I’m sure a good number of people can relate to having issues with their dog after bringing a new baby home, at least I hope we’re not alone?
All of the sudden the dog, who by all intents and purposes, has fulfilled our “baby” role has now been replaced…. Not intentionally but it just happens. As clear evidence of this, the pictures on my phone went from dog, dog, dog to kid, kid, kid, kid, kid, kid, oh and more kid!
I remember taking this photo of our dog the day before our daughter was born, look how happy he was!!!
People had warned me of what was going to come next and remember before we had our daughter thinking “What are you talking about? He’ll ALWAYS be our baby!” Well, I’d love to say I was right but I was definitely W.R.O.N.G.
Not that any pet owner goes into the next stage with their own children intending to neglect their sweet little fur-ball but I see now that it’s almost inevitable…. There is just too much going on to focus all of your attention and energy as you once were able to. I remember when I was on maternity leave, at first he was so excited to meet the new baby and then gradually he started becoming more and more distant, when I was working from home he’d spend most of the day outside instead of by my feet as he had before.
Things have gotten better, he has started getting more comfortable around the baby (it probably helps that she is constantly feeding him her dinner and snacks!!!), he sleeps in our bedroom every night and has even moved back into our bed – and I’m okay with it as long as he’s happy again. He’s been sneaking onto the couch and we’ve let that slide too…. But at the end of the day, he’s just not the same dog.
And so, the most important question – does he need a friend? Seems like a natural progression, someone to keep him occupied and cheer him up right? But can we handle another dog? Do we want to go through the whole puppy training stage again?
It’s funny thinking back to how hard it was the first time, almost trivial compared to bringing home a kid but at the time it seemed so daunting! But thinking about doing that, plus taking care of the kiddo, and continuing to stroke the ego of our dog…..seems like a lot?