Sadly all pets have their time and we don't want them to go 'cause we love them. In most cases we love them more than family. I can speak from experience 'cause I’ve had a few pets die: A rabbit whom died in my arms literally after ingesting poisonous fumes from the carpet cleaning company, a degus who died of old age and a hamster when I was little.
Dealing with the loss of a pet, just like family or friends, is a step by step process. Time is what healed the loss of my pets, however, I was depressed for days 'cause my pets were my best companion.
Some people think it's taboo to grieve for an animal. I found it difficult to tell my old boss that I needed a day off 'cause I was grieving for the loss of my dead degus and instead said, "I'm dealing with the loss of a family member." This was true as pets are family and in the modern world, pets are treated as such.
Because it's taboo, finding animal loss support groups off the internet are few and far between.
The first step according to, Shiri Joshua, clinical psychologist whom counsels grieving pet owners, is to acknowledge the loss and be saddened.
The biggest mistake is taking the advice of friends, whom mean well, by replacing the dead pet with a new one. You wouldn't replace your mother if she died, a pet is no different. Healing time between pets is required and helps deal with the situation on hand.
The way I dealt with the loss of one pet vs another was very different. Some people grieve differently than if they had lost a human, therefore, grieving time and method needs to be respected by all parties involved.
Luv Sheila & Freedom (my black lab)