Tell me — one dog or two?

I told a friend of mine that I’d “board” her dog for a week while she was out of town, so I’m playing “mom” to two dogs right now.

It’s an interesting experiment, really.

Ever since I got my own dog, I’ve worked hard to train him in model canine behavior. He’s housebroken, of course, and he doesn’t bite or scratch when we play. He’s on a schedule, dozing while I work and following me around the house when I’m doing something interesting (like laundry!).

But sometimes, I feel bad about not giving him as much attention as he’d like.

“He needs a playmate,” my friend suggested.

Playmate? Hmm, maybe she’s right.

After all, if one Sheltie is adorable, then two would be double-adorable.

Or would it?

Asking around of folks who already have two dogs, I’ve encountered a mixed bag of replies.

“Two is twice the trouble,” said one.

“Two is more expensive,” said another.

“Two can keep each other company and entertain themselves without forcing their neediness on you,” added a third.

Yeah, that‘s what I’m looking for. Dogs who will entertain themselves — at least for a little while to let me work and write.

So I’ve got this little “entertainment machine” for a week.

Is it working? Well, let’s see.

She’s already pee’d and pooped in the house, scratched and nipped me when we were playing, and “picks” at my dog while he’s trying to nap. She’s commandeered his bed and his toys, follows him around like a sticktight, and refuses to eat the food my friend brought for her, preferring to eat “people food” that my dog can’t have (or he’d pork up!)

Sometimes the two of them get on my last nerve, so I grab one and toss it in a crate, just so I can have a bit of peace.

I admire folks who have multiple kids and dogs, I really do. They must be bucking for sainthood.

For sure, their patience is not as fleeting as mine.

While it feels wonderful when these two dogs finally settle down for a nap or curl up beside me and “play nice,” those times are few and far between.

Maybe there’s a reason why I only had one child and one dog!

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