Life with Two (Bernese Mountain) Dogs


two dogsMany of you have been asking me how life is going with two dogs now instead of one. It’s going. It’s chaotic, and insane, and full of fur and just plain nuts most of the time, but it is awfully fun too.

There’s nothing better than having two giant dogs snuggle up and want to be pet at the same time. And nothing better than laughing out loud as the big dog circles around and knocks over the little one. Their personalities are very different. Gryffin, our 3 year old, is a typical first-born. He wants nothing more than to please me, make me happy, and make sure he does everything right. Nicolas, our four month old, still poops in the house on occasion. And then looks at me like it’s my fault. Second-born.

Lots of people don’t know how I do it. Some days I don’t either. I mean, life was chaotic when there was only one dog. If you haven’t read about the Birdseed Incident or Dog Dramyou need to. Now life is double chaos. Like today. Today is one of those days. Yes, I cleaned up pee and poop because Nicolas really can’t seem to get it together and I can’t seem to be maniacal enough to be on him like white on rice in order to get this house-training thing completely buttoned up. But today, on top of that, we had multiple other issues. I shall explain them below:

1. Walking Issues. Our leisurely dog walks are normally chaos. Gryffin weighs in at 100 pounds and is awfully strong and his sees his walks as the best time in the world. Not to actually walk, but to run from one scent to the next and pee on top of all of them letting the neighborhood dogs know he has been there and his pee covers their pee. Nicolas is along for the ride. For awhile I tried two separate leashes but that made me almost snap like a wishbone so we got a new leash that they both hook up to. It’s brilliant. But then I goofed. You see, I accidentally zapped Nicolas with the electric fence last week and now he won’t walk down the driveway. Jeez I don’t blame him. If walking down the driveway caused me to get electrocuted I wouldn’t do it either. So now in order to get him to go for a neighborhood walk I need to carry Nicolas down the driveway, which is tricky because A. he is heavy and B. he’s attached to Gryffin on the harness. So we get to the bottom of the driveway, with Nick in my arms, and Gryffin pulls ready to plunge into the fun that is the walk, and out topples Nick from my arms four feet in the air and he does a quintuple summersault doggie logroll. In hindsight, I realized should have unhooked him from the leash to avoid the death defying air tricks. I don’t think Nick will ever want to go on a walk again.

2. Petting Issues. This part is gross. Nicolas went outside on this gorgeous afternoon and fell asleep under a tree or bush or something and he came in full of mud. Yuck. But it was worse. As I was petting him, because there is nothing better than petting a puppy, I felt something sticky and pulled it out of his fur in my bare hand. What I assumed was mud was actually a living creature. I swear it was a slug, but there is a chance it was also a giant human-eating earthworm. This is when I wish there were meds for “Oh my god I just touched a bug/rodent/wtf was that”. Because I would have taken a bottle.

3. Eye and Ear Issues. So in addition to Gryffin’s naturally disgusting ears, which ooze out a brownish smelly sticky substance not unlike chocolate syrup, unless we clean it out with vinegar (white not balsamic), we now have eye issues. Primarily, Nicolas picked up puppy pink eye (probably at puppy kindergarten class), gave it to Gryffin, and now they are passing it back and forth to each other. The first round of meds (eye ointment, like squeezing Neosporin on the dog’s eyeball) seems to have not worked, or worked but not for long enough. So now we are doing eye drops, both dogs, both eyes, four times a day, for ten days. And I suck at eye drops, so most of it goes on their little furry cheeks or ears before I finally get some in their eyes. And they like it a lot. Just kidding.

4. Poop issues. This is the piece de resistance. On top of everything else today, I get a call from the vet with the results of Nicolas’s stool sample test. He failed. For the third time in a row. This little puppy came to us with parasites, which is pretty common in puppies. What is less common is not being able to get rid of it. So every time this dog takes a crap there are little parasitic creatures living in his poop. Most dogs would take their five days of meds and be done. Not Nicolas. He likes to eat his poop. Yes, that’s right. My bundle of furry joy eats his own excrement. That is so disgusting I can’t even speak to it. Even grosser is that he eats Gryffin’s crap too. So he poops parasites, licks them, then drinks out of Gryffin’s water bowl, and leaves them there for Gryffin to lap up five minutes later. And then he licks my face. It’s a good thing I have excellent skin care products. So now the dogs are on new meds for poop parasites, both dogs, five days. Again.

In summary, days like today are not my favorite. Issues with every end of their furry snuggly bodies (literally head to tush), plus house training, plus Nicolas trying to eat not only the furry faux spiders that the kids are using to decorate for Halloween, but also the skeletons and electric pumpkin lights, it all does seem like a lot. But then, just like the kids, the dogs snuggle up and go to sleep, and there’s nothing cuter than two dogs cuddling up next to each other. Sometimes I like my dogs more when they are not conscious. Sometimes I liked my kids that way too. Some days the chaos is more fun than others. But it’s all part of the journey. And that’s all I could really hope for anyway.




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