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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have one rescue dog at home that I adopted this past January. I love her, but she has some serious issued that I have to deal with.

I'm thinking of adopting a second dog. I'll admit, my main motivation is to benefit my first dog, Whitney. Whitney doesn't like leaving home and is afraid of meeting new dogs. She does have two dog friends that she LOVES to visit and hang around with (she is learning to play with them). Because of Whitney's abuse, she does not know how to play or be affectionate. She will come to me to be petted and sit next to me on the couch, but it took a good 6 months to get there. She will not sit on my lap.

Anyway, I found another rescue, a cocker spaniel who is underweight from neglect. But she is a cuddler and loves to be held and sit on your lap. Her main issues are a seizure, which resulted in two days at the hospital, but not diagnosis, and drinking water excessively. She did have whipworm, which she could have gotten from drinking bad water, maybe because she was denied water. I'm just afraid of taking on another dog with a lot of issues. She has different issues, in a good way, but after the struggles, continuing with Whitney, I want an easier dog.

Do I go for it or pass on the cocker spaniel?
 

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I agree with Nylanat.

The dog you are thinking of rescuing could very well have more issues then the ones you are seeing, and you won't know about them until you have lived with her for awhile.

Dogs can also copy the bad behaviors of each other. For example, if you have a dog that loves to bark at other dogs as they pass by, the new dog may copy that behavior even though on it's own it doesn't have a problem with strange dogs.

The other thing to consider is that it sounds like the Cocker Spaniel may have some health issues, are you prepared for some rather large vet bills if she does have them?
 
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I agree 100% with the others.
 

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I am going to disagree (and probably make everyone here think I am crazy). I would adopt the cocker spaniel. I have 10 rescue dogs (13 until 4 months ago when my much beloved, elderly German shepherd finally passed away.) Being with lots of dogs 24/7 for a couple of decades has taught me a few things about them. (I speak dog at this point better than human. :) )

Yes, she has unknown issues and you are already dealing with a dog who has problems. However, it has been my experience that dogs DO pass on things to other dogs -- both bad and GOOD things. Sometimes a dog that is not social can actually benefit from being around a dog that is. Your first dog will observe your interaction with the cocker spaniel and notice the reactions. If she continually sees a positive outcome from that example, it may make her want to do it too. You already know that she is capable of learning to be social from her interaction with the other two dogs you spoke of her "loving" and learning to play with. This could be just the thing she needs.

Another point to consider... it isn't just about you and what you will have to go through. (I mean that nicely -- please don't be offended.) The little cocker was abused, yet she apparently has already formed enough of a bond with you to want to cuddle and sit in your lap. That means she is comfortable and thinking she has found a forever home. Taking her back to the shelter (or wherever you got her from) would be devastating to her. She will have to start over -- and it will be harder this time because she will have experienced two traumatic situations at this point (the abusive first home, and then the separation anxiety from leaving you).

You have to do what your heart tells you to do, but if it was me, I would commit to the little cocker spaniel and love her for all she is worth. You two will be better for it, and with luck, your other girl will be too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Another point to consider... it isn't just about you and what you will have to go through. (I mean that nicely -- please don't be offended.) The little cocker was abused, yet she apparently has already formed enough of a bond with you to want to cuddle and sit in your lap. That means she is comfortable and thinking she has found a forever home. Taking her back to the shelter (or wherever you got her from) would be devastating to her. She will have to start over -- and it will be harder this time because she will have experienced two traumatic situations at this point (the abusive first home, and then the separation anxiety from leaving you).

I don't have the cocker spaniel yet, I met her at a "meet and greet" and have talked to the foster mom about her.

One friend suggested I see if I could foster to adopt her, but from what you are saying that would be a bad idea.
 

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Having multiple dogs brings challenges and rewards for both you and the dogs. I would never have less than 2 dogs for the simple fact that we work and I don't want my dogs to be alone for 9 hours a day. I've got 5 right now and we've never had an issue with seperation anxiety or the like. They really build each other up.

I do agree they teach each other bad behaviors so you'll have to be ready for that. Still, they teach good as well, just like Deborah said. So I'd say do it but I'm a crazy dog lady.
 
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Has Whitney met this new dog yet? I would see how they interact before committing to the new dog. If Whitney approves and seems to get along well then I would go for it, but I would like them to meet in different venues just to be sure and finally after a few "play dates" I would let them meet at the house. They can be friends outside but it is a different story to share a person and a home. I hope it all works out for you. I also like having two dogs, I believe it is good for both of them. Let me know what you decide and Good Luck you are an awesome person willing to take on two dogs with problems. God Bless!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Has Whitney met this new dog yet?
Yes, Whitney met her at the "meet and greet". Whitney is very submissive, so she let the cocker spaniel sniff her, then Whitney went up to the cocker spaniel to sniff her (they are both girls). Whitney going up to a dog is a very good thing. But I would like them to spend more time together before I decide for sure.
 

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I agree with jpcrosby about the play dates. I assumed you already had her (my mistake -- sorry), but if you aren't fostering her, you have better options for testing the situation to see if it will work.

We had a similar situation a long while back when my (now deceased) German shepherd was only a year old and our only dog at that time. A coworker of my husband got a job offer in another state and couldn't take his older Belgian collie with him (she was 9, and he had had her from a tiny puppy!!!) so asked if we would take her. She was overweight from too much ice cream and treats instead of good food; she had skin problems from the same cause AND being bathed 3 times a week; and bladder problems from being kept in for 12 hours each day while he worked. To top it off, she was beginning to show signs of thyroid problems, (and later also developed dementia.) A lot of stuff to deal with, but we didn't want her to be taken to the shelter.

To help ease her into the new situation, we had only one week, so we had to do the best we could in a short while. We would go get her from his house in the morning and take her out with us and our GS to a nearby park that both were familiar with, so they could walk around and get to know one another on neutral territory before taking her back home. After doing that a couple of days, we took her home with us for a few hours two days in a row, but returned her to her own house for the night. Finally, we kept her a full day and overnight before taking her home. By that time, she was more than happy to accompany us wherever we went, and she and our GS were getting along fine.

I hated taking her permanently on that last day -- it seemed like such a dirty trick to play on her -- but after a few days she seemed to accept that she was here for good and settled in very well. I am not naive enough to think that such an elderly dog who had known only one owner her whole life ever fully accepted that she would not see him again -- I'm sure she looked out for him sometimes -- but at least I know she was loved and well cared for until she died of old age. I am glad we took her home, because she might not have been so lucky if he had taken her to a shelter. I think that is the bottom line.

If you can help, please do. There are so many sad, neglected dogs in the world and too few caring individuals like you to love them as they deserve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update-- I decided not to get the dog with the non-stop drinking issue. Someone else was maybe interested in her, so I let her go.

Instead I adopted a "breeder-release" Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She's a tiny one and came VERY skinny and with bad teeth. She's almost 7, but full of energy and eating really well.

Whitney's hanging back, not too sure about the new intruder into our lives. But I think that will change, it has only been 3 days.
 
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