I was struggling to find inspiration today on what to write about, and Mr K. suggested I write about having a newborn and a dog as this was something we read extensively about when Atty was first born.
To put it bluntly it’s bloody hard work. But here’s why:
When we very first bought Atty home Pascal constantly wanted to lick him up the nose, in the mouth, basically anywhere he could. Obviously this wasn’t appropriate and we didn’t let him. However, after just having a c-section it took its toll on me psychically trying to constantly push the dog away. After doing some reading the frustration with Pascal eased a little as I realised that he was just trying to care for the new member of the pack like we were. He would howl when Atty cried and refused to leave the room he was in, it was exhausting.
We tried to establish Atty as dominant over Pascal by ensuring that Atty was never on the same level as him.
This is where the first difficulties lied as, as a new mother if you need a wee the safest place to leave the baby is on his play mat on the floor- well that couldn’t happen! We decided to put stair gates in pretty much every door of the house so that when I needed a wee, or shower, etc. then Pascal had to go behind a stair gate so he couldn’t get to Atty. Another tip that I have if you are going to have a dog and a baby is have a ‘baby station’ in every room. For example in the lounge we had his bouncer; in the kitchen, his pram; in the bedroom, his cot; etc. etc. It just made it easier to ensure that Atty was up high and somewhere where Pascal couldn’t get to him if my back was turned for a second.
I have never, and still would never, leave the two of them alone in the room together. It’s just not worth the risk. Especially now Atty is moving around and grabbing at things. He loves his brother and constantly wants to stroke him and watches his every move. It’s super cute, but he is still a little bit too grabby. We’re trying to teach Atty ‘nice stroking’ when he strokes Pascal with an open palm and I think we’re slowly getting there.
I love that Atty is growing up with Pascal in his life though, and its so lovely to already see the relationship they are forming together. Pascal still checks on him when he’s in his cot and protects him when there is a stranger in the house or out and about. I can’t wait to watch their relationship grow. After all Pascal was my first baby.