I was going to post about a delightful moment shared between the boys. But instead I’m going to write about how hard having two dogs is. Don’t get me wrong, I love them through my core and back around again, but I won’t sugar coat it: for all the joy two bring, there can on some days be insurmountable frustration. It’s a lot of work. It’s a little tougher at this juncture as Jake is now off tie down which means I must be extra vigilant 24/7. I know it won’t always feel like more work than enjoyment. Am I the only one in dog blog land that sometimes feels the need to carry a flask?!
I was going to be late last night so I paid to have the dog walker come twice (normal midday and then again in the evening for dinner). The evening walk occurred at 6:40 and I got home at 7:20. Forty minutes time difference between her being there and me arriving back home. I came home to Melvin having poop’d in the house. He went out with the dog walker, came back in and had dinner and then poop’d, all in forty minutes. Deep cleansing breaths.
On today’s morning walk, Jake encountered a million distractions and refused to walk. He wanted to pull in the opposite direction, with all his might. He literally walked backwards the entire walk looking for every distraction we had passed. Every time I looped back around to Melvin he was eating something, what I don’t know, but for a dog allergic to everything it probably was not a hypoallergenic item. By 7am I needed that flask. My neighbors overheard me saying ‘you guys win for most terrible dogs this morning’. Although to my credit, I said it calmly.
The best/worst part is, all of the above (except the pooping in the house as I still don’t understand that), is my fault. Jake needs a gentle leader harness to learn how to walk and I was too rushed to put it on him this morning. It’s my job to teach him how walks go. He enjoys being dragged, I need to work on showing him how much fun moving legs in the right direction can be. As for Melvin’s grazing, it has been suggested by several vets that I muzzle him on walks so that he can’t eat anything. Despite his allergies being so severe, I cannot bring myself to do it. 100% my fault if he gets digestive upset.
So, the net-net is that I’m pretty sure that the boys were communicating via dog language this morning… ‘She wins for most terrible owner’! I of course tried to make it up to them by snuggling and being late for my (other) full-time job.
Tomorrow is another day.
Special moment post will come later today or tomorrow!
Believe me when I say it gets so much easier! Adjusting to an additional dog is a lot of work, but time will take care of things. When I added a second, I remember wondering if I had made a huge mistake, and even considered downgrading him to a foster (horrible, I know!) while he looked for another forever home. I was so exhausted. I totally understand how it feels like your job away from your paying job. But something happens about a month in (at least in our case), and everyone falls into rhythm and routine creeps back into your lives. Two months in, that routine is close to fully established, the dogs have earned each others trust, and things swing back to as close to normal as possible. A year ago, I started fostering, and this 1-2 month transition time seems to apply to the foster pups as well (if they aren’t adopted first).
Congrats on adding Jake! I think even Melvin will come to appreciate him.
Oh, and there are always little tidbits in your posts that make me laugh out loud. I love your writing style!
I love you! I love you! I love you! A million thank yous for this!
It’s tough having more than one dog. I’ve been known to get irritated and screech on our walks… usually I’m telling Boomer to move faster and Dottie to stop pulling or walking like she’s drunk. Seriously, I’ve never seen a dog bob and weave like she does when we go places. But, then there are the days where they are perfect angels and I forget all about it… everyday is something new with dogs!
Finding out your life is somewhat normal is SOOOOO helpful! I was scouring our blog community last night to find any indication that others get frustrated and I figured I’d throw it out there and I’d either get booted from blogland or I’ll get feedback that makes me feel better! I’m glad it’s the latter!
Glad I could help… by the way today is one of those days that could drive me to drink… every time Boomer goes outside he feels the need to bark… he’s like a child experimenting with his voice… he’s so strange today!
Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s hard because you’re smart and want to do things right. Think of the legions of happy imbeciles who live in bliss with multiple dogs with all kinds of issues, simply because they can brush off and/or ignore pretty much anything and everything (not that I encourage this approach, but am just noting for the sake of example) You’ve set an appropriately high bar and I not only applaud you, but encourage you to keep going, with flask in hand 24/7 if need be! Re the flask, it’s funny because I often thought about toting around wine in a sippy cup during walks for the first year and half or so with Mazzie. Hang in there and much love to Melvin & Jake.
(“Happy imbeciles” LOL!!!!!)
Hahahahahaha! I’m ordering my flask now, I’ll bedazzle it and will drink from it proudly no matter what the hour! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!
I love this snippet of advice! It’s sooooo true! My uncle always has 3-5 dogs at a time. They are horribly behaved and get zero training and exercise, but he could care less. Meanwhile I lost my mind weekly while fostering Teeny. High expectations make for wonderfully balanced dogs….eventually, haha 😉
It is SOOOOO true. They are the same group that lets their dog run around off leash in the neighborhood and as it’s running towards you wildly they are saying ‘don’t worry, MY dog is friendly’!
Giiiiiiiiiirl……perhaps you should go back and read some of Cooper’s earlier posts to answer that questions of if I ever feel like I need a flask!
You are in the classic post-honeymoon stage of bringing a new dog into your home. At first, it’s all “My new pup is so cute! My new pup is so sweet! My new pup is so smart! He is going to be best friends with my dog! ” Then reality sets in and you realize it is HARD having two dogs! We go through this every time we bring a new foster into the house. Some “transistions periods” are easier than others, and Cooper’s was looooooooong. I mean crap, he’ll have been with us for A YEAR a the end of this month, and I think we’ve only just come out of it! Everyone makes mistakes and cuts corners with their dogs, anyone who says they don’t is a liar.
You’re right, it won’t always be this way…just hang in there, you’re doing GREAT! Jake and Melvin are so lucky to have you care so much about them that you’ll beat yourself up over these mishaps. But try not to, ‘kay? 🙂
I shall now postpone work and read back on your blog posts! It’s funny (not ha, ha but a little ha,ha) how shared misery really does help!!! You know you are a dog person when you have frustrating morning yet when you pull out of the driveway and see their mugs in the window you just want to stop the car and go back in and give it another try! Thanks for the support, it’s such a saving grace!!!
Well, there have been many times that I’ve needed a flask with only one dog! I am still just baffled at how people have two…or three…or more dogs! So you are rockin’ it in my opinion. I can relate to the Jake walking frustration. Lately I’ve been getting so ticked at Athena while out on walks because she just pulls and pulls. She always wears her Halti head collar which really doesn’t seem to work for her. I’ve also busted out the clicker last week to take on walks…she responds to a few clicks in the beginning of our walk…but then she will just refuse food! So frustrating. I’ve also require some flask action when Athena goes on her ‘hunt’ around the house to find anything that is not allowed to her. Like yesterday when I was literally just washing my face for a couple of minutes and then came downstairs to find Athena chewing on my sewing scissors!…and a pair of my underwear were not too far away (I’m STILL trying to figure out where she found the underwear!). This girl finds the weirdest things to occupy herself with!
So anyways, what I’m trying to say is that most things that Athena does that I get frustrated about I alwayyyyys think “this is not her fault, I am the one who is not managing her correctly.” Like on walks, we were bad and didn’t really take her out on walks for the past 2 months because of the weather. So, she hasn’t had much good walking practice. And as far as ALWAYS getting into things that she’s not suppose to, most of the time it’s because me and B leave things out. Totally not her fault!
You are doing great with Jake and Melvin! I think that things will just continue to get better from here as Jake and Melvin both get used to the new situation.
Let me be very clear, our blog community is so much more than talented writers and awesome photos! It’s the support and encouragement we need to keep going and to do as right as possible to our animal children! I feel so blessed to a part of this! Thank you!!!! And just so you know, Melvin can pull a 250 pound man down while wearing a gentle leader collar. Pull him down and drag him. I hope as we keep trying to better ourselves as pet parents, the product world works on giving us better tools to help!!!
Most of the time I think having 2 dogs isn’t that much harder than having one, since they’re really attached to each other. The last 2 mornings it has been stupid cold, 5 degrees today, yay, so Duke has not wanted to walk in the snow to his bathroom spot. There is no way I can carry his chunky 50lb butt while Maggie is zooming around at the end of a 20′ leash and giving him dirty looks like “hurry up, I’m only running to keep from freezing.” Of course he won’t go where he is, so Maggie & I run/drag him to the spot and run back as fast as we can while telling him that it will be over quicker if he just MOVES ALREADY! He is an official New England House Dog for sure 🙂
Yes! I feel like there are just ‘those days’ and I guess in the beginning it seems much more tragic than after you are more tenured and can say ‘oh, we’ve been through worse’! I shouldn’t complain, they are doing pretty good together!
It’s insanely hard when the dogs outnumber the people. When we had two dogs (2 dogs, 2 people) life was a BREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE. Then we went crazy (again) and got a third dog (again). We had done it before, but even knowing what to expect it was an adjustment all over again. Then when Moe came to live with us too… well, yeah, it’s crazytime 24/7 at our house now. FWIW, it does get better. Eventually you’ll all fall into a routine together and know what to expect.
Also, I wanted to recommend easy walk harnesses. Gentle leaders are great too, but I know some dogs don’t like having them on their faces. We’ve used easy walk harnesses for awhile and I can’t recommend them enough.
I think that is what we have/I meant — it clips to the leash in the front? Melvin used to wear the gentle leader face thing but now he’s great on leash (but when he wasn’t great, that thing barely contained him).
You are SO right, when they out number you it’s overwhelming! I know most of the issues are just a matter of getting used to it and also training. i have to stop thinking back to the days when it was just Melvin on walks and it was leisurely and lovely and realize that it’s also Jake now and this is how it goes. If I could tame Melvin, I can tame anything!