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Old 10-15-2013, 10:58 PM
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Default Multi dog owners - do you feel guilty?

Lately I've been feeling incredibly guilty because of the Dobermans, and I need to stop. It's no secret that Journey and Dance accompany me more and that I do a lot more with the two of them than I do the Dobermans. And it's nothing against the Dobes, except that their temperaments and needs are not suited to what I need/want from a dog, and therefore they get to do different things. They're still very well loved and are very happy being family pets/companions and no more than that. They go for walks, running has becoming a bit difficult but we will find a place for them to run again that is free from strange dogs, they get loved on, etc. They lead very happy lives. Probably better than most pet dogs.

And the hairy two are my dogs. The Dobermans are too in the sense that I currently live with them and care for them, but they aren't mine in the sense that all decisions are mine when it comes to them, and they aren't mine financially completely, and they were never meant to be sport dogs... or my dogs in the true sense anyway. It's only normal that I do more stuff with my own two dogs, and that those are the two I take with me to friends' houses and do different activities with. They are mine in every sense of the word. And the fact that I do a lot of training with them and activities like Flyball and Agility is just icing on the cake for Dance and Journ. They don't require that much activity, and I am certain that the Dobermans wouldn't even want that much activity. They are quite content to stay home and play a bit and go for walks and be cuddled.

So I shouldn't feel guilty. And I don't know why I do. Just because the hairy two get to do more does not mean that the Dobermans aren't loved as equally and don't get to do things too. They just get to do different things. They're different dogs and are happy with that. So it is aggravating me lately that I feel so guilty about them, because truly there is no need, an dit's eating me up for no good reason.

I wasn't going to say anything, but we almost gave Ripley to a girl we've known for years now, because he would have gotten the opportunity to be someone's special only dog who could go on walks and hikes nearly every day and just get a lot of one on one time like Dance and Journ do and I thought he deserved that (really, what dog doesn't deserve that?). She lost her Doberman unexpectedly last year and was looking for a sweet adult boy, and this particular situation would have been great for both her and Ripley. It wasn't an "I want to rehome this dog" situation (I truly didn't). It was a "this situation has the potential to do great things for both this person and this dog and it would be more selfish not to allow them both this". It turned out to not be the best situation after all, and so he's still here and will not ever be going anywhere else. I love him more than I could ever express, and nobody else would ever be good enough for him. And I know he is happy here. He adores me, loves the rest of our family, has a blast with Journey and likes Dance and Keira too, and nothing is missing from his life other than he has to share attention between three other dogs and I can't take him with me to all the training I do every weekend. But other than that, he lives a wonderful, happy, pet dog life with five people who adore him. He's not missing anything... so I wish I could stop feeling guilty. He doesn't care if he does Agility. He doesn't want to go hang out with strange dogs. He would not enjoy the activities that Dance and Journey do - and that's why I got Journey in the first place, was so that I could have a dog to do these activities with because my current dogs I knew were not suited and wouldn't enjoy it. And part of my unwarranted guilt is because I used to do SO much with him, but he was also a young, obstinate teenager at that time who needed it. Now he's a middle aged adult Doberman who is content to just go with the flow and hang out. I need to stop feeling guilty. I'm totally biased, but he has an awesome home and an awesome life that he thrives in. I know this... and yet. He's had a few behavioural things pop up this year due to life changes and just him maturing, so that added to my guilt despite it not being anyone's fault, but he's still a lovely, happy guy with a great life. We've just had to adjust and make some changes.


It's making me not want any more than two dogs ever again. I hate feeling pulled apart for no good reason. And I never used to feel this way. I don't know why I do now. I think it's just been too many changes in my life this year and I've accidentally deluded myself into thinking two of our dogs are lacking somehow, when they are very clearly not. Ugh. I'm not really looking for advice. I know I am doing right by my dogs and always will do what's right by them. I've been making an extra effort to do more of their favourite things with them, too. But do other multi dog homes sometimes feel this way also?
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:02 PM
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Yup, I always felt guilty for Arnold, he couldn't do much. Shamoo gets ride alongs occasionally but mostly I feel guilty about her lack of stimuli. Lately I feel guilty Sloan isn't getting worked as much as she should be.

I think it's natural and part of it just helps remind you to always try to do more of whatever they love, be it training or cuddling, with each of your dogs while you still have them.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:04 PM
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Yep, I feel guilty that I'm not spending as much time with Wes, even though he's not mine. I've been trying to get some one-on-one time with him. I think it helps that he realized the puppy is great for playing biteyface, he is not mopey about her anymore unless she's been chomping on him too much, haha. But for the 1st week, major guilt.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:24 PM
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From time to time, a little. But not too much, honestly. I only do organized classes and activities with Squash, but Maisy is too dog reactive to enjoy those things and Pip doesn't care for unfamiliar things, so there's no point in forcing them to participate in things they don't even like in an attempt to make things fair. Pip has the dog park and camping and Maisy has scootering, so everyone gets to do something even if there isn't a 100% equitable amount of time devoted to everyone.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:30 PM
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Linds made the perfect post.

But... this is one reason I still only have one dog. I cannot even imagine taking a new dog somewhere, and NOT bringing Jackson, but he's been my only companion and "go everywhere, try anything" dog for 5 years now. I really think it would break my heart lol. I think it would different if I had gotten him and he was perfectly content not doing anywhere, or doing things, or dabbling in sports, etc, but he truly loves all of these things and is good at them, so yeah.

But we have 3 dogs over at my dads house and I spent quite a bit of time over there. I try as often as possible to involve at least one of them for something, whether I'm going for a walk, or playing ball/frisbee with Jax outside, etc, and sometimes I'm going to go take Jackson for a walk at the park and then Lilly gives me this TAKE ME TAKE ME! look and I can't say no (even though she cannot keep up as long, and it cuts our walk shorter). And she's not even my dog. lol. I also know neither of them care that much for training or anything, so don't feel guilty about doing tricks or agility, etc, without them. They also both don't care for other dogs, so any dog park visits are out. So yeah I feel guilty, but not terribly guilty, and since it sounds like the Dobes are similar (sort of more, "family dogs", no?), I definitely would not feel too bad.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:19 PM
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Breath Devan.

You are an incredible dog owner but an over analyzer and thinker, which leads to you giving amazing care to your dogs but worrying it's not enough.

Different dogs require different things. Sometimes the things that our dogs would be happiest doing all day long aren't something they can do. I know Kaylee would have loved if everyday I let her free to go hunt down small animals while barking her heart out. Because of that as she aged she got less and less off leash freedom. That also coincided with Traveler maturing and getting more and more off leash freedom.

I understand it, intimately. That way they perk up when you're getting ready and stare at you when you leave with not them. The comments people say either subtly or not so subtly about new dogs taking their place. The feeling you get in your gut when you leave them home multiple times because you keep doing things they aren't suited for or wouldn't enjoy.

There isn't anyway to explain to them that they really can't go because this situation wouldn't be enjoyable for them, they wouldn't like it or it would end badly.

But that's just it, it's you. It's not that they lack love, or care. It's not that they aren't living a great, fulfilled life while wanting for nothing. It's just us, over thinking things, personifying. Your dogs are incredibly happy, I don't need to live with you to know that.

Sometimes, especially with those quirky dogs that are passed puppy hood living a life of luxury with lots of cuddles, periodic runs tons of love is exactly the life they should be living even if your other dogs have a different life, just as good, but different, that they need to be living.

And to answer your question: Yes, I feel guilty. I totally get it and it's something I think I'm always going to live with because I'm always going to have multiple dogs and someone is always going to be left at home at some point.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:34 PM
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Thanks, guys. Glad I'm not the only one! Although I think I'm kind of the craziest one so far when it comes to worrying about nothing lol. Not normally, just lately.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Linds View Post
Breathe Devan.

You are an incredible dog owner but an over analyzer and thinker...
Thanks for your entire post, but I yes, this particular part is sadly very true haha. I am that. Sometimes it's a good thing, lately not so much! And it's always worse when I'm stressed out, which is probably why this has been nagging me so much lately. As much as I over think I am also pretty easygoing... but I feel so overwhelmed with everything lately, including Keira and Ripley's happiness, which is causing me to worry about absolutely nothing. Writing out that post helped considerably though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JacksonsMom View Post
So yeah I feel guilty, but not terribly guilty, and since it sounds like the Dobes are similar (sort of more, "family dogs", no?), I definitely would not feel too bad.
Yes, exactly. I mean, my family's changed drastically this year, but yes, they were always intended as family dogs/my mom's dogs. But because I'm the main dog person in the family, I've kind of taken them over as mine as much as I can while I live here.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:54 PM
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Ayup. I feel insanely guilty for everything Frodo doesn't get to do and that Siri does. Honestly, if I didn't have Frodo, Siri would only be left home when absolutely necessary, but I feel bad always leaving Frodo behind.

Siri gets to go hiking/adventuring/to the park to run at least 4 days a week, and she has started going to work with me on Monday and Wednesday. She also gets to go to agility and comes along when we eat anywhere with a patio.

Frodo gets a Sunday morning walk (with Siri, Megan, and Gabby) and maybe one other walk a week. Last year he went everywhere in the car and loved it, and I felt so much better because it was a lot of mental stimulation for him. The past couple months he has started getting very anxious in the car again, which REALLY sucks :/

I try to make it up to him by giving him a special yummy (pig ear, trachea piece, etc.) every time I leave him behind, but it hurts my heart when he follows me to the door and acts like he wants to go. Because I know he won't be happy going along, but he thinks that he wants to go

I've also made a more conscious effort to put Siri in her kennel and snuggle with Frodo on the couch when I do things like watch tv. But I think I will always feel guilty for leaving him home when I take Siri places.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:09 AM
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Yes and no.

Buzz's mobility prevents him from doing a lot of things these days. He can't comfortably stay in the car for extended periods of time, not that he enjoys that anyways. He can't go hiking or out with other dogs that might run him over or jostle him.

But he can go to Tim's backyard, he can go to the pet supply stores, and he goes to work with me at TCAR&SM least once a week. He ADORES going to work because he gets fed a ton of treats, everyone pets him, and he gets to hang out up front. I don't bring Gabby to work because THAT would make me feel guilty. That is typically the highlight of Buzz's week.

Before I got Gabby, I really missed having a dog to do things with. It's not like Gabby took Buzz's place doing things. She filled a void I've had and missed terribly.

I do feel guilty that I don't see Bailey as much as I used to. And my feelings on that are similar to yours with the Dobermans. She is loved, healthy (mentally and physically), and lives a great life. I just miss her like crazy when I happen upon her picture.

I will sometimes even leave Gabby home to hang out with Buzz because they enjoy each other's company, even if she could go along. It makes me feel better than taking her all the time, to all the place, on all the adventures.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:35 AM
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Yep I do sometimes. Gage doesn't get to do as much as diesel, part of it is age, part of it is his size. He can't go to as many places with us, heck we can't even fly him anywhere because of his size, the others are carry on size. Many hotels won't allow him, he isn't comfortable for long trips in the cab of a pick up, none of our dogs ride in the box ever. So unless it's warm enough to take the holiday trailer he has to stay home unfortunately. That said we don't do a whole lot if he can't come, he has been boarded once in the 6 year we have had him, other the. That he stays with friends or family. Having said that I will not get another dog his size again, I love him, but the limitations we have because of him are not fair to us or him.
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