I love hearing from readers, not as much as I love wine, but a VERY close second!


Expanding my "Family"

Last week when my brother asked if I was interested in adopting a pug that needed a home, I scoffed at the idea of a second dog.  Surround sound snorting, are you kidding me? That sounds as appealing as finally washing my week-old dirty dishes.  But the more I thought about it, the better the idea sounded.

After all, Daisy is 12 and not getting any younger.  People, when my girl dies I’m going to hit rock bottom. Is that morbid to worry how you’ll handle your pet’s death?  Because it’s something I’ve been starting to concern myself with this past year.  If I get a second dog now, will it make things easier when she goes?

Not to mention Daisy might just enjoy someone to boss around all day. I could name the dog after RLO just to piss him off.  Which, by the way, if pissing RLO off were an Olympic sport I would fucking take Michael Phelps to the ground. Fourteen gold medals, pfff, I could accomplish that before my morning coffee.

Ben hasn’t heard back from the people that were trying to place the pug, which probably means they’ve changed their minds or found another home for the puppy.  Meanwhile I’m cruising adoption sites and classifieds for the perfect mate for Daisy.

Internet, this is where you come in… talk me out of this, and fast.  If I become a single girl with two dogs, I’m only one step away from learning to knit my own clothing, and collecting Precious Moment figurines


  • When you start cutting out Cathy comic strips and posting them on your cube wall you know you’re in trouble.

  • I too am struggling with the concept of losing my dogs (they’re both about 15!!). Morbid? No. Painful? Yes. Definitely.

  • I think it’s a wonderful idea! I have an aging Dachshund (and a younger one) and I find myself worrying how I’ll handle it when the day finally comes. His health is declining rapidly because he’s 14 so I know it’s going to be sooner rather than later. I work for the state but sadly they don’t give bereavement leave for the loss of a pet. Guess that’s what they make vacation days for.

    I’m voting that you get another one. You might be surprised at how much it brings out the “youngster” in Daisy!

  • Sarah, tsk, tsk. If you learned to knit your own clothing, think of all the great scarves you could make!
    And, I think you’re nuts for wanting another dog. Think of all that nasty hair that gets EVERYWHERE in your apartment. I would never be able to even sleep in my own bed with all the nasty animal germs everywhere. I’m just sayin….

  • BTW….I think you should be on the hunt for a man to boss around, not a dog. They live longer.

  • Go for it Woman! Double the love, as far as I’m concerned. It makes you more attractive as far as I’m concerned.

  • I have 2 dogs and it is a lot more work than you’d think. I was living with a boyfriend when we got the first one, and he was my spoiled rotten little baby. When my parents’ dog had puppies, I thought “Well, I already feed one dog and take one dog out. How much extra work could it be to add a second one?” The answer: 427 times harder. Not twice as I stupidly assumed. I love the second one, just not as much as my first. Of course the boy and I broke up so now I’m the single girl with 2 dogs…better than cats, at least!

    So good luck! :)

  • Two years ago I lost my beloved Waverly from congestive heart failure. She almost made it to twelve. The heartbreak and sorrow was overwhelming. I even called the vet’s office to try to stop the cremation because I could not stand the thought of it.

    I did not have another dog for four months. People bugged me to get one, and I half-heartedly looked, but one day I heard about a guy who had rescued a cocker spaniel from a bad home but could not keep her. That dog is now my Tallulah (of the wavy hair you covet..) and she was just what I needed.

    I still miss Waverly, but Tallulah is amazing, too, in different ways. Really the only thing I can compare it to is an old boyfriend vs. a new boyfriend. There is room in my heart for both of them.

    Wish you could keep Daisy forever.

  • i had the day my kitty would go to sleep forever all planned out for years because I new it would be horrible. It not weird, it’s survival

  • I know how you feel. Though I have a cat, he’s the best cat in the world for me and I’ve had him for ten years! He walked into my life completely unexpected one day and never left. I can’t fathom the idea of losing him, but I know I will at some point. I don’t see myself getting another one after that happens either.

    I try not to think about it and just enjoy what I’ve got. As for getting another one…I would be in hell. But dogs are very different creatures from cats. However if I were in your shoes, I’d say no. Besides isn’t RLO a lot like a dog anyway?

  • I say having another pet is a good thing :)
    Just keep in mind that when Daisy goes it won’t be just you with the broken heart- Daisy’s brother or sister will miss her too-and you might just have to get someone to keep THEM company :)

  • I get really morbid about thinking about my cats’ death. They’re both the same age and I’m in for trouble when they get to “that” age. I totally depress myself thinking about it. Blah.
    I really have to vote “yes” to another dog. Only because I’ve always felt animals need a companion more on thier level. Humans just don’t get it all. :)

  • My baby is only 2 and I am already worried about that day years from now. He is just like a child to me and I know that I will totally fall apart.

    I think you should get a second dog. I have heard that bringing a younger dog into the life of an older dog gives them more energy and can help them live longer. even if it is more work, isnt it worth it?

  • My husband and I are also now having to contemplate the mortality of our two dogs and we only ever briefly touch on the subject, because just the thought of it causes us terrible grief. So, it’s not morbid, it’s totally normal.

  • I got a second dog because I thought my first dog was lonely while I was at work all day and needed a friend. But just like Shannon said, it IS a lot more work than just one. Besides, my first dog was perfect for me in so many ways and my second dog is a bit high-strung and neurotic, so he drives me crazy most of the time. Still, he’s part of the family now and I love him as much as the first.

  • I think about my pets passing just about as much as I think about my parents passing. It’s normal.

    As far as getting another – double the food, double the vet bills, double the potty breaks, double the chewing, double the snoring and double the farting.

    BUT – if you can rescue one, (perhaps one with the other eye missing) then it’s worth it. Don’t get one that can find a home easily. At least then, when you are knitting booties for both of them, at least you will feel less crazy and more heroic.

    Puppies and kittens so easily find homes, it’s the ones with life experience and character that get put down.

  • Actually, it’s not such a terrible idea.
    We got our Husky 2 years ago thinking our german shepherd/ dobie mix was on his way out the door (he was 14). We finally had to put him down this summer and it was horrible! Mishka was a comfort for us.

  • Let me expand on my first comment-

    I love my second dog and would never dream of getting rid of him, but I do think that if I could go back, knowing what it would actually be like, I might not take him (although that makes me sad thinking about him going somewhere else too). Like Andi said, Max (my first one) was/is perfect and he was so easy. Ralphie is a handful, not very bright, and at times very frustrating.

    I’ve thought about what I’ll do when either one of them dies and I start to tear up. I hope they live until they’re 18 because I just don’t know how I’ll handle it if they go any sooner. But when I think about Max, I know that nothing is going to make his passing any easier.

    I absolutely love, love, love dogs, and I don’t want to discourage you from adding another one to your little family. I just want you to realize that it is tons more work than you realize, especially when you have such an established bond with your first.

    I’m not a Debbie Downer, I swear! :)

  • Get the 2nd pug! You will not regret it!!!!

  • Your dishes were only a week old? Psshaw! I’d so beat you in the dirty dishes Olympics.

    About the dogs, I think I would wait on a second one, simply because Daisy is an older dog, and sometimes older animals don’t adjust well to new additions. She may like it, but she may not, and you don’t want to risk making her final years less pleasant.

    I’ve lost several cats in my life, and it never gets easier. But I think the joy pets bring you is enough to justify the heartache of their loss.

  • You could have your dog cloned. I hear that’s the thing these days.

    I agree that getting another one right away would probably piss of the dog you have now. I’ll bet she’s very territorial, and probably wouldn’t take to a “replacement” all that well. Best to wait a couple more years.

  • That should have read, “piss off the dog you have now.” Stupid new non-broken-in keyboard.

  • You should really think about doing that. I have cats (yes…yikes…single woman with cats) but I adopted one when my first cate was getting really old (18 years), he actually liked having companionship with a young kitten…and it made such a difference after he died. I had a familiar, loving cat to cuddle with! I say go for it!

  • Go for it! We have two miniature weiner dogs and love them. We started out with one but then quickly realized that we needed a second one to keep the other company. I was trying to get people to talk me out of it as well, but everyone thought it was a great idea and we can’t even remember what it was like before our second dog!

  • First, I hope your concern with Daisy’s future isn’t considered morbid because I worry about my pet’s impending demise all the time!

    Secondly, I say go for the second pug. Giving the little dog a good home and giving Daisy some company can only be a good thing.

  • I got a new puppy when my dog Harry was 15 years old. Harry did not like the puppy at all and puppies are very demanding. It requires more time being spent getting the puppy trained and less with my old guy. I would not do it again. I would let Harry enjoy being the only dog.

  • I worry about my pets dying all the time. It’s my absolute worst case scenario.

    My 2 cents; no puppy! It will have too much energy for Daisy. You need a dog who is over the pupppy phase. Probably a girl, since Daisy’s a girl. Most Humane society’s can help you find a good match. You may want to bring Daisy for a looksy before adopting.

    Good luck!

  • nothing wrong with knitting your own clothes… I think its pretty neat actually!

  • I think it is a great idea, my 1st pug loved when I brought #2 into the mix, they kept each other company, and nothing is better than being in bed between a pug sandwich!

  • Ok where did Trollpop go or should I say “RLO”?

    Two dogs would be great, they can entertain each other. It’s likes having two kids and not having to hear ” Mommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I’m boredddddddddddddddd” ALL of the time.

  • I think you should wait until Daisy is gone. That way you can channel all of the sadness you feel for your loss into a new dog. It really worked for my mom. THEN she moved on to two dogs.

  • I say go for the new baby. I think it does energize an older dog to have a playmate. And Where IS Trollpop?

  • I think you should go for it! We got our second dog because my beloved Westie dog Jakie pie was getting old. I heard that getting a second dog keeps them young.

  • Isn’t it funny how people always have so much to say about their pets!
    Seriously, 34 comments already.

    I thought of something else. People with pets live longer. Get another pug and you’ll live twice as long!

  • Wanted to add something to my first comment. My dog was older when we added our second dog. While he wasn’t overly thrilled with the idea of sharing all the attention and love, he very quickly got over it and now the two are the best of friends. I do worry when sweet Chess is gone what in the world I’ll do with Archie. They had to be apart a few weeks ago for an over-night vet visit and Archie did not do well at home alone.

    But sometimes older dogs (and even younger dogs) do not take to having another animal around. Do take Daisy with you to meet the other dog and don’t be discouraged if she doesn’t take up with the dog right away. Sometimes it might take more than one visit or even someone bringing the other dog to your house.

    I got a new kitten recently and I have to tell you after 2 months you’d think my old cat (she’s 7) would be over it. She’s so NOT over it and I don’t think she ever will be.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

  • I’ve got a Frenchie. This summer, I came upon a stray kitten which I adopted. This was in Taiwan, there are loads of strays just walking around.

    We’ve found that they always hang around together, play together and have fun together. The cat is less work than another dog and they get along famously. Also, we are less worried about leaving Spike alone for long periods, since he’s got Yoda the kitten as company.

    I’d say go ahead and get another dog. Two dogs aren’t that much more work than one dog.

  • Wow! A lot of people have a lot to say. Being an animal lover myself I find it hard to say this, but my vote would be not to do it. I wouldn’t want you to start doing crafts like knitting, I mean you would have bad smalltown crafts childhood flashbacks and get nauseated. Who wants that?

  • Uh oh, is it wrong to knit your own clothes and dig Precious Moments paraphernalia? Shit.

  • You want to be talked out of it? Consider my experience: every time I have got a younger dog or cat to “be company for” an older dog or cat, the elder animal went downhill rapidly – even if they had been in perfect health and not all that old when the newer animal arrived.

    I think something goes out of an animal when it feels replaced in your affections.

  • Well, how much trouble can one more dog be?

  • Don’t do eeeet!

    Well, not really. Do what you will. However, maybe it’s just me, (and i’m a total jerk) but there is sort of a stigma when it comes to single women and dogs. Don’t double that stigma!!

    Heh, yeah. I’m a total ass. Just do it! I bet both you and Daisy would love an addition to the family!

  • I must deeply apologize for my blatant absence this past few days, all ye friends and beloveds alike. The internet, slippery sea creature as it may be, slithered beyond my grasp for days; but behold, I have hooked it by the lip, and now prepare to gut it with comments, posts, and tweets anew! Feast with me friends :-)

    My dearest Sarah, thy addition of a new pug sounds wonderful, with the added requirement that it be another female. If it were a phallically blessed creature, I fear jealousy would drive my life into a mad frenzy of tears and rage. For how, indeed, would I compete with a creature which sleeps in thy very bedroom, and that of Daisy? Oh Daisy, love her as I do, she hasn’t a spine in her barrel-shaped body, and would quickly cave to his every manipulative romantic gesture, giving the love which I, after months of poetic and photoshopic offerings, have yet to receive.

    But if it be another female, cheers to you all. I heartily welcome the arrival of a new object of my devotion. I must ask that you give it a 5-letter name, so that I may bestow upon you threefold acrostic offerings, and thus woo you all :-).

  • Don’t listen to Kel – a man is approximately forty-seven times more work than a dog. In fact I have one, want him? He’s almost housetrained.

  • Get the damn dog. You are right on.

  • P.S. Did you notice Trollpop was gone at the SAME time RLO was with his family? Hm….

  • My vote is to get the dog, Sarah. It sounds too “right” to be anything other than karma.

    I had a very ill dog with limited time left in my late teens and early 20′s. I was against another dog before she passed, but was given a wonderful Jack Russell Terrier puppy by my boss, who owned his mother whom I adored.

    I felt guilty for a few days. But at the end of the day the other dog went out feeling loved and with a new buddy she knew I was safe with. And I selfishly wanted another creature to cry with when I lost the other dog.

    I still have Jack Russell Puppy. He’s 13 years old, a little blind, a little deaf, a little crazy….but man is he the best dog. I’m so glad I didnt miss out on him.

    And yes, I have his back up plan handled. I got a female in Ireland and have a puppy from both to fill his shoes when he goes.

    I think Miss Daisy needs a minion. Get the dog.

  • I volunteer for No More Homeless Pets–I would be more than happy to send you listings of the dogs in our program, pugs or otherwise. They all need homes!

  • Sarah – I lost my own sweet Daisy (a beautiful blonde cocker spaniel)after 12 years. I can’t imagine introducing another dog to her during her very happy last years. She loved where she lived and loved all of our attention, and peacefully passed. I still have a huge hole in my heart for her, and when my living situation changes later this year, the first thing I will do upon settling is visit the local pound. My only dilemma is what to do with the “cat from hell” that I never wanted, but somehow thinks I’m her mother. I did bottle feed this monster from three weeks old, after her mother got smushed in the street.
    Sweet Sarah, you won’t be the crazy single lady with two dogs. Give you and Daisy a chance to experience this life change (I am so not New Age, that phrase would make me gag), and let the next dog find you. It will happen. Just like the non-dog will eventually find you.
    I’m not your average reader – hardly, at 50-something, living single with a fucking CAT – but I enjoy your writing and wish I could convince you that what you are doing for yourself is admirable. Your candor should be applauded and your dedication to your education and your love for your friends are remarkable.
    Being frank, or rather not having an edit button, has not always served me well, particularly when I was younger. But I can tell you without hesitation, I wouldn’t have done it any other way, despite some of the repercussions, and there were a few, make that many. But it also brought me my most unlikely true love ten years ago, when I was sure there was no hope. We have weathered many trials: children, hurricanes, tornadoes, deaths, my breast cancer, long distance romance, and most recently the death of my mother. Oh, darlin’,I have really gotten off track!
    I just wanted you to know that all of this shit that is happening to you now, while it is scary and sad and fear-producing, will somehow pass. Enjoy your time with your Daisy. Pat yourself on the back for getting up each day and working and going to school and writing your column. Sometimes you just have to be your own cheerleader, as corny as that sounds. I’m proud of you and I don’t even know you.
    Take care of yourself and Daisy, and don’t add any distractions from this experience.
    Your slightly eccentric fan in Jacksonville.

  • Thanks for filling us in! I hope you find your new pug -=o)

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