How’s the dog with the baby? I hear this question regularly as visitors arrive and the dog and baby battle for attention.
Maverick, my dog, joined our wee family 7 years ago. The deal was that I could pick the dog if my husband could pick the name. Yes, he’s a small chihuahua x bichon named after the one and only Top Gun Maverick.
My husband will tell you, for 7 years Maverick has been my ‘Fur-Baby’. Yes yes, I may have ‘mothered’ him slightly (let him sleep in the bed, on my lap, come with me wherever I go etc etc) but he’s so cute and small it seemed only right.
Even pregnant Maverick was by my side. I loved this dog more than anything in the world, by my side through everything and still there when I was tired, grumpy and very hormonal.
For me it was more a question of the baby fitting in around the dog and not the other way round. I never imagined that this love for my dog would ever faultier, not even for one second. But then I never appreciated that I would ever love something, or indeed someone more than my dog.
I had read a bit about how to introduce a baby to a dog, how to ensure that they would both be friends, how to make the transition a smooth and easy process for all. No bother I thought. How wrong I would be.
Arriving home with the Wee One I was greeted with a delighted Maverick, who was so pleased to see us return (with or without a baby, let’s be honest!). However, something had changed. I wasn’t the same anymore. I had had a section so I did not want the dog anywhere near me, and certainly not perched on what was a very sore and tender tummy. I then started to panic about dog germs and so poor Maverick was banished from the bedroom (into a lovely new dog bed for the record).
But that wasn’t all. The tiredness and exhaustion kicked in. I just didn’t have time to look after a new baby and a fur-baby. It seemed an impossible task and my priorities had changed, literally over night. Frustration then began to creep in. Walking a dog and a buggy was quite a task and certainly stopping to sniff at every lamp post was just out of the question with a screaming baby who needed to be kept moving.
Yet, having now mastered a dog and a buggy, a routine which includes the dog