Monday, August 10, 2009

Bringing home puppy

Once baby was home and settled, it was time to introduce her to the rest of the family – our dog, Shiloh. Shiloh is a 9 year old mutt (he’s almost exactly 9 years older than our munchkin) who has long been the center of attention. When we go to my in-laws, there are usually resounding yells of “Shiloh!” Eventually, once done with him, they’d greet us too. During my pregnancy, I moved up in the rankings a little bit (everybody loves the incubator), but I joked that I knew that was temporary and soon there’d just be another person more popular than all the rest of us (put together!). I’m not sure that Shiloh understood this though…

He was sent on a small vacation to “Mom & Dad’s house” (my in laws) – where he was fed extra treats and pet and shown love far more often than we managed in our day to day lives. I was surprised he was willing to come back to live with us after a week, but he’s shockingly loyal and seemed very pleased to be brought home… until he noticed there was something new living in “his” room. He’d accepted it OK, well honestly, with some chagrin, when we moved the couch out of there. But moving a new tenant in! And one who made so much noise – at all hours! Sometimes he’d look at us running to deal with her crying and screaming and just silently stare at us as if to say – see, I’m the good kid! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We brought him back when she was about a week old. We weren’t necessarily settled enough or ready to be responsible adults with TWO life forms to care for, but that was beside the point. My husband sat on the floor and held our baby, while Shiloh tentatively moved over to sniff her and then backed away. We could manage to call him over to her for a few seconds, but then he would go hide behind something – usually that something was me when my husband was holding the baby. It was actually pretty funny as he outweighed her by a good 45 lbs.

That night we went to settle her into the bassinet and began to worry – what if he tried to knock it over? That same dog that had been shying away from her and hiding behind me – what if he suddenly got aggressive? To be fair, he’d been scared of his squeak toys as a puppy so one day when my husband was out… he’d eliminated them. All that was left was fluff about the apartment and the squeaker – and cotton filled poop for several days! But I still didn’t think he’d get over his fears to come within 10 feet of the baby – esp. without one of us to protect him. But my husband is a worrier – so he ripped up and old shirt to create ties and tied the bassinet to my dresser so that it couldn’t be knocked over.

We all went to bed (to the best of our ability) and the first wake up came. My husband took her back to her room to change her first and then walked back in with the crying baby for me to feed. Shiloh saw him walking in and heard the screaming and got up and stalked out of the room! It was bad enough that we were home all day to interrupt his normal schedule of sleeping 15 hours a day, NOW we were going to have these constant wake up calls at night – it was too much! It continued like that – if she was crying too much and we weren’t getting it taken care of, he’d give us this “I can’t believe you prefer to tend to her than play with me. We were fine, just the 3 of us, before you people had to go and disrupt things,” look and leave the room. Some days – I understood what he meant…

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