Ray and I have begun talking about getting another dog.
Lexie, our Labradoodle, will be 9 years old in July. That’s close to 2/3 of the way through her expected lifetime.
She is the sweetest, smartest dog in the world. I know that’s what everyone says about their dog, but she actually is the sweetest and smartest.
She has a sweet life, too. Because Ray and I are essentially retired, she is with us almost around the clock. When we are home in Asheville, we never leave her for more than a few hours. And that isn’t often. She loves to ride in the car, so we take her with us in her Jeep even when we run errands. Yes, that wasn’t a typo. The Jeep is hers. We bought it several years ago to make sure she has a comfortable riding experience.
She is intimately acquainted with all of the restaurants in town that allow dogs on their outdoor patios and decks, and she gets treats from lots of people who work in dog-friendly stores.
She has three of her own Orvis dog beds, and has learned that our living room couch, chairs and even our bed is not off limits as we cautioned her when we brought her home eight years ago. She gets groomed monthly, her “servant” Greg lives with her when we are out of town, and she is allowed to demand her walk every day at 4pm by nudging, spinning and barking.
Basically she is a diva.
And, we love her and get tons of joy out of watching her run, play and go crazy when we come home.
So, why would we consider a second dog?
Good question. We think a second dog might keep Lexie active and playful as she ages. We think it would be fun to get double dog licks and even more unconditional adoration. And, maybe most importantly, we think it might help us when the time comes for Lexie to leave us.
At the same time, we have discussed the cons.
Lexie and the new dog might not actually become the buddies we want them to become. Lexie might resent an interloper and consider us the only companions she needs. If they do become buddies, we might be surprised how much trouble they can get in together. And, the cost is not insignificant. As someone once told me, “Two dogs are 10 times the work and 100 times the cost”. Vets, grooming, food, pet sitting, Orvis beds…. the list goes on and on.
Searching the internet, I found three questions that dog owners should ask themselves about this important decision …
- Do you have the financial means to have a second dog?
- Do you have the time to train another dog?
- Are you healthy enough to take on the physical activity a second dog will require?
Financially, we can swing it, although we have avoided looking too closely at what we’re spending on Lexie. (The Jeep certainly skews the total.) We have enough time, too, since we are in our semi-retirement years. Healthy? So far so good.
Basically, we could do it. But do we really want to?
Here what I’m asking myself:
- What will it be like having another 55-60 pound dog in the house? (Yep, we both like big dogs)
- What about having two dogs in the back seat of the Jeep?
- Would we really take two big dogs to restaurant patios?
- Will dog-friendly friends feel a little less dog-friendly at the greeting they will no doubt get at our door?
- Will we be lucky a second time around in finding a dog with Lexie’s temperament and smarts?
We haven’t made a decision yet… although not deciding is kind of like deciding, isn’t it?
All I know is that every time we see a cute little puppy… or two fun-loving dogs playing together … the urge strikes again.
Opinions welcome. What do you think?
p.s. Here’s a cute site about the pros and cons of two dogs.