I don't know.

comments: 113

Pets1

Thank you for all the help yesterday. Andy came home last night, ran upstairs, and bounced up and down on the bed, chanting, "Can we get one? Can we get one???" I'm still very conflicted about it, and Andy admitted he isn't completely convinced himself. When I asked him what all the jumping on the bed was about he said, "Well, when one person's a'gin [against] it, doesn't one person have to be for it?"

Interesting argument. We'll be married ten years tomorrow and this is the first I've heard of this one.

Of course I'm thinking about us — well, me, really, because I'm the one who is home all day every day and will be on puppy duty — but I'm also thinking about the pets, about the equilibrium of our household. We have three pets now. Violet, our first cat, we got thirteen years ago now, in Missoula. Our second cat, Bridget, is seven, and she showed up as a stray kitten in the driveway. And Audrey — you know Audrey. She's six. She's our first dog, outside of the family pets Andy and I grew up with as kids. I'd inexplicably wanted a corgi ever since I was a little girl. And Audrey has been the perfect, perfect dog for us. She loves everyone, and everything. Things get a little hairy when people come over because she gets so excited, but I've even kind of stopped worrying about that. She is very attuned to us and to the energy in this house. She's sensitive but laid-back, happy but not hyper, friendly but quite independent.

That said, I've watched her with other dogs, and I can't say one way or the other if she's a dog's dog. My sense is that she's a people's dog; when other dogs are around she tends to either chase or be chased by them, but in sort of a worried, "What's-happening-here?" kind of way. As a herder, she likes order, not chaos, so she'll try to herd running things. I don't think she'd be overjoyed to have a puppy, but I think she'd probably get on board. She tolerates small children, but she doesn't seek them out. At all family parties or when we have people over, there is a point where she'll go seek out her quiet corner, and you can see that she is ready for her alone-time.

I know that when we got Bridget, the second cat, it was very hard on Violet, the first one. I mean, Violet was FURIOUS. She would sit on the railing above the landing and swipe at me when I'd try to go up the stairs. She'd growl at me whenever she came near me, which wasn't often. This was my VIOLET, my blossom, my sweet girl who rode on my shoulder everywhere I went, purring contentedly in my ear, for the entire first six months of her life, and had barely left my side since. I was heartbroken. At first everyone said, "Oh, it's tough at first, but they'll work it out!" When I had to start carrying a spray bottle around the house for protection against my own cat, it was horrible. I'd tell my friends, after this continued for a few weeks, and they'd still say, "Don't worry, they'll work it out!" but they'd say it worriedly, their optimism slightly feigned. It took a long time for the cat to tolerate the new kitten, and they are not "friends" even to this day, seven years later.

That said, the Bee is unlike any cat I've ever met. She has more in common with a . . . squirrel . . . I'd say, than those of her own species. A few mornings ago, I was sleeping in. Everyone else was downstairs, and suddenly I felt the Bee alight on the bed. Five or six times she walked up and down the length of my (top-sheet-only covered) body, and when I say "walked" it was more like . . . a drunken goblin doing a firewalk, all fast and wobbly. Back and forth, back and forth. Wide-awake, I held my breath and didn't move a muscle. This unexpected attention from the Bee is rare, precious, and more-than-a-little nervewracking. After prancing up and down my trunk like a strung-out miniature racehorse, she stopped to knead my (top-sheet-only covered) ribcage with her tiny, needle-like claws. Finally I said, as anyone would:

     "Ow."

It was more than she could handle. She jumped six feet straight into the air, flew across the room, out the door, down the hallway, and halfway down the stairs before her feet touched the ground. So, I mean, what is that. It really is no wonder that Violet, the grande dame, the stately, even-tempered dowager queen, is thoroughly unimpressed and in every way displeased with this skitzy, troublemaking, unbalanced princess. The Bee chases her from her food bowl, jumps on her from behind the side wall, bats at her temples with her sharp paws. No provocation needed; if you're breathing, you're her target. For the patrician Violet, this behavior is beyond the pale. The look on her face is consistently like, "Someone do something. Do something."

Now I know that dogs aren't cats, that cat society is more complicated and . . . edgy. But I have many, many times taken Violet in my lap and whispered quiet apologies to her, my first girl, for bringing the little terrorist into her happy home. I believe, in all honesty, that Bridget's arrival and subsequent installation in our family aged Violet tremendously. She has never really been the same, and I bear some guilt about that. I do love the Bee, and I understand her, in a way; she was a street urchin after all, untouched by human hands for the first seven weeks of life, and deserves some leeway, and certainly needed us and our home. But if anyone's alpha around here, it's the Bee.

What if Miss Lizzie Lemon, as cute as she is, turns out to be Audrey's Bridget?

So I don't know. Still thinking.

113 comments

Since you have already named her, I think you are done for.

We have had Earl the Black lab for 8 years and 2 years ago brought 2 cats into the house. There were a few scuffles and now all are good, though the dander is killing us.

Audrey will be great, maybe not at first, but she will shine and find her own way. Promise.

haha, interesting logic there Andy. I am so excited to see what the outcome is, this is like reading a really good book ;)

I'm not really a dog person myself, but you're really making me want to get one of these puppies. I don't think I could resist if I saw one. And who knows if an opportunity like this will come along again. I say Miss Lizzie Lemon should be yours!

On the other hand, what if Ms. Lizzie turns out to be a great little sister for Audrey. What if Audrey really takes to her, gets to act a little maternal, shows her the ropes and then enjoys those moments when she looks at you and you both shake your head at how silly puppies can be. It seems unlikely that a corgi would be a wild or terrorist addition to the household. From what I hear they are pretty mellow, sweet-tempered little guys.

ALso, getting a new pup can sort of rejuvenate an older dog. When we got Nosey Flynn (a Glen of Imaal Terrier similar in size to a corgi) our older dog Fergus acted like a wise matriarch at first but also got a little more energetic and playful having Nosey around. My vote is yes!

First, let me say LOVE your blog. You make me want to move to your neck of the woods from the Midwest at least once a week. That said, Dogs are pack animals. As you know, cats are a whole different ball of wax.I have both and I used to do dog rescue. Every dog that came through my home (there were hundreds) learned to adapt and came to love their foster sisters and brothers. I ended up adopting one of my fosters, a 10 year old, deaf, grouchy (but sweet as a button at the same time) dog who never really LIKED her foster sister, but she did LOVE her in the only way that she could. Of course, I'd encourage you to adopt a dog but not to even consider adoption or a puppy if you can't commit to giving this new dog a forever home. Your girl might surprise you and act motherly towards a new dog or she might show you her wild side and play like a 6 month old puppy. I don't have any Corgi experience, but most dogs are happier as a pair...they are social creatures (sometimes I think my dog is more social than me ; ). You may think about borrowing a young dog from a friend for the day to see how it goes.

Alicia,

This is a tough one and I know exactly how you feel.
Miss Bea passed away a couple of years ago and I am not able to get another kitty yet.
We have lily a Cairn Terrier and even though she's 8, she's a handful.
I'm sure your desision will be the right one.
Happily,
Jill 00

Am following your internal debate with new interest now. There is a litter of kittlins behind a restaurant around the corner from my apartment, and now I, too, am debating. Do you find yourself desperately wishing Audrey could talk, so she could offer her opinion on the matter? Last night I was begging my cat, earnestly, for him to answer yes or no on the kitten matter. Sorta believing there, for a moment, that the intonation of his meow would give me the answer. I'm still confused.

Love your blog..I don't usualy comment but I totally get the corgi puppy needs.
We have a corgi too...and we're getting another one this year hopefully (it'll be a three-dog household!) My experience is that most dogs, once they realize the new puppy isn't going away, are made younger/happier by the new arrival. That's what our vet once told us and we noticed it when we got our corgi (Yoda) and our older Bouvier became springier. ;)

That is a hard one. I do think if you get another one, you will find the new one will more than likely be dominated by Audrey. I find that with Truman, our next door neighbor's corgi. We have a dog, Max, in our neighborhood (who has a very very bad parent)that just basically lives like a homeless dog. But when Max is around Truman crouches, almost like he is begging to be accepted by Max. Max tolerates Tru and plays with him some, but you can tell who is the Alpha dog. Truman, even had issues around our house until he figured out "hey that lady that doesn't walk on all fours and has buff colored hair must be the alpha dog because she can sure boss me around." He still tried to herd everyone. He barks at my parents when they are sitting on my couch because he knows they do not live there.
I think all would work out and Miss Audrey would be just fine. This is why I hestiate to buy one, because I think it would be better to buy two at once so they have each other from the beginning : )

Decisions, desicions. I do understand the concern with being the one home with the other three and a puppy.....and all the puppy matters that come with it. Lots to process. Maybe a trial basis? I know that is just another way to say *adopted* in some cases, but thats what we did with our sibs (siberians) to make sure they were for sure gonna be okay together. Our older dog, Cordelia (whom we just lost), did pretty good for the most part. Annoyed at times with the puppy play, but they eventually found their niche with each other and became friends.

Now, cats are very different from dogs. Dogs are pack animals down to their DNA, and dear Audrey has joined the Paulson pack--so when you add Miss Lizzie Lemon to the mix, Audrey will fall into step with the energy the new little addition brings. If you and Andy are positive and happy, you'll have a positive, happy big sister there to show Miss LL the ropes!

I am thinking of all the multi-dog homes I know (many, many) and not one has a sulking elder sibling. They all seem content with their pack members. Dogs are so forgiving...even if we saddle them with Bridgets, they love us anyway and tolerate the little guys. And the puppy stage goes by so fast!

I know you're the one who will have to do all the work while we sit by and squeal with delight, but I don't think you, Andy, or any of the four-legged Paulsons will ultimately regret opening your door and your hearts to Miss LL! I'm pulling for you, puppy!! Because you would be getting into the Greatest Corgi Home Ever!

Cindy Riebe says: July 18, 2007 at 10:54 AM

Oh boy...I know just what you mean about upsetting the balance in the household. Ours has been thrown completely out of whack by the introduction of a foster mamma cat and her 4 kits. Lizzie and Missy (our two cats) have come uncorked --- the one consolation they have is that the intruders aren't allowed in our bedroom, so at least they can sleep in peace!
It's a tough one, I know, because I really really really want to keep all the fosters and get a puppy. Hubby says "no" to more cats and "maybe" to the pup. Sigh.

I'm not sure I should be allowed to vote - (I have nine kitties - housecats at that!), but, I think Audrey would adjust just fine. Vi on the other hand, might revolt altogether.

But, trust me, I only started with one cat - they can adapt :)

I agree, the pup is named and already loved and her bags are on your front doorstep. All will be well, I think!

We had a similar experience with our cats. Adding Vienna changed Nilla forever, but I can't imagine life without the two of them, ya know?

Perhaps you could introduce Audrey and Lizzie Lemon and see how it goes?

What I want to know is with two cats and possibly two dogs, how the heck do you keep the pet hair and scratched furniture to a minimum?

Dogs adjust to new pack members way better than cats. Most adult dogs who will not act negatively towards a pup. What you might find, is that Audrey will take a lot of the "work" out of raising the little one -- as her corrections and supervision will be beneficial. We had a second pup in the house for a while (she belonged to someone else). Our dog was excellent with her -- really helped that little thing stay in line!

I was a one-dog woman and loved my girlie. Since she died, things are so empty. There is a big dogless void. That being said, my dog loved being an "only." Even though she was very social.

We did what we felt was best for the dog -- because she was the best ever, and we felt we owed her that respect. It sounds as if you might feel that way too. But I am regretting that a bit now, because it's very hard to not have those four paws, jingling tags and happy barks in the house.

If you get a pup now, you will perhaps be in a better position later on.

well, you know your household much better than I, so I wouldn't presume to give you advice on that front. But I did want to point this product out to you that may help ease any cat tensions you have.. I haven't ever tried it, but ran across it while looking for a solution to a "spraying" problem..

http://www.catfaeries.com/essences_about.html

Are you prepared to crotchet another blanket for another pet?

Good luck whatever you decide to do...I agree cat society is much more edgy than dog society. My husband and I each grew up with dogs but adopted a cat while living in Boston. This first cat was very sociable, very laid back and a happy go lucky guy until we moved to the suburbs and our commutes became much longer. Not liking to be home alone for so long we decided to adopt another cat for him so he'd have a buddy. Bad idea. This new cat did not tolerate our first cat at all and was constantly attacking him. Our first cat started acting out and going to the bathroom everywhere except his litter box. After three years, the boys finally get along, but they are still not what would I call pals - more like housemates that have learned to live together but not necessarily like one another. I still think they keep each other company during the day though ;)

plus, on the upside, the pup will have human hands on her from the beginning - unlike the terrorist, who came to you unsocialized. I think that will help.

I finally saw HP5 in the theatres last night and now I am whining and longing even MORE for that Irish Wolfhound I've wanted since I was a teen. I don't think the Siamese would brook a dog, however, so I suppose we'll just have to wait. Oh well, I'll need a house, a yard, a park for running, and a steady job first, anyway.

best of luck with the decision!

I was always taught that when one person is agin'it, the other person is *fer* it... but then I'm from further South. We work on a different logic.

There will be other litters of corgi puppies in the future. My vote would be to not adopt one now.

Um... no advice from me, darling one...(You wouldn't like it anyhow. heh).

But HAPPY 10th ANNIVERSARY to the both of you. Here's to many, many more.. . Anniversaries (as opposed to dogs *wink*)

definitely food for thought. I had had an English cocker for about six years when a 6 week old Jack Russell/?terrier mix came into our lives. She quickly declared her self the alpha dog and would grab the cocker by the collar and pull him running around the yard. He tolerated her. But a couple years later when he became blind, she also grabbed him by the collar and led him away from danger. She became his protectoress and was in charge of finding the way up the stairs to the terrace with the plum trees where they would both eat all the windfalls.
It's always a gamble adding a new family member, even a four footed one. I'm not sorry we added the Jack Russell.

It's a tough choice isn't it? We were in a similar situation a couple years ago. We'd had Toby for a couple years already. He'd always needed a lot of attention and wanted to be within inches of us all the time. We thought another dog would help keep him company. At first, he was sooo jealous. I felt bad for cutting his attention in two. But things have settled and each dog has found a place in the family. Toby is still my boy and Abbey is a daddy's girl. And they have each other when we're both at work.
You'll know if it's the right choice.

I've been trying to talk Honey into a second dog for about a year now. The discussion never goes too far because he points out, without any judgment or mean overtones, that I am at my limit with two teens, a 2.5 year old, two cats and a supersonic-sausage-of-a-dog. I do think it's much easier to integrate a second dog than a second cat, though.

Ok, I know you're in a bit of a predicament, but you seriously had me laughing out loud at the V and Bee story! I've got two cats of my own and they're level of friendship is only at toleration. Dogs are definitely different than cats though.

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About Alicia Paulson

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My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.