That is why we were selected by friends of ours to take care of their medium sized black dog over the first week of 2015. It is entirely reminiscent of the way that single people are constantly being fixed up by their married friends, and the way that those married folks are hectored about getting busy with procreation by their friends who already with child. Those with one child are encouraged by those with multiple progeny to increase their brood. A year ago, when we first got that dog-shaped hole, our friends were much more anxious than we were to fill it.
"Have you thought about getting a new dog?" They were polite and sensitive to our plight. We weren't sure just how quickly we wanted to try and replace a family member. Our son, who had grown up in a house with his doggie sister, was not enthusiastic about creating a new bond with a new pet sibling just before he left to go and pursue his fame and fortune. He encouraged my wife and me to hold off on any additional adoptions until he had gone away to college. This put an effective stopgap on any discussion that we might have about such things.
That isn't to say we didn't have discussion about such things. There have been plenty of times over the past year when a dog really would have been just the right thing. Cold nights. Lazy afternoons. Sunny days. Come to think of it, there weren't a lot of times over the past year when having a dog around wouldn't have enhanced the situation. It's a pretty great thing to have an unconditional best friend.
So, what's the holdup? The inquiring minds of our friends and neighbors want to know. I wish I knew. It makes so much sense that we have borrowed dogs and taken care of them for days at a time, but we always end up feeling that dog-shaped hole. Maybe that's not completely accurate. It is a very particular shape and a very particular space to fill. We haven't found it yet. We're getting closer. These things take time.