Two dogs

I have always wanted two dogs.  I think that dogs are social creatures and that having a companion can be a great thing for dogs.  I continue to tease DH on a regular basis about us getting a second dog (or 3, 4 or 5 dogs for that matter,) to which he is really resistant.  

This summer has been particularly trying for Murphy.  We've known for awhile that he isn't particularly fond of other dogs.  But I still romanticized the idea of having a second dog - a small one, for sure - that Murphy would instantly fall in love with, be best friends with, and we wouldn't have to worry about leaving them alone for so long during the days because they would keep each other company.

But lately I've been thinking that I'm not cut out to have two dogs.  The truth is, Murphy enjoys being the only dog and I realized that I may not have the patience for two animals in my house.  I realized this because  DH's brother has been here all summer, and for a large chunk of it, his dog has been here too.

Meet Dillon

He looks cute and innocent enough, right?  And really, he is a sweet and loving dog deep down.  He's as nice as you could ask for and good with other dogs.

But he's big.  And strong, and still in his puppy phase.  If you're holding a toy (or even something that just resembles a toy) Dillon will jump up on your chest and literally knock the wind out of you.  When he steps on my foot, I scream because his enormous toenails dig into my foot.  When Dillon runs, it scares the shit out of Murphy and he usually ends up barking and jumping at Dillon.  Dillon is only 2 or 3 years old, and still has a lot of puppy habits in him. When Murphy starts squeaking a toy, Dillon is immediately all ears, and wants to get that toy.  Murphy then feels threatened and proceeds to lunge at Dillon's throat. (Thank goodness Murphy is smaller than Dillon, and that Dillon doesn't fight back.)  I panic whenever Dillon starts running into the house, because I'm fairly certain that all hell is going to break loose and that something is going to be damaged or someone will get hurt.  Dillon has stepped on Murphy many times and Murphy yelps in pain.  I know that most of the time Dillon doesn't mean it, but that doesn't mean that I don't get frustrated by him on a regular basis.  It's like a mini civil war in my living room, each and every day.

They look cute enough together, but the truth is, they're brats.  At meal times they are interested in nothing more than the other dog's food.  You'd think they could just trade and everyone would be happy, right?  But no.  Murphy desperately wants Dillon's food, but if Dillon so much as goes near Murphy's bowl, he gets a lunge at the throat.  And Murphy taunts Dillon by leaving between three and five tiny little biscuits behind in his bowl.  Dillon drinks Murphy's water bowl dry, just to piss him off and then runs at him when Murph goes to get a drink at Dillon's bowl.  When I get home from work they're both so excited to see me that Dillon inevitably steps on Murphy, causing a high pitched, sad squeal and subsequently, a lunge at the throat.

And here's a great story... see that picture above?  DH's brother was playing with Dillon and his only toy (a rubber bone that doesn't squeak and isn't particularly fun, but it's the only thing that Dillon hasn't destroyed yet.)  Murphy watched for awhile, and then decided that he didn't like that Dillon was getting all of the attention, so he climbed into the space between Brother's legs, throwing his head back and just waiting for the petting that was sure to come.  Do you see that look that he's giving Dillon?  Pure hatred, if you ask me.

I feel bad for both of them.  Murphy hates having his territory invaded, and getting yelled at by us when he defends it. Dillon is in a strange country, just trying to stay out of trouble and only barely succeeding.  All he wants is for everyone to love him and play with him.  Which is really all that Murphy wants too... it's just that they both want it all for themselves.

I have a love/hate relationship with Dillon.  Sometimes he gives me these adorable looks that just melt my heart, and when he's sleeping he looks so innocent that my feelings towards him soften.  But then he nips my hand while playing, or start charging down the hallway, and I know that if he was my dog, I'd have to make a hard decision about whether or not to keep him.   This summer has made me realize - more than ever - that I could never get a second dog.  First, I'm fairly certain that Murphy would hate me forever and probably never talk to me again.  (Yes, I personify my dog.)  But secondly, I'm not sure that I could give the "other" dog the same love and attention that I give Murphy - I think I'll always be on Murphy's side.  You can't know for sure that dogs are going to get together, even if they're friends at first glance, and I can't take the chance that Murphy might be changed forever.

Yesterday was Dillon's last day in Pittsburgh, and now DH and I are making efforts at getting back to our normal life... our normal life with ONE dog.  There were rare moments of peace and total cuteness, which makes me think that maybe we COULD have two dogs after all. But then Dillon would pounce, Murphy would lunge for his throat, and I'd be reminded that maybe having one dog isn't such a bad thing after all.....


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