Too much excitement just might kill me!
I’ve always loved animals. At various times growing up I’ve had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, budgies, fish, mice and chickens. We even had a wild magpie that used to come and visit and sit on our shoulders.
The mice were a near thing though. When I was in highschool, I asked my parents for mice for my birthday – they said no way! So I got one of my friends to give them to me as a birthday present instead. I’m sure my parents were thrilled, and I expect there’ll be some karma coming my way for that once my kids grow up!
For my 21st birthday, Hubs gave me a puppy. He was a miniature schnauzer, cutest thing you’ve ever seen.
Very polite, very serious. He would follow us everywhere, and wanted to sit on your lap on the couch, in front of the computer – pretty much anywhere really.
But he was a dogs’ dog… he loved to play with other dogs more than anything, and he was lonely at home while we both went out to work. It took a bit of convincing, but a couple of years later, we bought him a friend. Another miniature schnauzer.
Much more playful, and a little bit stupid.
They would both sit on the couch with us at night, or under the computer desks.
They slept in our bedroom at night, and we let them come up onto our bed early in the morning. I loved snuggling with them. I loved how batshit excited they were to see us when we came home – even if we’d only been gone a few minutes. I took more photos of those dogs than anything else.
We’d been a family of four – two people, two dogs- for several years… until Monkey was born.
Suddenly, the dogs had to sit next to me on the couch, instead of on top of me (not me in the pic!) – that spot was taken by a nursing baby. The dogs still wanted to be right next to me all the time, but I was petrified of their proximity to my tiny child.
And as Monkey got mobile and grabby and discovered these weird furry creatures, the dogs became even more of a liability. Suddenly I had to be 500% vigilant, or shut my poor dogs outside for extended periods of time – something we never used to do.
I felt guilty about how much my dogs’ lives had changed. The first dog moped about it for months. The second one barely noticed. They’ve both been a bit wary of and snappy at Monkey, and he loves to chase them around and grab fistfuls of their beards and generally cause trouble.
I love having dogs – they bark if they hear something unusual, but are otherwise generally quiet. They’re great at cleaning all the food that Monkey drops (I don’t know how I would keep the floor clean without them!).
But now, with a young kid, they’re also an added later of hassle. I feel guilty for thinking that life would be a little simpler if the dogs weren’t around. When Monkey was very little, I even hated them on occasion – and then hated myself for it. In hindsight, it would be much, much easier to only have one dog.
I wonder if it’s normal to suddenly feel differently about your beloved pets after the birth of a child. I felt bad initially, but I like to think that I’m not alone in this. I’m sure part of it comes from the instinct to protect your child at all costs – and the other part probably comes from pure laziness. Quite frankly, keeping Monkey out of trouble is a lot of work as it is, and anything that makes it harder is not on my awesome list!
Did your feelings towards your pets change once you had a child?