This is a special holiday that was created by our friends the Cascadian Nomads, My GBGV Life and us last year. We couldn’t get it together this year to hold any special events, but we still want to celebrate our day.
We have double reason to celebrate today! If you saw my post on Tuesday, you know that Sheba had blood in her urine, and even though it was most expected that it was a UTI we still worried about cancer. Good news! The antibiotics are doing their job, and as of yesterday there was no more blood! In addition, she is acting perkier and her appetite is coming back. I can’t tell you what a huge relief that is!
Yesterday I shared the most recent photo I could find of our whole crew of four together. It was from a year ago when we celebrated Multiple Pet Mania all June long. It was tough for me to realize that I had to go that far back. But our cat Samantha just doesn’t hang out with the dogs much. It’s not that she doesn’t like them, she’s just more of a loner.
I wrote a lot last June about the joys and challenges of life with multiple pets: we talked about grooming, exercise, training and life in general. So for this year’s celebration of Multiple Pet Day I wanted to share some of our more recent challenges.
The first refers back to Sheba’s UTI. I explained in that post how I had to play detective to find out who was peeing blood. Since we have a fenced in yard we’re not always outside with the dogs. The Dadz gets up in the morning with them, and starts to prepare breakfast while they’re outside doing their business. So we may not always know if someone is having an issue. However, I do go outside with them when I’m home, and when I get home from work. I don’t know if Sheba had shown any other signs of her UTI, but even once we figured out it was her, I never saw her straining to pee, and I went outside with her every time. If we did daily walks, maybe I would have caught it sooner, but I can’t know that for sure.
Believe it or not, I pretty much can keep an eye out for any pooping issues though! I clean the yard daily, often several times a day, and I know who poops where and what it looks like! Only a pet parent would say something like that, right?
It’s great with multiple pets to not only know those things, but just this morning I was sitting on the couch with Luke and heard someone getting a drink of water out of the bowl. I knew that it was Cricket without even seeing her! I can tell who is drinking water, and I can tell who is walking down the hallway when one is coming.
I’ve mentioned the other multiple pet issue we’ve had since moving to our new home. Luke has on occasion been aggressive with Samantha in certain situations and we worried that moving to a new house would trigger it, so we’ve been keeping them separate to be on the safe side. I continue to work with Luke and Sam and it’s going well. If he goes after her now (when he’s on leash and under control) it is just in a playful way (Sam does not want to play!). The only time I’ve seen him still act a bit aggressive is when they’re on opposite sides of the gate, and he does the same thing to his canine sisters.
I believe he’s just blustering but we have to keep Sam safe. We’re also trying to find the right place for her kitty litter so that the dogs can’t get into it. As our friend Jodi at Heart Like a Dog once said “We have more gates than a gated community.” Jodi was dealing with an injured dog, so different circumstances but her quote certainly applies to our household too!
We’re working through our issues, because that’s what you do when you have pets, and I feel confident Sam will be integrated into the whole household soon. I feel bad but she still gets lots of attention and love. Part of her area in the house includes my office, so when I’m working in there she’s right with me. Our second bath is also there, and since our master bath has been under construction, we’re using it more, and she comes right in looking for attention (don’t all of your pets follow you into the bathroom?).
The truth is, once she has access to the whole house, I imagine she’ll still spend most of her time in her own area. The only reason you see her hanging in the kitchen with the dogs in last year’s photo is because that’s where she was fed in the old house! She’ll continue to be fed in her own area, and though I know she’ll still occasionally hang out on the kitchen counter I don’t think she’ll be quite as obsessed with it (though it is a nice high place to stay away from the dogs). I also think that as Luke gets older and settles down some, eventually Sam will be more relaxed with him.
For me, having a fenced in yard is a must if you have multiple dogs. It makes our lives so much easier, and the K9 crew just has a blast playing fetch and cooling off in their pool together.
Challenges aside, I wouldn’t trade my multiple pet household for the world. We just rise to those challenges, and figure everything out even if it takes time.
Celebrate your multiple pets today if you have them, and tell us what things you’ve discovered to make your life with them easier, or what challenges you’ve been facing! If you’re a single pet household, how does that work for you? Do you think about having more?