Pets, Pregnancy, and Babies

Eight years ago we adopted a Cocker Spaniel/ Dachshund mix to keep my old Pomeranian company. He was a lot of work. He had a fear of men and would scream when you put him on the leash, he would cry and pee whenever there were any loud noises.

Now, he is definitely better, however he still has his issues. With my old Pom gone, he pretty much has the run of the house and he is, I will admit to this, spoiled rotten.

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With a baby on the way, we have wondered how he is going to react to having to split some of our attention with a new baby. He has never been very good at sharing and can sometimes be territorial when it comes to our apartment and my husband and I. Although I am not the kind of person that would even think to re-home our Toblerone after eight years, I do think I am going to approach the expanding of our family with caution.

At about five or so months pregnant, Tobes definitely noticed a difference in me and he became over clingy. He would lie with me whenever I was on the couch and always wanted to be right on top of me, his head very close to my belly.

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He reacts to every movement and ripple going on in there, and he always seems really alert, like he is listening. Now, at seven months, he seems a lot more accustomed to all the movements and tends to like to sleep with his head on my belly. I don’t know how he manages it, as the baby is always kicking and punching away at his head, but he stays put.

There has also be a shift between the three of us. Before I got pregnant, my husband was definitely Tobe’s favourite. He would sit by the door and wait for him to come home about thirty minutes before he was due to walk in, he would follow him from room to room, lie on his side of the bed, always sit with him on the couch. Now, all that attention that he had given to my husband is attention he is giving to me. It’s adorable, but I wonder if he will go back to my husband once the baby is born, or become jealous of how much attention I will be giving to my new babe.

A third option also comes into mind, which is that all the attention that was once my husband’s or mine will become the baby’s.

We got Toblerone in May and my nephew had been born in February. In the beginning, my husband (then my boyfriend) and I watched my nephew a lot as my sister had some health problems after her pregnancy. We were nervous because he had a lot of issues, but Tobes saw my nephew as his baby. He was so attached to him, sleeping wherever he was, crying when he couldn’t be right next to him, it was adorable, the little bond they had. Even to this day, eight years later when my nephew comes to stay with us, Tobes is attached to him at the hip.

Needless to say, the thought of how everything will go has added to my anxiety. I keep hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. I have gotten a crate that we plan to keep him in while my husband’s parents come to stay with us, as he is not great with visitors, and we are planning to train him around the baby, never left unattended of course. It is a lot, but at the end of the day, I couldn’t imagine just finding him a new home which I am finding a lot of people do when they have a baby.

That to me is heartbreaking.

We are parents to our pets, we are their everything for years and years and I do understand that having a baby is a big step in anyone’s life. But how can you justify getting rid of your dog who you have had for so long, who you have treated like your baby up until now? To me, that is a little lazy. You just can’t be bothered.

Life is hard, and if you aren’t prepared to battle through the rough spots, then don’t invite other people into your life. Don’t get a pet if you aren’t in it for the long haul, don’t get into a relationship if you aren’t willing to do the work.

I was reading a post the other day about a woman who had her dog for just as long as I have. Completely friendly dog, had never showed any sign of aggression. It was a larger dog, it look like a boxer mix, and she had stated her dog was a bit hyper and she was worried about how her old friend and her new baby would co-exist.

Long story short, she got rid of her dog before her baby had even arrived. Without even giving her old friend a chance, without even testing the waters, she sent her dog of seven years to live with someone else because she couldn’t be bothered to put in the work to make her growing family work.

To me, it seemed so selfish.

My dog has been aggressive, my dog has behavioural issues, and that is why I don’t plan to put my baby right in his face, that’s why I am planning to keep them separate, maybe give him a blanket my baby has slept with for a while and let him sleep with it to get him used to a new scent and a new person. If worst comes to worst, we will keep them separate. It’s really not that difficult.

When it comes down to it, pets can learn just like children can.

I don’t know, I guess it is a bit of a rant because I didn’t understand how you could so easily throw away someone who has been part of your life for so many years.

Maybe that is just me.

Anyway, there is a lot you can do to train your pets for a new baby. It’s the same as anything else. Your pets know what they are not allowed to do, where they are not allowed to go. How do they know this? Because you have put in the time and effort to teach them. Why does having a baby suddenly mean you aren’t teaching them anymore?

My husband would be beside himself if I even brought up getting rid of Toblerone. They are best friends and to even think about how giving him up would effect my husband causing my stomach to tie up in knots. I would never even consider doing that to either of them.

Anyway, we don’t know what is going to happen, but approaching it with caution, we can definitely figure it out.

Your pets are your babies too… I hope you all remember that when you move through life on your journey, get married and have babies. I know I sure will.

Pregnant During A Heatwave

Heatwaves are not fun, like… ever. What makes any heatwave even worse? Being pregnant.

This past week in Toronto has had humidity hitting up at the +30s. What this means is the interior of my apartment, which doesn’t turn on the A/C until June 1st every year, has been at least ten degrees warmer than that.

Every single day I get home from work, I literally strip off every article of clothing and stand in front of a fan as long as I can before moving the fan and my swollen, sweaty self to the couch to continue doing nothing. The heat makes me sticky, cranky, swollen, sore, and extremely tired!

Not to mention, with my job I spend a good number of hours outdoors in the sun walking around with five year olds. My feet are swollen, I have a waterfall of sweat going down my spine and pooling in my butt crack, and the struggle to find cool and breezy clothes that fit while I am in that phase between my regular clothing and maternity wear is a battle that I am drawing closer and closer to losing every single day.

These past couple of weeks have been unbearable.

Even my poor dog has been affected by the heat. With the temperatures in our apartment, I have been given him ice cubes constantly, and placing him in front of the fan when I can. What makes it a little harder on him, is with me being pregnant, he is quite clingy and wants to be next to me and my growing bump at all times.

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Would you look at that hot and exhausted face?

I would love to say this blog has some tips on how to keep cool in this excruciating heat, but alas, buckle up and get ready to be uncomfortable. There isn’t much to be done. Just keep hydrated and try not to spend too much time in the direct sun if you can help it.

With the A/C on full blast for the first time today, I am finally fully dressed in my apartment (well, almost. Pants are the enemy right now).

Now, I am just going to enjoy the cool climate and pretend to be comfortable!