I knew that losing Sheba was going to change things in our home; but I wasn’t quite prepared for one way that loss was going to hit me. As I was putting together a Valentine’s card for our post that day, something struck me. I got the photos of Sam, Cricket, and Luke onto the card and suddenly took pause. Was that it – did I have everyone – only three photos?
In early 2005 we had a house full of pets – four dogs and four cats. Since that time the only addition to our family has been Luke in 2013. Our numbers have been dwindling and Sheba’s loss really accented that for me.
It is funny how things in life can come full circle. We haven’t been a two dog household since early 2004. Even then we had four cats. Circumstances change though; right now we have no intentions of adding to the indoors household.
I don’t keep it a secret that Luke has issues. He has a lot. Being down to a two dog household will give me more time to work with him, and I need that. Adding another dog or cat to the family would only create more work and take away from the time I need for him. I want to take more classes and work more with both him and Cricket.
Luke has jealousy issues along with everything else. He wants all the attention, and doesn’t like sharing it with his sister. Whether or not that means he would not accept a new family member, I don’t know, but I want to take my time to work with him more before we make that decision.
It’s not all on Luke though. There were times when we had four dogs that I knew it was too much for me. The truth is those dogs were not as well trained because I didn’t have a lot of time to train three young dogs at once. Cricket is now learning how old dogs learn new tricks (hopefully – she’s not as trainable as Luke, but we’re trying).
I also want to be able to focus on caring for both Cricket and Samantha as they age. As much as I always loved having the large household when we had it, that household was younger and had less needs too. Caring for Sheba this last year, especially her last few months, was stressful, and it was worse when both Cricket and Sam were having issues as well. I could use a break from quite so much stress.
Losing Sheba has changed the dynamics a bit but we’re still learning exactly how that is going to go. The transition right now is difficult, but I always try to stay optimistic. We’re still adjusting to life without Sheba and what that means. I also have hope that Luke will settle down as he gets older and things could always change. He has loved his sisters in spite of some issues, and it’s still an unknown about exactly how he feels about other dogs. When Cricket’s gone, will he be happy being an only dog, or will he be lost and lonely like Kobi was when we lost his sister Maggie? These are things I worry about, but only time will tell. In addition, I have high hopes for Cricket to live to a good old age so we don’t have to deal with that for a while.
Looking on that bright side, our decreasing family size is not all bad news. I can now more easily walk Luke and Cricket together. Cricket showed on our snowshoe walks that she can keep up with Luke no problem, right now anyway (something I worried about since walks were mostly individual until now). I’m learning that Luke is going to need more walks too, he just doesn’t play ball as intensely as Cricket does, and he needs more exercise. Without Sheba to play with in the evenings, he’s been very fidgety and whiny.
We have some other plans in the works that I think will occupy us as well and keep us happy, even though we won’t have as many indoor pets to care for. I’ve already mentioned that we plan to get chickens, and I’ll fill you in on the rest in another post!
Have you had changes in your household that have been difficult to deal with? How did you get through it?