In anticipation of our firstborn’s arrival, I have grown to appreciate the experience that Hubby and I have had in raising two wonderful pets. Really, they’re like our first “kids” – the sort-of-practice-run for things like keeping another living being alive, establishing routines (sort of), and learning that training and disciplining doesn’t mean creating perfect little soldiers/robots.
Also, if you need to practice patience and grace, offer to dog-sit a puppy that’s in the middle of potty training (I wouldn’t recommend diving right into ownership unless you’re really committed). You’ll also learn humility, because there’s nothing like cleaning up someone else’s…um, mess…especially when they can’t do it themselves and haven’t really gotten the hang of what else to do about the situation. All good things to practice for having children…or so I’m told.
But seriously, we love our doggies! And I think I should brag on them a little. Our “oldest” is Baily – she’s a gangly dog with funny-looking ears that flop up and to the side, rather than straight down. As far as we can tell, she’s a Labrador-Whippet mix…she came from a “whoops” litter and the mama’s owners had no idea where their dog had been before she came home knocked up.
We got Baily when she was only about 6 weeks old and could practically fit in my hand. Actually, Hubby was the one who went to pick her out before he picked me up from work. He said there were only two puppies left – one that liked to snuggle and sleep a lot, and one that liked to run and pounce and play. I like to joke that he picked “the crazy sister.”
Baily can run and jump like nobody’s business (she once cleared a 6-foot privacy fence), loves to wrestle with Hubby, and absolutely ADORES kids and babies. She turns into a totally docile dog when there’s a baby in the room. Melts my heart. In fact, I’m betting that our baby will have her wrapped around his tiny little pinky finger as soon as he comes home from the hospital.
Our second dog is Molly. We adopted her from another family a year and half ago, and she is exactly one year younger than Baily. She’s a Maltipoo and weighs about 10 pounds right after a good meal.
We never thought of ourselves as small-dog-people. In fact, we were hoping Baily would be as big as a Lab when we adopted her, and were planning to get something like a Retriever or German Shepherd for our second dog. However, it turns out that Baily only seems to find puppies and small dogs agreeable. She’s gotten much better at tolerating other dogs that are her size and bigger, but overall, she’s a small-dog-dog.
Enter Molly! It was actually love at first sight for these two. The previous owner brought Molly over to meet Baily, to make sure we were all a good match for each other, and they instantly sniffed nose to nose and took off running circles around the yard together! They pretty much haven’t stopped, either. They’re completely inseparable – they freak out if only one of them gets taken somewhere and the other has to stay. Sometimes they even share Baily’s bed. Anything Baily does, Molly has to do it too!
Molly is an expert snuggler and is not afraid to play with the big dogs (in fact, we’re pretty sure she thinks she’s huge). She is also good with children, and is a real trooper when they try to pick her up and carry her, which really turns into putting her in a half-Nelson and dragging her around. She’s got a go-with-the-flow personality…either that, or she really doesn’t know what’s going on…we can’t tell, but either way, she’s a sweetie!
Oh! And I just realized I never officially announced it, but we are having a baby BOY! We’re all very excited (of course, we would’ve been excited either way – we’re just happy to know more about him)! And it’ll be good for Hubby, too, because with all these girls in the house, he’s been pretty outnumbered for the past few years…