My mom had eight children and countless foster sons and read nary a book. His mother had nine and didn’t flip open the pages of Dr. Spock or any other esteemed doctor. So I decided to wing it. I probably made a lot of mistakes, we all do when raising kids, but I also did a lot of things right.
When we decided to get another dog I chose to not read a ton of conflicting online research about what to do or buy a ton of books. I approached it like these were human babies. Babies who are now homeowners who have advanced degrees and managed to grow into healthy members of their communities. What more can a mother ask?
When I was pregnant with my first baby I never read a book. What to Expect When You’re Expecting was just a title. All my pregnant friends raved about it and other books telling me what to expect from the first pee on the stick till the baby went off to college.
These dogs are more like toddlers, but they are still a lot like humans. It’s been 10 days since Mele came to live with us. Two of those nights were boarding nights and I was gone for five of them so I am learning along with the two dogs.
Math is a funny thing. I know in my head we have two dogs. Two. But when I’m in the office and they are playing in the other room it sounds as if we have a dog park which has also been invaded by a few wild beasts. How can two dogs under sixty pounds make that much noise?
Adding a second dog into the mix is interesting. Coconut knew Mele before we chose to adopt her from NEW PAWSibilities. They had been active, and I do mean active, playmates at daycare, were around the same age and size and seemed a good mix. At playgroup.
We’ve said this often and it’s a real true statement. Personalities are different at home than living in a shelter. I was told that Mele was shy and spent a lot of time under beds and tables keeping to herself. Maybe with a dozen dogs in a room that made sense. But in our home? Totally different dog.
She’s even bossier than Coconut who has made the supreme sacrifice of letting this little girl share his toys, his kennel, his bed, and, the hardest of all, his mommy.
But here’s what they have mastered in ten days. They each eat their own food out of their own bowl and they don’t take each other’s food. They are able to share water bowls. They are willing to swap bones. They love tug-o-war and the lifespan of any toy can be calculated in fewer than five minutes. They have learned to be in the same kennel and to sleep nicely in the same bed. This is huge!
Walking is a trick and they both need refresher classes. They can share a sofa with Gary and me and love on each other.
If you are looking at bringing a second dog home your life will change way more than you thought. In good ways, but it will change. The carefully crafted routine you had in place will be smashed to smithereens to be replaced by something even better. Eventually.
Every dog has a unique personality. We don’t usually know their past, what they went through, their triggers. Some dogs need to be only dogs. Thankfully, Coconut is a friendly and very loving dog who has welcomed Mele into his territory and Mele is figuring out that coming out from under the coffee table is fun.
We have so many dogs who need a home and the list is never-ending. If you decide to add a second, or third, dog into your family we’d love to help you choose the right one. If you don’t have a dog yet then we can help with that, too.
And there are lots of books, websites, and our trainer to help you make things easier. Amy will even meet you at the house to introduce the dogs to each other and help you make the transition.
Had Mele and Coconut not been friends already I likely would have gone that route.
And Mele is housebroken to our schedules and rules! That might be the best thing of all.
We’re open seven days a week so please come by and meet your dog’s future second best friend. You’ll always be the first.