We got Henry when he was 4 months old. He lived a great life with us and was usually the center of attention and affection. He was our first dog. But, he didn’t have any other dog companions. We never heard of dog parks or dog daycares, and when we did hear about them, we just brushed them off as a waste and people being overly obsessed with their dogs, even though we were those people! I use to always wonder whether or not Henry thought about if he was one of us or not. Now, of course he was part of the family. As I stated, he was definitely the new youngest child and got all of our attention. He ate 3 meals a day, which does not include the after breakfast snack and the before dinner snack or all the treats or table food he got each and every day. I wondered, though, if he knew he was a dog and we were people, or if he wanted to be with his own kind and have them around more.
When I adopted Packo, there was an immediate bond. Probably no different from anyone else and their dog. I got him as a companion to go follow me around at work. Before getting into the dog daycare lifestyle, I use to build homes. I was in the car a lot going from job site to job site and it got quite boring sometimes. Also, there were pockets of downtime during the day. When the car is your office, it becomes pretty easy to get place to place. With Packo, I figured that we could go to the dog park during the day or for a quick hike along the Potomac or Rock Creek.
That didn’t last too long. I found out quick that Packo was not in favor of car rides. To this day, I have to nudge him to get in. By nudge, I mean shove. And by shove, I mean basically lift him into the car. So I started to leave him home more often. I didn’t like that either. The soft spot in me always felt bad hearing him howl as I’d walk down the hall to the elevator. So, I figured a companion would be good.
Cheesecake came along and has been great. A very unique dog, but that’s a different post. She has been great for Packo. She keeps him on his toes and offers the companionship that he and her both need. Cheesecake, however, doesn’t howl or whine when I leave. So…how did we end up with a third?
Mojito was an impulse buy. We already had two dogs that shed and were pretty high energy. Mojito is an Aussiedoodle, so they should have a decent amount of energy and brains. Epic fail on Mojito. Great dog and a total goofball. The brains are there, but he hasn’t had much of a chance to use them, probably because he spends his ‘free’ time playing. As far as the energy, well, he’s been lazy since day one. Maybe that’s him outsmarting everyone!
Three is the magic number, in my opinion. When one is asleep, the other two can play. When two are sleeping, the third gets the hint! Packo, though, will howl no matter how many dogs he’s around. I realized that it’s not the dog interaction he craves, but human interaction. That’s the amazing thing about these ‘animals’. No matter how excited he is about the dog park, or daycare, or another dog coming over, at the end of the day, he just wants to spend time with me. When I’d take him to daycare, he would run straight to the door to let him in. But, on the way out when I’d pick him up, there was zero hesitation and a thousand licks!
That’s what we’re aiming to do here at The Ruff House. No matter how much fun they have with us, we know that we will never be 100% like home, and there shouldn’t be. Our goal is to be the best place they could be when you can’t be around.