How many is too many?

Over the past few days,  I’ve seen a lot of discussion on several boards, blogs and social networking sites about people having or adding multiple dogs to their homes.  We have a rule.  No more animals than hands. (LOL!)

I was asked if having 3 dogs is more work than 2.

I thought about it for a minute and as much as I hate to admit it, for me, I think 2 is substantially easier.  But maybe my perspective is skewed.  My dogs are HUGE by most standards and do take up a lot of space.  Targ, who we lost in September was the biggest..  175lbs of beastie who usually chose to plow over things than move around them.   You know, things like people and furniture?  Yeah.

So I asked Shel what she thought and her impression was that sure it’s easier but not substantially so.

I suppose you have to look at the way we have “chores” split up.

She primarily does:

  • Feedings (which is no easy feat.  We feed raw and she does most of the prep. work)
  • Vet runs since her schedule is more flexible than mine.
  • Afternoon Walks

I primarily do:

  • Medications (I have a knack)
  • Toenails (same kinda knack)
  • Ear cleanings (ditto above)
  • Morning Walks

Of course, there are more things.. but these are the biggest ones that I can think of.

Now, consider Targ.. the big guy.. the big guy with bigger toenails and more medications and was a BIG slug on our walks.

My morning used to go something like this:

  • Wipe Targs face
  • Dispense two different kinds of eyedrops in Targ’s eyes
  • Check his ears for goo
  • Walkies.  Sometimes I could go two rounds..  Qor and Targ liked to go together and then I’d walk Qay.  Sometimes I did three walks.  Targ was very.. um.. casual about his.. one would say we went on a “saunter” except for the last leg where he would RUN to the house so he could have breakfast.

Afternoon walks were easier because, well lots of times Targ didn’t want to go.  So he’d enjoy a few moments of peace without the girls harranging him.

Targ had some MAJOR toenails.. they were as thick as my pinky, but he was a GOOD boy about the dremel.  Mostly.

Targ would sometimes wake up shaking his head if his allergies were bad and I’d sit up with him, rubbing his ears.. forgoing my own sleep until the benedryl took effect and he could settle in again.

Targ was the KING of Drool..  and puddles.. whenever he would take a drink, he’d leave a trail three feet long of water and drool on the floor.

Targ hated having his ears cleaned.. he would cry and cower and hide.. and then freak out after they were done..  a good 20 minutes of full on panic.  (yes, we had the vet check and make sure there was nothing wrong with his ear canal)

Targ was a lot of work.. I did it all willingly and with love.   But to be brutally honest, I don’t miss the extra work.  I miss the Big Guy like you wouldn’t believe and I’d gladly do it all again every day for the rest of my life if that was what was required.. but..

The girls are easy (and portable).  Qor has some occassional skin issues and right now they both need nails done.. but for some reason, doing two sets of nails seems easier than three.

We never planned on having three dogs.  The Universe  jumped in there and said “HEY! have one more!”

You all don’t know the story of how we ended up with two puppies at once.. and I don’t think I ever blogged about how difficult it was at the time because I was trying to get people to trust me…  you know that whole business building thing.

Do YOU think more than two dogs is a lot more work?  (Hint: there is a poll in the sidebar)

I’d love to hear your thinking on this, so I can share it with the person who asked me what I thought.  Like I sai, my perception might be skewed!