For all of our pet-owning years, we have continued to be a single-dog household. I have a friend who told me she owns two dogs because she never wants to be dog-less. What an interesting idea. However, acting upon the idea probably entails a life-long commitment to owning two dogs.
Did you know almost fifteen percent of the U.S. population owns more than one dog? When I take Buddy (our beagle) for a walk and encounter people with two dogs, I wonder how they manage.
My wondering led me to the inspiration for my third children’s book, Truckload of Trouble. The story begins when Buddy the Beagle’s friends gather in the backyard to celebrate his birthday. Buddy’s life seems perfect until his human, Henry, takes in Jack, a stray Australian cattle dog. Henry admires Jack for his appearance, strength, and athletic ability. Buddy is jealous of all the attention Jack receives and wants him to leave. Henry’s wife, Jen, disagrees with keeping Jack because he digs up her flowerbed and makes messes in the house. She feels like “two dogs are too many.”
I chose an Australian cattle dog for this book after reading about the breed. They are active, intelligent, and mischievous when bored. Buddy and I met Moxie (pictured above) at a book signing event in Longwood, FL. I loved meeting an actual Australian cattle dog, but Buddy was kind of shy and walked the other way.
While writing this book I realized how important it is to consider the needs of each animal before adopting more than one dog. An owner needs to consider the following:
- Which dog breeds get along well together?
- How much space and exercise does each dog require?
- Does my daily routine allow me to give the right amount attention to each dog?
- Do I have the energy to train a second dog in the rules of the house?
- Can I afford the food, vet bills, etc. of more than one dog?
- Who will care for my dogs if I need to travel?
Although I do not answer all of these questions in Truckload of Trouble, the book touches upon responsible pet ownership in an entertaining way. Children ages six to nine will enjoy my next book in the Tails of Blueberry Street series coming soon from Elk Lake Publishing.
Do you own more than one dog? Leave a comment and share your advice on the topic.