Getting a second dog is a big decision and one that should be made with care. In part 1 of this blog I looked at all the reasons that you should not get second dog–and they were pretty darn convincing. And perhaps the only arguments that could top those would be the ones listed below.
1.) Pack Mentality– As we all know, dogs are pack animals and not loners like their feline counterparts. Dogs thrive in a family unit. As much as we’d love to stay home all day with our pack- work, school, and schedules keep us away from our dogs for large chunks of time. Who better to fill that void than a four-legged playmate? They can keep each other occupied and entertained all day, and when you get home you don’t have to feel guilty.
2.) Different Adventures- I have an Australian Cattle Dog and a Labrador Retriever. They could not more different from each other. Different personalities, tendencies, mannerisms, drives.. the list goes on. But that is what makes having two dogs so much fun: their differences. I had never owned a herding breed until Tag came into my life and now I can’t imagine life without one. His solitary devotion, nipping behaviors (which some find annoying and I find endearing), and intelligence are all breed characteristics that I would have missed out on by only having a Lab. It’s the quirks about my dogs I love most, like Goose stealing socks from the laundry hamper and very proudly bringing them to me. Now, I get twice the quirks.
3.) Loss- This is a tough topic to cover because thinking about losing one of my dogs stabs me right in the heart. However, I believe this is a great reason to have two dogs. I’ve lost dogs when they were my only one. The hairless hole it left in my life was undeniable. I have also lost dogs when I have had more than one. And while the pain was incredible, I had another wagging tail and wet nose to help me through the grief. When you lose your 4-legged companion and have nothing filling that void, it sticks around longer and you just feel empty. If you still get to play fetch, go on leash walks, and snuggle on the couch, it’s a tad more bearable.
4.) Double It All- Double kisses, double tail wags, double the love. If that isn’t reason enough to head down to the shelter and find pup number two I don’t know what is. The benefits of a second dog far outweigh the extra cost associated with it. I can’t put a price on the amount of love I receive from both my pups. I would go to the ends of the earth for them because I know they would do the same for me. Having that type of relationship is an incredible feeling, and to double that with another dog is beyond words.
5.) Duh?- Why would you not get a second dog? Dogs are loyal, adaptable, companion animals that really just want someone to love them. So if you’re thinking about a second dog, take a trip to the shelter or rescue organization and look at all the pups that are longing for a family. A life that you can give them filled with love, laughter, muddy paws, and licks to the face. You will still need to train them and spend time individually with each pup to really build that special bond. Dogs are great exercise that can get the whole family moving and spending time together instead of sucked into our smart devices. Have the kids help take care of a second dog. It will give them responsibility, build maturity, and an extra set of hands for poop patrol.
I could list many more reasons for expanding your four legged family, but this should be enough to convince even the most stubborn of folks. If not, showing cute pictures of puppies and shelter dogs is a great way to push them over the edge. Only a soulless barbarian can resist puppy breath.