Saturday, February 27, 2010

Reality Check

So I’ve now had a taste of what it would be like to have 2 dogs. I’ve always thought I would love to have a second dog, but it’s kind of like watching the Cosby Show and coming to the conclusion that having 5 kids and 2 professional careers is easy, peasy and anyone can do it. Until yesterday I had totally bought into this thinking, but now I see that I am better to only have one dog.

Cadie played host last night to her friend, a cute little Westie, nick named Salt. Cadie and Salt are good friends, they look forward to seeing each other, and they play well together, so when my friend asked if I could keep Salt overnight I answered yes without hesitation. My friend often keeps Cadie, if I need to work late, or if I have to go out of town for the day. So obviously I was more than happy to return the favour. Salt arrived yesterday about midday, and stayed only about 24 hours.

I have to preface what I am about to write by saying that Salt is a fantastic dog! I honestly don’t think it would be possible to find a better dog house guest. Still I’m exhausted. I had decided to take the dogs out for a bathroom break at about 3:30, this was uneventful, but that’s because it didn’t involve coats, paw protector or egos. We went outside, they did their business and I brought them both in, feeling like I could certainly handle 2 dogs, no sweat!

We all had a nice little nap, but then at 5:30 the dogs were looking pretty bored, so I suited up and took them to the trail for a good long outing. This is where the fantasy came crashing down.

Suiting up was so tiresome. It involved 3 coats, Cadie, Salt and of course, myself. Then the boots, then the leashes, and the community grooming equipment (poop bags). We headed out, and we hit our first real snag as soon as we hit the sidewalk. Salt and Cadie often walk together, but never by the same person, and so they don’t have a rhythm, first one would stop then the other. Then one coat would come off then the other. By the time I was finished fixing the second coat the first one would be off again, and I think you get the idea. After only 15 minutes Salt had completely removed her coat and I was carrying it.

Juggling leashes was my next challenge. Although they walk really well for my friend, they know that I’m not the alpha, so they were zig zagging all over the trail, stopping and starting jutting back and forth in front of me each one trying to lead the pack. Now before you think I’m a total pansy who can’t manage the dogs I had prepared, I done some research. My friend had given me some tips, keep the leashes short, being the most important, and just for the record, I did all of these things. I think the dogs were able to sense my mounting frustration, and they struck while the iron was hot.

We did get a decent walk, and another one again this morning. Salt and Cadie get along really well, and there was nothing acrimonious about our visit. They helped me pack; they hung out on the couch and tried to steal each other’s breakfasts. All in all it was a good morning with Salt, but she was tired, and was so happy to go home. My friend called 30 minutes before coming to collect her which was a hilarious moment. It’s just so funny how intuitive dogs are. The phone rang, and before I could even spit out the words “Salt it’s your mom calling” Salt was off the couch and standing by the door. I laughed, it’s just so funny.

The other issue that I was not expecting to have to deal with was Cadie’s jealousy. As I say, she and Salt are good friends, and so it wasn’t acrimonious, but Cadie was not herself. I think she felt that she had been replaced, which of course was not true, but you can’t really reason with an animal. Salt headed for home, Cadie and I watched her get into the car from our dinning room window, and I think that Cadie was genuinely upset to see Salt leave, but we’ll see her tomorrow morning at the park.


  1. Hahaha! And the very next day, some other strange dog is in her space! :-) Bucky and I enjoyed the visit today. Thanks to you and Cadie for being gracious hostesses!

  2. Not at all, Cadie loves to play hostess, and I think it's good for her not to get too upity about "her spce" or "her toys"