August 07, 2014

Life with Dogs after Baby

A lot of people have asked me how our dogs are doing with Fox.

When I was pregnant, I was REALLY nervous about bringing a baby home to our crazy dogs. As you know, Zuma has Epilepsy and any type of stress will cause him to have a seizure, which usually results in a long (and expensive) vet trip. He is the weirdest dog you will ever meet, on one hand he is scared of everything and on the other, he will bark his head off when people enter our house.
Cosie is super loyal and sweet to us, but unpredictable in his own way. In the past, he has attacked multiple other dogs and has tried to go after a couple of people as well, mostly landscapers. He is also very jealous. I was so scared thinking about how he would react to Fox and the plan was for him and Fox to never meet, because we didn't want to risk anything, based on his past.

We installed a ton of dog gates everywhere in the house, to separate different areas, so the dogs could be apart. We not only had to separate the dogs from the baby, but also from each other, because they could fight when left unsupervised, and again, with Zuma's Epilepsy, we always keep them separate when we're not home. Since the summers in Phoenix are brutal, we also didn't have the option of keeping them outside.
We have one dog gate in front of our bedroom, one in front of Fox's room and one in the hallway. We also have a big gate in front of our fireplace area and three portable gates that we put in front of the couch. I told you, we have a lot of gates!

The first night home with Fox was awful. We were already overwhelmed from being released from the hospital with this tiny boy, and the dogs didn't make it any easier. Well, let me re-phrase this, Cosie was not interested at all with what was going on behind the gate, but of course Zuma had to stir up some trouble.
Once he saw and heard Fox, he freaked. He must have thought we brought the best treat in the world home for him and now denied him from it, he whined like there was no tomorrow.
The whining became howling pretty past, followed by barking. So we were not only worried about him waking up Fox (who got scared every time Zuma would bark), but also about Zuma having a seizure because he riled himself up.
I remember almost crying that night, telling Katie that I couldn't do this.

I don't remember when it got better, but it was several weeks, maybe even a month and a half. Eventually, he did have a seizure, which was overwhelming as well.

Fast forward 12 weeks and we're in a much better place.
The dogs have both met Fox and licked his feet on occasion, but that's as close as we let them come to us. We can now carry Fox around the house without having to worry, but will never ever leave him somewhere close to the dogs. I still don't trust them and that will probably never change.
Zuma is a fool as usual. He loves Fox's stinky diapers and even jumps up on us when we carry a diaper to the trash. When we change Fox in his pack n play, Zuma will nudge the pack n play very hard and we're still trying to break that habit.

Cosie on the other hand has been such a surprise. He seems so protective over the baby and will block Zuma from Fox whenever Zuma is acting out or trying to get too close. He whines when Fox is crying and seems very loving toward him. But then again, we will not let him get too close and that probably won't change, at least for a few years.

I feel sad for the dogs, because obviously we don't spend as much time with them as we used to, although with me working from home part time they do get to be around us more than ever.
I remember when I was pregnant, I asked Katie if she thought if I would love Fox just as much as I loved Zuma (I was dead serious, that dog was my whole life) and I can only laugh about this now.

Katie's mom got us a hook-up for some awesome dog training that we will start very soon. While I think that our dogs mind us pretty well, there are lots of areas they need improvement on and I can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing.
    It is a tough situation for every dog owner. Wanting and needing to keep the baby safe, whilst ensuring that there is not too much negative change for the dogs.


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