From Bree Dew, BDHPI VP/COO:
In less than 8 weeks, my husband and I will be welcoming our very first 2 legged baby into our home. I had the revelation last week that I am the first of us Officers to have a baby and while we in "theory" know how to counsel our adopting families, I am really the first one of us to live it! I am also finding lots to worry about and aside from the pain of labor, I am most worried about the dogs.
Will the baby have allegories? Than what?
Will the dogs welcome the baby?
Will they feel abandoned?
Do I keep them out of the baby's room? Or do I let them come in?
How many arguments are on the horizon with extended family about me letting my dogs smell/lick/nudge the baby?
I've heard what you all have...bring home the baby's hat or blanket from the hospital to let them smell it. I started thinking a few weeks ago about what the real point of it is? What's the difference between letting the dogs smell the hat the day before I come home or the day I come home? I've asked a few behaviorists who say it's not a bad idea, but don't really have a concrete answer as to why.
In my conversation with my favorite behaviorists, I've asked their opinions and have been given these two great websites:
www.dogsandstorks.com ( love their blog link!!!)
I am not oblivious to the fact that ALL of our lives are about to change- human and dogs. I am also not oblivious to the fact that my priority will become the baby, but never do I want any of our pups to feel unwanted or unloved. Nor do I ever want to give them the opportunity to "fail" when it comes to Baby Dew!
This weekend I was chatting with Pat Blocker of Peaceful Paws about our brave (not!) Mastiff and she suggested we set up the swing so he can get used to the noise and motion before baby comes- which I thought was a great idea! Knowing Deacon, the swing will be a VERY scary addition of our decor!
Our Mastiff has already helped himself to a few soft and sweet plush baby toys he has found in the nursery and now we go out of our way to be sure the door is shut. I had to laugh out loud today when I heard banging and turned to see him head butting the door to open it. Apparently he is not done shopping yet!
I would encouage everyone to check out these links while preparing for Baby. Setting up your dog for success is #1!