When my husband and I suddenly and unexpectedly lost our senior dachshund Kodak, our home was painfully quiet. We grieved the loss immensely and quickly sought to fill our sadness with a new dog, a dachshund puppy from a quality breeder we named Redwood.
We quickly came to realize there was and is no “normal” way to decide to bring a new dog home. We had guilt about it being too soon, and deep sadness at the thought of waiting the alternative months, (years?) without a dog in order to match a made up propriety timeline we weren't sure existed and even if it did, didn't feel applicable to us.
When Redwood came to live with us we were still both a little numb from losing Kodak, but the joy and work involved in taking care of a new puppy quickly filled our days and steadily filled our hearts. Now, months later, we know this was the right decision for us and the guilt is gone. There is room in our lives for both the memory of dogs we have loved before and room to love the dog in front of us.
In my many years, I too have had these feelings after losing beloved pets, members of our family. I think in your heart you always know the right time.