A man’s best friend. Your fur baby. A dog is normally the pride and joy of many childless couples. This is all before the baby arrives. Its saddens me to tell this truth and I could never understand why so many people would re-home their dogs after they welcome their baby to the world. I am ashamed that I even have these thoughts but now I totally understand why people choose to do so. The truth is, the love for your four legged bestie will quickly dwindle when the baby arrives. Basically you will no longer have the time and energy to devote to fido and as a result they will let it be known that they still want to be numero uno. I have two beagles, and they are notorious for being strong willed and head strong at the best of times, but this year has been like no other. Let me share a few of my experiences with you.
- Imagine its 6:30 in the evening, everyone is exhausted as the day draws to an end and you find yourself counting down the minutes until babes bedtime. All the best books will tell you its a time to be calm and exude peace and serenity as you feed and settle the baby ready for bed. The warm and fuzzy image is suddenly shattered into a million pieces as your beloved furry friend is barking nonchalantly for his dinner, or because he wants to go outside, or as a fly buzzed past his head, or you know, just because! The blood pressure starts to creep up and you scramble to remember one of those damn breathing techniques from pregnancy yoga to soothe the soul. The dilemma being whether your run after the infuriating pup or persist with your mothering duties and longing will for it to stop.
- My days are now filled with coffee and cake catch ups or baby play dates – it sounds idyllic, right? One particular day whilst a friend was visiting I could hear some rustling coming from downstairs. I thought the dog was rummaging through the bottom of my friends pram because as beagles, they are constantly on the hunt for food. As I realized that the noise was coming from upstairs, nothing could prepare me for what lie ahead. Approaching the baby’s room I could smell the stench and literally could not believe my eyes as I entered the room. ‘Oh sh!t’ I yelled as what lay before me could be considered a crime scene. The dog had pulled over the very full nappy bin, torn up, and eaten plastic, nappies and everything they contained. The mess was incomprehensible and that smell …. oh my word! I should have bought shares in Vanish after the amount of carpet cleaner it took to clean it all up. I did consider for a moment that the only possible option to deal with the disaster was to move house.
- Weaning a child is fun, said no mother ever. Ha! But battling with the baby to eat the food and the dog not to steal the food is next level. Part of me considers it to be cute, but the child does need to eat to survive, and we do not want to live with gas masks to live through the stench of the dogs after they eat all of the random foods their tummies are not made for. It really is a daily struggle in our household at meal time, and even more so now as the baby has discovered its a fun game to throw food to the dogs if she dislikes it. Again, kinda cute but grrrrrr.
We are very lucky that the dogs have not been vicious and are very tolerant of the baby whom wants to pull their ears and use them as a stool to climb onto things. But I have also heard many stories of parents being unable to trust their canine friend with their new bundles of job. I hope that as time goes on, the dogs and the baby will become friends and entertain each other as opposed to causing me endless stress. The evidence is already starting to emerge as I catch them playing tug-o-war or cuddling up together. You heard it here, I will not be giving up on our furry friends, despite the extra grey hairs they have caused and the wine that is required each evening to survive!