Reasons I NEED Six Dogs

Introduction:I once was talking to a man in PetSmart who asked how many dogs I had. At that time, I only had four but he was flabbergasted that I had THAT many. It was my turn to be flabbergasted when he asked me 'Why do you NEED that many dogs?' I started to think about it...

  • 01

    Each Dog Gives Back to Me Something Different

    All of my (now six) dogs are different and enrich my lives in different ways. Killian, my Australia Shepherd, has opened my eyes to the wonder of a highly intelligent canine. His intuition and ability to read me was uncanny at first as I started to train him. I had to be very very careful about my body signals during obedience sessions as he read my body better than I would have ever believed and, sometimes, my body sent different messages to him.

    On the other end of the spectrum is Barley, my basset-wanna-be who is the best dog in the world to sleep with.

  • 02

    Each Dog Have Brought Me More New Friends

    When I adopted Killian, I had no idea what I was taking on. I was raised with basset hounds - stubborn but easy dogs. Killian, otoh, was a handful as he had NO training at all and he was 11 months old! An 11 month old Australian Sheperd with no training is never a good thing. So, I investigated training methods and schools, and we carted our butts up to Vermont for two years to a dog training camp for a week each year. I met some of the most wonderful people there who remain friends to this day.

    And, Gizmo, whom I rescued last year has brought me a friend in Annie's Orphans with whom I'm still in touch.

  • 03

    Each Dog Has Taught Me Patience In a Different Way

    Rita, my island girl adopted from St. Croix, is shy - she was homeless for two years before I adopted here, and I think she was probably kicked at or abused while she was foraging for food.

    Rita taught me to respect the shy dog and to work with her to get her more comfortable in social situations. And to accept the fact that she's always going to be shy which is ok. As long as she's comfortable, I don't care that she's not warm to strangers. She also can decorate her chair in incredible ways - see the article below to see her in action!

    Gizmo, my newest adoptee, has taught me a different type of patience as I try to correct the behavior of a 10 lb dog (I was not formerly a small dog loving gal). I corrected her one time with a small leash pop and accidentally flipped her over 360 degrees! She's taught me to be more patient and work slower in training her.

  • 04

    Each Dog Fills a Different Niche

    Killian, the largest and smartest of the crew, accompanies me in the car in the winter and just cools his jets as I do errands. He's quite content to just be driven around.

    Killian is also quite the helper as I've trained him to commands such as 'clean Gert' (he jumps up and grabs crumbs from my Mom's lap), 'Wake John' (he runs upstairs and pesters my boyfriend until he arises thus saving me another trip up the steps), and 'can you get that?' (he picks up whatever it is I'm point to). Lately, he's been anticipating the command and just picks up what he sees on the floor and brings it to me.
    I've even gotten him to where he'll help me put clothes in the front loading washing machine. And, how cool is a dog who will shuttle the tv remote between people?

    The little girls get too cold in the car in winter so they're great as bed warmers. The littlest of the girls, Gizmo, and my very significant other's pug, Matee, are my elderly mother's best friend and sit with her all day long.

  • 05

    Each Dog Has Strengthened My Knowledge of Dogs and My Training Skills

    Five of my dogs were untrained rescues - the only one who wasn't was John's pug (mostly untrained anyway) who came along with him.

    Hops, my three-legged spitz mix has taught me that being different really doesn't matter. He runs right along with the pack, he just doesn't corner too good....I've learned to massage and stretch him daily to help him remain limber, but he is 14 now and slowing up. I've learned that glucosamine really does work...

    Killian, as aforementioned, is an Aussie and must have jobs so I came up with creative 'tricks' to train him to which are quite helpful (see #4 above). And, let me tell you, I had to get pretty creative to train some of that stuff.

    Barley is 100% reliable off lead which is quite unusual for any basset or part basset (he's 1/2 basset, 1/2 some other hound). I learned to keep hot dogs in my pocket to train him this way and he's great fun to let run through the woods. He comes right back to me with a strong 'COME' command.




Final Thoughts

Every single dog enriches my life in unmeasurable ways. I could no longer live without at least one dog in my life than I could live without breathing air. Now, that said, six is a lot of dogs by anyone's standards but they're all healthy, they're all happy, and they were all give me something new every single day. Every one of them loves me and I love them back with a fervor.


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Comments

  • litetender 3/4/2013 Flag This Comment

    I have a friend who says dogs are a blessing God gave us to make life in this fallen world a bit more bearable. I can believe that. I have four Australian Shepherds and two Border Collies and they each and every one are unique and precious individuals to me!

    Great list!

  • bossypants 1/9/2011 Flag This Comment

    I enjoyed reading about your six pack of pooches! Nice list.

  • ListMaker 1/9/2011 Flag This Comment

    Thanks for all the comments; I'm the fortunate one. Each of my dogs gives me as much love as they can yet I spread mine around. We do have a mutual admiration society going over here though.

  • NancyHardin 1/9/2011 Flag This Comment

    I love dogs, they are the greatest animals, and if I was a millionaire I'd probably soon be poor because I'd take all of the unwanted ones in and take care of them. Unfortunately, I'm not in that class, so I just look after my sweet 11-year-old pug, Sarah. We're growing old together, and she sleeps on my bed and keeps my feet warm. Great list and you and your dogs are so fortunate to have each other.

  • ListingToTheLeft 1/9/2011 Flag This Comment

    So cute! I want to meet all of your dogs. They all sound very special.

  • MiddleSister 1/9/2011 Flag This Comment

    Those dogs need you too! I am fortunate to have met your canine six-pack. (Gizmo is my favorite, so I'm with Gert.)

  • PriscillaBenfield 1/9/2011 Flag This Comment

    Wow, you are a special person with an obvious love of dogs. Good for you and your dogs.

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