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Preparations to re-home a new 3-yr old Irishman has stirred up feelings for my beloved Dudley, deceased for 8 months now. The 2 Irish are very different in appearance and temperament. Still I sometimes slip and call him Dudley. Do other owners (especially 'single dog ones) experience a similar problem?

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I know this feeling oh so well,

We lost two old dogs last summer ( a very sad time) and now have two youngsters.


But Riley our 8month old Irish is always getting called Penny its not only me my husband also does it as well.

I like to think she is telling us she is still around.

They are also very different even different sex but that dont stop a slip of the tongue.....

Thanks for responding. And for offering reassurance I'm not crazy. My friends make the same slip and then feel horrible for saying dear Dudley's name by mistake. But it is good to remember Dudley. He was so loyal, affectionate and regally beautiful (even at 14!). He'll forever be my 'Fur Child." I'd  like to believe that Dudley is still with me in some way....some where. And I look forward to giving my new 'boy' --from the big kennel ---the  'spa lifestyle' and 'showering of love' Dudley received. It's great fun to spoil a single guy!

Those feelings we have for our Old Gentlemen Irish ( or any dog we have had the honor of having in our life) always are with us.  I know for me each of my Irish and my Pebbles (Brittany) shared a part of my journey in life...and in some way the part of the journey they shared belongs to them as they enhanced the moments by sharing it with us.  I always feel that after grieving the loss of my beloved Irish that sharing my life and home with another dog is a tribute to all the dogs....Irish or otherwise who have shown us such joy and devotion.  My last two old gentlemen I still miss terribly but our Molly has truly healed our hearts with all the love and joy she has brought into our home.

   Don't laugh at this one but all but one of my Irish lads had the same name....Shilo.  No matter what name I would call them everyone else would call them Shilo......so all the Shilo's got middle names also so when we talk about them we know which one it was!!  Shannon for some reason I must of fought harder to keep his name for some reason.....perhaps because we did not have our girls when he came home.  I found that with Molly it was easier as she is our first Irish lass....few tried the Shilo but as at that time we always called her Miss Molly perhaps that helped remind them that she was not one of my Shilo's.  I did find myself calling her Shilo...usually late at night or when I was busy doing something else but now she is just Molly.   I think as you get to know your new Irish....and their quirks and habits you will find some things so much the same but then there will be that one little quirk that establishes his personality .....and soon you will not call him Dudley so often. 

  I hope your new Irish will soon fill your home with lots of love and fun.  Will look forward to hearing how things go for you.

What lovely responses, ALL! 

This comment is pure poetry:  "I know for me each of my Irish...... shared a part of my journey in life...and in some way the part of the journey they shared belongs to them as they enhanced the moments by sharing it with us."

So true for me and Dudley. He was my cancer care companion dog. He came to me as a rescue shortly before my cancer diagnosis and stayed around until I was healed. I took his picture into surgeries and into the hospital. Just looking at a pix of his sweet face lowered my BP in treatment. When I came home my husband put a big pink paper heart around his neck. Tho' Dudley was thrilled to see me he was calm. Never jumped or clawed at my stitches. Just kissed my hand. Curled up with me on bed and sofa. Kept me company during long months of healing between surgeries.

Dudley suffered from arthritis already when I met him at 11 yrs. But his  back really started to go by 12 yrs. So I gave him the best of Western & Eastern medicine. Though hobbling on 3 legs he delighted in being alive. He relaxed with massage, acupuncture and stayed strong on hydrotherapy and lots of love. He went everywhere with me in the car except on hot days. Was welcomed in neighborhood shops. Strangers seeing us together commented on our strong bond and 'obsessive' love.

My friends said that Dudley only made it to 14.3 yrs because he knew I needed him around for emotional support. He only left me after I returned to regular activities. I am so grateful for the healing role Dudley played in my cancer journey.  So in his honor I will train my next Irish to be a companion care dog and visit the same oncology wards where I was once a patient.

This brought tears to my eyes....how truly special Dudley was for you.....and I know your new Irish will spread love and joy just as Dudley did and how wonderful the plans you have for him.  Will truly look forward to your new journey with your Irish Lad......but also hope we see and hear about  those typical Irish Setter antic's that seem to be part of all our Irish.  I do believe that Dudley is rooting for this new Irish Setter coming into your life as he knew all the love and care the two of you shared so he knew how much you have to give to another Irish and to the people around you.  Just remember that Dudley is part of who you are now.....and you will carry that with you no matter where you go. 

Lovely reply Debbie.

Oh my goodness.  This is still so very close to my heart.  I know how you feel about Dudley.  He was amazing & such a very special & wonderful boy.  A very special part of your family. 


We lost our beloved English girl October 2010 & to tell you the truth, I am still not coping.  I have my Irish girl Tess & she is & always was, my special girl who I love more than anything in the whole world.  We waited until Jan. this year, to add another pup to our family & we got Grace, an 8 week old, very gorgeous, English Setter pup.  Tess didn't like her at all. In fact, it has taken almost 6 weeks for her to warm to Grace.  Thankfully they are much better now & we will get there, but our lives have certainly changed. 


To love another, like our previous babies, is hard.  Sometimes it happens instantly, & sometimes, it takes time.  For us, loving our newest baby addition was hard & took time.  She was so beautiful & sooooo cute.  How could you not love her instantly?????  BUT, my priority was my 10 year old Irish girl who seeminly did not like our new baby.  I even considered after day 10 of returning her to her breeder but could not do it.  She very slowly, made her way into my heart. 


You will get there.  You will love your new addition as we love ours.  I wish you the very best of luck.  Please keep us informed on how things are going.  These Setters have a way of making our lives complete,  & worming their way into our hearts. 

I think that when you take a new setter in your life , it is keeping your past one's a live..

You compare alway's your dog's , so you think about them every day..sometime's with a smile sometime's with a tear...

I coddle these memories...



No but I sometimes confuse the names of my current boyfriend with a previous partner (ouch!)....   ;)


Sorry didn't mean to be flippant but it just sprang to mind. I do think what you are experiencing is quite normal though.

I am familiar with that, it never happened with my current setter but it happened when I took my neighbours dog out for a walk.

I would tend to think that it does happen especially when the present dog is doing the same thing, having the same specific behaviour, so consequently when we think of the one we have lost we tend to call his/her name. As pet owner, and having only one at the time, the relationship could be very intense, and our departed beloved ones are always in our mind ... and so present !!! even years after.

I do like to have one dog at the time, but hubby prefers to have two, so confusing names does happen in my house. I must admit, against my preference that for the dog at least it seems much better to be two, may be more ??? I saw my oldie teaching the new puppy how to behave, and the puppy once adult taking care of the oldie who was loosing his hearing and became very anxious. In my case I even call my dog David (name of the husband) but I may be a lost case  :-(

Thanks for that giggle Chantal.....perhaps David needs to dye his hair a handsome red? or is he misbehaving like wee Mac used to?




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