When we first found out we were expecting, one of the first things we did was order cute little t-shirts for our pups that said: “Future Guard Dog” on the back. This is how we planned we were going to share the good news with our families on Mother’s Day weekend.
For months after, we gave our two dogs as much love as we could and imagined how much fun the baby would have with his fur-siblings one day. We vowed to them constantly over ear scratches and bedtime snuggles that we wouldn’t forget about them when the baby arrived. Then the baby arrived.
We made the first greeting as seamless as possible, even letting the dogs smell his hospital blanket first before they saw him. They seemed to ignore him at first but no one warned us, not even their vet, how their behavior would change. It was like a wave of depression washed over them. One didn’t want to eat, and just paced around the house for days full of anxiety. The other just laid around on the couch and couldn’t be bothered to move, even to go outside. Our dogs turned completely submissive, letting their little bodies fall limp whenever you held them. Their ears remained flattened back to their heads for weeks.
In the beginning, we couldn’t figure out what their behavior meant, however we knew it had to do with the new baby in their home. After my husband did some research, he found this new state they were exhibiting was normal. It was just going to take some time. Of course, those first few weeks it was really hard to even find time to pet the dogs, let alone give them the attention they needed and deserved but they weathered the storm. Even put up with a few, ok a lot, of my many daily outbursts at them in my tired and irritable state in an attempt to quiet their barking. There may have even been a day or two where I threatened to my husband that if they barked one more time while I was trying to get the baby to sleep that I was going to open the front door and let them free. Of course I never did that or meant it seriously, but when you are three hours in of sleep at night you have no control over what comes out of your mouth. And I do love my dogs, dearly.
So, for all of you fur-parents, getting ready to be real parents, show your pups extra love when you can. You will all be one big happy family taking walks in no time. Or, if you are like us, one of the pups may even enjoy the stroller more than the baby does.
Thank you for reading and happy Tuesday! ✌🏻❤️🐶 & 👶🏼