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Jim Moore puppy Skye
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Jim Moore: Why my family decided to get a 2nd dog for the 1st time

Jim Moore added one more to the family with his new puppy, Skye. (Courtesy Jim Moore)

As much as I love dogs, I’ve never wanted two. Too much responsibility, too much of a financial commitment, too much everything. One has always been enough, beating the heck out of none, that’s for sure.

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But our twin sons asked for a puppy on their 16th birthday in April. I could have said “we already have a dog, why would you want another one?” But then I started thinking that River might like a buddy to hang out with. He’s the moodiest dog I’ve ever had. I take him on daily hikes that wear us both out, but later in the afternoon, he’s there in the driveway looking bored as can be.

My wife was open to getting another dog, but she didn’t want to get a puppy. She wanted an older rescue dog, and I admit to having guilt about getting a puppy instead.

Two months ago, I proposed the puppy idea to my wife. If she had simply said she didn’t think that was a good idea in a lower tone of voice, little Skye would not be with us right now.

But Kathie blew her top, said “there’s no way we’re getting a puppy, I’ve told you that already,” and as she walked away, I thought to myself, “boy that went well.”

The next day she felt bad about how she reacted and said she would reconsider if we got a female pup, thinking a little girl would be more compatible with River.

So as soon as I got the green light, I sped through the intersection because I wanted to get something lined up before Kathie changed her mind again and flashed a red light on the puppy idea.

I found an online ad in the Seattle Times about a litter of half black lab, half golden retriever pups in Chehalis. I’ve always been a golden guy, but a mix like this, why not give it a try? I loved how my old neighbor’s black lab swam and swam and swam some more. Ol’ Haley had nonstop energy. And another friend has a black lab named Cali that’s a really sweet dog.

So I put $200 down with the breeder as fast as I could and paid the rest when we picked up Skye last Friday.

Until now, I’ve always named my dogs after athletes – Murphy was named after Dale Murphy, an Atlanta Braves player in the late 1970’s and ‘80s that I loved. Willie was named after Willie Mays, my favorite player as a kid, and Willie Bloomquist of Port Orchard, where I lived at the time. And River was named after River Cracraft, a Washington State receiver that the kids and I liked.

We didn’t know what to name the pup. Couldn’t agree on anything, and finally my daughter came up with Skye, and we just went with it, including the “E” at the end for no good reason I can think of.

So here we are, five days into double trouble, and my biggest concern was how River would feel about another dog on his turf. The first three days went poorly, indifference followed by many growls when the pup got too close.

Fortunately things started to change Monday night when River decided to play with Skye for the first time. It continued Tuesday night, and now they might be heading toward being lifelong pals, which was the hope when we brought Skye home.

Though I’ve been through it three times before, I’d forgotten about the difficulties with house training and crate training and early wake-up calls, but it’s hard to get frustrated with her because she’s so darn cute and doesn’t know any better yet.

Not sure if we made the right decision, and we’re off to a sputtering start with all kinds of new challenges, but it’s also been a lot of fun thus far too.

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