Husband 'Visibly Upset' By Wife's Reaction After Surprising Her With A Puppy When Her 11-Year-Old Dog Died — 'Healing Cannot Be Forced'

There's no right way to grieve.

german shepherd puppy and upset couple Wannes De Mol via Unsplash / maiva via Shutterstock

The loss of a pet is a significant and heartbreaking event in one’s life, and some people may experience grief that is similar to losing a human loved one. Many people also require a lot of time to process their emotions before even thinking about welcoming a new furry friend into the family. 

After one woman lost her dog, her husband was determined to alleviate her grief by surprising her with a new puppy. However, she did not have the reaction that he was anticipating.


The woman explained that she recently lost her 11-year-old German Shepherd. 

Sharing her story to the subreddit, r/TwoHotTakes, the woman revealed that her 11-year-old German Shepard Roxy passed away due to a decline in her health. “Toward the end, I was carrying her from room to room and one morning I woke up to find that she had passed away during her sleep,” she wrote. 

While she expected Roxy to pass away in the near future, the loss was nonetheless devastating. “Even though I knew that she was getting old and eventually she would die, her death hit me extremely hard,” the woman wrote. “I cried for days and depression took over my life.” 


woman holding a dog's collarPhoto: Soloviova Limudmyla / Shutterstock 

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While the woman still went about her day-to-day life, her husband knew how deeply she was hurting. “Only my husband saw my depressive side and he was concerned all the time and tried to cheer me up by using his great sense of humor, one of the best qualities about him,” she shared. 


Her husband also brought over a seven-week-old German Shepard puppy that he obtained from a friend whose dog gave birth to a litter in an attempt to see his wife smile again. The woman admitted that she was filled with “joy” while she was cuddling and playing with the puppy. Still, it did not make the loss of Roxy any easier, and she would still need time before even considering getting another dog to call her own

Unfortunately, the woman’s husband did not pick up this vibe from her. 

In hopes of cheering her up, the woman's husband surprised her with a new German Shepard puppy. 

After returning home from a work trip, the woman walked through the door to discover the same puppy that she played with greeting her with her husband approaching her with a grin on his face. 

“All I could focus on was the puppy and I asked him what was the puppy doing here,” the woman wrote. “He smiled even more and said that he saw how much I loved the puppy so he bought her for $5,600 at a discount from his friend as a present to me.” 


The woman was not nearly as happy about the new puppy as her husband was. “I immediately asked him ‘Why would you do this? You know I'm not over Roxy, but you wanted to bring another puppy like Roxy can just be replaced like that?’ And I went to the bedroom and slammed the door and burst into tears,” she shared. 

After her husband tried to apologize to her, mistaking that she wanted to keep the puppy after initially meeting her, the woman yelled at him to leave her alone and informed him that he should have asked her first before surprising her with the puppy. 

The woman confessed that she did not feel ready to connect with another dog so quickly in the midst of grieving Roxy. “I know that his intentions were good and he wanted me to be happy, but I loved Roxy like she was my daughter,” she wrote.  “I've had her since I was in high school and she's been my rock and support throughout every hardship.” 

While the woman apologized to her husband the following day, telling him that she was still grieving Roxy despite his pure intentions, she claims that he was still “visibly upset” after forgiving her. 


She decided to keep the puppy after feeling guilty that her husband had so much money to make her happy again. 

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Many people believed that neither the woman nor her husband was wrong in the situation, and sympathized with them both. 

Most Redditors pointed out that while the woman’s husband was just trying to help, he went about assisting her through her grief the wrong way. 

“Your husband seems like a great guy. That was very sweet of him, but I think the mistake was getting a puppy that looked like your old dog,” one user commented. 

“Your husband, it seems, was trying his best to be supportive. For some people they need the space between pets, for others, they don’t. I can see how he mistakenly thought you meeting the puppy and bonding with it could be a sign that you needed that constant companionship,” another user pointed out. 


“He should’ve 100% sat you down and have a discussion about it, but at the same time I think he was trying so hard for a win, especially since he’d already introduced you to the puppy.” 

Others shared their own similar stories of navigating grief after losing a pet and determining when the time was right to get another one. 

Some opted to wait a long time before adding a new animal to their family. 

“When my wife lost her dog, it took her a few years to be in the right space for another dog. The one we got was a different breed but looked similar to the dog she lost,” one user revealed. “I knew she was interested in getting a dog but had to keep checking in with her every few months or so to see where she was at.” 

“I lost my dog, Taco, three months ago and still miss him so much. I made it very clear to my very well-meaning family to not even attempt getting me a new fur baby,” another user wrote. 


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However, others say that they got a new pet rather soon and that it helped them heal from the loss of their previous one. 

“My brother always gets a dog after one of his passes. His argument is life is too short to not enjoy the company of a dog,” one user shared. “I love my dogs, but I now agree with him. They’re not replacing your old dog, they’re restoring joy to your home. Each dog is different and remember that as you raise this new puppy.” 


“Bringing another dog into your life is not diminishing your dog's memory or insulting your grief. It is a new dog that needs a home. This dog is not a replacement but another dog that needs our help to live a happy and full life,” another user commented. “I had to put my dog down after a neurological impairment and rescued a new dog the next day. Some thought we were not respecting our dog's memory. I saw it as I knew we would get a new dog and why wait to rescue one?” 

It is important to note that every pet owner grieves and processes their losses differently. One might be ready to welcome another pet and close the gap left in their hearts by having a new animal to love while others may want to take their time to grieve and recover before they get a new pet. There is no right or wrong time when it comes to grieving, nor is there a correct process one should follow while grieving. 

It is clear that both the woman and her husband are coping with the loss of Roxy the dog in different ways. Seeking professional help and talking more about their emotions may help them reach a middle ground. 

In the end, we wish them both a healthy healing journey honoring Roxy while adjusting to life with their new puppy. 


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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.