For many people, and I certainly know for me, dogs are a big, irreplaceable part of their lives. I didn’t grow up with dogs, but now I can’t imagine my life without my furry friend.

But with their short life-span, dogs rarely outlive their owners. So, more often than not, the people grieve these precious members of their families.

The first time the owner has to even think of a monetary value of their friendship is the moment of bringing the loved animal to a vet. It’s not as bad with shots or hot-spots. It can become an issue when the problem is more serious. In a case of a bad trauma, cancer, or with a possibility of any extended surgery, we are faced with vet asking: how much money are you willing to spend? The first reaction is usually shock and anger. We feel insulted and the only acceptable answer seems to be “No monetary restrictions for my dog!” Then the reality checks in.

The truth is one can spend any kind of money to treat their dogs, widely accepted as our best friends. Virtually any kind of therapy approved, and even not, for humans, can be also used to teat dogs. So from a certain point, depending on the diagnosis, attachment to the animal and particular sensitivity of the owner, the inner question pops up: how much longer? The reality checks in and one has to balance between one’s conscience and his checkbook.

But, let say the worst comes true, and the beloved animal dies. The grieving ensues, sometimes only comparable to losing a child. And I’m not exaggerating. I’ve seen the people, and I’ve read the Facebook posts.

Probably the worst recommendation for a family which just lost their child is to get pregnant again. Nothing is going to replace the baby and thinking of “replacement” accounts for a sacrilege.

But some people are more inclined to get another dog sometimes soon after losing the previous one. They don’t get him to replace the old one. They adopt him to the family to fill the void in their lives after losing the predecessor.