Don’t get me wrong, I adore having a large pack! I wouldn’t have it any other way and life with just one dog wouldn’t cut it for me, but there are things I miss about having just Winry and things that are very frustrating about having more than one dog.
image by @voyagewilder
If one dog costs a certain amount a month or a year, you can bet that a second dog will most likely double that! Now, over the years and with many foster dogs coming and going, I have plenty of supplies to where I can bring home a new dog or puppy and not spend a cent on things like bowls, collars, leashes, toys, etc; however, they still raise your cost in total with eating extra food and the big whammy– vet bills. Don’t let that deter you though! Having a second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth dog is very rewarding and worth it in every way, but that isn’t what this post is about, is it?
harder to spoil
For me personally, I miss spoiling Winry. I miss bringing home a toy and watching her get excited and play with it all day. While that still happens, it’s not the same. Perhaps she likes it better this way, but there’s no way for me to know. Now, if I bring home a single toy, I have six wagging tails waiting for it. Yes, they are happy and yes, they play with it, but it’s different. I can also do a toy per dog, which only works about half the time, as they usually drop whatever I gave them to try and take from someone else. This also raises the cost and goes right back to money. This applies for everything too, not just toys. I would bring home a bone, a bully stick, or a random snack, but now, I either bring enough for everyone or she has to be locked away to eat it, which is rarely the case because it’s not fair to the rest of the pack. I would say I miss my alone time with her, but we get plenty of that and it’s not as hard as it would seem to set aside alone time with the dogs.
I think my biggest annoyance with having multiple dogs is training. Obviously, you should do individual training and I did that; however, when you ask one of them to do something, they all do it. For example, if I say “Winry, come.” then more often than not, Juniper and Bigby come too. If I release someone with an “ok,” especially if I forget their name before it, everyone releases. It leads to a lot of confusion and frustration. I understand this requires more training and more obedience between each dog, as they have the ability to only listen if their name is called, but that requires a lot of work and a lot of time, which I am willing (and do) put in, but that doesn’t take away from the fact I wish it wasn’t a problem in the first place and more often than not, it’s a problem someone with multiple dogs runs into.
image by @tailsfromthedarkside
Traveling is also much more difficult when you have more than one dog. With Winry, we just brought her everywhere and didn’t worry about it, but with the pack…I need a bigger vehicle if I want to comfortably and safely bring them all somewhere. Usually, we have to take two cars, and even that can be cramped. This also goes for traveling without the dogs. Again, Winry would just come with us, but now we have to find someone to watch our zoo or pay for them to all be boarded, which would be a lot. It means we can’t go places as often as maybe we would if we didn’t have so many dogs and makes creating plans a bit more complicated.
Obviously, with more dogs comes more work. That is no secret, but sometimes you forget about just how much work is added. In my case, it’s six dogs to bathe, six meals to prep twice a day, six mouths full of teeth to brush, twenty-four paws with nails to clip, six coats to brush..you get the picture. It’s a dirtier floor, a dirtier car, and tons more fur everywhere. It’s six games of fetch, six vet trips, six bellies to run. It’s so much time and so much effort, but it’s not to say I don’t enjoy it. It’s also six beautiful creatures to love and my heart is so full.
image by @uponakatana
Despite it all, I wouldn’t trade having multiple dogs for anything! I know I was born to have this many animals and while there are challenges, you learn to adapt and you figure it out! No matter how many dogs you have, just do your research and be sure you’re ready for the added responsibility of adding a second, third, fourth, or whatever number dog to your home!
— The Wayfinder
featured image by @voyagewilder