Monday, December 23, 2013

A (little) Man's Best Friend

One thing I was really worried about during this pregnancy for the transition to life once he was here was how Adi and Aspen would react to his arrival into their lives. I often times thought, 'They have a rude awakening coming once he's here' mainly because I knew they wouldn't be as spoiled with undivided attention. But also because I knew the family dynamic would change so much. Obviously my priority is baby which meant that they wouldn't be getting as much attention from me, which made me feel awful. I love our pups, and I can't imagine life without them or being unable to give them the same amount of attention as pre-baby.

A couple people asked us if we planned on getting rid of them once the baby arrived. To us that was absolutely not even a question or thought. Yes they are big dogs, and yes they have lots of energy. But they are also extremely obedient for me and Jared (not so much strangers). To us they are family members-we're now a family of five not three and we wouldn't dream of getting rid of them.

Quite a couple of people also asked if we were worried about them being too rough with him, newborns are of course fragile. I had never seen either of them around a newborn or baby before, but I knew Adi loves to interact with kids. She adores them actually, whenever kids come around she wants to play and its really sweet to watch. She's really a gentle giant, but I can see how people would be concerned about her around a newborn. Aspen isn't afraid of children, but she doesn't really want to 'play' with them. The only thing she really ever wants to 'play' with is her tennis ball.

So when some close friends of our had a baby three or so months ago I asked when they came over the next time if we could see how Adi and Aspen would react. They have a dog as well and so were willing to bring their baby over so our dogs could experience their first newborn. Honestly they were just curious, of the smells, sounds, and size of this little being. Adi was a little to much in the face as she often is with any stranger but once we got her to understand that she had to keep a bit of a distance she did really well. Aspen sniffed, but seemed disinterested quickly and only wanted to play with her tennis ball. Because of that experience I was rather worried about how Aspen would react and if she would feel neglected once baby arrived.

Now that baby is here one question everyone asks is how the dogs are reacting to him. And it's not at all like I was worried about. I was worried they would feel severely neglected, or would get jealous. But it's been just the opposite, both have been very conscientious of where he is and coming to check on him if they're with Jared. If I leave the house with Hilton for a time, when I get back they always have to give him a thorough sniff check when he gets through the door.

The first day we were home from the hospital I was doing a diaper change and Hilton was screaming because he hates the cold, and because Aspen is terrified of loud noises she went running for her hiding spot under the bed. As she's gotten accustomed to him though she stays each night with me on the bed and often comes over when he wakes up to eat or be changed to make sure he's alright. Last night was the sweetest because I had just laid him down and Aspen came and laid down to snuggle him.

Adi on the other hand has assumed the role of protector. Some people from the ward brought over dinner and Adi was very cautious about letting them too close and will actually act as a barrier between me and them. This is good because it shows she has already accepted him into the family and will protect him, but is bad because it means she growls at our neighbors who aren't dangerous people. But we're slowly training her. She goes ballistic each time the door rings or comes running if she hears the front or garage door opening to patrol what is going on.

As for the worry of them eating any baby things left unattended they have been so good, they haven't touched anything. We had heard all these horror stories of baby toys being treated as dog toys, baby socks being devoured (or buried in the backyard), and pacifiers being stolen from babies mouths. However Adi and Aspen are really good about leaving things alone when we tell them no, but he's only been here for a week so we'll see how they are down the road.

Overall things with baby and dog transition are going great, I still feel like they need more attention and each day I've improved as I have healed and Hilton goes longer between his feedings. I've been able to let them out to play for longer periods, and am able to spend time cuddling them while Hilton is sleeping. I hope they know I love them even though I can't always give them both my hands. Somehow I think they understand. They still love me and are excited to see me when I get home so I know they don't feel abandoned.

1 comment:

Katie A. said...

That is cute that aspen puts her head on him. My dog growing up always did that to me when I would be sitting down or laying in bed!