is a little sister?


Or maybe what he really wants is for us NOT to get him a little sister?

I’m so confused. For months and months, JP and I have been talking about getting a second dog. We both want one. And it seems like the transition from one dog to two would not be nearly as hard as getting the first dog. After all, we already have to feed/walk/bathe/entertain one dog. And MAYBE if we had two dogs, they would entertain each other and give us a rest every once in awhile.

But on the other hand…poor Beastie is not the most social when it comes to other dogs. He LOVES people and will gladly frolic or cuddle with anyone who looks his direction. And he likes other dogs. When he sees them, he gets all wiggly and waggly and prances all around. But as soon as they get close, it’s a different story. As soon as they get within a six-foot radius, his tail tucks between his legs, his ears flatten against his head, and he runs for cover behind my legs. He’s not truly scared, just incredibly submissive. He WANTS to play, he’s just too nervous.

I’ve spent years trying to socialize him. He’s gone to obedience school, doggie playdates, dog parks, etc. And although he definitely warms up to specific dogs after repeated exposure, he’s never gotten past his timidity. I’ve come to accept that this is just his nature, and there is no cure to be had. And I count my blessings in that regard, because I’d much rather he be super submissive than super dominant and/or aggressive.

So then I start thinking, maybe if it was not just a random dog, maybe if it was a dog he lived with 24-7, then he would not be scared. And then he would be able to play and have fun. Maybe having a little sister would be the best thing that ever happened to him.

But maybe not. Maybe he would stay timid and scared. Maybe he would hate having his home invaded by another dog. Maybe he would be uncomfortable in his own home. Maybe he would feel betrayed.

I just don’t know what to do. I know JP desperately wants another dog. She wants to experience the puppy stage, which she missed with the Beastie, because I adopted him when I was single. And I want so much to experience that with her. If we didn’t already have a dog, there would be no question of getting a puppy right now. We would have already done it.

Right now, I’m leaning heavily toward to the “get a new puppy” camp. But I’m so unsure, so confused about what is the right decision. And I have to wonder: if the decision to get a second pet is this difficult, how do couples ever decide to have a second child?

Any thoughts, stories, advice about adding a second dog to a family greatly appreciated.