What Do You Do With Your English Bulldog When You Have a Baby?
Mary Darnell sent in this descripton of what she did to introduce her bulldogs to their new two legged friend Reilly. The bulldog socialization process went exceedingly well.
Nala and Reilly
Tank's best friend Reilly
Two Bulldogs and a Baby
So, as you know we now have Miss Reilly. One of the many concerns and items that
needed certain delicate attention was how to introduce our four legged children with
our new baby girl.
We spoke with many people who had babies and animals (preferably dogs) while we
were pregnant. We were shocked to hear so many stories of people who said that
we did not need to have our dogs interact with the baby for some time. Many people
admitted to not spending near enough of the same quality of time with their dogs
after the baby came. This would not do!!
We then (luckily) spoke with my OBGYN as well as our vet. They both obviously knew
how much we loved our dogs and just could not bear to have them just as much,
if not more, part of our growing family.
Before I give you the advice that ultimately changed how we thought we should
introduce the children, I must tell you this: We are blessed with two of the best
dogs on earth. Nala, the oldest bulldog, is the sweetest girl. She is getting past
the “puppy” stage and just loves to be lazy (don’t get me wrong she still can play).
Tank, as if his name does not say it all, is just a typical bulldog that runs over
everything. I thought Nala was the sweetest dog ever, until we were lucked up
on Tank. Tank and Nala each knew I was pregnant. Tank would follow me around
and was very protective of me when I was home alone. Nala would nuzzle up to
my stomach and would sniff around when Reilly would kick.
Now, the advice we heard - put the baby down as soon as you bring her home
and let the dogs lick her. After I calmed my grandmother down from this thought,
we made a few alterations for protective measures.
(1) The dogs were apart of everything. They saw, smelled, and licked every toy or
item brought into the house for the baby (of course, this was before it was washed
and put away - but they did not know this).
(2) The dogs were at my parent’s house while we were at the hospital. The hospital
has lots of receiving blankets that they will continue to burrito your baby in. Your
baby will spit up on these blankets (even if you breast feed - as Reilly did it). Get two
(or however many dogs you have) blankets. Our dogs are crate trained. My mom took
home the two blankets that had spit up on them and had been wrapped around Reilly
and put them in each of the crates so that the dogs could smell her and get used to
the new smell.
(3) We left on Sunday to come home with Reilly. That night the dogs stayed at my
parent’s house to give mommy, daddy, and Reilly some adjustment time in the
house as it was a big enough adventure leaving the hospital for the new baby girl.
(4) The dogs were brought to the house Monday morning. We placed Reilly into her
car seat and with the handle up, set her on the ground. I just could not fathom the
thought process of putting her down with no way to get her up in case an unforeseeable
emergency came about. This way at any point in time we could get Reilly up with the
car seat handle.
(5) Sit back and enjoy! We found as long as we did not yell at the dogs or scare
them about Reilly, they are really quite intuitive of the fact that she is a baby, small,
and needs extra care.
Our experience: Nala went straight in, got her lickings in, and left. Tank was very
hesitant and finally after Nala came back for seconds, he finally sniffed and left. From
then on they would each come around and want to see what was going on. Once they
realized that the baby was not going anywhere, they just moved on (kind of like when
we got Tank for Nala). Tank will even come to get us if Reilly starts crying and he thinks
we have not heard her!
Reilly absolutely lights up for Nala. Nala still does not care much about anything. Tank is
extremely protective, allows Reilly to do anything to him, and sleeps outside her bedroom
while she takes naps. They are the perfect trio and we could not be happier that our
doctors were so up front with advice that worked for us.
This article courtesy of Mary Darnell
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