The Sergei Foundation


B-more Dog


Pinups for Pitbulls



Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue

Our Pack, Inc.

Maine Coonhound Rescue

Saving Shelter Pets, Inc.


LD Logo Color

Company for Christmas: Three dog night


Perhaps you’ve heard people say this: Two dogs are just as easy as one. Or, three dogs are just as easy as two.

It’s not so.

Bearing in mind that it depends in large extent on the individual dogs, and having a routine carved out for them, the amount of time and energy spent on caring for multiple dogs doesn’t just double with two dogs, or triple with three dogs. When it comes to multiple dogs, basic math goes out the window.

Among my observations so far — based on my hosting three guest canines for Christmas, two of which have arrived so far to join me and my own dog Ace:

— Three dogs, who you would think would drink three times the amount of water as one, actually drink eight times the amount.

— Three dogs who normally wouldn’t follow you from room to room, all follow you from room to room when they are together.

— Three dogs, as all three have to do whatever one does — be it drinking water, peeing, barking or jumping on the human —  actually engage in 18 times the amount of activity that they would on their own.

DSC07612My newest arrival is a young Boston terrier named Darcy, who possesses an energy level equivalent to a whole  litter of Energizer bunnies. She’s constantly on the go. She likes to get up on the couch or a chair, so she’s at eye level with Ace, and then slap her paws into his face. Ace responds by taking Darcy’s paw, leg, or entire head into his mouth, at which point Darcy freezes until Ace lets go. Then they do it all over again. Cheyenne, the visiting blind dog, stayed out of those frays.

Darcy’s humans brought plenty of toys, which everyone is sharing nicely. Cheyenne went nuts over Darcy’s tug toy, whipping it around and flinging it, trying to find where it went, then doing it all over again.

Darcy meanwhile took a strong liking to Cheyenne’s bed — pulling it out of the crate,  attempting to impregnate it (though she’s a female), nursing on its bulges, and finally trying to pull the stuffing out of it, at which point I had to separate her from her lover/mother/prey.

Somebody pooped in the house (I’m not pointing any fingers), a feat which, fortunately, the others — so far — haven’t felt the need to duplicate.

All three took turns resting on the couch, engaging in play and gnawing on one well-chewed marrow bone.

As evening fell I learned that walking three dogs is 8.7 times harder than walking one, 23.5 times harder when you thrown in the ice, and it left me 10.6 times more tired than I should have been.

Back from the park, after dinner and a few more spurts of play, the gang finally started settling down, and we all sacked out on the couch — except for Ace, who knew he wouldn’t fit. He settled for putting his head only on the couch for a few minutes, then sprawled out at the foot of it.

You know that feeling you get when the day is done, and your work is finished, and you look over at your peacefully sleeping, or even just resting dog — that soul-comforting, all-is-right-with-the-world flush of warm contentment, better even than a crackling fire, hot chocolate, or a steaming bowl of macaroni and cheese?

Turns out multiple dogs make that feeling rise exponentially, too.

On my three dog night, with the blind one curled up between my legs, her head resting on my feet; the big one on floor by the couch, reaching for me now and then with his paw; and the little Boston terrier resting, finally, on my belly, I realized I was feeling 9.9 times more peaceful and harmonious than usual.

(To read all of the “Company for Christmas” series, click here.)


Comment from bluhawkk
Time December 24, 2009 at 7:58 am

I’m smiling 15.9 times more than usual.

Anxiously waiting for your 3rd guest to show.

Comment from Linda Nelson
Time December 24, 2009 at 10:59 am

While I agree with your thought process on this, I also believe it truly depends upon whether the dogs are all the same breed and/or come from like circumstances. It is not uncommon for us to have 20+ Chihuahuas together at adoptions, between our fosters, our own dogs brought for socialization and/or stabilization purposes and some we just love to have around to teach children how to interact with dogs and puppies…

We don’t rescue dogs bigger than 7-10 pounds and because we primarily pull off the kill lists here in the greater Los Angeles area, we predominantly do Chihuahua and Chi mixes… While the Chi might be more of a clannish dog breed than others, the biggest jump (in my mind) is from ‘no dogs’ to ‘one dog and/or a multi-dog’ household…

The only other factor I’ve noticed is how unruly dogs will become (even the best behaved one) when an intact dog arrives as a foster into my pack… I absolutely do my best to avoid this situation for inevitably an intact male is consistently stirring up trouble while an intact female immediately vies for the alpha status… I find this situation a greater upset ‘in the math’…

Maybe it is just the breed we work with so much… Dunno… I’ve seen people with one dog that shouldn’t have one, and others with multi-dog households where you could literally eat off their floors!

I thoroughly appreciated your posting and it certainly brought a smile to my face this morning! Glad I happened upon it!

Comment from Anonymous
Time December 24, 2009 at 11:19 am

This is so true… And the ice today was especially fun since the squirrels have decided to resurface!

Comment from feefifoto
Time December 24, 2009 at 1:09 pm

I’m not very good at math but I completely understood and concur with your calculations.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time December 24, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Anxiously awaiting the arrival of the fourth house guest. My nominee for pooper is the small doggie, Darcy. She needs to let everybody know she’s there.

Comment from Marilyn Bailey
Time December 25, 2009 at 12:22 am

And you do know that dogs can talk at midnight on Christmas Eve, don’t you? I can’t wait to hear what they have to say!

Comment from jo
Time December 26, 2009 at 1:43 pm

get those dogs off my sofa!!!
p.s. and what’s an url? where do i get one?’

Comment from paul
Time August 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm

hi mate great blog.going to bookmark this site for a great read.you just have to love dogs anyone that looks into an animals face and does not feel anything in my opinion they are strange.keep up the good work cheers.