1 or 2 dogs?

September 22, 2016

My husband and I spent this week with our daughter, Jennifer, and her family.  They have 2 adorable Puggles, Hayly and Ava.  When we lived nearby, I used to take our dog, Riley,  over to their house 2 times per week for “play dates” with Hayly and Ava.  But then a new neighbor moved in next door to Jennifer, and they had a dog.  The excitement was just too much for Riley to take:  2 dogs to play with, a huge backyard to run around in, and a strange dog next door to bark at.  Riley, a dog who can barely jump up on the couch at home, apparently thought he could jump over a 5′ high block wall. He tried and tried, until he wore down his nails so much they were bleeding. We bought him some little leather shoes, but he ripped them off and kept trying to jump that fence.  We tried everything we could think of to get him to stop barking and jumping but to no avail. So the play dates had to stop.

We moved a while later, and now Riley has no dog-friends. When we went to Jennifer’s this week, we took Riley with us.  The neighbors had moved, and we thought it was “safe.”

It was.  Riley didn’t bark at the new neighbors (except when they dragged their trash cans out to the street late at night) – but Hayly and Ava were barking then too, so he can’t be be criticized for that.  He didn’t try to jump the fence. What was the point?

What DID happen, was Riley had The Best Time Ever.  Without a doubt, he remembered Hayly and Ava, although it had been 3 years since he had seen them.

He played all day long. Slept solidly at night. Woke up earlier than Hayly and Ava, and just sat in our room, staring at the door, whining and willing them to wake up!

At home, Riley sleeps a lot. We take him for walks, and he will go lay in the sun, or wander around outside for a little bit. But seeing him with Hayly and Ava this week, really made me realize that he is missing dog-play time.

In the past, we’ve thought about getting another dog. Every time we see a dog that needs adopting, Rick and I look at each other with a question mark in our eyes.  Would it be good for us? Would it be good for Riley? Perhaps it’s time to give that idea some serious thought.

Do you have 1 dog (pet) or 2?  Are you glad you do?  What kinds of things did you take into consideration when you acquired your second pet. Veterinary bills? Boarding/Care costs or concerns (for when you travel)?

Those all come to mind for us. But we also know we “need” a dog with a special personality. Riley has one.  So do Hayly and Ava.  Maybe we should just see if they can come spend their vacation time with us!

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Hayly on the left, Ava on the right.

Riley below, willing them to wake up!

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12 Comments

  1. Connie A.

    We enjoyed a lovable dog very similar to yours until she passed away at age 18. But when she was younger, she really enjoyed our trips to my Mom’s house and visiting her little dog. They loved racing each other around the outside of the house first one chasing the other and then reversed. They really got along famously and it would have been fun for us to have another little dog, but as a young family, we just could not afford it since the vet bills for our current one were out of sight (she suffered seizures, but was controlled by meds).
    I believe she would have loved having a doggy companion!!

    Reply
    • Karen

      Thanks, Connie. Yes, that fun-chasing you describe is exactly what we saw when we visited our daughter. Riley was so happy doing that! I totally understand the vet bills though. Thanks for your input!

      Reply
  2. tracib

    Hey, my friend…I’ve nearly always had two dogs. In fact, this pair are siblings and have never been parted. The only consideration is….ummm….well….guess I’ve just always thought of two at once! They entertain each other, sleep together, play together. For me, a win-win.

    Reply
    • Karen

      Hi Traci! Yes, that entertainment factor is really weighing on me. One of our concerns is that we don’t have a fenced yard. We know Riley won’t leave the yard.. he can’t stand to be more than 20 feet away from us… EVER… but what would a new dog do? So much to consider! But we are really considering the benefits vs. the negatives. Thanks for your input!

      Reply
  3. noblesnera

    Hi Karen, since 2004 we have two dogs, in the beginning a rough collie bitch and a Australian Shepherd bitch, and today we have two Aussie bitches. Both pairs were a team, they played together and each one gave her strength to the other one. Today the Aussies are 8,5 and 13 years old. The hearing of the older one, Ebbie, is bad and she is slow in movement. When we are walking the dogs Ebbie always looks where the younger one is and she doesn’t move one step when she is not seeing Unica. Today Unica gives her a certain security and when they were younger, it was the contrary, Ebbie was the leader. Hope you understand what I mean.

    In my country we usually walk the our dogs for 1,5-3 hours a day and I always will have two dogs.

    Reply
  4. nightshadow

    Hi Karen,

    We don’t have dogs any longer, but when we did we always had at least two at a time (for a while, we had three…lol). The companionship they give each other is priceless. After little Cricket died at the age of 15, Maggie began suffering from separation anxiety whenever we would leave the house. She would sit at the front door and howl so loudly that she could be heard across the street. Fortunately we have understanding and tolerant neighbors.

    Having more than one dog is wonderful for the dog and can be a comfort to you when one of them passes on, but yes, the vet bills are an important consideration as is your lack of a fenced yard. Good luck to you whatever you decide, Riley is a lucky pup.

    Reply
  5. Joanne K

    Riley is a sweetie, for sure, but he does have his Peoples wrapped around his paws!!. I don’t want to discourage you, but I will point out some potential negatives.

    The great benefit would be that he has a playmate, but would that just turn into a lot of getting into mischief? Like children, 2 can find more trouble than 1.

    Another huge consideration would be how good would Reilly be with SHARING his Mommy & Daddy? And the food bowl and the bed.

    I would suggest some in home dog sitting time, or maybe a foster situation for the local shelter, just to see how Riley reacts. Visiting on another dog’s turf is different than them invading his home.

    Either way, some time at a dog park or even walks with pound dogs would be a great starting point.

    Reply
    • Karen

      Thanks, Joanne, for the solid advice. We had thought about Riley being protective of his environment, but hadn’t thought of the “sharing” aspect of that as well. Lots to think about!

      Reply
  6. Stella – an update

    […] Do you remember the turmoil my husband and I went through trying to decide if we wanted a second dog? (1 or 2 dogs?) […]

    Reply

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