In my free time when I am not spending time with my family I volunteer my time with local rescue groups. Lately I have received a lot of calls and photos in my email box from people who want to turn over their dog to a rescue or the shelter because they tell me they just don’t have time for their dog with the new baby in the house. Many times these cases are kid friendly dogs, no aggression issues, the owners just don’t feel they have time to take care of the dog and the baby. Also, many times these are older dogs, 5 years and above who by definition are usually not adoptable and not because of the dog because these are great dogs but because people are often looking for puppies and the older dogs get overlooked and are often the dogs that do not make it out of the shelter alive.
I am a mom and a business owner and I have 3 dogs and 3 cats. My youngest daughter is 8 months old and my oldest daughter is 8 years old. We got Yukon a year and a half husky/shep mix from rescue when my youngest daughter was 3 months old. At this time we were still in the blur of sleepless nights, zombie days and not ever enough time in the day. Yukon is a pup and even with two other dogs to play with he does puppy things. Everything is edible, so along with child proofing so began the puppy proofing. Bottom line, is I can relate, I understand, having dogs and babies is hard work but if you can stick with it in the long run I think that it is the best thing for your entire family both kids, adults and dogs. So how can you make it work? Why is it a good thing to try? Read on to find out.
If you have not gotten a dog yet but are considering it please give me a call and I can help find a dog that fits with your family. Notice I did not say the perfect dog, because no dog is perfect and every dog is an individual so just because you had a golden retriever growing up that was the best dog ever that does not mean that every golden will be like your first one. Also, every breed has different needs and we need to match those with your family to ensure that everyone is happy. If you already have a dog and a baby and feel like the dog just has to go please give me a call. I think sometimes we think we have to be superheroes in this fast paced world and do it all. We have to get up with the baby in the middle of the night 3, 4, 10 times, pass the couch that the dog has eaten at midnight, walk around like a zombie, go to work, come home, fix dinner, oh and walk the dog. The first few months with baby are HARD, very HARD. I understand I’ve been there twice. I’ve been there with dogs and cats. I’ve been there alone and with help. But it can be done. Will you do a perfect job? No Will your dog upset you by eating your favorite shoe because he/she did not get his walk? Probably. Does that feel like the end of the world? Absolutely. Is it the end of the world? No. There are so many ways to mentally stimulate your dog when you just can’t get that walk in no matter how hard you try. Mental stimulation is often times overlooked by owners who have been ingrained with the idea from the media that you must walk your dog. Yes, walks are excellent and highly encouraged but not always possible. So mental stimulation is the answer. There are puzzle toys, games you can play with your dog and all of these options take just minutes but yet can keep your dog from being destructive. Also, we kid proof and we also need to remember to puppy proof. Your dog does not know better and if you are busy your dog will find something to do and it may not be to your liking. So puppy proof everything. This is for your sanity and peace of mind. It is also for your dogs safety. And baby gates those are not just for babies, don’t underestimate their power for protecting your stuff. Play gates are great for protecting hoses and trees. So many options, so please if you feel you just can’t take care of baby and dog give me a call today and I can help keep your entire family intact and everyone at peace.
So why should we get through this? Kids and dogs are the best. My daughter spends hours just brushing and talking to our dogs. They are her comfort when the world is too much. My husband also had a dog as a kid named Einstein and some of his best childhood memories are wrapped up with memories of him and his dog. He spent hours talking to his dog and playing with his dog. I grew up with Sammy a German Shepherd, Cal a Golden Retriever and Gypsy and Border Collie. But Sammy was my dog and I also spent housr with Sammy. He followed me everywhere and he is what inspired my love of trail running, just me and my dog and gorgeous Bogart Park. Every child should have a dog. This world is so stressful and places so many demands on our little ones so early that dogs ease our children into this world. Your child will long remember their days with the dog so if you can just get through the terrible twos both dog and child you will be creating some wonderful memories and a love of animals for your child. These are two of the most important things you can give to them.
Final note if your dog is aggressive with your child please contact me immediately. Sometimes we can work through these issues but sometimes we need to find the dog a different home. Your child’s safety comes first. I also offer bite prevention training for kids, if you would like to host a seminar for children ages 7-12 please call me today.
“A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.” …..Robert Benchley