Before I came to my present family, I was considered a "one-dog
candidate. You see, although I try to stay calm, I get very excited around
toys, and I don't like to share. I can also be a bit of a bully,
because I am quite a bit bigger than other Bostons, but I always forget
that and try to do all the lap-sitting and jumping-up that they get away
with. So, when I came to live here in Collingwood, I had to get used to
having other canine siblings. It took about a year for me to become the
trusted friend of both my Boston sisters.
Some people try to be good-hearted and take in a needy pet, but don't
realize the time and effort it may require to socialize the new family
members. So it's important for adoptive families to understand that adding
a new pet to the household, especially a mature one, can take some time
effort. And there's nothing sadder than a dog that has to keep moving from
family to family - or even to the shelter! - because people don't
understand it takes time and love to change behavior.
I don't believe that every dog is a good candidate for a multiple-pet
household. I think that early socialization with people and pets is really
the key. So before deciding on introducing a canine friend - do your
research!! Fortunately, it worked out well for me with my new family.
You know that I come from a very small human family ( one ) and a very
large extended family
(3 horses, 1 mule; 5 1/2 dogs, counting Baby who has been with us often
recently; and until recently, 5 cats.... sorry to report that Miss Kitty
succumbed to kidney failure ). I have great relationships with
I would agree with Winnie -- based on observation but no
experience -- that "only" dogs can get bored, and can be
because they are bored. And then there are so many others out there
homes desperately. So I am in favor of multi - canine/feline/equine/asinine households ! Just don't send me the
bills. I wonder how many think tank members are purebred? How many
with their " first" families and how many have been "
My best to you and Winnie, and I look forward to checking the website for
"Oh really Lucille dear, suck in you stomach and pull your
look like an animal how dreadful. Come along now, hold your head up." This
is how my dear friend Baby coaches me along. I do try awfully hard to
all my manners and often wonder how Baby would react if she learned we are
both....animals! Well, here's my story of how I met and came to love
dear friend Baby.
As a young pup I found myself outside in the dirt fighting with the big
dogs for what little food I could steal to survive. The human
I did have was rare and not kind. After going from pillar to post
first four years I suddenly found myself trapped inside a house
with a group of humans! It was very confusing and frightening
wanted to touch me.
This is when my dear friend Baby came into my life. Baby is a
show champion who had successfully reared five champion pups of her own.
(Baby was recently orphaned and adopted by my grandparents.) Baby
in and became my mentor and my dog mother. It was Baby who
and took me under her capable wing. Baby used gentle growls to tame my
dog ways and taught me that there is great comfort in a canine pack.
You can only imagine my shock and horror the first time I saw Baby sitting
on the humans' laps and letting them touch her person and wrap their arms around her. She smiled and seemed to actually enjoy this contact. She
urged me to give it a try while assuring me it was not
painful in the least. Of course not wanting Baby to get everything,
determined to give it a try. I found she was right! Not
painful in the
least and quite pleasurable. I listen to Baby! She is very wise and knows
lots of great stuff!
For example Baby knows how to get the humans to do anything and everything
she wants. Here's a gal to take lessons from! She also knows
points of cuisine too! Baby will eat anything and everything
salad and fruit, thanks to Baby I am now a
connoisseur of fine dining too. Only trick, eat quick or the mama
finish your plate!
Though Baby lives ten minutes away with her mama and daddy, we love each
other and visit just about every day. We like to have sleep overs
enjoy staying at each other's houses when our folks go away. Baby is
twelve years old and no slowing down for her. When I come in her
jumps up off the couch with her ears straight up like a young pup. We run
to the backyard together where we play follow the leader and sniff!
We take a bath together every week, Baby gets soaped first and we have to
sniff each other. Then I get soaped and we sniff again. Then
again when we get out of the tub. These silly humans do not realize
disconcerting it is to have your friend's scent altered so drastically.
Were we not the intelligent beings that we are we would feel like the old
friend had been washed down the drain and a new friend had been found.
I'm so blessed to have a dear friend, mentor and mother in Baby. She
pulled me into a world of love and friendship.
I'm also so happy to have friends like Mickey and Vita, who though they
are far away share my joys and fuzzy hugs too.
Hugs and snorts to all our think tank friends who share their thoughts and
can only imagine what it would be like to be an "only" dog because Mickey
and I are together almost all the time. And we've learned to share everything or
rather almost everything. I'll admit I don't allow
play with the special treasures I've hidden under the sleigh bed in the
sunroom. And he has a royal-goat-on-the-mountain spot that he won't
get up on which is the little table at the end of the sofa. So we've
evened things out. It's true that Mickey can be exasperating at
I'm probably not perfect either. Actually, we usually
have a wonderful
time playing and exploring and discussing everything we do. I vote 100%
I hear there's a discussion question afoot relating to one or multiple-dog
households. Well, here I am Top Dog )next to Mom, of course) - in
is just the two of us here for the most part. It seems like a good
me - but once I heard her say a little impatiently, "Joey, I'm not a
Go play." Sometimes, too, she is busy so I have to wait around
- which I
think bothers her more than me.
It's hard to imagine having a doggy brother or sister here all the time,
but I AM a pack animal so it's probably kind of weird to be so isolated.
Since I rarely interact with other dogs, I do tend to be a little wacky
when the occasion does arise.
If I had to vote, I think it would be for a multi-dog family if for no
other reason than it might make my human happier.
Kiri and Mayu
On our Think Tank topic of being the only dog or having companions in the
family. I myself have been in
both situations. In my first home, after leaving my mom, I was the only
one but then I came to my new home with Mom & Dad and where my sister
Sandy lived. We had a good time playing even when she wanted to be boss.
When Sandy died I was very, very lonely. Then Mom and Dad brought Kiri
home and I forgot how lonely I was. Kiri, being such a little pup, needed
my attention to teach her the rules of the house and to comfort her if she
wasn't feeling just right. Now she is grown up and she is teaching and
playing with Guy and Katie. We all tend to each other's needs, like ear
cleaning and drying if we get wet. I'm older now and willing to watch the
other's play, although sometimes I join in, but It would be very lonely if
I was by myself, especially when Mom and Dad have to be away at meetings.
Mom told me that one of the horses they used to have was good
buddies with their shepherd Snowball, who stayed in the barn to protect
the horses. The two would play out in the field and Snowball would give
Lucky kisses on his nose. When Snowball died Lucky made friends with one
of the geese. I think even four legged animals need friends to curl up
with and play with when their Moms and Dads are busy.
Kiri and Mayu
I just read you touching words about our Lili's passing. I cannot
tell you how much we miss here. Since she was older and, more
much wiser than I am (and will most surely will ever be!), I always
that we were not very close. I could have never imagined that I
so lonely without her. Although she was above participating in
many of my
favorite pastimes, such as chasing squirrels or barking at other dogs
happened to walk by my property (you know what I mean...), she was an
exemplary role model. She taught me many things, including the
sharing and showing affection. Thanks to her I know how to behave
to make my parents proud and happy (as well as how to train them to do
I want...). I looked up to her and respected her. It is hard
that she is gone. My Mom and Dad buried her in the backyard and I
next to her grave for long periods of time, thinking about her and all
good times we shared.
Her absence has also has made me reflect on the issue of being a one vs.
two dog family. To be honest with you, I had not responded to this
think-tank topic, because at the time I thought that, unlike the rest of
the board, I would have to say that I would prefer to be the one and
kid in the house. I have to admit that I was wrong. My
parents are being
especially loving towards me in this hard time and giving me their full
attention. Still... I feel lonely and not quite right. It's hard
to put my
paw on it. Even while Lili and I did not do much playing together,
presence was reassuring and comforting. It is too soon to think
but I hope that some day I will have another sister to share our lives
with. And, who knows, maybe I could even teach her a thing or
Thank you for your kind thoughts,