Pets are a little bit like children; they teach us more than we teach them.
I'm on my 3rd Labrador retriever. Cooper was first, then Elsa, and now Harper. 33 years worth of soft dog ears. Faithful and loving companions mixed with a whole lot of character. You can't ever replace them. You just get another one who is their own dog (or cat) with all of their own personality and they carve out their own episode in your life's arc. They're the same but they're different.