dear dog owners,

October 5, 2012

just popping in to ask my fellow dog owners for advice:
i’m thinking of getting mr. mo a friend for christmas,
but i’m too nervous to commit.

here are my thoughts:

mo would be alone less
there are a lot of dogs who need a home
i am an animal lover in general

extra work
but my real reservation is that it’s been just me and mo for four years now. somehow, i worry i’ll play favorites or won’t love the new addition as much. i’m sure there’s also the ever-present general fear of change in there as well. but i’m an only child so i have absolutely no concept of how a parent can love two kids equally. it just doesnt compute in my brain. and while i know it’s not the same because these are dogs, it’s the closest comparison that i can think of.

maybe i can just bully my mom into getting convince my mom she needs a dog so mo can have play dates when he visits his grandparents?

22 Responses to “dear dog owners,”

  1. sarahvvs Says:

    I am not a dog owner (I have a cat! Miss New Zealand!) so this is not going to be helpful, but I am stir crazy and avoiding starting the writing part of my dissertation so I am going to comment ANYWAY!
    Is Mo lonely? If it was me, I’d start checking out dogs at places that have dogs and see how it felt… it might be a situation where it has to be JUST the right dog. Also I hope you are well! πŸ˜€

  2. Pam Gibson Says:

    my first response is that parents DON’T love their children equally. they love each of them differently. love begets more love. there will always be things about Mo that you really really love and there will be different things about the new one you will love. If you really can afford it, I say go for it. Dogs are pack animals, they love and crave company.

    good luck with the decision.

    be happy about it either way.

    pam gibs

  3. Brooke Says:

    Take mo to shelters for play dates with potential new member of family. Meeting on neutral ground is helpful. Mo will be territorial at first when you bring home new member of family. We had a jack Russell for years and then got a Doberman. Guess who Alfa dog was? Yup, the little 15lb jack ruled over the 95lb dobie. Take it slow with introductions and you will be fine.

  4. Adrienne Says:

    What Pam said, because she beat me to it.

  5. Alex Says:

    Having two dogs is definitely a different (and slightly more crazy sometimes) dynamic, but you’ll love each one individually πŸ™‚ It can sometimes be a challenge to make sure they are getting equal attention, especially if one of them is a hog, but it helps to make time for some one-on-one. The biggest pro, in my experience, is that they always have someone to play with when the humans are busy πŸ™‚ My dogs beat up on each other all the time, but once in awhile you’ll walk in a room and catch ’em redpawed, cuddling on the bed.

    The biggest cons are….twice the money (vet visits can get pretty crazy), twice the poop, and you have to be a little bit careful because even the best of dog-friends will sometimes fight over the right item (usually food, treats, dead chipmunks, etc. but sometimes toys) So make sure you are prepared to handle that and know how to stop it safely, and be diligent about not leaving triggers around unsupervised. Mine get along fine 99.99% of the time but we still separate them when we leave the house because I can’t 100% trust that they won’t find a bug on the carpet, decide it’s a delicacy, and rip into each other. Plus we like to leave them with stuffed Kongs and those are definitely fight-worthy (I think pups raised together probably learn to share better, mine were both adult shelter dogs.)

  6. Audry Says:

    When we first added dogs to our family, we had two at first, then later it was just one. When we had two, they would play with each other and mostly ignore us. But one would get rather jealous when he saw the other one was getting “more” attention. When we went down to one dog, I noticed that we became more like his family. His personality was more apparent when it was just him.
    I think that if you want to add another dog, you should do it because you want another dog, not because you feel guilty about Mo being lonely. But in the end, I think you know what Mo needs most.

  7. Hope Says:

    I’m with Pam and Adrienne. You will love them both and they will love you. You can’t go wrong with that!

  8. Sally at Rivendale Farms Says:

    Ditto on the general consensus here – I definitely believe that dogs (and cats, too) need the companionship and it’s good for them as well as you. We’ve always had two, especially since we’re not home all the time. I’ve had success with 2 dogs, 2 cats, or 1 of each (not sure how you or Mo feel about cats). While there is additional cost, there’s really not that much more work for 2 vs 1.

    Can’t wait to see who you bring home!

  9. Sue Says:

    Watch out Steven, two is a slippery slope. After two, you might just say what the heck let’s get another rescue. Before you know it, you’ll become a dog hoarder. Just kidding…sort of.

  10. KevinL Says:

    You should totally get a miniature English Bull. Just for symmetry. They could burrow their own little Chunnel in the back yard. And just think about how sophisticated their slobber would be!

    Adorable. I’ve already decided this is what you’re going to do.

  11. Cinnamon Says:

    I’ve had up to 3 dogs at one time, and while two of them loved being a multiple dog household, one of them did not. Her fur actually turned prematurely grey around her muzzle and we eventually gave her to my mother in law so she could be the only dog again. That’s a long way of saying, it depends on what Mo wants too…good luck!

  12. Linda Cannon Says:

    Ok I truly understand how and what you are thinking. we have done this, some dogs love companions others do not. If it is a puppy to an older dog it is easier. Some dogs act like it is perfectly fine and then a few weeks earlier exhibit strange and territorial behaviours. Such as males marking their territory on the furniture, and the carpet. Females decide to pee anywhere and every where. Yes MO could use a companion. Maybe doggy day care would be better a couple of times a week or a dog park run?
    I get how hard this grad school thing is, Hubby did it and it is tough, it is short in duration though although it seems like it is forever. We had a 6 month old and did it and survived. Mo will too.
    I am an only child and I understand the things you ask. I also have 2 kids 40 and 32. I truly love them equally, maybe not at the same time because there are buttons being pushed all the time, even now that they are older. The only thing that could happen is you would be so infatuated with the newbie that you you would unknowingly favor it over Mo, who is your first baby. He might feel neglected and even reject you. There is so much work involved in 2 and the expense. My daughter faced this recently and decided on 1 pup only for now, my son the older has 2 pups and it is hard, he cannot just leave town when he wants. He has to plan around 2.
    XOXOXOXO Love you much, hope you can resolve this.

  13. Anonymous, too Says:

    I’ve lived in or had first-hand experience with households having more than one dog, more than one cat, more than one of each, and even some with other critters thrown in for good measure!

    Based on that, two dogs usually have an easier time getting along together than two cats. (Jealousy, thy name is CAT!) However, as Mo has been an only for a while, the suggestion about taking him on play dates (or meet-n-greets) at the shelter or breeder’s is a good idea.

    You might also consider getting Mo a companion he wouldn’t find to be either competition or dinner. Perhaps a parakeet, canary, or cockatiel would make good company for him when you aren’t home.

    Whatever you decide about adopting a foster sister or brother for Mo, I definitely think Dr. Mom could probably use all the loving, furry, and four-legged companionship she (and your dad) can stand! Shanghai them into visiting a shelter and playing with the puppies, doggies, kitties, and cats. I double-dog dare them not to adopt one or more furry somebodies!

  14. Susie Says:

    I only have one dog so I can’t speak on that BUT I do have two children. While pregnant with my second son I had the same concerns. Yeah I know a little late to think about it while pregnant huh? I thought How can I love another child the way I love this other little darling? How could I have enough love in my heart for two? Know what? Your heart grows. That’s the best way I could put it. As soon as I saw Patrick I loved him every much as Glenn. As for favorites, one day one is my favorite and another day the other is. That’s just the way it goes for me.
    Christmas is still a bit away. If you feel the same, I’d say go for it. I don’t think you’d ever regret having another but you may regret not.

  15. Terrie Says:

    You have the greatest friends. I ditto all of the above. An experienced two dog and one dog household parent. I feel you are on your way to a play pal for Mo. My best wishes to you!

  16. Iz Says:

    I had the same reservations when it came to Hugo even though I’m a twin and grew up hearing from my parents that they love us equally but for different reasons. Lily was my GIRL and I raised her since she was a puppy. I worried about her feelings and while it was a bit rough at first, getting Hugo was probably one of the best things I’ve done for her (and me…and Hugo!). I do love them both. I wouldn’t give Hugo up for anything and he’s my little thug. I do have a special bond with Lily though. She’s my little shadow and he’s more independent. I don’t love her more or him any less. They have their differences and I love them for it. I guess it’s not a matter of splitting your love. It’s just loving something else too.

    There might be some aggression when you bring a second dog in. If it’s another male be ready for confrontation, and if it’s a female expect some humping. It’ll go away over time (well, it did with Hugo and my sister’s dogs).

  17. Kristen Says:

    Is there another pooch in your neighborhood that can be invited over for play dates? My granddog loves to visit because his best friend lives across the street from us. Grandma’s house means play time with his buddy!

  18. Trisha R Says:

    I have two dogs, brother and sister. They are almost three years old. That being said, I will NEVER own two dogs again. (Hey, I’m just being honest…) Definitely take into consideration your lifestyle, your time-commitments and management, the time you are away from home, etc. I also have three cats, two kids and a husband, AND a full-time job. I don’t have time for dogs – I just don’t.

    It would be different if I was home more, had less kids, liked dogs more (I’m totally a cat person – the Hubster is the dog lover in the family…) They haven’t been trained properly, my husband does NOT have a firm hand when it comes to discipline and I don’t have the patience for wriggly, licky lifeforms that won’t one day grow up and fly the nest!

    That said, I’m a big supporter of the Humane Society and shelter animals as a whole. All three of my cats were shelter/stray animals that I took in. Go there first. (And enjoy your new pooch ’cause we all know you’re gonna get one!)


  19. ~Margaret Says:

    I had my yellow lab mix for several years and he was (and still is) a high energy dog, but I know with his friendliness, he missed being with other dogs. He adopted my cat as his buddy, but cats don’t play like dogs. After my kids were all out on their own, i felt Jonah needed a dog buddy while i was at work. I agonized about the decision about a second dog. I’d only ever had one. Same worries you expressed.

    I got a rescue chocolate lab from Tennessee. He is a laid back and super loving “goober” dog. Both are neutered males. No jealousy issues, and the foster mom for Henri had warned me he might be a bit food possessive, since he had been a starving stray when found. I’ve had Henri for over 2 years now and can’t imagine not having him. He isn’t much for playing with Jonah, but they get along great-even to sharing toys.

    Yes, it is a bit more expensive, but my life, and theirs, is so much richer. We are a “family/pack”, and no one ever feels alone. Consider a rescue. I feel Henri likes to be close, without being an attention hog, is because he’s so happy to have a forever home.

  20. Sheila Says:

    I’m sure that your puppy would love a friend; dogs are pack animals by nature. My concern is that instead of leaving 1 dog alone without his human companion for long stretches, you will be leaving 2 dogs alone for long stretches without their human companion. Whether you get doggie #2 or not, perhaps you should consider doggie day care for Mo. I have no idea what the cost is, but even 1 or 2 days a week will do a lot to keep him happy- I hear that a lot of dogs love spending the day with other dogs and that is the reason a lot of my friends don’t mind kenneling their dogs during vacation-their dogs actually look forward to going!

  21. Nancy Paris Says:

    Dear Steven,
    I like what Sheila had to say. Doggy daycare would ease your conscience and Mo would be happier.
    Another dog might be seen as more competition for your time and attention.
    Mo has a really big personality,(WHERE did he get that?), he needs 100% you.
    When I first got Bizbee a neighbor lady conveniently wanted to walk her every day when I was at school. She took an hour walk and by the time the Biz got home she was exhausted.
    It worked out great, exactly what Bee needed.
    MIss you,
    Nancy P

  22. Jamie Says:

    I am obviously super late to the game, BUT we have two English bulldogs with pretty large personalities and they are the best of friends (most of the time). We bought them 6 months apart, so they are close in age and I cannot imagine only owning one dog (coming from someone who “hates” dogs). From our experience, Mo would probably react best if you got a younger dog, because animals recognize babies in all species of animals and are usually less jealous and more protective by nature. We have less destruction with two dogs home because they have each other entertain instead of getting stressed out and eating my shoes/books/knitting needles/remotes, etc. If you stick to a lower energy dog it isn’t much additional work for you and we found potty training puppy #2 was easier because he followed the lead of his “sister”

    If all else fails, get Mo a bunny or a kitten

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