Am I playing favorites with my pets? - Dr. Marty Becker


Am I playing favorites with my pets?

Thursday, Jun 18th, 2015 | By Dr. Marty Becker

I never played favorites with my children, but I’m starting to worry I’m doing that with my dogs.

Our oldest dog is a 15-year-old, blind, deaf, but still very active Golden Retriever named Shakira. Next is the dog Teresa calls her little angel,  12-year-old Quixote. Then there’s our little girl, an 11-year-old Pomeranian mix named Quora. Then there’s my very special girl, a 5-year-old, black, female, horrifically crippled Lab/Pit cross named Gracie.

Our latest addition is what’s kicked the emotional hornet’s nest, a 3-month-old, 5-pound, mixed breed puppy named QT.

QT (whose full name is QTπ, QT Pi or Cutie Pie) is what my social media manager, Christie, calls “deadly adorable.” Tiny, with translucent mule ears, white with a brown patch over his left eye and other Pollack splotches here and there, playful, mischievous, fun, and so, so loving. And oh yeah, he’s got puppy breath.

Because we’re still housetraining and training him, we’re with him almost 24 hours a day and he’s either in our lap, connected with a 6-foot leash, or we’re right with him outside. Teresa and I talk about him all the time as in “QT did this,” “QT did that,” “isn’t he cute!” Yes, a cute QT. But I’m having trouble looking the other dogs in the eye. Why?

Because I’m feel like I’m just pouring myself into this new little beast and not giving the other dogs the attention and love they deserve. Don’t get me wrong, Shakira still gets her tennis ball tossed, all the dogs get petted and given treats, I still talk to them in that syrupy “Yuuzzz a gooood girl Gracie!” voice, and they still sleep in bed. But it’s not like with our children Mikkel and Lex, where I know I could take a lie detector test and say unequivocally that I treat them both the same.

I know I’m giving QT the bulk of my daily output of 4-legged love. Will it go when the puppy breath leaves? Will it even out over the coming weeks? What, if anything, should I do? Readers, what do you think?