Here at Forever Young Moms we LOVE our family dogs. They are considered part of the family – they join us at every holiday, we call Zelda a big sister and Bruce a big brother, and from time to time even get professional photos done!
We started trying to prepare both our dogs early in pregnancy. A lot of people will tell you that your dogs know something is different. We are convinced this is 100% true because both of our dogs knew early on around 14-15 weeks. Bruce became what Emily would call lovingly referred to him as “shadow puppy” and Sherrie would tell Zelda she is getting a superhero sidekick! Practically every night our dogs would lay their heads on our bellies and listen to their soon to be born siblings.
We believe that it’s all about preparation. We talked to our dogs every single day about how a new person would be joining our family, and they definitely knew what we meant!
Introducing your family dog to the baby is all about what works best for your family. Emily says one of the smartest things they did is set up the nursery early. They put Bruce’s bed in there, taught him that was his space, but he wasn’t allowed to jump on anything, be near the crib, or bother anyone sitting in the glider. They even tested it with Sherrie and Logan and other friends with babies. He did great! When it came time for Bruce to meet Madeline, she and Mike purchased extra blankets and hats to bring with them to the hospital. They were able to lay them on Madeline and swaddle her in them to absorb her scent and then bring the blankets and hats back for Bruce to sniff before they arrived home. It worked really well bringing her home to him was a smooth transition and Bruce has quickly become Madeline’s biggest protector.
For Sherrie and Matt they felt it was best for them to have the first night home without Zelda. A tough decision after spending a few days away from her, but they did it so they were not too overwhelmed. This ended up being a great decision because leaving the hospital ended up being a very difficult experience and we didn’t get home until late in the evening. The following day Mike dropped Zelda off and it was so cute to see Zelda (and Bruce actually!) run over to the bassinet and perform the sniff test. Later in the day when the time was right they had Zelda and Logan meet and it was so incredibly sweet. Zelda was never a dog to bark, but now that they have Logan any sound outside or a knock on the door she lets out a few barks and gets right up to the door. And right from the get go, anyone who held Logan, Zelda was right on their lap to make sure Logan was safe and sound.
Bruce absolutely adores Madeline and Zelda gives Logan the giggles. Both dogs are wonderful at protecting their sibling. Our dogs are just as much a part of our family as the newest additions Logan and Madeline. Yes, we are those Moms who say our dogs are our babies too! How did you introduce your dog to your baby?