A Two Dog Household


Chloe & Emma

A two dog household was a question that my wife, Karen and I pondered a few weeks ago. I mean what's not to like? We thoroughly enjoy Chloe's company especially when she rests peacefully in your lap, or when she gives you that thoughtful cocker spaniel head tilt making it seem like you're the most important person in the world.

I often wonder how did we ever get along without having a dog in the home. When you count our daily walks, playtime in the backyard, and yes even those spontaneous moments of her mischievousness, adding Chloe to our family unit has been an adventure that we would undeniably do all over again. 

So back to the question ...would having a second dog double our fun? As an analytical thinker, a trait that comes from being an architect, I found myself continually going over such a decision, and wouldn't Chloe like a sister? When I came across Emma, a two-year old buff colored cocker spaniel in the animal shelter in Aztec, New Mexico, Karen and I both turned to thinking wouldn't she make a wonderful addition to our tightly knit family pack. As we explored the possibility with an inquiry to the shelter, we also began to consider what it would mean in owning two dogs. Such a decision would have to include the financial impact in the added expense of food, monthly grooming, visits to the vet, and even walking two dogs, but it would also have to take into account Chloe's thoughts on such a matter.

Ever since Chloe arrived in our home on that last day of December 2011, she has had the run of the house, the backyard, and of course all of our devoted attention. In her dog world, she is The Number One, ...The Top Dog, ...The Big Kahuna, The squeaky toys that I often find scattered across the living room floor are Chloe's personal possessions that she guards with a passion. Karen only has to pet a neighboring dog, when Chloe responds with an instinctive low growl, that says,  "Hey, I'm Chloe, remember me!"  

No doubt I'm fortunate to have a wife that thinks in an analytical pattern as well, and when placing the Chloe factor into our decision, we both began to conclude that introducing Emma might not be the best for all parties. Now one dog shouldn't rule the household, but adding a second canine into your home is not to be taken lightly. In the case of Emma, the shelter let us know that if we wanted her, we would have to act quickly since she was scheduled to be relocated to Utah for a potential adaption. 

Apparently our inquiry was the second inline for the opportunity at giving her a home. We learned, Emma had already been rejected by one family that had a dog. Although the standard meet-and-greet on neutral ground, between Emma and that dog went well, the family decided against introducing her into their household. We never did learn the reason why from the animal shelter, but the point was made that it had nothing to do with Emma's personality.

As I began to think about how to handle such a meet-and-greet between Emma and Chloe, especially since Chloe doesn't like to ride in a car, and Emma was located 175 miles to the north in Aztec, the prospect of adapting her wasn't looking favorable. We thought of bringing Emma to Albuquerque, but such an idea had its complications, especially where to keep Emma prior to introducing her to Chloe, since I felt the "getting to know you" process might need to be a gradual one. Couple that to the shelter's decision in sending her to another rescue service in less than three days, also left little room for working out specific details. 

In the end, our analytical thinking took precedence and that adding a second dog to our already one dog family was probably not going to work. Maybe we would come to regret our decision made on that summer morning, but Emma deserved better, meaning a loving family where just like Chloe she would truly experience being, ...The Number One, ...The Top Dog, ...The Big Kahuna.

1 comment :

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