Only if you consider annoyance better than depression — and spending more money on vet bills for the new dog than, say, a year of doggie day care might have cost — could this have been deemed a good idea.
In general, getting your dog a dog is not an ideal way to deal with canine discontent.
For one thing, it doesn’t address the basic problems that created the first dog’s unhappiness, such as lack of exercise and high-quality human attention. If you depend on the enforced friends to play with each other to the point of exhaustion while you’re away or even to satisfy their basic social urges, you’re likely to be sadly disappointed. Dog math theorem: Two discontented dogs equal more than double the trouble of one.
Which raises the basic question: Did you really want another dog or did you just assume your first dog did?
I have the opposite problem: When I am tempted to get another dog — as I often am, such as after this week’s post about saving seniors — I squelch those adoption urges because I know Frankie would be very unhappy.
Or maybe that’s just an excuse.
I don’t doubt that Frankie would be distressed if I brought home a “friend” for him, at least initially. He does not take kindly to other dogs infringing on his territory, or taking any of my attention away from him. Or to other dogs, period.
And when Frankie is unhappy, I’m unhappy.
But, what with his shyness and diabetes, Frankie is pretty high maintenance. Taking care of him is expensive and time consuming. Do I mind? On some occasions, sure, but in the general scheme of things, not in the least. He gives back far more than he takes.
Still, I wonder if I’m using Frankie’s skittishness as an excuse for mine.
I’m curious: Has anyone who has been ambivalent about getting another dog because of an unsocial/special needs first dog taken the plunge? How did it work out?
And: Is it okay to be a single-dog household — or is it selfish, when there are so many dogs out there to be saved?