Thursday, January 12, 2012

Babies Make Good Pillows

I am a big advocate of setting your dog up for success. While I am not 100% perfect at this and haven't been in the past, I try not to put my dogs in situations where they might be uncomfortable. For instance, Levi can be nervous around strangers (though oddly, does great in large crowds), especially men, and very especially men that are doing funny things like using leaf blowers. I don't always have the ability to use every instance of a strange man using a leaf blower as a training opportunity, so instead of letting Levi get worked up, we cross the street, for example. Anyway, my point is that I try not to force uncomfortable situations on the dogs.

Now more than ever, I subscribe to this belief because of Elsa. While I don't ever think either dog would ever harm her, I would never take the chance. I never ever leave them alone with her for even a second. If I have to use the bathroom, she goes into a room where I can shut the door to separate her from the dogs. All interactions are 100% supervised. After all, Neptune can get mouthy when excited so he might unintentionally nip her. Or they might accidentally step on her while she's on the floor, so I want to be right there just in case. I don't believe in laying a baby on a dog for a cute photo op. I believe all interactions between dog and baby should be initiated by the dog and the dog should have the freedom to leave the interaction when/if it becomes too uncomfortable. I want all interactions between the dogs and Elsa to be positive ones.

So on this cold snowy morning, Elsa woke up for the day just before 7:00. Since it was so cold, I brought her into bed for snuggles and so that she could talk to the fan and the lights. And for the Mommy Police, we were not going to sleep. I realize there are a million suffocation hazards in the bed-we were just playing. Jason lets the dogs out and feeds them before he goes to work, then they come get back in bed. I decided to let them in bed this morning even though Elsa was in there. As usual, they like to cuddle right up with me.

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Well, Levi decided that he wasn't close enough to the action, so he leaned back to use Elsa as a pillow. And then my heart melted into a giant puddle of AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWs. I took a few pictures with my iPod, but fortunately, the camera was on the dresser, so I managed to capture this moment with better photos.

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Elsa has somewhat noticed the dogs, but I think this is one of the first times she has REALLY noticed one of them. It's hard not to when Levi's big ol' head is resting on her. She was so excited and smiling and looking at him. She was petting him. Oh my god, I about died. That's why I had to immediately write this blog post when I should be writing my dissertation. Oops.

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This just reminds me of how much I love my Big Dog. Sure, he can be a total asshole on walks, but he really is a gentle soul. He just knows. He gets it. I don't know how else to describe it. The thought of Elsa growing up with him and Neptune just makes me think how lucky we are to have them in our lives and in her life. I love that she will grow up having a loving relationship with a pit bull. I love that she will grow up with "throwaway" dogs as her best friends. I can't wait to continue to see her notice them, pet them, say their names, drop her food for them, throw a toy for Neptune, ask them to sit, read books to them, do her homework next to them. Okay, now I'm a blubbering mess. I think this is just the start of many memories yet to be made.

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16 comments:

Sarah said...

Ah, she is so beautiful, Mary. And I'm so glad you got these on camera, the pictures made me smile, so I can only imagine how big your heart swelled!

Leila said...

LOVE the pictures. Elsa's face is priceless.

Amy said...

oh my, how i love this! So sweet!

i had to LOL at the mommy police :)

H Ski said...

What great pictures. I think there is going to be a lot of love between those two for years.

Julia said...

I never doubted that you would make life with a newborn and two furbabies work out beautifully, and yet---I still love posts and pics like these. Great work, mom.

Maria said...

OMG, the one with Levi's ear on Elsa's mouth is my FAVORITE! It is so precious. Love this post Mary!!!

LC said...

Oh my my...how darling. I can't believe he just put his head on her like that. Mia would NEVER do that...wish she would. So so cute!

A&A Friese said...

This is unbelievably precious, I often think how our dogs will do with children, we have had a little insight from spending time with family's children with the dogs, but I am so excited to experience what you are! (Though I plan to wait awhile :) Also, I love how you discussed you try to set your dog up for success, I think people unintentionally put their dogs in uncomfortable situations far to often!

Emily said...

She's so cute! I love this post. =-)

Sara said...

Sweetest post ever! She is so adorable and is going to be such a dog lover. Looks like Levi loves her right back!

Kari in Vegas said...

Those are awesome photos. Love the ear in the mouth one

Stop on by for a visit
Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com

Ashley Eiban said...

Aw this is precious! My puppies still aren't too happy with the new addition- since they aren't getting the same attention they were before she arrived. Your daughter is just adorable! You can tell they are going to be best friends :)

Two Pitties in the City said...

How I love this! I have always been interested in the interactions between babies and dogs, and it is so great to read about how you are taking the precautions and setting them up for success. Those photos are unbelievably sweet and say so much!

Karyn said...

Thank you for putting it out there how wondeful pitbulls can be! I look forward to my 1st baby in July and 2 older "siblings" (rescues, of course!) to welcome baby home.

pittiefullove said...

Wow, this post made me tear up... I hope this is us in a year or two, but my big-headed boy is pretty sick right now, and I wonder if we'll ever get there. It seems like you have all the love in the world, right there in that bed with you. Enjoy every second. :)
And that photo of the ear in her mouth?! too adorable for words.

Kidlet's Dad said...

Very cute photos.
We're struggling right now with a new dog in the extended family. An older dog with no previous experience with children. I'm very glad that so many folks have opted to share their experiences.