I knew that I relied on Riley as an early warning system and as a deterrent to intruders. Now that she's gone, I do not head out on walks around the property and the door is always locked. I miss our companion time together hiking the property and learning it's nooks and crannies. Although I try to remember to be aware of my surroundings at all times, I recognize my limitations in that area.
It just isn't safe for me to do hikes, etc right now. I think I'd brave another skunk encounter but not the bears! We've also had a truck drive in for what appeared to be a "casing of the joint" a few weeks ago. In checking around the community, it is consistent with what other people are experiencing so it behoves us to be cautious. (Yes, I did spell that right - I looked it up!!)
So while I would normally take the time to grieve the loss of our companion, the demands of country life seem to be dictating that we get another dog or 2 as soon as possible. Fortunately, I don't feel like I'm replacing Riley (or Genie, Baron, Jekyll, Rocky or Cassandra) but I for sure feel pressure.
We had Mom's chihuahua/terrier out for a few days. Somehow, not quite the same. He's a barky little guy but not much of a deterrent, you know? Our cat, Stanley, enjoyed Milo being around as he's really been missing Riley, too.
It's got me realizing that we're going to have a variety of animals - livestock and pets - and that we will likely be going through this more and more. Something to think about if you're leaning towards a rural life, too.