Is Having 3 Dogs Harder Than Having 2?

April 27, 2022

Once upon a time my husband and I had just 1 dog. We debated over getting a 2nd dog . (1 Dog or 2?) After much consideration, in 2016, we did adopt a 2nd Bichon, Stella. Riley, Dog #1, is on the right, and Stella, now Dog #2, is on the left. They love each other, play well together, and Stella’s presence gave Riley, aged 10 at the time, new life.

Last month our son and his family decided to remodel their house to update it, as they plan to put it up for sale. It would be a full remodel which would require them to move out of the house, into an Air BNB, for at least 2 months. As if that wasn’t a big enough task to deal with, they needed to find “vacation homes” for their 2 dogs, Fozzy and Bailey, since the Air BNB doesn’t allow dogs.

My daughter-in-law’s sister took in one of the dogs, Bailey, and we took in the other one, Fozzy.

We’ve had Fozzy for 7 weeks now and will have him probably another 4-5 weeks. He is big. As in B.I.G. (Especially in comparison to our little 15-pound Bichons.) We’ve had the chance to evaluate whether having 3 dogs is more work than having 2. Our resounding answer is a big fat YES. Exponentially so.

Having 2 dogs is more than twice the work of 1 dog, but having 3 dogs requires way more effort than just x3. There are now 3 personalities, with interactions between Dog 1 and Dog 2, Dog 2 and Dog 3, Dog 1 and Dog 3… you get the idea.

So would we ever get a 3rd dog permanently? … hmmmm… the circumstances would have to be really unusual. Both my husband and I have to keep our guard up because we both want to take in every stray or cute dog that we see.

But I must admit that having Fozzy has been delightful and entertaining. As big as he is, he thinks he’s a lap dog. Seriously. He tries to crawl into my lap even when I’m sitting at my desk.

He has made himself right at home. He saw that Riley and Stella each had their own bed in my office and loved sleeping there while I work. He decided he needed a bed in my office too. He commandeered Riley’s bed. It took him a while to get the hang of sleeping in a small bed, but he figured it out.

Of course, his “figuring it out” meant that Riley and Stella had to share.

Being a Big dog, you don’t always realize how intimating you can be to a Little dog. Stella has found a work-around for when Fozzy wants to play with her.

Fozzy doesn’t seem to realize how much space he takes up. Stella LOVES laying outside in the sun in the mornings. Fozzy really infringes on that special morning time of hers. I love the look on her face here. I think she’s saying, “REALLY?”

Fozzy is super needy. But then he’s had a very hard life. He was passed from home to home several times before our son adopted him. Fozzy is the sweetest and the most well-trained dog (thanks to our son) that we’ve ever had in our house. But, yeah, super needy. Even the sound of a drill or saw doesn’t deter him when he wants to crawl into my lap.

Fozzy has the greatest smile! How can I not love that face?

When all 3 of these guys look at me and ask, “When’s dinner?” or “What are we going to do now?” it just melts my heart.

If you had asked me months ago, if I wanted a 3rd dog, I would have said absolutely not. My answer now? …. Well, without seeing “the 3rd dog,” I would say no. But if I saw the face of that 3rd dog… especially a face like Fozzy’s…. I would probably be in serious trouble. Extra work or not.

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6 Comments

  1. Vicki Garrett

    Oh my, I had to laugh Karen. Well you and your aren’t the only ones faced with that decision, only with my husband and I it was cats. I start out with one (the cat I had when my kids were young. Okay, was a good start and he was absolutely the best cat but somehow, it became 2 cats, oh, garden me the cutest stray kitten was found under our house that turned our hearts to butter, cat number three. One day I came home and my husband says “I have something to show you but we have to over to the neighbors on the next cut-de-sac.” So went over to our friend’s place and 2 young girls were sitting in their yard with a basket turned upside down. 2 young kittens about 9 weeks old where being corralled and my husband said “aren’t they cute?” I picked up one and he the other and said “they have to find a home for both of them and we can take one, can’t we? ” to make the story short, we were now up to a 5 cats!! I mean how could we just take one, they were brother and sister after all and would be lonely if we had separated them, right?. I mean let’s face it we were softies at one look.
    Course my husband never admitted it. Well, now I am down to one cat again, having lost 4 due to age or illness and am now alone and in my mid 70’s so when this cat finely goes to the rainbow bridge I decided I’m done but then I’m a softy so who knows.
    Your dogs are soooo cute! And so is Fozzy! Love their expressions! Yes, I love dogs also, even without having one myself, but grew up with them.

    • Karen Schulz

      Oh, Vicki, your story made me smile. I can totally see it all and understand. I love that your husband took you to see the 2 little kittens too. 😉 I’m sure it was hard to lose your cats to old age, but I’m glad you still have one to keep you company for you to love. You’re right though… who knows what the future brings…. 🙂

  2. DeLoris Musick

    Awwww – Fozzy is adorable! I love the story and that you got a chance to experience the joy of a really big dog! It is a whole other world. Kudos to your son for adopting him. Stella and Riley will miss him when it is time for him to go home. Give all 3 a hug from me!
    DeLoris

    • Karen Schulz

      Yes! I’m not sure I would want a big dog all the time, although he is rather comforting to have cuz he is big and has a super big bark, so you definitely feel any possible scary intruders would be run off immediately! 😉 But we do love him!

  3. glee storm

    aw Karen, this is such a delightful post! And just wouldn’t have been the same w/o the pix to go with. I am a former not dog person who has become a dog granny, and I love her. But 3, oh my!? Thanks for sharing this heartwarming tail. (sorry, had to!)

    • Karen Schulz

      LOL! LOVE it. 🙂 Yeah, a heartwarming tail, indeed. I’m glad you’ve come over to the dog-side. There’s no going back 🙂

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