I haven’t mentioned this in my recent Eden health posts, but Eden is suffering from another condition: Second Dog Syndrome.
Thankfully, it’s not a serious condition, and it could be easily remedied, if we were better pet parents. But we have definitely fallen into this lazy pattern with Eden, which certainly did not characterize our behavior when we brought Pyrrha home. With Pyrrha, I was like Dog Helicopter Mom; I was in her business all the time, fretting about her constantly, reading every book, calling every dog person I knew, making spreadsheets for her training regimen… With Eden? I’m the mom in sweatpants on the couch yelling, “Git off your sister and stop being such a psychopath!”
Some of the key symptoms of Second Dog Syndrome:
- The dog only knows how to do a few things, whereas the dog’s elder sibling has a repertoire of commands. We talk about how smart Eden is, and so people always ask us, “What can she do??” Um. She knows sit and down. And she can catch a mean Frisbee? But… that’s it.
- The dog tends to wear hand-me-down collars and use old leashes. She was even wearing one of Pyrrha’s extra ID tags for a while, until we were offered a beautiful ID tag from Silver Paw for review.
- The dog has no toys of its own. Never bought Eden a toy. The only toy Eden’s ever had was one she tried to steal when her foster mom dropped her off with me at PetCo; her foster mom, in compassion and kindness, bought Eden the toy (which she then brought home and shredded).
- The dog is often left to its own devices (within reason), whereas the first dog was constantly watched, worried over, and attended to.
It’s a sad, sad condition. And lately, her craziness has been making me seriously reconsider our gross laziness with her training. Time to start treating Edie like a first dog!
Anyone else feel this way about adding a second dog to the household?