Hey, everyone. Didn't know where else to post so... well I just hope this is acceptable. Two weeks ago, our 8-year-old family dog had to be put down. It's been extremely difficult but I think I'm healing quite well - I can think about him now without bursting into tears, and though I still do miss him terribly the wound is healing and no longer so raw. I think he's in heaven, now. I feel like he's happy. My dad doesn't believe that dogs go to heaven, but I disagree. Heaven wouldn't be perfect without dogs in it, surely. Anyways... Buddy had to be put down because of his heartworms (a long story, but he couldn't breathe properly for like 8 hours, his gums were gray and he was wheezing and experienced very labored breathing, we think there might have been a clot in one of his lungs or something. He was overweight, too, which might've contributed. He'd been battling exterior lesions and infections for about a month by then - something might've been wrong inside for a while. We'd taken him to the vet but they only gave us antibiotics & pain reliever.) We couldn't afford 500-dollar treatment for the heartworms and it would be dangerous, and we weren't always at home monitoring him - making any choking he would've experienced potentially lethal. So we tried a slow-kill treatment using preventatives. It lengthened his life, but didn't solve the problem. Me and my mom really miss having a dog around, so we've been going to the humane society to interact with some. And though I felt guilty at first, I rationed that me and my mom benefitted by animal therapy and the dogs benefitted from getting a few minutes of attention. Well. It just so happens that we've found a lovely two-and-a-half-year-old dog who seems like such a great match for us - he's quiet and so so sweet and seemingly moderately active. We've sort of fallen in love with him, really, and my mom admitted to thinking about him a lot. I do, too. So, anyway, I'm experiencing feelings of guilt. Our new dog will be an inside dog (which Buddy wasn't, he stayed in a kennel inside whenever it was really hot or cold outside but didn't get to roam around the house often) and will probably on a better diet and will get monthly preventatives for heartworms, fleas & ticks, etc. He will probably get to go on more walks, too, as he won't have heart problems that hinder his activity. I feel bad that we'll be treating the new dog better. And I feel bad about considering adopting so soon after his death (it's been two weeks.) I wasn't always the best pet owner, too. Especially when I was younger - I might've gone out and really played with him like once a week at best and we took him to the lake maybe once or twice a month. I feel awful about that. His last year or so of life, especially his last few months, we really loved him a lot and took him for walks daily and petted him so much. I feel like I've only recently actually become ready for a dog. I was so excited for him to get better (his aforementioned infected lesions were healing) and take him for walks and to the dog park and the lake again. And to make him an inside dog! But then he died so suddenly, he was here and healing one day and gone the next, and I never got to fulfil that promise to him. So I feel like I let him down in that way. Additionally, since we haven't had an inside dog before, how can we be sure to keep the birds safe? The dog we're smitten with is an intelligent-seeming Australian Kelpie mix - has anyone any experience with that breed? (Buddy was a Golden Retriever and always had his gaze pinned on the birds whenever they were out - he was a bird-hunting dog, after all.) Maybe we could put up a little doggy fence between the bird cages and the living room? Would that be safe? Also, *any* dog we eventually get will be put in a kennel whenever we're not in the house, and will be put up whenever we take the birds out. I know I've been rambling for ages and I'm so sorry about that - I just need some advice. Thank you all so much.