Over the weekend I had another new experience that I can now cross off my list. For the first time, I walked two dogs at once. Rest assured, I am not a natural. Juggling two leashes and two excited mutts is a skill I have yet to develop. I am baffled at how people handle three or four dogs all at the same time without spending the majority of the time on the ground. I had my share of cartoonish moments myself. One arm stretched this way, the other arm yanked the other way, as the two dogs headed off in different directions. It helped that one of the dogs was well-trained. It didn’t help that the other didn’t even know his own name.
By the end of it all, I was exhausted! It really made me question if I could handle life with two dogs. Perhaps it’s a good thing we’re going to be stuck with a fence-less yard for the next ten months. There will be no temptation to introduce more insanity to our already manic household.
Not that I don’t think a second dog would be a lot of fun. I look forward to starting the training process all over again – knowing what I know now. Getting to know a new dog is exciting and I really enjoy the challenge of it. I can’t wait to see Shiva rip around with a canine sibling. I fully expect to tear up a little when she plays tug with another dog for the first time. It’s an experience I really want her to have.
When we’re ready.
The thing is, living with Shiva is a full-time job. Her training is nowhere near complete. After my experience this weekend, I’ve learned it is impossible to train two dogs at once while on a walk. Especially when the two dogs have very different motivations and skill levels. My 90 minutes plus of walking per day would likely turn into 180 minutes. Add to that general training around the house, along with our current agility schedule, not to mention my job… I am not sure I could handle it.
To everyone out there who lives with two, or three, or six dogs, (I am looking at you 24 Paws of Love) I salute you. You have skills of infinite proportion. Maybe one day I’ll learn your secrets. But in the meantime, I think I’ll have another nap.