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Don’t Be Like Us

Next week we will conclude the Meet the Mutts series with an anticlimactic Pug. A cast member you’ve already met a time or two. As we wrap all this up, the astute amongst you will have a good idea of our total number of canine residents. Heck, the only-paying-half-attention should be able to figure it out. I’m still not saying the number. Like my mortgage total, sometimes a little bit of denial is in order.

Even if the evidence needs to be fed twice a day.

I contemplated doing Meet the Mutts for specifically that reason. I’ll be the first to admit: This is a lot of dogs. It ain’t normal. It’s too many dogs. As much as I don’t want to out myself, I also don’t want to romanticize our arrangement. My dogs are cute. They are snuggly. I love them very much, regardless of their affiliation on my team or The Husband’s. Let’s review the realities of our multi-multi-dog household.

Here’s what you already know. Our Dog Spending = ridiculous. It’s slightly less ridiculous because of my side hustle. But as we do more and more home-made food, and less and less kibble, that discount doesn’t come into play as much. In fact, an update to dog spending may be in order.

And it’s not just food. Now that much of the pack consists of senior dogs, our vet expenses have gone up a tick. Or five. Our wonderful Holistic Vet is helping out considerably. At a considerably increased cost. I still deploy all my regular tips and tricks to save money on products (just this week I got 25lbs of free raw), services, and general health. There’s only so much a girl can do. Dogs get old. Dogs cost money. Lots of of old dogs is going to cost lots of money. This wasn’t on my mind all those years ago when I bought Abbey. It’s our current reality. It makes escaping Corporate Servitude that much more difficult. Right now, its Dogs AND Dollars.

Just in case I haven’t painted a complete enough picture, here’s some other tidbits you may not know.

The Husband picks up a five gallon buckets worth of poop, every week. How’s that for stark reality? It’s a lot of poop. You do not want to skip a week. Believe me.

Every house we’ve ever lived in has a minimum yard requirement. A big part of our decision for the Big Fat Mortgage was because this was the best option for the dogs.

I do not invite people to my house who do not like dogs. Seriously. If I worry about someone with dogs, or even if I don’t know how they would be, they do not receive an invite.

Rocco would like to eat The Ladies. Or at least taste them. When they were inside, not interested. Once they moved outside though “Holy Crap! Did you know there are birds in the yard!?”. Luckily, I anticipated this development. The Chicken House is not just predator proof. It’s terrier proof. So far. Knock on wood.

In fact, all things Urban Homestead are more difficult con pack o’ dogs. The fence requirement slowed us down considerably. Because there’s really no point in planting if dogs can pee on it. And they will pee on it. That is a truth we know.

With all these dog personalities, toys and chews do not live free and loose. Most plush toys live in the toy box and only come out during supervised play time. After years of trial and error, we’ve learned what is low value enough to be left out, so they have a selection. That list will never include tennis balls. An un-controlled game of fetch could insight a riot.

Walking this many dogs, hauling this many dogs, taking this many dogs to the park, even having this many dogs in your bed, it can be done. Not easily. But it can be, with years of practice. We usually break it up into shifts and turns. As much to give them individual time and mix up pack dynamics as to make it easier on ourselves. It’s all finely orchestrated. And sometimes we mess that up.

For us, the many dog household is second nature. I have a hard time envisioning one or two or three dogs. What must that be like? Quiet? Quick? Boring? Having this many has its advantages. They do a lot of exercise and entertaining of themselves. When I call them in from outside and they all run toward me as one unit, I get a lump in my throat. A crazy over the top ‘Welcome Home!’ awaits me every day that ends with a Y. As much as I enjoy those greetings, similar antics, and my dogs in general, I want to be clear: Do not try this at home. Results may vary.

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Comments

Crystal Wayward
Reply

I don’t know how you do it. Four dogs was a serious struggle for us.

dogsordollars
Reply

Very carefully. And not always well. ;) Especially in the beginning.

Everyone’s got their limit. Some people are a one dog house, some people 6 or 7. The important thing is knowing that limit. Four dogs as too many is perfectly respectable.

katherine
Reply

How on Earth did you get them to pose for the shot? It is a great pic of the crew.

dogsordollars
Reply

Thanks! Professionals with stinky cookies is the secret.

Jenny
Reply

We just have the one… him plus a toddler equals more trouble than out 1,000 sq. ft. townhome can handle (plus the two cats) so I understand the “house” requirements for a pack that big! Don’t be embarassed about having so many dogs to love – the relationship between dogs and dog owners is second only to the relationships you have with your husband and children in my opinion.

dogsordollars
Reply

the relationship between dogs and dog owners is second only to the relationships you have with your husband and children <— Love that! And totally how I feel.

Kudos to you for dogs and Toddlers and kitties in 1,000 sqft! I’m sure that requires a lot of careful orchestration.

Tracy
Reply

Do you still have your foster baby? Haven’t heard much about him/her.

As I have said before I have 3 dogs and only 2 hands so I think my limit from now on will be 2.

Would love to have a pic like that with all of my babies. I will have to give it a try.

dogsordollars
Reply

Oh yes, Foster Dog is still with us. All 6lbs of him. He will be until the end of his days. I’ve plans for an unveiling of his turn around. Ssshhhhh. ;)

I’m kind of obsessed with pictures of my dogs. They’ve all been immortalized more than necessary.

Kimberly C
Reply

I’ve got a two person & three dog household. I totally relate to the not inviting people over if they don’t like dogs, particularly since our routine for greeting guests at the house is not very pretty right now. We have a carnage couch that has seen better days. Two of the dogs are good on walks, two of them are good in a car, but only one is good at both. Two people and three dogs sleeping in a double size bed is barely manageable..

It’s a way of life that we enjoy. We’re at risk for gaining dogs if we’re not careful, so we do our best to be careful. Some people have lots of kids. Some people have lots of dogs. It is what it is! No judging. :)

dogsordollars
Reply

No judging. ;) Especially not of ‘carnage couches’. I don’t know what I’d want to upgrade first though, the couch or the double bed!

Tracy
Reply

Want to add one more thing. Just because I have 3 dogs doesn’t mean I want more. EVERYONE who has a dog they don’t want wants to give it to me. Ummm No!

dogsordollars
Reply

Oh, ain’t that the truth. And it only gets worse the more dogs you have. People are always, constantly, once a damn week it seems, trying to give me dogs.

Lesli
Reply

We just recently went from 4 dogs to 3 dogs because we lost one to old age. 3 doesn’t feel like enough. My feeling is love me, love my dogs or we’re going to your house!

dogsordollars
Reply

Ha! Yes, I never mind being the one to travel to someone else’s dog-free abode.

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