Time, money, flexibility
“So will you be getting rid of the dogs when the baby comes?”. This was an actual question put to me when I was pregnant. My answer was absolutely not. No way. Although one year down the line I now understand why I was asked this. There is a LOT to consider; time, money, flexibility. But would I change them for the world? Nah.
Here is a very condensed story about my life with a toddler and two dogs.
It is hard work. Juggling a toddler is difficult as it is then when you have to think about your two dogs as well… How long you can leave them alone for in the house while you’re out? Can you fit in a walk before having to go and meet friends or shopping? Or will something inevitably go wrong, meaning that you end up in a rush and a proper walk doesn’t happen until late afternoon. Then you spend the whole time you’re out stressing about whether or not your dogs (who is more than likely just sleeping anyway) are ok. You get back and your toddler has an epic meltdown, you spend an half an hour talking to her trying to get her to understand why she can’t act like that. Then when that’s all over it’s time for her nap and that late afternoon walk turned into a non existent one. The whole time you observe your furry friends, super conscious that you’ve let them down, talking to them, apologizing for not taking them on the walk they love so much. Thanking them for being the most lovable, understanding and patient pet.
We did a lot of research into how to introduce our new bundle of joy to our existing bundle of joy. It seemed really important that Sookie and Coda’s routine didn’t change (honestly, before having a dog I didn’t realize how complex they can be.) and so I stuck as rigidly as I could to her routine, making our new routine fit around them where possible. I wanted them to love Emily, to embrace her as part of our ‘pack’ and for them to be best friends.
They were an absolute legend from the get go. So gentle around her, so calm, so peaceful. Wow. They love her. She loves them. She says good morning to them when she gets up, she says goodnight to them when she goes to bed. They love being out together.
So, although I say it is hard work, from a stressful point of view in terms of ensuring they get their daily exercise, having them in our lives is the best.
How do you manage life with your fur babies and human babies? Do you struggle to get all their walks in around a full time job? Do you have alternative ways of exercising them? Did your dog play a big part in your sanity as a new parent? I’d love to hear all of your pooch related stories.