Before I had kids, I was one of “those” dog people. My dog, Fred, had his own wardrobe, frequent trips to the groomer, and even a blog that was consistently more popular than mine! These days, his blog is hopelessly behind, he is trimmed at home (much less frequently than he needs), and his “sisters” are the only ones in the cute clothes.
But, while my husband and I might gripe sometimes that it feels like we have two toddlers instead of just one, I don’t think I’d ever say I no longer enjoy being a dog mom.
The Not So Great
Sometimes it gets loud — like really loud. He barks and wakes his sisters now and then, resulting in tears all around (especially mine). They are all still learning each other’s boundaries, and we try to be vigilant about watching them when they’re playing together.
My girls are learning to be gentle with him, though, and hopefully that will carry over to other animals and kids. At some point, they’ll probably take on more responsibility for his care, too, and that’s one of those important life lessons, right?
The Better (According to Fred)
He is on a restricted diet for mild food allergies, but he has found two partners in crime who love to share their food from the high chair. It’s nice having him clean the Cheerios off the floor, but, more than anything, I think this has helped him enjoy, rather than just tolerate, having these new little people in the house.
We checked out a lot of resources (two good ones here and here) before we had my oldest daughter and tried to do everything the “right” way when introducing them. But, he pretty much ignored her except for random sniffs and the occasional diaper shred (ew) until she tossed him a piece of blueberry muffin one day. While they’re not BFFs, they’re closer than they were before she was feeding him.
We try to take a family walk most evenings with the girls piled in the stroller and Fred ready to see his fellow dog pals in the neighborhood. But our morning strolls? It’s just me and my boy. Sometimes I’m rushed, and it’s a hassle. But, more often than not, it’s a time for us to just hang out for a bit, enjoy the quiet, and take a few deep breaths. And that, for sure, makes me a better mom.
Are things different between Fred and me now that I’m a “real” mom?
Honestly, though, things are different between my husband and me, too.
That’s just the way this parenting thing goes — it changes everything.
If you have pets, how do you encourage fun, safe relationships between your children and your furry friends?