Wednesday, February 1, 2012

• Wordless Wednesday: Multi-Pet Household

I admit it—I wasn't ready for all five dogs.

I'm a pet sitter, and I rarely have problems with animals I care for. Therefore, I reasoned, I'll never have problems with animals I care for.

They were all rescues, said the owner. They have issues with sharing resources.

Dinnertime was an intense scramble for food, with me as referee. If I hadn't closed off four dogs in the kitchen and fed the lowest dog on the totem pole in the hallway, she would not have been able to eat. As the days went by, I found myself taking a deep breath and whispering, "I can do this," as I lined up dishes and mixed and measured food. And I did it, of course, but it was stressful.

I was a resource, as well. The alpha dog was jealous when I sat next to or petted another. "There's enough love to go around," I constantly reassured him. "That's why I have two hands."

Mistakenly, I thought that stroking him while I petted another dog would appease his jealousy. I realized how wrong I was when he nipped my face.

I have no problem with caring for these dogs again. Each is loving in its own way. But next time I'll be better prepared.

Go to Wordless Wednesday: Multi-Pet Households to see more blogs in this blog hop.

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