June 1, 2012

Y3W: Dog Slobber Happens

"Oh you should never do that! Those dogs might bite the baby! They're probably jealous of her already!" gasped a vague friend/ acquaintance of mine when I told her I let Evie play with our dogs.

The truth is, I let Evie play with all of our dogs. I let them share toys. I let them lick her and always have. When she was a newborn and Rocky would try to very gently kiss her head a lot of people would shoo him away. To this I always replied, "It's OK, Rocky. You can kiss the baby, just be gentle" and very firmly told the offending party that, "We have dogs; slobber is going to get on this baby at some point" and left it at that. I didn't particularly care if they didn't agree.  I still don't for that matter.

It sounds silly, but this raising a baby and dogs together thing is the way our family works. I can't recall a day in my life when I didn't have a pet. I think they existed until I was about two years old and I "picked out" my first dog Heidi. Since that time I've had twelve dogs I have considered family, and those are just my personal dogs. I can't begin to count the ones I loved like my own when I worked at the animal hospital. Chris has had more than that in his lifetime. We were both raised with dogs, and part of the reason we work so well together is that we both have a heart for animals. We would rather have a little dog hair on the sofa and snuggle with our best friends than have a pristine house and dogs that don't feel like family.

We've always hoped to pass this love of animals on to our children, and it appears we have. It is no coincidence that one of Evie's first words was "dog". We love that she squeals when she see Rocky and Reily, runs to them, lays her head on their side and pats them. The way she and Peyton play tug of war is hilarious. Peyton is always gentle and let's Evie win. After Peyton looks at me like, "Hey, mom, I did good right?", and I just think it is adorable. She loves to stroke Maggie's beard and chase her around the kitchen.

So yes. I let my child chase our dogs, play with our dogs and love on our dogs. Yes. I let our dogs chase my child, play with my child and love on our child. I let our dogs lick her and occasionally they share toys. Evie is already learning that puppy kisses cure a multitude of ills and that sometimes when life gets you down, you just need to snuggle your puppy dog.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

{This boy right here LOVES "his" baby!}

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