Saturday, September 21, 2013

It Really Is Me Not Them


My dog is a lot of work. I acknowledge every day that I am privileged to have the time and resources to do that work and to do it in the most humane and intelligent way possible. I've always been aware of the animal rescue world but I'm a little deeper in my understanding of it these days. At least once a week I see a dog and wonder if I should save him or her. There are a lot of reasons that I wind up saying no. It is infinitely more expensive to have two dogs. Since I rely on the kindness of friends when I go away it is an exponentially larger request to have two dogs or a larger financial commitment. Still and all the stories are tough to read and I often think it'd be worth it. I know Ed would love to have another dog around to join him in his plans and schemes for conquering the world. He needs a Pinky to complement his Brain.

Our sweet friend, Ben, is staying with us this weekend. We're about twelve hours into his stay and it's been enough to remind me why I'm not going to get a second dog for a while. Let me be clear, Ben is not the issue. Ed loves having him around and so do I. He's a cuddly, relatively chill dude with a few quirks but nothing crazy. Ed has been the asshole. He is so excited to have another dog around that he can't control himself. He immediately starts barking and chasing the cats and harassing Ben and jumping all over the furniture and chasing the cats some more and he absolutely cannot stop himself. When I hit the end of my rope this afternoon I put him in his crate for a break and he fell right off to sleep. He exhausted himself. The cats are terrorized. They, of course, blame Ben which is sad and wrong.

Now, I've been studying. I know that this is behavior Ed can be trained away from. I also know that the training will be arduous, tedious, and take a very long time. And you know what? I don't want to do it. I mean, I do actually want to do it maybe an hour a week or so on days when I've had plenty of rest and am at the top of my game. I'm clearly reminded today of why that would be a great idea, too. (An ounce of prevention, don't you know?) I do not want to make it my whole life, all day every day all of the days of the week and twice on Sunday. Maybe after these cats head to the great vomitorium in the sky but not while they're still here. They had their dinner on top of the kitchen cabinets today. Even if I can train the dogs I don't know that I can train the cats. They have too much fear and too many health problems. It just wouldn't be fair to them.

For tonight we're working as well as we can with a combination of management and training. It's probably been good for all of us. OK, good for me and Ed, for the cats and Ben the benefits are surely only slight. Starting next week who wants to come over and spend about an hour in my house with their dog while I train mine? I'll provide the wine.

*Photo taken today. I feel I should say that I did place Ed on the love seat next to Ben but they love each other and hung out there without coaxing.

1 comment:

  1. you're so good to do the thinking and the caring and the planning and the researching.
    I'm all like...I'll just get two! owooowwwowowowowowoooo!