Dog Friendly Tips: Know your own vets details
Medical Records: In case of a medical emergency while traveling, it is advisable to bring along your pets medical records along with your vet's contact information should they be needed for consultation.
Dog Friendly Article: Collecting Dogs
While speaking to a potential client over the phone, she mentioned to me that her third dog had "fallen on their laps" as they had rescued this young pup from a really bad situation. For me there is no need in repeating the details of animal abuse... I know it happens, but repeating them with gory details makes me sick to my stomach and sends me into a Buddhist refrain: It is (life, circumstances) what it is. Truth be said that this mantra is about the only thing that can give me some consolation when I hear the sad state of affairs, especially when it involves the innocent - such as animals.
So please excuse me if I stop you on your tracks should you begin to tell me about stories of abuse... la, la, la, I don't want to hear them as I put my hands to my ears, la, la, la, I sing to avoid hearing. I have some theories about why we feel the need to repeat these stories but I will not get into them in this post, instead I want to talk about what hearing about other people's dogs can sometimes do to me; this is regardless if they have been abused or not. As my client is describing the dog, which is a young rowdy pup - oh I love rowdy because I see so much potential! I begin to feel, well, jealous? In truth I begin to covet her pup. I want this pup for me! And this has happened on more than one occasion.
So it brings me to the next line of thought: How many dogs is one too many to share your life with? Notice I did not use the verb "own". How does one know (trainers: this question is specifically directed to you) when adding one more dog is really not such a great idea because you already have "x" number of dogs? Or you do not have the time to train and properly care for them? Or the money to take care of all the medical needs that sure enough will arise at some point in the life of the pup?
It is, of course, a personal question that merits an individual response; this I get. I am not trying to sound moralistic. Then again, we do need to be aware of what dogs need in order to make their lives not just a bunch of days one followed by another, but truly great. I have some trainer friends (I love you all) that have been collecting dogs. They told me that what happened was that they got dog number "x" as an agility dog and their dog either was not as good as they thought - no one's fault, this happens - or their dog got old, injured etc. So instead of getting rid of their dog, which is completely fantastic, the dog continues to be a part of their family. And, they decide to get another dog in hopes that they can continue with agility, nose work, herding or whatever their passion in dog sports might be. I have other friends who have adopted a dog that they met when volunteering at a shelter.
One particular dog had some "issues" that a trainer friend of mine wanted to address. Big kudos from me to my friend because living and working with dogs that have severe "issues" is no picnic. Now, let's pause for a moment. Can anyone agree on what the right number of pets night be? I think not. Every household is different, pet parents are all different, with different goals, lifestyles and bank accounts.
In addition, one might argue, dogs are social beings so having an always-there pal is kind of doggie-heaven for most of them, so bring them on! On a personal note, I am as big a sucker just as anyone of my friends that I'm writing about. I honestly feel warmth in the belly when I see photos of super cute puppies from the local shelter... which one do I want, which one do I want, can't decide, as if selecting a pastry or chocolate at the bakery. My compulsion is not only because pups are super cute (there is a reason for this too you know) but also because as a trainer I see potential - a challenge. I want to see this dog transformed into a very happy and well-behaved companion. Someone I want to spend a lot of time with.
It is kind of crazy isn't it? Now, having [only] two dogs - super cool both of them: Deuce and Rioja, I am coveting a very small dog. Think Chihuahua - a very different kind of dog for me. What is keeping me from adding this small creature to our family are simple practical things that only a Virgo of the worst kind (yes, I am a Virgo... kind of a drag) would consider.
Where would he stay when the other two larger dogs are playing outside in the fenced-in-yard that has big enough holes that my (imaginary) Chihuahua could easily fit through? What about this little guy getting injured by a client's dog that has ill manners? Or if I am walking with Rioja (mid-size) and Deuce (a bit more than mid-size) will my small Chihuahua keep up?
Besides my tedious ruminations, adding a third/ additional dog to a household unleashes a change in the dynamic already established by the resident dogs. With dogs there is without a doubt also a preference for friends and playmates and a real period of adjusting. Having to share toys, attention, resting places all take a toll on dogs. I guess the point of this "conversation" is not so much, at least at this point in the conversation, if should I get a third dog but experiencing my desire for yet another dog.
Thinking about the logistics of everyday living has given me a mirror to my soul. Don't you believe that if we pay attention to our relationship with our animals, they have the capability to mirror back to us? For me at least, (would LOVE to hear what you out there experience) dogs are a perfect vehicle for reflection. My relationship with dogs (and specifically my dogs) ties me down in obligation but it also liberates me because I experience lots of joy. Our relationships also give me an opportunity to address my fears and aspirations, which in my book, is the hallmark of true friendship.
Almudena Ortiz Cue