Collecting Dogs

IMG_5118Why do some dog owners have multiple dogs? What drives them to accumulate two, three, four or more dogs? It’s always been a mystery to me.

We had three dogs… once. Two of our bitch’s pups from different litters. Having never owned more then two at a time, I was eager for more ‘kids’, and raising them from puppies appealed to me.

Was I in for a surprise!

Going from two to three fur kids was like transitioning from a Chihuahua to a Wolfhound. It sent my head spinning. I had to schedule time each day to love and work with each dog and homeschool my two children and help with our business.

The most dramatic difference was their personalities; could every dog be sooo very different? Mackenzie needed love and attention 24/7. She’d lay on the desk in front of me while I worked on the computer begging every moment for love; Jimmyjon only wanted to play and dig holes, he preferred being outside; Brady guarded every-thing, including the fenceline in between the school and our property, she didn’t stray far from my heels, except to charge at interlopers.

Dealing with each personality and idiosyncrasy required patience, time and energy, with patience being number one. I don’t have a lot. So we shrunk back to two dogs and found balance in life once again.
Brady passed and then came Nike. Jimmyjon passed and Mr. Willie exploded in to our lives and because he is a border collie and needed to work, we began agility classes.

And then I understood!

Willie is now two. I’ve made mistakes because of my inexperience. Right now, we’re working on contacts, especially on the teeter. He loves swinging his butt off. Trying to break him of that habit is challenging and time consuming.

If I had another puppy, I know what I would do differently, what mistakes I would avoid. I’d teach the dog from the get go not to swing its butt. Perhaps I’d start when it was younger, I’d definitely be more consistent and I’d start from the beginning.

Willie is quick with picking things up, but he was so much quicker before he turned 8 months. Just think what I could accomplish with another pup. I could teach toy discrimination, turning lights off and on, open doors…..heck, I may even be able to teach the dog to talk to me!