You might consider this the sequel to my holiday post about getting my now 15-year-old daughter a new puppy for Christmas. If you recall, his name is Stinson and he’s now a nine-month-old Aussie Shepard.

 So, we’re six months in. Made it through the snowiest winter in Salt Lake history (900 inches of snow up high), cold 5 am wake ups every day to get him potty trained, figuring out the right food, plenty of daily walks, runs and with the weather breaking, mountain bike rides. And along the way, lots of mud in the house via the snowy winter and wet spring, more fur than I have ever seen shed and trying to keep up with his incredible appetite. He is food driven for sure. Which makes training a bit easier.

But that’s all-table steaks. The usual stuff any responsible dog lover and owner deals with. And I won’t lie, I loved the dark 5 am walks in the snow. They proved a bonding time for he and I. Trust was built and a friendship between man and dog that gets stronger with each passing day. However, there were two areas that I was curious about as we embarked on having a second dog for the first time ever. And in order, they were:

  1. Would my daughter, who begged for a second dog for more than five years, live up to her end of the bargain by feeding and walking him.
  2. How would our eight-year-old Ruby adjust to this new and hyperactive pup?

 I’m happy to report that both have met if not exceeded my expectations. Paige fully stepped up and has loved Stinson with all her heart. She feeds him 2x a day nearly every day unless she’s fulfilling a previous commitment via a school activity or sports. She watches what he eats and takes both dogs for a walk every afternoon. No easy task when you have two highly active breeds who tend to compete for her attention.

As for Ruby, it took a month or so. She wasn’t excited to start with and let Stinson know it with growls and baring her teeth to let him know who was boss. But I will admit, he rarely backed down. And his persistence paid off. They share a bed, play together all day and for the most part, Ruby has proven a motherly figure. Every once in a while, she will have to remind him who was here first. But six months in, and I’d call them best friends. She keeps him in line, he keeps her young.

So, would I agree that two are better than one? Heck yeah, I do. Stinson has brought us all closer together and along the way, we’ve all loved a bit more, worked a bit harder and bonded a bit stronger. 

July 06, 2023 — Bob Jones