I’ve always been a one dog kinda gal. Me and my doggy, exploring the world together and then with my partner and step kids when they came along.
I’d thought about a doggy pal for my old boy Caesar and even fostered dogs for rescues twice, but neither would have been suitable long term friends for him. A potential greyhound adoption fell through when Caesar’s dog aggression reared up over the similar sized dog and the canine friend idea was abandoned.
With the passing of Caesar and the coming of Delilah the dilemma presented itself again, this time with different elements working against it. Delilah introduced a new level of chaos into our lives with her occasionally wild behaviour, frequent destruction and determination to never, ever do as she was told.
But despite that she also wriggled her way into our hearts with a ferocity I never expected, and by the age of two she’d settled into being a calm, sensible and very sweet member of our family. So given her love of playing with other dogs and occasional restlessness at home it seemed the perfect time to reconsider a second dog.
Only I was scared. I had no idea how a multiple dog household would work and the potential for disaster seemed enormous. It already felt like we had a full house with 4 humans, a dog, indoor cat and 3 chickens.
I was also scared of how it would affect Delilah; she was so used to being the centre of attention and I adored one-on-one wandering time with her, going for walks and finding interesting locations for photo shoots around Melbourne. How would that change with another dog around? How could we possibly still give her the attention she was used to without neglecting the new dog?
Not to mention the additional time commitment. I’d often ask other dog owners at the park what it was like having more than one and the answers varied from “Wonderful!” to “Challenging…” so that provided no real insight.
But still, the idea lingered. I’d browse the Pet Rescue website and take note of the types of dogs Delilah enjoyed playing with the most. I’d talk to my partner, talk to the kids (who were no help because the answer was always YES! YES! YES!), browse Pet Rescue again. Sigh. Close all the browser windows and go and hug Delilah.
But then one day we just decided to take the leap, how hard could it possibly be if we’re careful with the dog choice? And we’re animal lovers, it’ll be fine. Really. Totally.
And so we welcomed 9 month old Emmett Brown into our lives. A sweet, sensitive and playful boy who is gorgeous beyond words. They play, they snuggle, they sometimes bicker, but 3 weeks in these 2 are great friends. Delilah has to work a little harder to get the best snuggling spots, but she’s gained so much more than what she’s lost, she also doesn’t try to play with the cat anymore.
I alternate dog school weeks with them and cherish the one-on-one time and the whole family has more than enough love to cover Emmett as well. He barks with excitement over other dogs which will take some effort and patience to work through and we’re back to discovering how many household objects are in reach of puppy teeth, but it’s just a matter of time before these things diminish or disappear.
So as to my answer to what it’s like to have more than one dog? It’s somewhere between wonderful and challenging and I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂