Monday, 29 April 2013

New Addition

My devoted dog was my best friend before I had a baby. I have an absurd amount of photos of my photogenic pooch. We spent many hours hiking and swimming and camping. When I went on maternity leave she was spoiled with even more of my time. Many long walks before and after baby. She grew to expect more than a simple walk. She came on a camping trip with us when I was about 25 weeks and enjoyed our company 24 hours a day for over a week.

I always had a dog and wanted that for my daughter. They fill my memories. Though not all pleasant. Like when our 180 pound dog decided to chase something and dragged me, about 10 years old, down the street. Or the time my dog didn't want me on the swing and ripped my pants and panties off pulling me down. Or the many accidental injuries where tooth met skin. But he would go down the slide with us. He would ride the merry-go-round. And the silly guy would pick all the ripe cherry tomatoes off the vine, leaving the green ones.

When pregnant I considered getting another dog. My dog is now nine years old. So she is only expected to live for a few more years. (Why can't they live longer??) Apparently, she is like a 60 year old! Well, she is a very healthy, vibrant senior. The other day she ran 11 kilometres with me.

I wanted a second dog while the first was still around to help train (except for the overprotective of momma part). I decided I did not want a puppy. The chewing and biting would drive me crazy. I considered a few opportunities for a one year old but wanted to wait for the perfect one that was used to other dogs and to children. I am very glad I had waited. With postpartum depression it would have been very difficult to deal with another responsibility. In addition, my dog, who is my child's best friend, had to get used to having an attention-monopolising baby around. With a k-9 addition, she has to get used to sharing the pats and treats, too.

Today I finally brought home a one year old mix who grew up with two children. He is half shepherd. This is the breed that I grew up with. My family dogs had been very, very smart and easy to train. They played tag, ballon volleyball, and hide-and-go seek without sniffing. They were a substantial part of my life growing up. And I look forward to watching these two interact with my girl.

I was a little worried about my older dog. She is extremely well behaved but she is very protective and she likes to be the boss dog. We live around many dogs and we do not have a fence. She probably thinks of the whole street as her territory. Like a referee, she stops other dogs from playing. She chases certain ones away religiously but let's others come by whenever.

Growing up, my male dog dominated the female. We didn't quite grasp to what extent. She didn't swim or fetch or bark. But when he passed she suddenly did all these things. She had been happy when he was alive. But she didn't seem to miss him when he was gone.

Hopefully my two pooches will enjoy each other. The new addition is eight years younger and therefore has much more energy. He tried to play with a ball at ten o'clock last night and my old girl told him not to. It took some time before he would cautiously try to play again. But today, to my surprise, the dogs excitedly jumped and chased outside like two exuberant puppies. Until my old girl was done. Poor Buddy is confused why it was okay only for a few minutes. He'll learn, though.

Right now they peacefully sleep next to each other in the living room as their human sibling naps in her room. Oh wait, they woke up and want to play. Shhhh! No barking! When munchkin wakes up we will try some off leash play somewhere. After I vacuum this hairy living room carpet.

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