Recently I shared about the new addition to our family – Evie, the beautiful dog we adopted almost as soon as we got off the plane from our summer holiday.
I still can’t believe we adopted her. It all happened so fast I think I was a bit stunned.
In some ways it feels like she has been with us for years now, but in others it is like I am reliving parenting a new baby and that newborn stage has not passed yet.
There is so much loving going on – smooches, cuddles, following us to the bathroom – exactly like kids.
We deal with separation anxiety – omigod the reaction I get when I return home (whether I am gone 20 minutes or four hours). She whines and cries, jumps and flings herself about. Wagging her tail, trying to kiss me all at the same time as she tries to nibble me and tackle me to the ground.
The first five days she refused to eat even though we had bought the same food she had been eating at the shelter for the four months previous. I assumed it was a sure thing. Instead I felt my old anxiety creeping in. I always wondered how I would handle things if I had another chance to mother a new baby. Would the PND return? Would I be able to roll with challenges? Would I have learned from my previous experiences?
It was amazing – almost out of body – as I watched and felt myself stressing endlessly about her lack of eating. Intellectually I knew she needed to settle in (just as I knew my children would not starve), but emotionally I just felt like she needed to eat and that was it – my job was to make sure she was fed and I was failing.
Thankfully I quickly felt those thoughts fade away and I had learned from the past. My intellectual side took over and saw the clues – she was active, happy, and still weeing and pooing so for now we could trust she was not sick or fading away. I wish I had been able to stop and think like that when I was suffering from PND. I know raising a dog is not really the same as a baby, but there sure seem like so many parallels that I am reliving.
The dealing with poop – somehow I don’t mind it this time.
The coming into your bed – literally one morning she climbed up between us and laid down since we had not got up yet.
The early wakings – she did not get the memo that 6am on Sunday morning was not in our agreement, but since she woke me by licking on my face I could not refuse an early morning walk. She was smarter than me because it was the perfect start to the day and meant I got to the farmer’s market before everything was sold out.
The trying to take food from everyone even though you just fed them – oh yes she got over the food issue and now eats like a champ and wants whatever we have too (not going there though).
The expense of start up costs – I remember telling my husband it would not cost too much. I was in shock at the shop getting just the basics of beds (she has an inside one and outside), food, lead, brush, tic collar etc At least this time did not call for a breast pump or change mat.
She has to get a vaccination top up in July and I already feel like I will need to promise her a treat afterwards. Just like the kids!
The needing you.
The unconditional love from day one.
I am just so glad that I made the suggestion one afternoon just to check out the shelter and that my family all unexpectedly fell in love with this dog.
This dog with her 3 legs, the sweetest eyes and such a big heart.
She makes my heart swell.
Have you fallen in love with a pet ? Do you find the early days to be like parenting a new baby? Is it always like parenting a baby?
Find your simple,