When my husband and I first moved in together we adopted a four-legged friend, out first baby, Guinness. Guinness is a Black Lab/Golden Retriever mix rescued from Georgia. He was so timid, I can remember our cat at the time cornering him in our kitchen. Luckily he’s come a long way since then.
Everyone jokes that dogs are good practice for a family and in some ways they are. You have a responsibility, another life to care for. Is he fed? Has he gone to the bathroom? We need a babysitter so we can go on vacation! You also have to train your dog, kind of like a baby, and if your dog is like mine you are tending to him even at 4AM. I can remember one very real episode of diarrhea that our Guinness had as a puppy. It was about 3AM and my husband being the saint he is took care of the dog all on his own. (I have since made up for this memorable night with frequent baby tending.)
Guinness was about 5years old when we decided he needed a friend. This led us to purchasing out next baby Jemma. Yet again, another dog. Practice makes perfect right? For this pup we decided on a smaller Yorkie/Poodle mix, also known as a Yorkie-Poo or as my husband prefers a “Yoodle”.
She, I assume, like siblings is easier then Guinness in some way and in other ways harder. She’s a different dog, so obviously she’s different. I assume, like I will when the next child comes along, learned how to juggle two dogs. It was easier in some ways (they entertain each other, Jemma follows lots of Guinness’s cues) and harder in almost every other.
Then two years later we had our first human baby and she has rocked not only our world but our puppies world’s as well. I was worried how they would react but so far so good. The night I went into labor my parents took them to their house and we kept them there for about 5days after baby came home. We introduced baby scent bringing over her hats and blankets. We even visited the dogs with baby at my parents. They were interested in her but more happy to see us.
They don’t cry when baby cries, instead they run for cover and I respect that. Jemma is little and I use to pick her up and carry her around all the time but as soon as I found out I was pregnant I stopped that. We also started recrating Jemma because anytime you wake her up at night she demands to go out. Guinness just sleeps in his bed, but we made a point to make all these changes well before baby came so there is hopefully no resentment. Jemma likes to sit in my lap under baby as I breastfeed and I let her. Baby likes to have her hand licked and is fascinated by the dogs activities.
We try and let the dogs around baby as much and as safely as possible. I want them to love her and I want her to love them. I think the bigger she gets the more their relationship will be tested, only time will tell. Yet no matter what those puppies wil always be my first babies.