No, I’m not talking about closing your EHarmony site or swiping left on Tinder. I am talking about life with an Only Dog.

That’s right, just four muddy paws, one crate, one dinner dish, one leash hanging by the door.

Only one pair of beseeching eyes asking for a treat, one ball dropped at your feet, one dog on
your lap.

One set of vet bills.

Friends or family happy to take ONE dog while you fly off to Hawaii.

I can give you a long list of positive reasons to have just one dog.

When I was a little girl, common wisdom was that an only child was precocious and outgoing, but also lonely, spoiled and not good at sharing. And now we hear that China’s one child policy has produced a generation of entitled and unfilial young people. I wonder if we can say the same about our only dog?

Certainly, it is easier to train one dog in the yard when there are not three others watching from the window, barking and crying to be let out to join in the fun. And it’s easy to be enthusiastic for one short training session, rather than three or four in a row. Backtoback Agility lessons in a cold barn are not
fun. So maybe some only dogs ARE better trained. Are they lonely? They get more human attention when it is not shared. Do they miss having a sibling or a partner in crime? Some dogs like their housemates, some don’t, just as we might prefer one of our brothers or sisters to another. As for sharing, I have had very few dogs that were happy to relinquish their toys to another. The expression “dog in the manger” did not come out of thin air! I always let my dogs work it out between themselves.

As I told my daughters, “Unless there is fire or blood, I don’t want to hear about it.” The great thing is, you will never know if your dog resents you or has issues with his upbringing. He will always be home for Christmas, will never ask you for money, or complain that the other dogs’ owners let their dogs do it.

My house hasn’t been this clean for forty years, it doesn’t smell and I don’t have to pay Scooby’s poop removal to come by every two weeks. My vet bills are very small, my friends don’t go home covered with dog hair, and there’s never any squabbling over food and toys. So why would anyone have multiple dogs? Let’s explore that in the summer newsletter after my new puppy arrives

Barb Smith

only dog with a bone

Do you think Lizzie enjoys being an only dog?