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Monday, September 10, 2007

More Than One Doggie is Very Good

RUSTY: Our mom was recently reading an old clipping about having multiple pets in one household. The article was called "The Multi-Pet Household," by Steve Dale, and it appeared in USA Weekend dated July 6-8, 2007. It appointed out that "most of the 63% of homes in America that have a pet actually have more than one." (Hurray, for us pets!) Also, that studies have shown that if having one pet is good for a human's heath, then having two or more could possibly be that much more beneficial. (We can use this information for bargaining when we have done some mischievous deed. We can remind them that we are good for their health, even if sometimes we are bad.) It mentioned that pets make humans laugh (we are extremely good at that), "a stress-buster that causes a release of endorphins. With two pets, there's more potential for laughter, in part because the interplay between them may be amusing." (That Steve guy knows us so well.)
The article brought out several reasons that people have multiple pets, but the reason we (Smoky and I) particularly like is guilt. Humans love their pets so much that they consider them to be members of the family and "actually feel guilty if the poor little things spend too much time home alone." (We guys work that angle alot. We have our folks twisted around our little paws. We look really pitiful when they leave, so they are always sure to place a treat for us upon departing. And we are joyfully happy when they return, ensuring a welcome back treat for us. Don't get us wrong, we really do love them, and miss them when they are gone. So, a little treat just eases the pain we feel, and momentarily distracts us.)
In the article, an animal behaviorist named Ian Dunbar, who writes and broadcasts on pet behavior at says that well-socialized dogs enjoy the company of other dogs. But Dunbar does note, that "based on his experience, it's best to add a new dog of the opposite sex and dissimilar in age - it's less threatening to the established hound." And that the dogs meet "for the first time on neutral turf" where your dog does not usually go. (Oh, no! I hope our mom was not reading this article to get ideals about adding to the family. Smoky and I are not ready for that.)
Anyway, I hope the article helped our mom to appreciate the value of having two of us. It may be double the trouble, but it's also double the fun! Although we have been known to have knock-down, drag-out fights on occasion, we (Smoky and I) love each other and really enjoy one another's companionship. Listen up, all you single pet owners! More can be better than one, if you have the time.

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At 11:29 PM, Blogger Pacco de Mongrel said...

oh..i must not let my onwer read this....i don't want her to get an idea of having another dog, besides me and me alone


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