Tuesday, February 10, 2009

You might think....

You might think that our baby due in May is our first baby, and if you do, you're wrong.

Our 3 year old Dachshund, Oliver, truly is our first baby, hence the reason we call both of our dogs, weina babies. From the day he came home,

to present day,

this dog has been my baby. (Okay, admittedly I didn't like him much at first. He was - and still is - worse than a kid. I couldn't do ANYTHING without him being RIGHT there. If I took a shower, half the time he jump into the tub with me and stand at the back of the shower, and the other half of the time he'd sit on the bath mat and cry the entire time. That took some getting used to and luckily he doesn't do that anymore. Well he'll still lay on the bath mat, but he doesn't cry.)

Anyway, Oliver (and Sadie too) sleeps with me every night, or anytime I lay down. He's a world class snuggler and all I have to do is pat the bed next to me and he gets into "position". His position is his chest to my chest, with both his front paws tucked in and his long nose buried between my neck and the pillow. I wrap my arms around him and that's how we sleep pretty much every night.

If I'm in the kitchen, he takes his post in the doorway, with his right leg always out behind him, and watches me until I'm done. (Unless I drop food and then he's there to catch it.)

Pretty much any time I'm sitting down and he's not in my lap, I can look down and see this:

I (we actually) are pretty worried about how Oliver is going to handle this baby coming into our lives. I am absolutely terrified that things are drastically going to change when Oliver starts playing 2nd fiddle in our lives instead of 1st, like he's been used to for over 3.5 years. I realize that change is inevitable and that the baby is going to come first. But Oliver truly is my other baby. He's not, and never has been, "just a dog" to either Mark or I. (And neither is Sadie, but our relationship with her is just different than it is with Ollie.) I know people who have completely gotten rid of their dogs after they've had kids, and I've talked to people who have said that they'd like to get rid of their dogs because their dogs are "rebelling" from the lack of attention after a baby is introduced into the mix. Do any of you with children have good experiences to share with dogs and babies? I realize there's going to be an adjustment period for all of us, but can't we come out on the other side unscathed? I'm incredibly nervous about the whole situation at this point since I've only been hearing about how the dogs "just won't matter to me anymore". I cannot imagine my dogs not mattering to me anymore. I've had dogs in my family my entire life and quite honestly, life just doesn't feel complete without animals around me. I don't look at them as something to keep me occupied while it's convenient and then as soon as something new and better (aka - a kid) comes along I get rid of the dogs and replace them with the kid. As I said, I know things will change, but won't I have enough love for all three of them? (The dogs and the blueberry.) Is a baby going to be so time consuming that I don't have time for my dogs anymore? My parents had 2 golden retrievers when I was born (and I was a twin also), and they seemed to do fine with 2 big dogs and 2 babies, so hopefully they'll have passed those "coping" genes along to me. I know some of you have dogs and babies. Please share your (good) experiences and put my mind at ease.

I just cannot imagine not having this little guy in my life in the exact same way his is now. Quite honestly, I'm not sure he'd even allow being pushed aside. Besides, how could I resist looks like this??


Elsbit said...

I had to laugh because a lot of things you said you did with your dog or that your dog did my dog does too. In fact, we have the same dynamic, two dogs, love them both to pieces but one relationship is a little bit different. I sleep with Sochie that way too!

This is my opinion: The people who say your relationship with your dogs will be one that does not matter anymore never had such a relationship with an animal like yours. Therefore they are talking out of their asses. :)

We still love our dogs the same. They are still at our side but now they just have to make room for us cuddling the baby too. They seem to get that she is a human and not another "animal" to contend with. Things will work out and everyone, pets and parents, adjust to the new dynamics. There will be some ups and downs but at the end of the it works! No worries. Cross the bridge when it comes, but just plan to try to give a little extra attention to the pups too. :)

Jackie said...

We had both Calie and Shasta when Adyson was born. To get them ready for the idea of a baby, we bought a toy doll (pretty much newborn size) that cried and such. We got it out every night and sat on the couch with it and loet the dogs "explore" it. We also put it to bed every night in the crib.

When Ady was born, Quentin took a blanket that Ady had been wrapped up in home from the hospital and wrapped the doll up in it, and introduced it to the dogs. He did this both nights I stayed at the hospital.

When we actually brought Ady home, Calie was the "alpha dog" and no one was allowed to go near the baby except Quentin and myself. We never had any problem with them acting out towards Adyson, but the jealousy was obvious.

Now, I am glad we have a bigger dog because Adyson smothers here every change she gets.

michelle lynn said...

You have nothing to worry about. Everyone will adjust just fine, and you'll know how to make it work. If you think about it, the dogs get some time to accept the baby because as a newborn she'll be so little and sleeping quite a bit (hopefully), and they will know her as family before she starts crawling around on the floor and invading their space. In a sense, they grow together and as the baby grows, it gives the dogs a chance to accept her, in little baby steps.

Cathy said...

Well I'm not speaking from experience since we don't have a blueberry in the oven as yet and these same thoughts have crossed my mind when it does happen I may be calling you and asking you advice. But we do have friends who have a German sheppard and had a baby and their dog is very protective of the baby and very helpful. ie. When the baby drops his food the dog cleans up the floor. So I wouldn't worry about it to much I think the family will be just fine.