The inevitable day came last August. Our faithful chocolate Labrador, Sam, had to say goodbye. In Sam’s time with us I was lucky enough to have two little boys. Sam was five when my first boy, Ross, arrived. Himself and Sam were great pals. They would potter about the garden for hours.
We always felt safe in the knowledge that Sam would stay by his side constantly. Ross had just turned two and my youngest, Cillian, was three months when Sam left us.
After the initial grieving period, came the debate… do we get another dog??
The conclusion we came to:
- I am on maternity leave, so I will have time to look after a puppy.
- Lets get one sooner rather than later, and allow the boys the joy of growing up with a dog in their life.
Nothing negative, all positive. Now doesn’t that all just sound so wonderful!
So along came Sue, the Labrador/Red Setter cross. She was the cutest little thing; full of life and Ross just adored her. They would be great pals.
Then the reality clicked in:
- I am on maternity leave. Therefore, I have a little baby to look after 24/7.
- I have a two-year-old to look after 24/7.
- And now, for some mad reason, I thought it would be a good idea to have a puppy to look after 24/7
Sue was great; she literally tripled in size overnight and this growth rate continued on a daily basis. Like Cillian, Sue also liked to put everything she found into her mouth. This became a bit of an issue when they started putting the same items in their mouth! I’m all for building up the immune system of a baby, but I had to draw the line somewhere.
Ross loved playing with her. Unlike faithful old Sam, she was a ball of energy; never stayed still and kept running straight into him. He found this hilarious. No longer could I have them out and about together with constant supervision. It was a little more hectic than life with Sam, to say the least. So now I had to be outside to mind a two year old… a puppy… and a baby, altogether. As if I didn’t have enough to be doing!
So just to highlight some issues:
- I could not have Sue indoors as much. I didn’t think it was a good idea for herself and Cillian to share toys
- I had a baby, so I needed to be indoors for certain lengths of time
- I had a two year old who wanted to be outside all the time
- I had a puppy that was CRAZY, and just wanted to bound around, doubling in size before your eyes
- Sue felt that running full speed at anyone was the nicest way to show affection
So what did we do?
- We made sure to give Sue plenty of play time and do some basic training with her
- I started to use the baby carrier for Cillian, so we were not restricted with a buggy
- I got Ross to start using simple commands like ‘sit’ (in reality Sue paid no attention to him, but he loved it)
- We didn’t have Sue in the house as much while Cillian was crawling
- We made sure she had a comfortable home of her own outdoors
- We went on plenty of walks and included Sue in as much of our day as was possible
So are we glad we came up with the idea of getting a puppy at the same time as a new baby?
Yes we are.
Is Sue now like part of the family?
Yes she is.
Would we do it the same way again?
Not so sure about that!
- babies and pets
- Puppies and Toddlers