Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Fur Baby II

Bummer, the holidays are over. Mike has to get back to work and I’m on my own again. Of course, I’m not totally alone, I have my mom and sometimes my dad helping out. Unfortunately, it’s not the same as having someone your own age hang out. I get along with my folks, but there have been times when we’ve grated each other’s nerves. I supposed that would happen with anyone, but I feel so bad when I don’t get along with my own parents. There is a notable difference, though, with my parents vs Mike. I gain weight with my folks around, I tend to lose a little when it’s just me and Mike. Not that I’m blaming him, if anything I’m the one to blame. When the weekend rolls around, I’ve got a list longer than Santa’s with things to do. Most of the weekend, he’s doing errands or taking Oliver to the dog park. So usually, I eat 2 meals/day on the weekends compared to my 5 meals/day during the week.

Oh and no more mister nice guy, or super-hero Mike or saintly Mike. I’ve recently found out I can bag on Mike all I want because he doesn’t read the blog! Of course he can spend hours perusing Ebay looking at either Mustang parts or Stickley furniture rather than read the family blog!

As for the other important male in my life – our beloved puppy Oliver. My heart has been breaking for Oliver. Poor thing doesn’t realize his life is about to change drastically (again). First we moved him from Sacramento where he had a really good life. Every evening, Mike would take him to the park at the end of our block. Even though it wasn’t an actual designated dog park, all the neighbors brought their dogs around in the evening. There, Oliver had many friends whom he loved to chase and would chase him back or wrestle and play.

In OC, he doesn’t have his friends nor does he get to go out every night. Instead, Mike tries to take him to the dog park once a week. He’s our fur-baby and Mike plays him when he gets home. I can’t play with him much since it’s hard for me to bend over or squat. He’s also 20 lbs now so I can’t lift him up either. Here are some recent pics of Oliver with his favorite Christmas present.
I’m also concerned how he’s going to react to the new additions. He’s a male puppy so I don’t think he knows about babies. Our nieces have come over and he gets so excited because they’re closer to his size than adults. We’re trying to get him used to little people. Thanks to Maggie and Audrey for helping Oliver adjust. Right now, both nieces are initially a little afraid of the pup. Oliver overwhelms them because he’s a licker and a jumper. He loves to shower you with kisses which don’t bode well with Maggie and Audrey. After a little while, they gain a little more confidence and realize how cute Oliver is. And once they realize how harmless he is, both girls love to play with him (sort of). Maggie loves to throw toys and have Oliver chase after them, Audrey loves to pet him. She even loved to feel his fur against her cheek.

So I’ve been reading up on how to best prepare Oliver. Since I have friends (that means you – Dana, Leslie and Monica) that are TTC (trying to conceive) and who have fur-babies of their own, I thought I would share what I’ve found out.

This is from -
“It’s all right to allow your pet near your new baby, as long as the pet is well behaved. It's common for a pet, who has until recently been the focus of the family's attention, to act jealous toward a new baby. You should allow your pet to become accustomed to the new baby while in your presence. Also, continue to give your pet plenty of attention, both when the baby is present and when you have time alone with your pet. This will keep the jealous behavior at a minimum. If your pet shows any aggressive or hostile behavior toward the new infant, you should quickly reprimand him. He will learn fast what behavior is allowed near the baby. When the baby is very young, I would recommend not allowing the family dog or cat to lick the baby's face. This could possibly transmit infectious material (such as feces) into the baby's mouth or eyes. As your baby grows older, her immune system will get much stronger and she can play with and even be licked by your pet without any consequences.”

And here are suggestions from a Babycenter thread I came across recently -
“play a CD of baby sounds-crying, etc. Also to bring something home from the hospital that smells like baby (blanket, diaper, etc). We have also been using a stuffed animal and putting it into the Baby Bjorn and moses basket and carrying it around and cooing at it.”

“After the baby is born, have your husband or someone else bring home a blanket that the baby was in while you’re still in the hospital and put it in the middle of the floor while you are still there (in the middle of the floor at home) and that way the dog/cat can get adjusted to the "smell" of the baby. Then, when you come home, just put the infant carrier on the floor and let the dog/cat do their dance/walk around it and smell it - just supervise while they investigate. It won't be a big deal at all.”

“There is a CD out there called "Preparing Fido" that has all types of baby noises on it so you can get the dog used to some new sounds. We got one of the baby dolls who makes cooing and crying sounds, we would hold it and put it in the bouncy seat to get the dog aware of the new arrival coming. I think most of all just strengthening some of your basic commands (sit, leave it, lay down, stay) was also helpful because you will use them with the baby.

Now we say "baby's toy" and "leave it" so she knows not to touch the toys. My dog is super gentle with the baby and actually knows when to let a toy go if the baby goes to take it from her etc. She totally takes so much abuse from our daughter and just sits there. We do not allow the baby to hit her or torture her in any way--we stop it as much as possible. And we never let the baby go in the dog's bed, that's her safe place that she can go when she doesn't want to be bothered.”

“The most common thing is to have someone take a baby blanket home for the dog to get used to the scent before the baby comes home and I went in the house first and played with her for a few minutes before my husband brought the baby in, because I hadn't seen her for a few days. Overall as much as you are nervous about it try and give the dog some attention too, have a new toy to give her from the baby and allow her to sniff around, dogs can become jealous just like siblings if you don't include them. Don't be surprised if the dog is overprotective of the baby as well, my dog didn't like it when my daughter cried in someone else's arms other than husband’s or mine. She would sit at their feet at attention like "what are you doing to my sister."

Hopefully, we won't have any problems finding a solution for us all. I'm sure Oliver will be fine and once the kids get big enough, he'll have playmates. It won't be like the episode of Brady Bunch where the family had to get rid of Tiger because of Jan. Oliver is a member of the family and here to stay.


Leslie said...

This post bought a smile to my face. I never thought of myself as TTC, but I have to admit that I like it. Oliver will be fine. Remember that dogs live in the moment. I've been feeling terrible because Pepper has had two weeks with me being home and I have to go back to work tomorrow. This means back in the kennel until lunchtime and when we get back home from work. Then I watch Noel pull out a treat right after she's been in there for a few hours. She goes right back in!! And they say females are smarter..... Thanks for the information about babies and dogs. We've been slowly letting Pepper around the neighbors toddlers. She's done great! Mind you, we play with her ears, tail, teeth, and paws so she gets used to it. We've been using the command "gentle" alot!!

Kj said...

i was worried about beni and henri but i truly believe dogs and cats have a sixth sense about them when they're around kids. i'm sure oliver will be fine, a little adjustment period maybe -- but with a mommy like you he'll be the perfect little, "big" brother :-)

Anonymous said...

hey there!! i love the photos!!
just thinking of you all -- have a great day

love ya


Rachel Breen said...

Our cat got worse and worse with each new baby we brought home. Of course, our kids would bite him and pull his tail. He soon started showing his disapproval by peeing on my pillow (while I was sleeping on it!) and purposely throwing up on our stuff. Eventually, he left us for another family without children. We had that cat for 13 years! Hopefully dogs are better.