I should give a little background on this post, my husband and I went through one and a half years of fertility treatments before we received the wonderful news that we were expecting! It was a long, painful (lots of shots!) expensive, wild journey and we are treasuring every minute of this pregnancy.
This past Thanksgiving celebrated our one year anniversary of getting our dog Barkley. Since 2006, we got married, bought our dream home, tried to have a baby and then we decided to rescue a puppy! What better way to do a good deed, prepare ourselves for parenthood AND get our minds off of IVF?
We searched http://petfinder.com/ attended Saturday pet events hosted by rescue groups, and visited multiple shelters. (And I have to add, the process of finding a dog was much simpler and less painful than IVF!) Fortunately, we found the perfect mutt—a 5 month old Chocolate Lab (we think) mix. Finally, we could put all of the hours of watching the “Dog Whisperer” to good use. Let it be known that we did not take this decision lightly—we understood that a pet is a 15+ year commitment and requires training, shelter, food, exercise and love!
We were so excited to tell our friends. We received mixed reviews from friends with children. Half said that they LOVED getting a dog pre-children and that it definitely prepared them for parenthood–waking up in the middle of the night, cleaning up the messes, showering the pet with love and affection, sharing responsibility…they could go on and on.
The other half of my friends with children warned against getting a dog–you have to wake up in the middle of the night, it is another thing to clean up after, the pet wants attention all the time and so do the children, the pet will be ignored…their list goes on and on!
So who is right? Well in two months we will find out when “Tyson” arrives. In the meantime, I am searching for good advice on how to prepare Barkley for the new member of our family. I have stumbled upon some good info…
• Make sure your dog is trained & if not, get him trained
• Play a cd of baby crying sounds (we’re enjoying that oh so much ourselves)
• Have your spouse bring a blanket home early from the hospital & let the dog get used to the baby’s smell
• Have friends and family visit with children (supervised, of course)
• Associate rewards/treats when the dog is near the baby
What did you do to make sure your FIDO adjusted to his new roommate?