Friday, November 11, 2011

Dog & Babies

So no I have no vanished from the Earth. Beckett and I are still here and if you couldn't tell by the title things are about to change for us. Unfortunately for me what was promised to be only so many weeks of endless nausea and vomiting turned out to go on and on and on... Blogging was not my first concern. Luckily a couple months ago I turned the corner, but that meant catching up on everything else I had let slip (and I had let everything slip).

Beckett has been amazing with the changes so far, but even as I had stop blogging it didn't mean I was not trying to prepare Beckett (and myself) for what is ahead. A nearby training facility offers Dog and Stork seminars, I marked them on the calendar and went to the first one I could manage (physically).

Anyways, I thought I would write a little about it.

First and foremost what the best part of the dogs and storks lecture was the lecturer, she felt real. She gave practical advice, understood that at some point we will become overwhelmed and offered to be our resource in anytime of need. "Call" "I've been there, I've had those days when you don't think you can manage, and I want you to know you can call me and I'll help or if I can't, I'll find you the resources you need." For someone like myself so far from family and my support network that sort of reassurance is priceless - and a wondrous thing for a stranger to offer.

Back to the class. The presentation focused mostly on babies, was packed with advice, and tips for keeping things safe. A lot of it seemed like common sense, but it felt good to have everything all in one place. It had a lot more helpful tips compared to some of the other prenatal classes I took (which costs hundred of dollars). In fact, I can't think of a better use of 25$. The presenter took time to ask questions, make sure we understood, and offer advice on our specific situations. One couple had a dog that was hyper, another a barker, and so forth. She spent time with everyone.

I have to tell you though, my main concern with Beckett is not babies or children (of course these are also a huge concern) but what makes me the most nervous is that in between toddler stage. Beckett is very nervous around those oddly moving small tippy things. Adding to his already nervousness is when I volunteered as return coordinator for an adoption group I had two main return causes - the first was toddlers.

For some reason I assumed it would be babies, but it wasn't. Of course like in all things there was a spectrum. People who had put every effort into making their dog comfortable with the new life situation and people who didn't, but the end result was the same - they felt it was best for the dog.

Still I'm happy I have Beckett here and I'm sure we will make things work. Together we have been through so much, coming off the track, graduate school, living in the city with roommates in a apartment, moving, new house, having a husband around - if we've made it this far together...

Still I'd love to here advice - how have you managed to make dogs and children work?


  1. {{hugs}} I've missed your blogging.

  2. BABY GATES! I had a toddler who arrived barely walking, a 10 month old greyhound and an 11 week old German shepherd at the same time.

    It was hell. Baby gates, play pens and chew toys for all involved, saved us.

    Did I say "baby gates?"

  3. This blog has a lot of useful stuff on it if you've the reading time.

  4. Congratulations! I think a lot of new parents worry a little too much about keeping babies clean and away from anything that's germy. Let the dog sniff the baby and let them be together when you're around, and I think the natural progression from infant to toddler won't be so scary. My in-laws have a young Lab and she's been wonderful with both of their young children since they were born. She does a great job of keeping their faces clean! lol

  5. Congratulations on the expected new one! I bet Becket will be great. The baby might enjoy some of the homemade cookies too. ;-)

  6. Congratulations to you all. I've no experience with dogs and toddlers but I think baby gates sound like a good idea:) I hope the worst is behind you and the rest of your pregnancy and birth is all plain sailing. The dogs and storks lecture sounds like a wonderful scheme.

  7. When my toddler grandson was living here, the one we had the most issues with was Loki - the movement!! the smells!! the excitement!! the noises!!

    What we did:

    1. Really shore up the "go to place" cue until you get a nearly auto-response to the cue - and reward heavily each time. You can get fancy and connect the cue to some environmental stimulus, such as taking out diapers for changing (which keeps noses out of the way - worked like a charm with Loki).

    2. Develop a "dog-only" zone with either a baby gate or unfolded x-pen. Whenever Beck's in the zone, only the best things in the world happen - special toys, kongs, puzzles, bully sticks, sweet potato chews - whatever floats his boat. Start using it now, well before the baby comes, and make sure you use awesome stuff that he never gets otherwise, even if its just different kong stuffings. This will be where he gets to go when the baby is out and about crawling, toddling around, etc. It wont take long before he begins to choose to go there as soon as the baby is put on
    the floor.

    Speaking of kongs and other food dispensing toys, buy a ton of them - they're cheaper in bulk from PetEdge or KV Vet - have them prefilled and in the freezer to be ready whenever you need one.

    Also - check out the new Parent Webinar series on the Dogs & Storks website:

    These webinars are a great way to get a ton of info in an environment where you and others can ask questions and get answers immediately. Some have a fee, but a number of them and are free!

  8. Giving proper training for your puppy is a required thing, and making your dog to get your commands is very important.
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