“What’s It All About, Alfie?”

Posted: July 24, 2008 at 3:37 pm

I live with 10 dogs. 9 of those dogs are “mine”, and the other one might as well be, I love her as my own.

Living with 10 dogs is not nearly as compicated, physically, as it is emotionally. Feeding X 10, places to hang out X 10, places to sleep X 10, going to the park X 6 (some dogs can’t do the park thing anymore), treats and toys X 10, all pretty easy to handle.

But what happens when one dog is the favourite of the 10? I don’t think it is painfully obvious to dogs 2 through 9 that they are not number one. In my case, Kirby Puckett, the one and only original North American Brown Dog, is my heart, my soul, my number one. He is the light of my life, dog-wise. Everybody else is number two.

For Chris, number one is Piper the punk. For Angelina, Sienna, her Itty-Bitty-Pitty is number one.

I love my dogs with everything I am. They totally bring out any and all things that are good about me, but I can’t help feeling that somebody (other than Madison, AKA Eeyore, who thinks nobody loves her, which is, of course, not true) isn’t getting enough….enough attention, enough love, enough stimulation, enough exercise, enough face time.

It’s not intentional, of course, but still and all, how do we make sure dogs who have to share their humans with other dogs, or cats, or rabbits, hedgehogs, birds, guinea pigs , human children get enough of everything they need to stay happy, healthy and whole?

3 Comments on "“What’s It All About, Alfie?”"

  • Cheryl says

    Deb:
    I have heard this from so many rescuers, the guilt they feel for their own dogs when they are fostering and how they apologize to their “own” for having to divide the time. I don’t think there is a clear answer. You just make sure when they ask for the attention that you take a minute to give it to them. Folks with one or 2 companions find the same thing. I notice with our old guy now that I do stop and sit with him and cuddle since he doesn’t do the walks so much, sleeps a great deal of time so it is easy to sort of forget that he still has his attention needs. Albeit nothing like it used to be. Ha ha sometimes I can tell when he opens one eye that he sort of is saying hey..can’t you tell I am asleep. Same with the kitty because she doesn’t get to go all the time I need to make sure the lap is there for her and the cuddles. I bet your furbabies each get alot more attention then many in a single dog or cat home gets.

  • Carol says

    i apologise to tyra every single day…i don’t apologise to the others cuz they were all rescues too and they all got better a life because i do rescue…but tyra gave up alot for what they gained.

    but for those who do have many multi-family members…this is how i try to cope with so many more than me….i make it a point to stop what i am doing and bend down to touch or kiss a face standing quietly by my knee…i go looking for the quiet ones asleep in the grass or on a soft bed and spend a moment with them.

    i talk to them all while i am mopping the floor or watching tv or folding laundry…i laugh with them and at them, i joke with them, i toss them the ball , i feed them my m&m’s and cookies, group activities like barn excursions, picnics and field runs, keep life interesting too…100 minute long happy encounters spread thru out the day help pass the time in a happy way and let them feel they are really seen and truly loved.
    this is why i refuse to have people with bad moods or selfish users around here…it wrecks everyone’s happy day, esp. mine….these guys don’t have alot of days left to waste and i don’t have the time or energy to waste it either.
    you do what you can, and you keep yourself healthy and happy cuz then you can help them be happy and healthy too.

  • Deb;

    I sure know how you feel as I love Kirby too. And he knows. He comes to me several times while I am there and lets me kiss him and talk to him. He is so adorable. They are all wonderful dogs and they treat me with such respect my heart is full when I am with them. Thank you for that.

    And then there is Saints. Such a variety of animals and I link in to them as well and I talk to them too. I feel they are communiacating with me all the time I am there. The rabbits are my babies. I just love them and know they are silent sufferers which hurts me and frightens me as I might not catch something that is wrong!

    And you know they are all more spiritual than we are as dI feel them around us, even though they have passed. Eva

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