How to Cope With Rehoming Your Dog

Do you feel guilty after giving your dog away or “rehoming” him or her? Here’s how to cope – it’s a letter my dog wrote to her previous owner (with a little help from me!). This letter might help you see that rehoming your dog was the best decision.

rehoming a dog

My dog Tiffy, posing for “How to Cope With Rehoming Your Dog”

One of my most popular articles about dogs is How to Decide if You Should Give Your Dog Away. I wrote it because I had to rehome a dog. Since then, I adopted two new dogs: Tiffy (the wee white one in the picture) and Georgie (a the black and white terrier you’ll see all over The Dog Blog).

Last night, the person who gave Tiffy to me emailed to say thank you for adopting her. She had to rehome Tiffy because she just couldn’t take care of her anymore. I am so grateful she gave her dog away!

After rehoming a dog, you have to believe that the next home will be the right place for him or her. Otherwise, you’ll just keep spinning your wheels in the thick muck of guilt.

How to Cope After Rehoming a Dog

If you’re struggling with the decision to rehome a dog – or if you’re sad and don’t know how to cope with the guilt after rehoming a dog – read this letter. Tiffy wrote it to her previous owners: M the mom, and C the daughter. Both are very sad after giving Tiffy away, and need to know how she is doing.

If reading this letter doesn’t ease your guilt after rehoming your dog, I encourage you to write your own letter to your dog in the comments section below. This might help ease the pain for you.

Dear M and C,

I miss you, but I am very happy and glad to be in my new home! I get lots of love and attention here. My new Mama and Papa don’t have human kids to take care of, so I get all their attention. I have a Big Sister called Georgie, who is a dog like me. She’s bigger, but not nearly as smart as me. But she is showing me how to run and jump and play.

You should see me now – I’m so fast, racing through the forest like a speeding bullet! I run and sniff and get to follow all sorts of exciting new paths that take me on fun adventures. I chase squirrels and raccoons and birds – but they’re too fast for me. I don’t care, I just am so happy to run around after them. I feel big and brave in my new home, and when I bark I am even bigger and braver!

I’ve met all my Big Sister’s friends – she has so many friends, and they all fell in love with me as soon as they saw me. They’re called Nico, Shore, Benji, Hunter, Ivy, Bumpy, Senna, Kyla, Ruff, Diablo, and Smokey. See how many new friends I have? They think I’m cute, and the big ones finally stopped stepping on me (it took them awhile to remember how itty bitty I am).

coping with rehoming a dog

George and Tiffy

My Big Sister Georgie taught me how to work the thing called “Kong” that gives us yummy treats. Did you know I get homemade chicken soup every day, for breakfast and dinner? And most nights I watch Papa Bear cook steaks or chicken or pork chops on the bbq. Sometimes he drops pieces of meat, and they are more delicious than anything I ever tasted.  Mama Bear always makes sure I have real chicken and crunchy bits to eat with my chicken soup meals. I love it so much, I lick the bowl clean every meal! Sometimes I chew on soup bones, because Mama and Papa say it’s good for my teeth. I don’t know anything about that – I just love the way the bones taste!

Even though I am very happy in my new home, I remember you in my dreams. I have a special place in my heart for you, and when I dream of where I was before I came here, I remember how good it felt to be held and hugged and kissed by you. You will always be in my heart and soul, and I will always love you.



One last tip on how to cope with rehoming a dog:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs.

I hope this letter helps you cope with rehoming your dog, and welcome your thoughts on rehoming a dog below. I can’t offer you advice on rehoming your dog, but I have had to give a dog away and I’ve adopted two dogs, so I understand how you feel.

Your comments are welcome below, on how to cope with rehoming a dog. Woof.

We share ideas to encourage women over 40 to make positive changes and Blossom in a new season of life!

1 comments On How to Cope With Rehoming Your Dog

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    July 1, my chihuahua mix, Peppe, with whom I’ve lived and trained for nearly 7 years, was bitten by what is presumed a copperhead. I took her to my vet practice where I’ve been a client for 15 years. For Friday’s bill: $981; since it was the Fourth of July weekend, she had to be taken at the emergency pet hospital over the weekend, estimated at $400-$500/day. Due to loss of business income during the pandemic, which still hasn’t returned to anything near normal, I couldn’t pay. I was sobbing–not myself. My mortgage is in loss mitigation and my elderly husband in later stages of Altzheimer’s. I told the new female vet, whom I didn’t know, all these details including that he had had me up much of the prior two nights–I was exhausted. She said treatment might not work, which I replied I’d want Pep put down and not suffer. She thought I wanted to euthanize my dog. Wrong context. She brought out a paper stating that I chose surrendering Pep instead of paying or euthanasia. I couldn’t even read the paper. I looked at Pep and her dyes were bulging, neck and muzzle swollen, and she had the most pitiful look on her face I’d ever seen. I thought she was dying before my eyes. I surrendered her b/c all I could think about was treatment had to start immediately. I had no idea I’d lose all rights to her and never see or hear about her again. I had to threaten a lawsuit to find out she’s okay and with a family and doing well. That young female vet has not said a word to me, and it has nearly destroyed me. I miss Pepper beyond words and I feel guilty that I left her behind. I had the money to pay for her by the next day–and I found out she was discharged from the emergency hospital July 2, so the bill was far overestimated, which started this entire tragedy. I cannot speak of her without crying, which is embarrassing; I’ve avoided neighbors to keep from looking like such a fool. I’ve had to hire a counselor to help me through this nightmare. I’ve offered time and again to pay the family who has her so they can buy another dog and let Pep come home. Worrell, the practice owner, won’t help me. Twelve days after I asked for a call from him July 13, he said he’d ask his female vet Tonkin if Pep could be safely removed from the home where she’d been adopted. At the point when I first asked for her return, July 5, this whole thing could have been turned around. But Tonkin refused. I cannot turn back the clock, but I’ll never forgive myself for being led into signing away my rights to Pep. I am so sorry. So so so sorry. I need her comfort and the love and security she offered me so generously.

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