How Many Dogs is the "Right" Number for You?
Posted at 02:15PM - Comments: (66)
My son’s dog – my granddog – just stayed with me for three weeks, while my athlete son was traveling for his sport. Cole, an all-black Black and Tan Coonhound, is about four years old now. I personally selected him for my son from my local shelter when he was only about four or five months old, and he’s stayed with me many, many times. He has *perfect* manners, gets along well with both my dogs (goofy adolescent Woody and serious senior Otto) and my cats (both the super-shy one and the one who swats the dogs daily). I absolutely adore this dog – and yet, I was glad when my son returned from his travels and Cole went home. As much as I love dogs in general and Cole in particular, for me, three dogs is just a bit much.
Two dogs is just the right number for me. Three (or more) get a bit chaotic; it seems like one of the three has always just vomited or had a runny poo, or is coughing or something. With three or more, it feels like I can never get the house clean; as fast as I vacuum all the hair, muddy footprints appear somewhere behind me. The water bowl is always empty (or full of slobbery backwash), with drips on the floor in a 10-foot radius around the bowl.
My sister has four little dogs, each of whom, individually, is a nice little dog. Collectively, though, it feels like a circus to me – especially since none of them are trained in any way. Bark, bark, bark, bark! Yikes!
In contrast, having only one dog is a bit intense. It feels almost too intimate, like being on a date, as opposed to going out with the whole family. Does that even make sense?
I guess this is why I like short-term fostering only; I try to avoid fostering any dog that might need months and months of training and behavioral rehabilitation because after a few weeks, it feels more like a burden and less like fun.
What about you? What’s the right number of dogs for you?