Friday, August 22, 2014

A Girl and her Dog

When I became pregnant with Baby Fultz one of my biggest concerns was introducing a baby to our very spoiled dog, Wrigley.  During those nine months Wrigley could sense that his life was about to become drastically different.  His behavior toward me changed often.  He would be snuggly and protective some days.  While others, especially during the last few months of pregnancy when my belly was taking over the house, he wanted nothing to do with me or that thing growing inside me. 

The first few months of having a new baby and a puppy were really great actually.  The baby slept often, meaning Wrigley slept often too.  When the baby needed our attention, one of us would be on baby duty, while the other helped pre-occupy Wrigley if he was in an ornery mood. 
The biggest challenge with our very energetic, outgoing dog those first few months was helping him calm down whenever we would have visitors.  Wrigley loves people and tends to be very loud and lovey when visitors come over.  He wants to show off by playing with his ball outside or be the center of attention with new people.  As you can guess, a little bit of jealous started to develop.  People were coming to visit the baby, not the dog.

As the months quickly moved by and Anderson started playing with toys, then crawling and becoming interested in things in her world, Wrigley maintained the center stage in our family.  Anderson adored Wrigley.  She has ever since she started noticing him.  The sight of Wrigley always brings Anderson to a huge smile, laugh and now pointing and babble talk.  She is as excited to see him as she is to see JC and me each day.  He is her brother.

Wrigley on the other hand doesn’t always show his excitement when he sees her; however I think he does love her (if dogs have emotions, which I think they do).  When he is in a very good mood he licks her on the face and lets her lay on him, give him kisses and pat him.  In a normal day at our house, this happens a few times a day, so really he is very tolerant of the excessive baby love. 

When he is feeling jealous though (which happens a good majority of the time), he wants nothing to do with Anderson chasing after him on her quick baby crawl runs.  This usually results in one of her toys becoming the dog’s toy.  Many baby toys have been put to rest due to the jealousy between our dog and daughter. 

Despite him ruining many toys and sometimes barking loudly, Anderson showers Wrigley with love.  She shares her food with him when she’s had enough during meals.  She teaches him lessons – pointing her finger and talking in her baby babble when he’s being naughty.  She sometimes likes his toys more than her toys (gross), and tries to rescue her toys when he’s decided to steal one of them.  When he's outside she stands at the door watching him and sometimes shows an attitude (just like her brother) if we aren't able to join him outdoors.  This friendship between my two children has been really interesting, fun and heart-warming to watch grow over the past year. 

In our very quick four years of being dog parents, we probably let Wrigley rule the house too much, didn’t discipline him enough and have spent way too much money on peanut butter and dog treats.  But he was our first child and makes our family (for now) complete.  He was Anderson’s first friend and will be her best friend for many years to come.  He is our protector and truly has a fun spirit.  JC and I may not get to spoil Wrigley as much now with every day trips to the dog park or his favorite cannoli treats from The Bakery, but he knows that we still love him just as much.  I think he's finally accepted the fact that Miss A is here to stay and he's okay with that, although he may not love it all the time. As far as Anderson goes, life with her big brother and protector is all sunshine!  And, in all honesty, he’s still the ruler of the house. 

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