescue we never delved into the world of breeding or health tests at least now I feel I know, should I go down that route what I need to look for in a breeder. I'm going to use this time to research properly.
I had a brief look at Champdogs as a starting point to see what I was looking at in terms of test etc., you can find a breeder look at the dogs and then find ones who have elbows and hips scored and then find the sire may have had the BVA eye test click on the dam and she hasn't had her eye test or the other way around it certainly seems quite common.
It seems you really have to do your research to make sure everything important is covered its a minefield.

I'm sure I'll get there in the end. That's the other thing it seems some breeder's will have waiting lists and some liters already spoken for that you need to get in there and put your name forward to find a really good breeder so potentially we could be waiting a long time.
I'm guessing you could be sat on a waiting list for a long time.

Thank you for all your advice and taking the time to reply, I think this site is brilliant and will definitely be useful going forward whichever way that might be.
 

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My best boy ever, Jordi, gone 😪. Ace, 11 year old black Labrador and Bailey 19 month yellow Labrador
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Good luck🤞. I found my puppy on Champdogs, a breeder in Durham and you’re right, do the research. As John said, there are a lot of unscrupulous breeders out to make a quick buck in these trying times. The Kennel Club site was also useful to me. Also this is a brilliant site for all things Labrador 🐕.
 

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Its crazy but its been two months without our dog and in time thats not really long but it really feels like we had him a lifetime ago. I can totally understand even years later you'll still miss them and they still very much have a place in your heart.

It's absolutely deverstating when we loose our dogs It's hard to hold onto the times & years they gave you when you're grieving it never seems to be enough. They go through so much with you and they're for the good and the not so good times and they certainly pull you through and make life feel so much more meaningful.

I know exactly what you mean that is the hard part, I'm not sure if I'll be unable to not get attached I guess only I can answer that one.

I can relate to feeling that broken too, It really hits you hard they are your family and the loss is deverstating.
15 is an impressive age! I imagine it's lovely to have her to carry on after your loss a little piece there still.

I have been thinking more about the future and I want that all consuming love and to have that experience of a dog growing with you.

I feel l have actually learnt quite a lot from this site. As ours was a rescue we never delved into the world of breeding or health tests at least now I feel I know, should I go down that route what I need to look for in a breeder. I'm going to use this time to research properly.
I had a brief look at Champdogs as a starting point to see what I was looking at in terms of test etc., you can find a breeder look at the dogs and then find ones who have elbows and hips scored and then find the sire may have had the BVA eye test click on the dam and she hasn't had her eye test or the other way around it certainly seems quite common.
It seems you really have to do your research to make sure everything important is covered its a minefield.

I'm sure I'll get there in the end. That's the other thing it seems some breeder's will have waiting lists and some liters already spoken for that you need to get in there and put your name forward to find a really good breeder so potentially we could be waiting a long time.
I'm guessing you could be sat on a waiting list for a long time.

Thank you for all your advice and taking the time to reply, I think this site is brilliant and will definitely be useful going forward whichever way that might be.
I am incredibly blessed to have Tau still going well at 15, some days are better than others for her, some days she jumps over the back of the sofa as a short cut to get to the front door, so I can't complain. I know I can't have her forever, but I am so very lucky to have had her for such a good while, a lot of owners aren't quite that lucky.

I am bringing home (hopefully) a new pup at the end of October, which will be a Great Granddaughter of my old girl, and am very much looking forward to the new addition. The breeder has been inundated with enquiries and hasn't advertised anywhere except word of mouth.

You do need to look at adverts carefully, a lot of the ones on Champdogs give the estimated breeding value (EBV) instead of the hip score or elbow grade, which it is no way a substitute for the actual health test, it is just a statistical probability. There is no excuse now not to have current clear eye certs, I know of several breeders who have had these done recently (including the breeder of my new pup), and the same goes for the DNA tests. There are a few companies that offer bundles that cover everything for Labradors, both recommended, and not. What is always a good idea is to look at the sort of stud dog you like, contact the owners, and ask if they would mind passing your details on to the owners of any suitable visiting bitches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Sadly there does seem to be some dodgy people out there. A neighbour who has a lab bitch had asked me earliet this years if my lab been done - I knew exactly what she was going suggest she wasn't interested once she knew he was done. She isn't a breeder but the type that would throw her dog with any other having no knowledge whatsoever.

The site is brilliant, so informative and people generally seem so friendly and helpful. I think I need to look at membership too as it seems quite worthwhile.

I think that's brilliant, but I guess also seeing the signs of age it just seems to creep up so quickly and you wonder where the time has gone. Regardless of age we're never ready to say goodbye we don't have them for as long as we'd like & it still hurts like hell.

Oh thats lovely October will be a very exciting and busy time for you. Its so nice that you'll have that link too. I can imagine most breeder's right now are getting so many enquiries that's definitely something if they don't have to even advertise. Thank you for pointing that out about the EBV I will go back through and take a look just to see - I'm making notes, so that's really helpful 😊
 

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My best boy ever, Jordi, gone 😪. Ace, 11 year old black Labrador and Bailey 19 month yellow Labrador
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Lovely looking dog, looks like an older version of my Bailey.
Tarimoor, good luck with the new pup.
 
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