As you may know, I, myself, have two dogs. Gabby has been with me for most of my twenties, and she's been my best friend through the good, bad and ugly. She's almost nine years old now, and most of the time, she's happy just eating, sleeping and occasionally staring at me for no apparent reason. I got Sadie in January, 2010 because I felt like Gabby needed someone to stay with her when she was home alone. Part of me worried that bringing a new puppy into the mix would completely ruin Gabby's life after being an "only dog" for so long, but in the end, Gabby's learned to ignore her 99% of the time and Sadie worships the ground Gabby walks on. Sometimes they even snuggle up together at night and about once a month, when Gabby gets the urge, they'll play for about five minutes.
Well, lately, I've been thinking about adding a third dog to the mix. Ultimately, I'd love to have four, but I don't think my landlord would be cool with that, and I know my parents wouldn't, as they are my dog sitters when I go out of town. So, that's a situation for another time. Three is already pushing it. I do have three good reasons for wanting another dog:
- Sadie needs a playmate is at the top of the list. She's a little bundle of energy, and I play with her as much as I can and take her to play with my parents' very energetic dog as much as I can, but there are nights when she's running around the house, throwing toys around and trying to entertain herself...I just feel so bad. I hate that there is such an age difference with Gabby and Sadie.
- Again, I leave the shelter every day feeling like a jerk. My conscience is screaming, "put your money where your mouth is" every single day that I urge people to go adopt a pet. Sure, I've adopted two, but I could handle one more and save another life. It's like one of those stupid Sarah McLachlan commericals is playing over and over again in my head.
- I more or less live alone in the woods. If I move, I'll be living somewhere else alone (that sounds pathetic, but I'm hoping to move in the next few months). Having those dogs around makes me feel safe. The more eyes there are in my house, the less likely it is that someone could sneak in and murder me. I'm not THAT paranoid but things happen.
On the other hand, there are some big dogs at the shelter that I've definitely bonded with. One of them was recently adopted after four months there, but there's this black lab named Sara (here's a picture). I'm not sure how old she is - I want to say fours years old - and I'm not 100% sure what her story is, but I know she gets a huge smile on her face when I visit her and scratch her back. I know she's very sweet. I also know that a playmate for Sadie she will most likely not make.
Anyway, I know I can't save them all, but for example, last night it was storming so bad and Sara is in an outside cage (with shelter, but still outside), and I just worried myself sick about her. I kept thinking she could be at my house, sitting next to me on my new sofa or laying in the cool tile floor next to Gabby or snuggled up in my bed with Sadie.
Of course, what if I bring her home, and she doesn't get along with my dogs? Or what if I bring her home and then I get attached to another? I've considered volunteering at the shelter, but I'm not sure I could handle spending even more time up there, especially playing with one dog one day and going back the next and knowing it met its fate because no one wanted it. Sigh.
So... big dog or little dog? One of each?