One of the many mistakes that we felt we made with our first dog was lack of socialization with other dogs. She was a Siberian Husky and a definite pack animal. We were convinced that we were going to get a second dog within a year, maybe two. We planned to make sure that she wasn’t alone and that she knew how to interact with other dogs.

Within two years of getting her we were moving to a new city and a smaller house. All dreams of getting a second dog went out the window. The longer we went without getting pregnant the more my husband worried that I would start to go puppy shopping. By that time our Sierra was six and we were already unsure how she would respond to another human in the house, let alone a new, rambunctious puppy. Thankfully for our family, our daughter finally made her appearance and our family was complete for the time being. Our lives were occupied with a baby and an ornery dog. There were no more thoughts about adding another fur baby o our home.

When we put our Sierra to sleep last winter, we promised we would give ourselves time. That quickly went out the window when my husband found our Bella online. Before I knew it, I was in love with a little furball who loves us and loves other dogs. While Bella has always been skittish around strangers, she loves her fellow canines. We promised our kids that we would get a second dog. We didn’t want to make the same mistake again. Our Bella needed a four-legged sibling. So the kids started asking and didn’t stop. Our four-year-old son, who had been promised naming rights, had his names picked out. The names evolved over time. First he was going to name a new dog Lloyd Garmadon after the Green Ninja from the show Ninjago. Then we took the kids to Mammoth Cave and we accidentally told them the unfortunate story of Floyd Collins, a man buried alive in a cave collapse during the 1920s. They spent the rest of the trip discussing Floyd non-stop, frequently asking any ranger who would listen about the fate of Floyd Collins. Now the name was Lloyd Floyd Garmadon. Over the course of several months the name stayed some variation of Lloyd Floyd.

The kids kept asking when we were going to get our second dog. Our daughter was thrilled with her girl and now our son wanted his boy. We had a good excuse. We were moving 1000 miles away and we were going to be living in a camper until we had a house. There was no way that we could add another creature into the mix.

Once we were in our house my husband was on the hunt for our second puppy. He searched online at the thousands of dogs available for rescue in the Houston area. We found one that we thought was a possibility, but after a home visit, we came to a mutual agreement that he wasn’t a good fit for our family. Then he found JT.

We spent the majority of a weekend traveling back and forth to an area rescue before we came home with the newest member of our family. When first we got the shelter, our kids enjoyed playing with and cuddling  JT and his brother. To be honest, I fell in love with JT, as did our daughter. She didn’t want to let him go and kept playing with him while our son played with the other puppy. When I went to inquire about both dogs, we were told that JT was no long available and it was the other puppy who we could take home. Even though it was a 45 minute drive through Houston traffic to get to the shelter, we decided to go home and sleep on it. I liked the other puppy, but I wasn’t ready to jump into bringing him home.

The next afternoon we headed back to the shelter. We had plenty of time to think about it and we showed up at the shelter prepared to bring home a cute black and white puppy. Instead, he was gone and JT was still sitting there in a crate, waiting for a good home. Our daughter and I were relieved. We got to bring home the puppy we wanted. We asked our son what he wanted to name the puppy, prepared for anything. Instead he decided to stick with JT. We have no idea what it stands for, only that he is officially a member of our family.

And just like that, our family is whole. Our Bella loves her new little brother. Our kids love their new little puppy(although our daughter has struggled with which dog she loves more). And my husband and I love our newest family member. Just like Bella, he is the perfect addition to our family and after six weeks in our house, we can’t imagine that any other puppy would fit in as well as he does.


Thoughtful and nuanced responses welcome!