Why Only Doesn’t Mean Lonely

By Georgie Gurl

I don’t remember much about my original family, my dog family, but I’m pretty sure I had sisters and brothers. I mean, I couldn’t really see them or hear them right after I was born, but I could smell them. And we all smelled the same. Sort of a cross between wet wool, maple syrup and hot puppy breath.

Those early days were a swirl of sweet but simple chaos. Crawling over top of each other to get to Mom. Drinking Mom’s milk as often and as much as we could. And sleeping. Lots and lots of sleeping.

None of us had names back then. We were just Bobby and Hot Shot’s kids. But even though we were nameless, we knew we were family. And it was comforting just knowing that we were all in it together.

A Family Addition?

Not long after that, I learned life’s first tough lesson as a dog: That our littermates aren’t life mates and that our dog family is just a temporary one, until our human family finds us.

But I can tell my humans feel sort of guilty about all this. They worry that our pack isn’t big enough — and that being the only dog in the house is damaging my psyche. They wonder if I’m too isolated and need a sibling.

The sullen conversation usually goes something like this:

Human 1: “Do you think Georgie’s lonely?”

Human 2: “Yeah, maybe.”

Human 1: “I mean, maybe we’re not enough for her. Maybe she needs a sibling,”

Human 2: “But she has her dog friends in the neighborhood. She’s fine.”

Human 1: “Yeah, that’s true. I don’t know.”

They’ve had this conversation many times. But about a month ago, they took it to a whole new level.

“Hey, Georgie,” they said one morning. “Are you ready to go meet your new brother?”

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A Journey to the Sea

I was still pondering the concept of a brother when we jumped into the car and the humans said we were headed a gazillion miles south to a place called Naples to pick him up.

I slept and drooled most of the drive, while they listened to “yacht rock.” It honestly felt like we drove forever. I counted 300 McDonald’s and 24 Cracker Barrels along the route. My bladder almost exploded, because I won’t pee at rest stops.

We drove so far, in fact, that when we finally arrived at our destination, the air even smelled different.

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Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. I deeply inhaled the clean, briny aroma and cocked my head in wonder. What is that wonderful smell?

“You like that? That’s the Gulf of Mexico, Georgie!” Human 1 explained.

Oh crap, my brother comes from the sea? What is he? A surfer? A pirate? A marine biologist? Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God, OH MY GOD?????   WHO IS MY BROTHER? Someone tell me, please!

Oh Brother!

He came in like a bat out of hell, this thing they called “brother.”

He was much smaller than me. Half my stature, probably, and he had wiry white hair as coarse as a Brillo pad. And there was a mischievous madness in his teenage eyes. He didn’t look at me the way a brother should ever look at his sister.

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Before I could even say hello, he was at my backside. “What’s your name, again, sweetie? Georgie girl? Ok, I’ve got an idea, Georgie girl. Let’s get married — RIGHT NOW!” he said.

Instinctively, I sat down. I smiled uncomfortably and declined his offer as politely as I could manage. “Whoa, there, little brother. Let’s take things slow here,” I replied.

But he wasn’t having it. He ran around in circles and continued to try and woo me: “Listen, blondie, I’m like, in LOVE here, can’t you see that? We’re meant to be, baby! Georgie Girl, I LOVE YOU!!!!!”

A Dive Into the Deep End

I was really starting to get irritated with this oversexed kid. “Um. Not gonna happen, little boy,” I said, and with one swat of my paw, smacked him to the ground like a badass grizzly.

But my show of strength only seemed to excite him more.

“Whoo hoo! Nice move, baby!” he said, and started leaping vertically into the air like a circus dog on crack cocaine.

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At that point, the humans suggested we all go outside for some fresh air and more space. Next thing I know, I was running like a roadrunner being pursued by Wile E. Coyote.

First little brother chased me. Then I chased him. Then he chased me. Then I chased him and SPLASH! We both tumbled into the swimming pool.

We did the swimming pool stunt about three more times. SPLASH! SPLASH! SPLASH! Then little brother peed on a lady’s leg, and the humans said the meet-and-greet was over.

Why Being an Only Child is Better

I don’t know what became of my little brother. I never saw him again after that day. But in the days and weeks since our disastrous meeting, my humans and I have become much more comfortable with my only dog child status.

While only children sometimes get a bad rap, there are actually a lot benefits to growing up as the only dog in the house.

  • We’re more confident
  • We’re more independent
  • We have better relationships with our parents
  • We’re much better looking

Okay, I made the last one up, but you get the idea. I’m especially happy NOT to have a sibling when my humans bring me a big deer antler or a new squeaky toy. Sharing isn’t bad, but would you want to share your filet mignon or enjoy it all yourself?

Truth is, I don’t know if I will be an only dog child forever. But for now, our family of three feels perfectly complete.

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