Posted: Monday, February 4, 2013 5:13:51 PM
Ever since I was 12 years old, I was bringing dogs into the house, hoping they could stay. Fortunately my parents let me have Buddy and Bailey, our chubby, lovely, beagles. Since one is going to be five and the other is almost nine, they’ve been in my life for a really long time now – long enough to never imagine a life without them.
Since every parent focuses on their babies’ first steps and first words, they also focus on how their baby would be with a younger brother or sister. Strangely enough, I’ve been through this too, even though my story involves dogs, they’re nothing short of my first babies.
I realized the comparison between dogs and babies when I heard a woman talking about one of her own babies. As she went on in conversation, I began comparing a lot of her stories to my own experiences with Buddy and Bailey. That’s when I said to myself; well then technically I've been raising my kids for years now.
Since they came into my life almost a decade ago, I don’t remember much, but I do remember sitting in the kitchen at two or three in the morning because I didn’t have the heart to hear Bailey cry as a puppy. Since she slept in a crate, I felt nothing but guilt when it came to her sleeping alone. It only took two weeks of her sleeping in the crate and becoming house trained before she snuck her way into my bed. Yes, I’m a sucker when it comes to my babies.
She was a little terror though – the cutest terror you’d ever meet. I’ll never forget the day she outgrew the kitchen barrier. Well, let’s just say she was small enough for us to lay down a piece of plywood and that would keep her from running throughout the house. Well the one night my parents went out to dinner and I needed to watch Bailey was the same night she managed to wiggle her butt over the plywood and throw herself a party.
Of course, I didn’t realize any of this was happening until I walked into the kitchen panicking about where she could be. Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of a little black dot in my peripheral vision. I quickly turned my head to the left and saw Bailey running down the hallway with the entire roll of toilet paper. To my amazement, not a single piece broke off as she decorated the entire hallway. I could have yelled, I could have put her back in the crate, but instead I laughed and figured, well everyone has a baby story to share, so this can be mine.
About five years later, Buddy came into her life and she wasn’t pleased in the least bit to have a baby brother. I felt bad knowing she was upset because technically she wasn’t the queen of the house anymore. But I was hoping she could scoot over and make room for her new adopted brother.
It took a long time, up to a month, for Bailey to warm up to the thought of having a puppy around when she was maturing from the play scene. When Buddy tried to snuggle, Bailey got up and moved – it was killing me to see her so mad. But I listened to the vet and trusted his instinct that one day they would become friends. And with that, about a month and a half later, I walked into the living room and caught Bailey and Buddy snuggling on the couch. Of course when she saw me she quickly denied it by jumping off the couch as if nothing ever happened.
Almost a decade later, I have two chubby kids that bark and howl – and I wouldn’t change it for anything.