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Sunday, February 21, 2010

advice needed: time to expand the family??


It boils down to this: I think we’re ready and he’s not sure.

We’ve had this little one since August of 2008, approximately one month after we got married.

It was kind of soon to welcome another living being into our new living situation, especially in the tiny apartment we were in at the moment – but I rushed things, as I tend to do.

He was tiny, sweet, and he still needed to be potty trained.

Nick really didn’t like him at first, mostly due to this one last fact.


But now for Nick and the pup: it’s love. Everlasting love.

He loves loves him.

He cuddles him, he walks him, he worries about him, he talks to him, he tells me the dog likes him better…


As is natural with most couples as time goes by, the conversation has begun to swirl around the topic of expanding the family.

and the question is this: Should we get a second dog?


{You didn’t think I was talking about children did you??? *evil snicker*}

No, not children just yet… but the thought of another dog actually makes me think Hendrix will adjust better when we do get around to reproducing offspring of the non-furry variety.


My thoughts on the topic and why I lean toward a playmate for our Hendrix:

1.   He doesn’t have a playmate and he loves other dogs when he has the chance to be around one.

2.   We are gone a lot. At the moment, Nick is home a little more than I am, but even that will come to an end when he graduates in June and begins a new job. Our Hendrix is NOT a loner, he lives to be around others. Another dog will keep him company when we can’t.

3.   He needs/wants LOTS of exercise which we unfortunately don’t seem to give him enough of…. I think. We walk him, we throw the ball for him, we do what we can with the time that we have, and he always wants MORE. I’ve seen my friend’s dogs – they run cRaZy together until they collapse in exhaustion - and it warms my heart to see them play while at the same time, it saddens me that my dog doesn’t have that at home.

4.   Whenever we do bring little ankle biters of our own into this world, it’s sad, but true that his percentage of our attention will greatly diminish. I’m thinking that another dog may help him through this time – and take both of their attention away from the baby and the over protective momma bear nearby that may not have to swat any jealous little dogs… correct me if I’m wrong about this.

5.   Personally, I LOVE a full house and I LOVE dogs… why not two? To me – silence is deafening. I’m sure one day, when we add all the kids in the mix, I will adopt “silence is golden” but until then – I want a little more happy noise in this house!

6.   Hubby sees all the added work, as he did when we first got Hendrix. He got use to it and it all seems so ordinary and easy now. My thoughts about the added work: you feed one dog, you feed two; you walk one dog, you walk two… and on and on so that my point is – the brunt of the work was added with the first dog. It’s not so much to add for the second. {Again – CORRECT ME if I’m wrong about this.}

Now for the negative {to be fair}:

  1. The question of what to do with TWO dogs when we go out of town is bigger than what to do with one. You can find family that will take care of the one, but two… that’s asking a whole lot.
  2. There are the added expenses of course. Vet bills, groomers {I may try to do even more of myself to cut costs}, food, accessories {because I do want a girl this time – and most people advise against having two males}… yes, it will cost more.
  3. Potty training – again? Hopefully not – hopefully, we’ll be adopting a dog who’s a bit older and more adapted to going outside. But if we fall in love with a puppy – potty training it will be. At least we know more of what to do this time around – and I still have 75 puppy pads {literally 75} stored away in the laundry room. I hear girls are easier to train anyway… =)


That’s really all the negative I can think of right now… unless you factor in the real fears I believe we have the most of {and dog lovers, please don’t hang me out to dry for saying this}:

What if the next dog just sucks?

No, really. We think our dog is the best. The sweetest, the cutest, the cuddliest, the smartest, we can’t even imagine loving another dog as much as him… what if the next dog is just a pain in the rear end to have around? What if it’s one of those really, really dumb dogs that never learns anything and ruins everything. It’s a possibility, but a very very slim one I believe. Every dog I’ve ever owned has been the best of the best, beloved, honorable, loved. It’s a huge possibility I think that because they were mine.

{and once it’s ours and part of our family – I know we’ll love it regardless of whatever negative traits it may have – just like my family continues to love me anyway ;)}


So I need advice from the dog owners out there: Would you recommend having two or keeping our only child?

Give me the good AND the bad of the situation, please.

We would really love any input you may have in this little decision we’re trying to make here.


In the end, I really do wish I could just ask Hendrix what he thought. How simple would that be?


Just to clear up something I left open - just because in my mind it was clear, but i forgot that you can’t read my mind… we are talking about adopting a dog that is as close to the size of Hendrix as possible, for the primary reason of the two being able to play safely. We are not looking for a particular breed, especially since we want to rescue a dog and many rescues are mixes, just as our dog is now – a rescued mix.

I do know this – I like long haired dogs – which we can go ahead and add to the negative points… more hair around the house to vacuum. YUCK!


  1. Go for two! Getting a second dog was the best thing that we could do for our first dog! He is so much more happy and full of life. Now I feel bad that we waited so long to get him a friend/sister!

  2. hey girl thanks for the comment! Yes, I'd be interested in a giveaway - but not sure how to even set one up.. also, not from personal experience but from hearing from tons of friends that did the dog thing before kids, they wish they had just one dog or no dogs (sorry). It seems that the people I hear from end up resenting the dogs and they become much more of a chore/obligation. Keep it simple with the one dog you have and when you have kids, you'll be glad u did. :)

  3. I was reading a friend's blog and this title intrigued me so here I am at your blog. :)

    I have a dog who is our child! I think you can understand how we feel- though I think most people think we are freaks. :)

    My mom got me another puppy for my birthday and we kept her for a week.

    1. Jersey HATED her! It was pretty sad.

    2. double vet bills-not fun... also, if Jersey needed emergency surgery or something and then it would come down to, "well if we hadn't had to get all of Charlotte's puppy shots, we could afford to save his life." etc

    3. When kids come, we will inevitably give our furry babies less attention- just think how much less attention they'll get if you have to split it between two dogs.

    Hope this helps. We learned our lesson, and Jersey will be an only, (furry), child. ;)

  4. Ok so my situation is a little different because we adopted to pups at the same time. But i would recommend it for anyone who can handle two dogs or has one and is thinking about getting another to do it! The pups play together and chew on each other more then my things. They can chase each other around the back yard for hours..which I would never have the time or energy to do. We have two dogs under 50lbs so while there are extra costs it's not huge. I would think that you guys would also get another smaller dog so your costs would also not be that crazy. Some places will do a discount when you board two dogs when you go on vacation. As for potty training our girl learned soooo much faster than the boy!! The only downside sometimes is when they cause trouble (digging) they get into it 10 times worse because they cheer each other on. At least that's what I feel is going through their heads. After all that...yes I think you should get another dog. You will be happy you did!

  5. Yes! Another dog will make a world of a difference. We have two and it makes things so much easier when we aren't home because they keep each other company. It is double the food and anything else we would buy for one but it is TOTALLY worth it!

  6. Go for it!!! We have three-the more the merrier!!! Good luck in your decision making:)

  7. Coming from a not-dog owner yet. I think it would be a lot more work but worth it in the end. Especially if you guys did decide to stick with a smaller breed.

  8. H is the most adorable little dog!

    We have 2 kitties and a retired Greyhound. Of course, just like our children, our animal babies have such different personalities. We cannot imagine our home without any of them. Yes, 3 kiddos + 3 animals = craziness, but it's an amazing craziness. We rescued our animals and they have all given us so much in return!

    Good luck with your decision!

  9. Personally I wouldn't get another dog. We have talked about getting Bella a play mate and decided not too because we want to have a baby by next year and having 2 dogs, a baby, and a cat seems like a lot of work so we are holding off.

    let us know what you do...good luck!

  10. You are so funny! We have 2 beagles in our house and I wouldn't trade it for anything. We got the 2nd one about 2 years after the first one, and they absolutely love each other. It def. keeps us from feeling like we have to occupy the one all the time b/c they play all the time. I also think it will help ease your mind when you are gone b/c they will have each other to pass the time. At least it does mine! And then at night while you and the hubbs are watching TV together, you can have one in your lap and he has one in his lap! Ahhh...the simple things in life! lol

  11. Well if you plan on having kids soon then I wouldn't get another dog but if your not having any anytime soon then I'd go for it...

  12. Do it!! Seriously, our dogs are SOOO happy that they have each other...the only really cons are ones you have already addressed--it's harder to find someone to take them when you go out of town, and it is a little more expensive. But other than that? Two is actually easier than one. They kinda take care of each other, entertain themselves, wear each other out, etc.

  13. I left you some love over on my blog!

  14. We recently tried to take in a 3rd dog, which was a nightmare. If you do decide to add to your family, definitely get a breed that is similar in size and temperament to your dog now. We went from a tiny, calm Yorkie to a medium, hyper Boston Terrier, so that made the adjustment really hard. If you go the adoption route, most shelters will let you take home a dog overnight to see how it works out. Good luck!

  15. I say no. Wait for the kids. When you add a'll need less other stuff on your plate.

  16. I am all for 2 dogs. We had one for a while but it just felt like two was better for us. We have a Jack Russel and a German Shepherd (both outdoor dogs) and they are great pals. I say go for the second dog!

  17. We have two. The only down fall for us is the size and energy difference. we had a yorkie first and then we got a Pointer (35lbs). The pointer is very high energy, and completely different to take care of. If you get a dog around the same size it will not be to much of an adjustment.

    Girls are so much easier to potty train, calm down, control etc.

    Good luck finding a new little one to love :)

  18. Ugh...we have three dogs, three too many in my mind. We are also getting ready to have our third baby. We are really wanting to find a home for our youngest dog..we live in Lexington.... ;) Good luck in whatever you decide, I don't think it's a bad idea, the only thing I'd dread is the potty training thing again, but like you said maybe you'll get an older dog this time. (Did I mention our dog is two? AND potty trained!!!) :))

  19. GET ANOTHER DOG!!! We were getting a baby scotty shortly after we got married, I always grew up with more than one dog, and like you, was thinking about how much work and inconvienence two may be, but alas when we were picking up our boy he had a sister left in the litter and we just scooped them both up and have never been happier!! they play all the time and are great companions, the vet bills and grooming arent soo bad and potty training was a cinche with the bell method. The bell method is where you hang a bell (long enough for the dog to reach with their snout) by the back door or wherever you take your dog out at and before you take them out you ring it, it took my dogs not even a week to learn to hit the bell when they needed to potty!!! So I say TWO!!!

  20. If you are going to want kids anytime soon I say keep it to one dog. We had one dog and two cats when Kendra was born, and the cats were out the door to a new owner the day we brought her home. Stella has been passive-aggressive with her for her whole life. She is great with Kendra personally, but will go to the bathroom out of spite because Kendra pulled her hair earlier in the day. (She'll go to the bathroom in Kendra's room.) Hendrix's personality seems (to me) a lot like Stella's. She also does really well with attention. The problem is that she wants OUR attention, not another animal's. I just think that if you get two dogs and then have a baby you will have two little jealous pups to work with instead of just one.
    BUT - If you don't plan on having kids for another few years than go for it!

  21. I LOVE having two dogs! People think I am joking, but I really think it is easier having two. They are such budies. Dogs are meant to be around other dogs so I say go for it!!

  22. We got a golden retriever soon after we got our house and she was so easy potty training wise, but she needed SO much attention and I felt so bad because my husband and I both work. So, a year later we decided to get another golden. I can honestly say it was a great decision for us. She's much better now that she has someone to play with and I don't feel so bad when we aren't home. However, the amount of extra cleaning I have to do in the house is out of control (I could never make my sweet babies sleep outside!). But we also have long haired dogs so you might not have such a problem. But I don't regret having two at all! Sorry this turned out to be a book!

  23. I just discovered your blog and think it is so cute! My husband and I adopted a second "fur child" almost 3 years ago and it was the best decision ever. Our first child has some separation anxiety issues, so having a playmate has really helped her. They are the best friends and it is so cute! Our second was a rescue dog - they are just the best!

    By the way, I'm very sorry to hear about your grandmother. I recently lost my grandfather this past August, and he and my grandmother had been married for over 60 years too. I know how difficult this time is for you!

  24. I've actually been considering a second dog as well. But, I have a lab, so I'm thinking TWO BIG DOGS in the house - oh my gosh!! I don't know if I can handle that. But, I totally get what you're saying about needing a playmate for Hendrix. I'm gone about 12 hours a day and I hate for Ellee to be here alone. In the winter months, I take her to work with me, but in the summer, she just sheds too badly.


I just shared my thoughts, I'd love to hear you share yours! {Besides, I'm tired of listening to the voices in my head.} I kid, I kid... ;)