Our first baby.
Before we had our baby girl, we had another baby – our dog. He’s a pug, a snoring, farting, shedding pug. Most dog owners are loathe to admit this, but their dog is their faux-baby. Our pug got presents at Christmas, had birthday celebrations, playdates, and my wife often carried him on her hip. There were also a few incidents of co-sleeping.
The pug was our practice child. So when we were pregnant there was much discussion about how he would adjust to another baby in the household. Unfortunately some dogs don’t take well to life as number two. So we got advice on how to adjust the pug.
Some of the advice is obvious like setting boundaries for the dog, slowly introducing the baby, giving the dog attention, and watching that Dog Whisperer show together. Apparently the biggest adjustment for dogs is the smell; babies have so many new smells. We were told that a good way to acclimatize your dog is to have them smell a soiled baby diaper, before the baby is born. How exactly is one supposed to get a soiled diaper if you don’t have a baby? Ask your friends? Casually bring it up with coworkers? Or maybe you’re supposed to wait outside a daycare with cash in hand?
Thankfully, the dog and the baby have a great relationship. The dog is her favorite member of our family. She cranes her head to watch what he’s doing. Her eyes light up when she hears the jingle of his collar. And for some reason he’s the funniest thing she’s ever seen. Her first big laughing fit happened while watching the dog. He can be scratching himself, licking himself, or barfing on the floor and she just cracks up in hysterics.
The pug seems to like her too. He’s never been aggressive around her. He often licks her face, which is cute if you don’t think about what else he’s been licking. He doesn’t even seem to mind when she grabs at him, pulling away clumps of pug hair in her hands and putting them straight into her mouth. Pug hair is organic so it’s okay.
Of course, the poor pug has no clue what’s in store for him when our daughter gets older. The gender issues he’ll develop when he’s forced to wear lipstick and frilly dresses and attend tea parties. Until then we’ll go for our daily walks to dog-park together, where I’ll try and sell some soiled diapers to pregnant dog owners.