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Are two dogs better than one? Opinions please.

So...a very dear friend of mine manages a local humane society/shelter, and today I went by to drop off a dehumidifier that we donated. Well...I met "Woofie" a very young (likely about a year or so) Irish Wolfhound--mix maybe. He's not HUGE, but he's very, very big. He was found just two days ago along the river and he's in rough shape. Pretty skinny, infected eyes, ragged coat, skin irritations, a hematoma on his elbow... Here's the thing though, I played with him for a short while, and he is an absolute doll-baby. All he wanted was love and belly rubs. He sits and goes "down," so someone did or does care about him, but it doesn't seem that anyone is looking for him. Bottom line, he melted my heart, and I can't get him off my mind, and I am battling with whether or not to adopt him if he remains unclaimed, and I am at the point where I am considering taking Gracie to meet him.

So, opinions/experiences please on adopting a second dog with the idea that we have had Gracie for almost 5 years now, and she has always been a very doted upon "only child."

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Comment by Beverly and Eli on August 5, 2015 at 8:04am

CJ, you probably can't get past it! I've never "chosen" a dog, they've always picked us. Sounds like everything is in place as it should be and you're working with a good shelter. It will all work out. Is there a link to the shelter, I'd love to see a picture of this guy!

Comment by CJ, Gracie, and Quinn on August 5, 2015 at 7:50am

Yes, Beverly, you are correct, time must pass before he is adopted out, and he's already been treated at the vet and is scheduled for grooming. This shelter has an extensive search network and an fb page. His pictures and where he was found have been "shared" well over 200 times. The best case scenario would be to reunite this guy with his loving family, but based on his condition, he was either neglected or he is not newly lost, and so far there is no indication that anyone is looking for him. This shelter also fosters, and if I head in the direction of adopting him, I would attempt to first foster. My hesitations in all of this are based on the fact that I am returning to school in about 3 weeks (teacher) and also his size. We are in the habit of taking Gracie everywhere with us, and I'm not so sure that will be possible with this guy. I know he won't remain at the shelter long. They are an active shelter and he's very adoptable. My heart goes out to all the shelter dogs, but for some reason, this guy  captured it, and I'm not quite sure how to get past that.

Comment by Kathy, Elliott & Spencer on August 4, 2015 at 10:48pm
Ours is a similarlar story. A friend of mine lived at home in another city with her aging parents, and the family had just lost a beloved older dog. My friend was going to school here, and we went together to the local shelter to "look" at the dogs. We both fell in love with a shepherd/lab mix whose time was running out at the shelter (it was not a no-kill shelter). The shelter agreed to hold her for 2 more days until my friend went home. On the morning she was to leave, her parents called and said don't bring the dog. They just weren't ready yet. So ya, blah blah blah and later that day she came to our house where she joined our first bouvier Tasha, who was in her mid years. Jaiden, as the kids named her, needed shoulder surgery within a month as there was a huge wad of loose cartilage stuck in the ball and socket of her shoulder, possibly the reason she was abandoned. It also became clear that she had been less than well-treated. If anyone in the house raised their voice, even not at her at all, she peed on the spot. She hid if anyone picked up a newspaper or went to use the garden hose. My youngest son who was quite young said to me "You know mom, I don't think she was the only one that wasn't treated nicely where she lived." The wisdom of children. I think he was right. Although she had issues, she was clearly devoted to all of us, her forever family. But with her began the 2-dog trend. When the bouvier died, we got another bouvier and Jaiden became the older teacher dog. When Jaiden passed, we got Elliott. We got Spencer even before Holly the new bouvier died, so we had 3 big dogs for a while. I think they are like cookies - just one more!
Comment by Beverly and Eli on August 4, 2015 at 9:44pm

Years we added a mixed breed rescue puppy, Jax, to our family. At the time we had Garth, an aging Golden Retriever who was also blind. Garth had a seizure a couple of months prior and we knew his health was precarious. Bringing home Jax did wonders for Garth's remaining months. They played together all the time, each respecting the other's youth and advanced age until Garth finally became too ill to continue and we sadly had to let him go. In the meantime Jax won our hearts. He was an only dog for a while until we brought home Chesney, another Golden Retriever puppy. We've had two dogs ever since. When Jax passed, we got Eli right away (the nutty goldendoodle you all know.) They are best friends and do everything together. I love having two dogs. I would advance slowly on this possibility allowing Woofie time to heal. He may have been lost and his owners just haven't found him yet. A good and responsible shelter will vet him properly and bring him back to health, in the meantime allowing the opportunity for word to get around that he was "found" in case a heartbroken family is missing him. When he is cleared of anything contagious you could introduce Gracie to see if they are a match and could get along. You might consider fostering him as well. Good luck CJ. The world of shelters, lost or abandoned pets is a tough one. I'd take them all home. (I might add that when we got Jax, he socially isolated himself at the shelter and gave no response when I picked him up. When I got him home his personality changed in an instant. I couldn't believe it.)

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