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inversion of nostalgia

She has no idea how her life will/is about to change forever. I am so sad for her this morning. I think I may be starting to feel/feeling about Stella's imminent singledogdom the way agilejack feels about her extrees... Except I am feeling it in the weeks before because I KNOW it's coming. And I am also thinking that for anyone here it's very likely been so long since they've ever had just a single dog if they EVER had a single dog it would be impossible to remember exactly what's lost? But if anyone does remember I'd like to hear about it


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 13th, 2014 02:31 pm (UTC)
Beep came to me when we had five dogs and then the numbers went up and down from there. I was to the point where he was going to be an only dog and worried that he would be a terrible only dog. He would be lonely, would get even weirder without a buddy to keep him in line and that he has to share, so I got a Poppet. So, I didn't want my dog to be an only... just a different perspective:)
May. 13th, 2014 02:49 pm (UTC)
Ok thanks for that. I mean at times I have wished for her to have a companion because she does love her little group of buddies she's grown up with in the park. I mean I can see her deep affection for them so yes there is that

But she is subtle about her needs. And I'm not sure we will catch her subtle cues and respond to the degree she needs--it makes such a difference. When she is worried or afraid or happy about something in passing means so much to her when we see it and respond and I can just see the multitasking of a puppy that will get lost.
She also really is deep about her little home routines...
May. 13th, 2014 06:43 pm (UTC)
I think the new puppy will create new needs in Stella as well as meet some of the needs she has too. Things change all the time and dog are very capable of adapting, even when they are older:) I'm sure you'll still be attentive to her needs, even though you may be distracted at times. She'll be alright.
May. 13th, 2014 02:47 pm (UTC)
When I got Whisper, Zoe got really sick and almost died. She was only 5 years old. I don't really remember Whisper's arrival upsetting anything in Zoe's routine. She seemed happy for it. She is a dog who needs companionship all the time. But we already had two cars so it really wasn't a big deal to add a puppy.
May. 13th, 2014 03:38 pm (UTC)
I had HUGE worries about Ruben's life change if we had another dog. Plus my ex wasn't really keen at ALL about having more than one dog. Of course, by then, I'd been in agility long enough and met enough people who had MULTIPLE dogs that I knew I could do it, and that it was done successfully with all sorts of dog personalities.
A Huge break came for us when my very close friend needed a dog sitter for an extended time while she finished her Masters degree. So Tag came to stay with us for nearly two month. It was WONDERFUL! and Ruben loved her!

Here's a really horrible video of them playing in the snow:

They snapped a weave pole! hahahah. Having Tag for an extended time really cemented in my mind how GOOD it would be for Ruben to have a doggy family member. He didn't always like it. And the two boys did have issues with eachother now and again, but mostly it was super good.

Rumble was a no-brainer. ;)
May. 13th, 2014 04:28 pm (UTC)
I do know we will be happily ever after eventually and maybe even right away. But some things are lost. Do you remember what was lost?
May. 13th, 2014 04:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, Honestly. I remember what was lost....


Two dogs can be NOISY! Especially if one is the Red Menace. Border Collies aren't known for being really loud (but those girls seem like talkers to me!) and Ruben was a very quiet dog. He barked at the door occasionally or at strange sounds, but that's about it. Razor barked just to hear himself. Plus, two dogs wrestling all the time is noisy too. I got used to it pretty quickly. But one dog moves slowly and regularly through your house. Two dogs might RACE eachother and rumble up and down the stairs. It's mostly happy noise, but still noisy.

I did an animal communicator when I got Raze because I was so worried about how Ruben was feeling. She was convinced Ruben was breathing a sigh of relief about NOT being my constant focus. I do think that was accurate. He eased up on a lot of things, mostly because I wasn't constantly obsessing over him.

The other PLUS you have is TWO trainers in the house. When I got my second dog, I was still the sole provider and trainer for them both. You have B! and she's going to be super hands on. So if you ever feel like Stel needs some time away from it all, extra lovin or an apple muffin, you can just zip off with her and not worry that Jr. is left alone. I did make sure Ruben had his special training and class time, and he got separate walks now and again.
I think you will FEEL what needs to be done, and be ok doing it. No worries.
May. 13th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
Okay - here's the thing… Structure is so important when adding a new dog to the household. Luckily puppies require a lot of structure. Don't change existing dog's structure - except when doing separate training sessions. Puppy can be crated and should be crated often. Stella's rules should remain the same. I always feed new dog in crate - merrel still eats in her crate. Don't expect it to be happy ever after right away. It takes work, lots of crating and rotating. Hell, look at me with four females in the house the last few months. Everyone got along but it took/takes work.
May. 14th, 2014 02:27 am (UTC)
Ok that's useful. Structure the same.
May. 13th, 2014 04:32 pm (UTC)
I guess I want to know all what to savor over the next month...
May. 13th, 2014 04:38 pm (UTC)
Savor the quiet! and the SLEEP! LOL
May. 13th, 2014 04:36 pm (UTC)
I had single dogs for short stretches. Desie was a single dog for a while, and he hated it. He was always much more balanced when there were other dogs around.

Riley was a single dog just for about a month, after Siggy died and before I got Jodah. I think she would have been a great single dog.

Things I miss about having single dogs: it's so easy to take a single dog everywhere with you. It's easy to have just one dog on a leash walk, without feeling guilty that someone has been left home (if you have 2 dogs that are good on leash walks together, this is less of an issue).

In general, barking is less with a single dog. No pack mentality.

And ummmm, that's it.

There are so many benefits to having multiple dogs, that the balance is towards 2 or more for me. :-)
May. 13th, 2014 04:40 pm (UTC)
For a year after we re-homed Ruben I just had Razor (and of course Blaze, Nova and Fred!!) but Razor was "my" only dog for a year. I think BOTH of us loved that year very very much. It IS easier to just have to think about, train, feed and walk one dog, even if he's a crazy dog like Razor. I think we bonded HARD during that time and I certainly enjoyed it soooo much. But we're JUST as close now as we were then, and I think mostly he's cool with Rumble. Razor is ok with other dogs around. Ruben wasn't...
May. 13th, 2014 05:24 pm (UTC)
You saw the initial introduction of Joey, and then you saw more of the mix last summer. It will be interesting this summer with four dogs.

I still almost always walk the dogs separately. For training it gets a little tricky. One needs to be in the house, in a crate or tied to a post while I train the other. Matilda doesn't like to be left out of the the yard time whether it's playing or training. Joey does pretty well tied to the post outside while I train Matilda.

Mealtime. I use mats for control while I'm getting dog dinners ready. Joey is still a challenge. If he's not on his mat or on his leash with my foot on the leash he's jumping on me. Each dog gets a turn doing a pre dinner tricks routine. Joey usually finishes eating first. On the few occasions when he approached Matilda's bowl while she was eating, she gave him a low growl, but she's fine with him coming very close to her on the other side for a drink of water. The often drink from the water bowl at the same time.

Toys. Matilda has favorite toys. Sometimes he'll take a favorite and she gets it back fro him if she wants it without any fuss. Mostly they share toys.

Beds. They have their own beds, but sometimes they will take each other beds with no protest.

The couch. The couch is the only furniture Joey's allowed on. Matilda has never really had an interest in being on the couch. She likes the bed in front of the couch or the floor when it's hot as it is now.

Play. I try to limit wild play in the house. If Joey stars running, I break things up. They do do more gentle rolling on the floor play inside. Outside they always have toys. Joey often does his crazy zoomie runs and I worry about his crashing into trees or the house or my shed. Matilda runs after him. Mostly she handles it pretty well. If she starts getting over the top, I send her to get a ball.

I think Matilda likes having Joey around. She still gets her private time.

Edited at 2014-05-13 09:41 pm (UTC)
May. 14th, 2014 02:29 am (UTC)
You had such an odd beginning. You got him he came home to the lake and then you were on the road. Nothing was normal
May. 13th, 2014 05:25 pm (UTC)
Faith was my only dog for 8 years when I got Tanqueray. I thought I would miss having just one dog to pay attention to, but I don't really. I love watching my two play outside and interact in the house. I feel bad sometimes because I honestly have so much more fun with Tanq (who is toy-crazy, whip-smart, FAST, and non-reactive), but I just have to set time aside to love and train Faith. Faith loves her border collie; I bet Stella will, too.

Things that are lost:
-hotel stays are a pain in the butt. Two dogs (one dog-reactive) plus one 36" crate plus gigantic mountain of dog gear is tough for one person to handle.
-less quality time with Faith...but she's actually a lot cuddlier and more socially normal since I've gotten a puppy.
-usually I exercise mine off-leash together; when I'm someplace where that's not possible, exercising takes more time because I don't walk mine on-leash together.
May. 14th, 2014 02:47 am (UTC)
Yes Stella will be so excited to have a border collie of her own. And I look forward to seeing them play and I hear border collies play differently than the doodles...
Separate training time...
Stella still at 6 has a long way to go with her agility training and I think only in the last year we are just understanding who she is better and what we need to do to have stronger team... It takes a lot of focus and energy and care and so I just hope this gets to continue.
And that's so interesting that the second dog distinctly has changed the social gestalt of the first only dog.
May. 13th, 2014 06:14 pm (UTC)
It's a financial burden - mouths to feed, toys, leashes, collars, treats, double vet bills, HW and flea prevention. That's where you will miss it - in your pocketbook. The rest is fun and gravy.
May. 13th, 2014 06:20 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah ha the monies
May. 13th, 2014 06:45 pm (UTC)
honestly for me I didn't feel like I lost much of anything with the addition of a second dog. I still had two hands for walking, it was just as easy to put two dogs in the same xpen, I have two hands for petting, two hands for giving two dogs treats, it really doesn't feel like a huge impact. But then, I am a dog trainer, I love raising and training dogs and it was very easy for me to train my two dogs to be as easy to handle as one dog was.

Now three dogs, that's a game changer!!! Once they outnumber your hands, you got your work cut out for you and suddenly you have a pack:)
May. 13th, 2014 07:44 pm (UTC)
We had our first corgi, Chelsea, as our only dog for 8 years before we got Kirby. One dog certainly is easier but I can't think of anything that I lost in getting another dog. Chelsea really enjoyed having her Kirby (she would clean his face and ears) and then when we got Slider, she thought he was super sexy and flirted with him. She had never been much of a flirt before that, it so cute! I still feel very guilty for making her be an only dog for so long, it wasn't fair to her. I didn't see it at the time, she was our spoiled baby girl, but I sure did see it afterwards. I will never have an only dog ever again for any length of time. Not that I am judging people who have only one dog, sometimes that is all someone has room or time for, I do understand that.
May. 13th, 2014 09:27 pm (UTC)
My first dog was my Aussie Billie. She was five when I got Forrest, and she just looked at me like, "you've got to be kidding me. WHEN is he leaving?" But then she adjusted.

When I got Skeeter, Billie was 10 and was relieved that Forrest now had someone else to play with. Forrest at five years old was like, "You got her for me???" Skeeter felt the same way when Bender came home.

Going from one dog to two was pretty easy. Going from two to three is incredibly hard. Two dogs is just one more than one. But three dogs is exponentially MORE than just one more than two!!!

I have a friend who says, "You shouldn't have more dogs than you have hands." She now has three for the first time!
May. 14th, 2014 04:40 am (UTC)
I do like having just two dogs. They "fit" more places! When you walk three.. it's a zoo! ( I do it occasionally when Nova comes along).
May. 15th, 2014 03:19 am (UTC)
Two is three is the worst. Two dogs can be walked at once, share a crate and they can be on either side of you for snuggling. Dog bones also usually come in packages that are a multiple of 2. The third dog ruins everything. Everything.
May. 15th, 2014 03:22 am (UTC)
I know for a fact it would be too much for me. Three dogs just seems like MORE!
Of course, probably going to four from there is pretty simple. hahahaha
May. 17th, 2014 03:19 am (UTC)
There are pros and cons--one of the main cons is the expense and doubling the amount of time you spend training/playing/walking/cuddling/grooming but the best thing about having more than one dog is seeing the original dog blossom once the pressure of being an only dog is removed.
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