Dogs Meet Baby: The Calm After the Calm
I went to breakfast with my two friends and their 3-week-old daughter this morning.
Side note: The sausage at this diner was possibly the best any of us ever had. The baby couldn’t try it, and thought the whole operation was suspicious (as pictured below), but she didn’t cry, so we decided to keep the day going.
Having an infant is like being held hostage in your own house. Anything we can all do together that is even a slight variation on my friends’ normal day is a good thing.
We would hang out at the farm I live on. We could sit outside, practice tying the baby to one another in one of those human-hammock-scarves, walk by the pond, etc. Only, I’m dog sitting my parents’ Pug/ Shitzu mix, Thunder.
How to describe Thunder? The name fits.
He’s June’s best friend and he is the most outgoing, excitable, little ball of joy. The only thing he loves more than people is June. He’s good for her. He brings her out of her shell. But he’d never met an infant before, and neither had June.
The following baby-meeting-dog outcomes ran through my mind:
- Thunder jumps on the baby out of friendly exuberance and scratches her. She is scarred for life.
- June starts barking at the baby out of fear and gets Thunder started (because barking is fun). The noise makes the baby cry. She grows up terrified of dogs but can never figure out why. She is still scarred for life.
- The baby makes a noise that is so foreign to the dogs that they assume she is a groundhog and go all crazy-eyed and berserk to the point where they can never meet another infant. I am scarred for life. I love having everyone together.
The enormity of this introduction grew larger and larger in my brain, blocking out all practicalities, until my friend noticed my eyes glazing over and said, “She can meet the dogs! They’re small, and there’s three of us and two of them.”
He was right.
I called two more friends for back up.
I also brought one of the baby’s blankets with me for the dogs to sniff before the baby got there, as a last minute effort to familiarize them with her scent. This is one of the baby and dog introduction tips you read for getting a dog ready to live with a baby, but you’re supposed to do it a day or two before.
That is a much different ordeal, of course.
I also kept them on their leashes.
And you know what? They sniffed her, then ignored her and kept trying to get everyone else to pet them. No big deal.
I, sadly, didn’t take picture of the meeting because I was too busy hovering. But here are some other shots from today.