Welcome Bridget. I'm glad you found this site! In answer to your question about how long people wait.... I guess it varies. We lost our Mouta nearly 2 years ago (August 2008) and we are not even really thinking of getting another yet..BUT, we still have 3 dogs and a cat. When I lost my Bandit in 1998, I was so lonesome and HATED coming home to an empty house (I was single then and he was my only pet). I cried every day when I got home because I missed him so and the house felt so EMPTY, so it was just a matter of weeks before I got Nikita. As it turned out she was born within just a few days of Bandit's passing...I took that as a sign that she was for me! 12 years later I still have her and other than a little arthritis in her hips, she's pretty healthy!