It’s Yer Choice, Reprise

Dear Shivster,

There’s been a lot going on lately, hasn’t there? I am really impressed with how gracefully you’ve handled all the changes. I think the cat took the move harder than you did. You seemed to trust that as long as you were with us, everything would be okay. It’s faith like yours that keeps me sane.

You are such a mature dog now, sometimes I even forget how nutty you used to be. If my former self could see how tolerant you are with the little girls down the street, she would probably start crying.  Naturally, you always make sure to remind me if I start to slide. You know better than anyone how to keep me on my toes!

Like last week, when you decided all boogie boards were tools of evil demons in disguise. That was fun.

In fact you are so much steadier, that I have actually started to contemplate adding a fifth member to our family. It’s early days yet, don’t worry. Although I say that and my mind goes immediately to Dawson, a lively boy who has been living in a shelter for far too long. As sorry as I feel for him and as awesome as he is, I don’t think I am quite ready to start all over again.

It’s a lot of work, living with a newly adopted dog. You taught me that. But when we brought you home I felt prepared, even if I wasn’t. I had planned and saved and researched for months before we ever went to the shelter to meet you. Considering Dawson as our second dog feels rushed. Impulsive. Cautitious Kristine doesn’t do things like that.

But this is my year of zoomery, isn’t it?

Everything just feels so nice now. We have a yard to train in, an off-leash park within walking distance, and you actually let us sleep in past six am. There are so many things I still want to do with you. Just you. I worry a new dog would put distance between us. That your big trialing debut would be put off indefinitely. A new silly boy around is bound to take up most of my attention. I am positive our daily walks would be cut back. The last thing I want is for you to be pushed aside, put on the back burner for later.

On the other hand, I think about all the things you would gain with a live-in buddy. If the new dog liked to play and run and tug as much as you do, I am sure you’d have a blast. Maybe you wouldn’t even miss the time when it was just you and me.

Perhaps I am thinking about this too much. Typical human behaviour. Really we can’t make a decision without getting your opinion on the matter. You are a pretty important member of this family and the resident canine expert. Any potential new dog needs to pass your inspection first. I really shouldn’t even be talking about this before hearing from you.

It’s in your hands now, Sheevs. What do you think we should do?

36 thoughts on “It’s Yer Choice, Reprise

  1. ohh he’s lovely… and he’s been in shelter for sooooo long. I’m pretty sure Shiva would be more than thrilled to have a live-in buddy.

    Bring him home, Kristine… 🙂


    • LOL. If only it was that easy! I kinda wish someone else would just take him home already so I don’t have to think about him anymore!


  2. When I was thinking about getting a second dog, one of my friends with three dogs told me that it helps the dog keep in touch with her doggie roots. Rather than take time away from the first dog, I find that it involves both mentally by having a companion. And then there is the matter of a little sibling rivalry when one dog catches on first to what you want and the other is bound to keep up. “Hey, I can do that. Watch me.” Just tell Shiva that you are getting a pet for her.


    • Well, that’s one of the things I’ve been thinking. If there weren’t all these practicalities in the way (time, space, money, uncertain future, money…) I would probably have two dogs already. I just want it to be the right choice for everyone, my dog and myself. *sigh*


  3. Once you have two, you’ll never go back to one.

    Big decision! I’m sure Shiva will be a happy girl with either choice.


    • Thanks. Luckily, I don’t have to worry too much about Shiva. She always finds a way to make things work in her favour.


  4. I love this post and I love that you shared it with us. You. Rock. I worried about all of the same things before we got Kolchak. I’ll worry them again next time our family grows, but the truth is that Kolchak brought out so many of Felix’s wonderful, adorable “doggiest” traits that I don’t think we ever would have seen without another dog. I won’t say it’s been easy, but if the fates allow, I’ll have three dogs before I ever have one again.


    • Really? I’ve never lived in a house with more than one dog. Everyone in my family always had one dog households. A second one seems like crossing a line somehow. But then in blogland multiple dogs seem to be the norm. When I read your posts and the posts of others who have three or four, I am always amazed at how easy you make it seem. My dog trainer actually owns 9 dogs. 9! And yet everything seems to come together.


  5. So – when are you picking Dawson up? 😉

    Being that I’m considering getting a fourth, I don’t think you’re being impulsive at all. LOL! But yes, it does depend on Shiva….

    So – when are they going to meet?


    • LOL. We shall see… I am sure I will keep you posted if there are any developments!

      I still don’t know how you handle so many dogs at once. You are amazing.


  6. Shiva: I think your Mom’s mind is leaning towards one option more than other:)

    I worried about the same exact thing with Sherman before we got Leroy and just look at where we are now, a total mess! But I wouldn’t have it any other way:)))


    • Hahahaha! Thanks for your honesty. I have no expectation of things being easy. But I have no doubt that no matter what decision I make, I will be glad I did. 🙂


    • That’s a big part of what I am worried about as well. I don’t want to neglect Shiva because I am tied up with the new dog. Also, I worry that some of her old habits will return if I am not as vigilant with her as I am now. A new dog could just put us back to the beginning. Or it could be the best thing ever. 😛 If only I had a time machine!

      I am so glad everything worked out with Gretel and Chester. They seem like they were meant to be together!


  7. I’ve never adopted a new dog with another dog already in our home. Agatha and Christie came as a matched set (from hell) and Shadow was too reactive (and with us too short a time) for us to do it. I’m sure I’d be going through the same questioning process you are, though.

    Contemplating big life changes, we can’t bring another permanent dog into the house. But Honey’s purpose for being here is to allow me to welcome foster dogs (or guide dog pups, if I ever do that) gracefully into our home. With our next foster coming this afternoon, I know Honey will be excited to have a doggie friend for a while.

    Your heart is telling you something. Good luck in trying to figure out exactly what it is so you can act on it.


    • Thanks for your thoughts. You touched on something I have been thinking about. I’ve long been interested in fostering but never felt I was in the right space to do so. Perhaps instead of adopting another permanent dog, I should start looking into fostering a lot more seriously. That way I could see how Shiva and I would handle a second dog without full commitment, kind of a trial run. Our future is pretty uncertain as well so perhaps fostering is a better way to start.

      Good luck with your newest visitor! I hope we get to see pictures!


  8. I hope Shiva gives you some guidance. As you know, we were just in the same boat. We really wanted to add a dog to the family and help give a rescue dog a home. And as you know, it was not at all easy. I also thought that Kelly would like a buddy. It has been 3 months now and Kelly and Brooks get along pretty much, but they have not played together once. Never. They don’t sleep next to each other. They don’t interact except when Kelly is jealous and bossy. Another thing, Brooks is so affectionate and always wants to be IN MY LAP that Kelly gets jealous and hides under a table. It is really difficult to try to give Kelly attention when she is giving me the cold shoulder, and really easy to give Brooks attention when he is always on top of me. So I try to give Kelly more alone time again. Sometimes I feel guilty about all the just-Kelly-and-me time we don’t have anymore. But Brooks has added so much to our family too. It’s a change for Kelly…but not necessarily a bad change. Just a change. Life changes. We all have to do our best. Now I am going to go give her a big hug and a kiss!


    • Do they like balls? We played a game we called ‘Two Ball” with our dogs. We’d roll the balls all over the house, and they’d chase them – usually not together. Two Ball originated with our original dog, who loves to chase the ball but doesn’t fetch. With two balls in play, you shoot one along the floor, and then he drops the one he’s carrying.

      We had four balls in play some times. Dogs crossing paths all over the place, but each with his ‘own’ ball (they’d occasionally switch, but they always had an uncontested ball to ‘own’)

      It still took 6 weeks for those two to really look at each other, but I think the ball time helped them feel more easy around each other. As always, every dog is different and your mileage may vary… but maybe this gives you something to try?


  9. Getting Duke was the best thing we ever did for Maggie. She loves to have a little brother to boss around, they love to chase, bodyslam and snuggle each other. They clicked from the minute they met, you might luck out. Or not, which also lets you off the hook. Could you foster to adopt Dawson to see how they do and get him out of the shelter for a bit?


  10. I prefer having two dogs. For me, crazy dog lady territory would be 3 dogs (for me! Not others!) but I’ll have that for at least one month and possibly longer this fall. It probably sounds odd that I don’t know – I just started puppy raising and I am getting a new pup in October and turning in the old one in November. If he makes it, I’ll have just 2 again. If he doesn’t make it, I’ll have 3 for a year and a half until new puppy gets turned in. I find that scary so I know a bit what you are going through.

    My only rec for your situation is if you do proceed, don’t lose your heart until you know how Shiva feels. I adopted a new dog a year and a half ago and I didn’t even interact with the digit before my older dog did. If she didn’t like the new dog, there wasn’t any need for me to. The rescue group I worked with even let me do a trial sleepover which I was so grateful for.


  11. Fostering a dog is a wonderful idea: it gives you and Shiva the time to see how you both adjust to the change in routine. Start with a well-rounded dog (not unlike Dawson who sounds like his foster mom has done wonders with him) so you don’t have huge baggage to overcome but can work him into your home.
    But who am I? I have 6 dogs of my own plus 13 rescues/fosters all in the house!


  12. I love when you write a post to Shiva. Always so thoughtful and sweet and intimate. I don’t know how to describe it better, but it’s beautiful.

    As far as Shiva’s decision, I guess that will be up to her. I will tell you that having always been a one-dog person and then a two-dog person and now a three-dog person, I can see both sides. There was always something special about having one dog to focus my time and attention on. I loved the close relationship we had. But with Daisy, having a second dog was the best choice. She needed another dog to help her not only be a dog, but to feel more confident. Jasper was just what she needed and they are now inseparable. I never thought of having more than before Jasper and I certainly never thought I would have three.

    Then, along came Lady and well… it was meant to be. Do I spend less time training? Yes and no. I do some training in the morning with them before work, but nothing major. I would love to really compete with Jasper, but with 3 dogs that’s not really possible. I would be neglecting the other two for him. I just can’t so that.

    But, there are good things that come with two and three – the friendship and camaraderie they have with one another, the comfort each provides Daisy, etc. And, I benefit from each of their personalities too.

    I don’t know what Shiva (or you) will decide, but I say trust your gut (and Shiva’s – well as long as she’s not eating trash). 🙂


  13. Could you foster him? He could be a lot of work, he might not be. You won’t find out unless you live with him.

    I don’t think Bender misses the time where it was just me and him. I think he would like it if his sister played rough with him though. She doesn’t like rough games and I don’t blame her – I wouldn’t roughhouse with a boofa either.


  14. I envy you your new adventure (because, come on, we all know you want to. 😉

    I grew up in a multiple dog household and wished I could have talked Jan into a second one when we got Bella.

    But I do appreciate how thoughtful, and respectful of Shiva, you’re being in the process. She’s lucky to have you.


  15. In retrospect, we probably weren’t ready for dog #2. Maggie was still a puppy. With that being said, adopting Sadie was the best thing that ever happened to me. Yes, I’ve had to deal with some behavior problems with Maggie as a result of adopting a dog with issues and neglecting her training but I learned and we’ve overcome my screw-ups.

    I think you’re one step ahead by knowing the pitfalls of a second pet. But I’ll tell ya – there’s nothing better than seeing your precious dog gain a new best friend. We let Maggie choose and even though we’ve made mistakes, Maggie & Sadie needed each other and we needed them in ways I never knew could be possible at the time. Whatever you decide, I know it’ll be right for your family!


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