When Baby Moves In, The Dog Moves OUTNatalie
Babies and dogs! Dogs and babies! Tell me, but why do all of these horrible cliches have to be so terribly true?
Round about six years ago I decided I was ready for a baby, only our employment and graduate school status begged to differ. Thus, Peter Pan came into our family, the most neurotic dog that ever existed on Planet Earth and if you think I am exaggerating, well I am not. And I loved that stupid dog, oh I loved that stupid dog more than any dog has ever been loved in all of the histories (and certainly more than he deserved to be loved, the nutter).
Three years later, with still no human baby in sight, we made the atrociously bad decision to bring another furry animal into our home. Enter Sir Barnaby MacDuff, Esq., the dumbest, dorkiest, smelliest dog ever to sit on hind legs. And, well, I never liked him all that much, but, you know, he was my baby, so I fed him anyway.
When we were finally pregnant and planning to move cross-country for one last year of grad school, everyone said it: Get rid of the dogs now while you can–once the baby comes, you won’t want them around anymore!
And I was like, Are you for realz? I thought that was just the rudest thing–me? not want these precious furbabies? these precious furbabies from heaven? are you joking me?–and as such I fought tooth and nail to keep them with us, even when we wound up moving into the smallest apartment known to mankind (almost) (well . . .) (not really but sometimes it feels that way). I just loved those doofuses so much! Too much! Enough to be willing to share our already too small space with caninely ambitions! The thought of sending them away (at the time) made my pregnant heart hurt something fierce.
(AT THE TIME.)
Here’s the deal. Peter Pan? He is killing me. Since Huck came home he has been 1. eating baby socks, causing intense intestinal distress (poops); 2. eating adult socks, causing us to think for sure the end is nigh, and then letting everybody down by surviving a full week with said sock chilling in his organs before vomiting it up while I changed a diaper; 3. stealing Sophie the Giraffe every chance he gets and absolutely soiling her with open mouthed kisses, leaving dog saliva and dust bunny remnants from his lair under the bed all over her Frenchly vegetable dye finish; 4. sitting on me every time I nurse Huck on the couch as if to say, “Human woman, do not forget that I was here first.”
And Barnaby MacDuff? Well, he’s not so bad. Which I can’t even believe I am admitting. The dumb one? The one I never liked all that much? Is the one who can actually behave for once? Weird.
And so now I am at a crossroads. I will openly admit that, yes, I love these dogs considerably less than I used to. And yes, I probably wouldn’t die a million deaths of heartbreak if they found a new home. But . . . somehow I just don’t have the guts to do it. Somehow I just . . . well . . . I love them, sort of. And in a few months when my husband graduates and starts full-time work and is no longer around to walk them in the afternoons, I’m going to have to find the mojo within me to do it for him. Big sigh of heaviness.
So you tell me, dog lovers who love babies just ever so slightly WAY way more: How do you survive with babies and yo first-borns-with-tails? Is there a trick to finding a balance? Would it be insanely ridiculous for me to consider purchasing Peter Pan his own Sophie the Giraffe? Any chance you are in the market for a not-so-cuddly Wire Fox Terrier with a death wish?