I am a dog lover. I have always lived with one. Bonding with these warm fuzzy four legged furry little hearts known as dog comes naturally to me and my husband. We are practically living and breathing examples of why dogs are preferred over other humans. Having emphasized on that pregnancy did change things for me. Not the way I love my dog just the way I started preparing for my baby.
First thing first, those crazy pregnancy hormones turned me off of my pet’s smell for good nine months. Snuggling with my pup, sleeping with him in the same bed or curling up with him on couch in winters and watching movies is now a distant memory. There were times when he was right in front of me and I missed him. But when one whiff of his odor used to make me puke my guts out, there wasn’t a lot of options left. When I was unable to cuddle and sleep with him for all those nine months I used to think what will I do when my baby arrives? Am I distancing myself from my little pup? I used look in his droopy eyes and feel pangs of guilt. Whereas, he might be just obsessing about doughnuts I was having or fries ( yeah!! I was big and crazy about carbs during my pregnancy, now I can’t stand the sight of them ). But the point remains your puppy might live in the moment but you don’t. So what do you do? How do you make the connection even when you are not being able to physically show it. How can you ensure your pup doesn’t get sad? How to enjoy your baby and have him create that magic bond with your baby, the kinds you dream about or watch YouTube videos about. How to be there for your pup and baby and husband and house and if any energy is left for yourself???? Or the other way around or is it all the same. I am still a little fuzzy about that.
To start with, take a deep breath and accept that it cannot happen all at the same time. “Supermom” is a thing but super humans are only for comics and then movies. Now that I think of it, there is a reason no superhuman is married let alone having kids. You see having a family changes priorities. Anyways, coming back to the discussion.
Priorities and routine. These two simple words are crux of the matter with additional touch of lots and I can’t say enough “lots” of patience. There are amazing dog trainers and their websites which can tell you what to do and how you should maintain the routine, which is enough for your dog etc etc. trust me, it isn’t. Even though your pup lives in the moment but we have domesticated this loving creature so much that he will have certain expectations. First and foremost, both you and your partner like any other issue have to be on same page about things that are going to change for your dog. While, you are pregnant the best way I could find to bond with my pup was long walks. Dogs love to walk and walking is best in pregnancy. Plus, outdoors make it easier for you to bear his smell. If you have a balcony, backyard or front yard just lounging with your pup is also another option. Don’t forget the magic of treats. It never gets old.
No matter how basic these things might seem right now but when you are pregnant and you are going through your emotional and physical roller coaster, these tips are a gentle reminder and come in handy. Despite everything said and done if you still feel overwhelmed, leave your pup in a safe room or a place. Cool and compose yourself before you deal with him. I still remember my nausea was with me till the end of my pregnancy, so a lot of things became harder than usual. If your pregnancy is also not all peachy and glowing, coming home to your pet’s poop surprise can be extremely frustrating then instead of reacting immediately, just take yourself away from the situation. You don’t have to dive in and put on your cleaning gloves there and then. Your peace of mind is paramount and that should be your mantra.
No matter how docile and sweet or tiny or big your pup is, your baby cannot be left alone with it. So, if you want your pup to be off couch and bed hence forth, start the practice, day you get pregnant and don’t wait for your baby to arrive. One it will be a shock for him all of a sudden. Secondly, he will associate everything “bad” (like pushing him away from bed or couch) with your baby. Even the most well behaved pup can get hostile or insecure of your little one if they see them as the reason of change in your routine and we certainly don’t want that. Don’t forget and remind yourself consciously you are a doggy mommy first.
Always remember whenever pregnancy is being hard on you or your partner or your puppy. That it’s just the matter of nine months and keep your eyes on end prize. A cute little chubby cuddly baby. Everything else will fall in place. Relax and all doggy mommies out there please … don’t forget to breathe.
Mum Mum Ma – Loving Mommyhood 🙂