While technically our beagle Cricket is our oldest dog, if you take into consideration her size compared to our golden Sheba (22 pounds compared to 65), she is actually younger in dog years. Cricket will be turning 12 this week and is about 2 months older than Sheba. However, if you consult one of the many age charts for dogs that are available, on average Sheba is older than Cricket by about 10 human years (late 60’s versus late 70’s). So Cricket may be the middle dog after all.
One of the challenges of having multiple pets is dividing your time equally between them. Add into that two dogs that are needy in different ways, and Cricket definitely must be feeling like the middle child lately. Sheba’s cancer and Luke’s “special needs” (reactivity and fearfulness) demand extra attention right now, and I fear that Cricket might feel neglected.
She is a senior too so we need to remember to not just live each day to the fullest with Sheba, but with Cricket too. She has her own health issues, though she is doing quite well – we’ll have more about that on her birthday later this week.
We play ball in the yard every day, and that’s mostly for her exercise needs. Luke and Sheba enjoy it but they don’t chase the ball as much as Cricket does – they prefer to catch it when thrown right to them, and they immediately pass it off to Cricket to bring back to me. That makes Cricket happy, so I don’t think she feels too neglected. But Luke has his at-home nose work classes, and Sheba has been going for more walks along with special trips for swimming. I know Cricket probably would like a little variety in her routines.
This last week I made sure to take her out for a special walk, and we explored our woods a little bit. I’m going to try to do that more; I used to walk her more before we moved. Unfortunately, our new neighborhood has two dogs that run loose, and Cricket is leash reactive. I do not want to encounter two loose dogs when I am alone with Cricket. I’ve tried to be observant though, and have only seen those dogs in afternoon or evening, so I feel safer walking Cricket in the morning. Hopefully by next year we’ll have more trails in our woods and those dogs won’t find their way there (more about them in another post).
Cricket was super excited when I got her harness out; she still will hardly stand still so I can get it on her! She has always been a power walker; but she has at least learned to stop and sniff things a little bit (she is the total opposite of what her late beagle brother Kobi was). I also plan to do some of the nose work with her. I don’t expect her to learn as quickly as Luke does; Cricket is a very independent and stubborn beagle, and doesn’t usually like to work for her treats! But we’ll give it a try and see how she does.
So I’m working hard to be sure she never gets to realize that she actually might be that middle child! Since her birthday is this week, the blog will be a bit more focused on our little beagle as well, so she’ll get some extra time in the limelight. Judging by the comments though, I do think she ended up being the unexpected star of the video we shared on Friday! If you haven’t seen it, you can click here to do so; Cricket is pretty funny in it.
Meanwhile, stay tuned this week for more about our birthday girl!
Jeanne Melanson says
Oh, I have a feeling Cricket is feeling very loved and not neglected at all. She seems to be having a happy life. I love how crashed out she is in that first pic. So cute.
Christine Caplan says
There are so many awesome reminders in this post: Sherm (our Beagle mix!) is also the middle child and I recognize so many similar things with our pack too. Sherm is also a senior but not as old as Bruisy. I do take Sherm to Nosework with Walter once a week but since he’s reactive on leash trials and other nosework activities are harder for him so he doesn’t get as much 1:1 attention lately but I also try and make special time with Sherm. The good news is he goes to work with my husband once a week which I know he really likes!
Going to work with Dad sounds fun, that’s definitely a special outing! Cricket doesn’t like riding in the car much, so that makes it harder to find extra activities for her too. I did start the nose work with her though. She’s much slower at catching on than Luke is but I hope she’s at least having fun with it. As long as she gets treats it can’t be a bad thing for a beagle, right? 🙂
Yes, Cricket is definitely getting some well-deserved love and attention from the blogosphere, haha! I look forward to learning more about her as her birthday gets closer. All three of them have a great system of playing ball in the yard, that’s awsome! Happy Early Birthday, Cricket! 🙂
They do have their ball playing routines down…though Luke likes to throw it off every so often by not giving the ball back to Cricket! LOL
All Things Collie says
We have multiple dogs too, and I work hard to make sure each dog gets a special activity, just for them. One on one time is so important, and I can tell when one collie in particular needs some extra attention. It’s definitely a juggling act.
Sand spring Chesapeake says
Cricket your so damn cute
2 Brown Dawgs says
Cricket looks ready to go…lol. I hate that people leave their dogs loose to run. It is aggravating.
It IS aggravating, and I’d like to go say something to them, but I hate to be the new people in the neighborhood and make someone mad at us. 🙁
That trail looks amazing!! I don’t blame you for not wanting to run into dogs with her. All the work I’ve done with Delilah and she does amazing walking past a dog in its yard, but try to pass a dog that is walking, even on the other side of the street and she still reacts. Now I’m trying a new command and IF that works, I’ll write about it. BUT because of when we walk, we don’t typically see a lot of folks walking dogs.
I hope your trails manage to keep those loose dogs away.
Cricket is fine passing other dogs as long as they are on leash and don’t try to approach her. But if they come at her, all heck breaks loose. One of those loose dogs doesn’t seem to have a lot of common sense, so I’m not sure she would back off. I know you know how it is!
Cricket looked like she really enjoyed her walk 🙂
No matter what I do I always feel like I’m not giving one of the dogs the attention that they deserve but I don’t think that they feel that way at all.Well……..Leroy might 😉
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says
One-on-one time is great; but even when you don’t think you give them enough of it, they know they’re loved.
Honestly, with Cricket I think she could be just as happy if all she ever got to do is play ball! 🙂
The Island Cats says
We’re glad to see Cricket getting some me-time. 🙂
Groovy Goldendoodles says
LOVED THIS POST! I once thought two dogs would be more than I could handle. Once we lost Leo, I felt like one just wasn’t enough. Now believe it or not, I have been day-dreaming about a third doodle in my life #Lordhelpme I have learned with Jaxson and Harley that it’s okay to spend one on one time with each dog. I actually enjoy it myself.
I enjoy the one on one time too. It makes me wonder if I’d be happier with just one dog that I could lavish all my attention on, but I just don’t know! It really is tough figuring out what the right number might be. The only thing I learned for sure is that 4 is too many for me!
Dz Dogs says
She looks like she’s having fun walking with you!
I try to give our dogs individual time too. 🙂
I’m the middle (human) child!!! Cricket KNOWS that she is loved, and ultimately that is ALL that matters! I never have the time to play the way that I should, but with pet siblings at least they DO have each other to play with too. We can only do so much, we all do our best!
I always thought that having multiple pets would make me feel less guilty about leaving them home alone and such, but it really doesn’t! But it is definitely an advantage when they can entertain each other at least some of the time.
M. K. Clinton says
Cricket always appears to be having hound dog fun around your home. I know her birthday will be exciting for her. ♥
It is hard to balance time between multiple pets! Poor Soth has always gotten less attention because he isn’t as demanding at his sister–and I try to give him some special one-on-one time, but now that we have a foster dog, too, it feels like nobody is getting enough love!
The foster should give you a good experience to see if having another pet is really want you want or not. I think there are advantages and disadvantages and having enough time for everyone is definitely one of the big challenges with multiples!
I think two dogs (and of course one cat) can be the perfect amount for us–but right now the foster pup is in the middle of a two-week quarantine while he gets over his kennel cough, so there’s a lot of splitting my time between different parts of the house to be with them all and there’s just not enough of me to go around. We’re definitely looking forward to next week when we can all be in the same room.
That definitely complicates things! We’ve experienced that when one of the crew has had a surgery or something like that. Having to keep them separated definitely spreads us too thin.
Next week will be fun for you then!
easy rider says
I like the idea to do some nose work… we will start during the next weeks too with following some tracks… hope I can distract Easy from hunting rabbits and berds, Marks arm screams for PT in highest tunes :o)
Each dog needs their special time if you have more than one. It is not always easy, but it is important. You realize it and they know you love each of them.