You know, it seems that the trend in most couples is to have a dog (or two) prior to having children. For us, we got a tiny bit of a baby-itch, but at the wrong time, so we cured it with a 12 pound yorkshire terrier named Mac.
It worked. For a little while anyway.
In the weeks and days leading up to The Baby arriving, we started setting up all her gear around the house. You know, her swing, the bouncy chair, not to mention, a fully stocked nursery.
Mac would poke his little head around the things a bit, and definitely could sense a change coming.
But, really? He had no idea what he was in for.
When we were in the hospital having our daughter we set Mac up at my parents house for those few days. He got a lot of love and attention, and probably? Didn't even notice he wasn't at our house. We followed the 'rule' about bringing home the baby hat she first wore, and letting him sniff around with it. My parents did that for us, and said he slept with it in his crate.
The day we brought her home, my mom had already brought Mac into our house, gotten him situated, just so all things were 'as normal' for him as possible. One thing we did read was that it's better to come into the house with the new baby and the dog already home, then vice-versa. Who knows if it's true or not, but that's what we did.
Truth be told, he was way more interested in seeing us than he was seeing whatever that little blob-of-a-(cute!adorable!)-baby was in that car seat. Until finally, he waltzed up to her, took a little sniff and walked away.
That was that.
I had thought for sure, my once-spoiled-rotten-brat-of-a-dog was going to give us lots and lots of hell over rocking his world with this little Thing that suddenly took his place.
I swore up and down that we'd might even need to think about finding him a new home. That thought alone? Broke my heart. But, my kid had to come first if we ran into too much trouble with the two of them together.
The first few weeks went decent. He was still acting bratty and barking non-stop. Especially when I would sit down to nurse her, or whenever I was obviously busy with her. He'd jump down from his perch (aka: the couch), and just turn, stare and bark at us incessantly. There were a few days I just cried while the baby cried at the chaos that was going on. It was frustrating to say the least.
I learned to throw a kong with my foot, or give a belly scratch with my toes while I was busy taking care of Emeline.
We encouraged him when he was 'good' with her (laid near her without licking, or didn't bark, etc), and tried to use the positive reinforcement trick rather than the other way around.
And finally? He learned.
To read the rest, hop on over to The Poop Whisperer.