AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: All in the family DATE: 8/08/2007 09:35:00 PM ----- BODY:
I am sitting with my girls. Two pups are laying at my feet quietly as I type. They might let out an occasional groan when I reach down to scritch them with my foot. They might lift their head for a moment to see what Guy is doing making all that noise with a drill.

But they stay close to me. Spoiled and content.

These pups, my girls, were my only immediate family for a year. They have stood by my side, lay by my feet, and walked with me through a multitude of changes. And they adapted. They are happy.

The eldest has been with me for 11 years now. I watch her aging and I want to stop the clock. I want to find some magic that will preserve her health forever. She is so much a part of my life, and I will be a wreck when she is gone. She was the first to know I was pregnant, and has not left my side longer than 10 minutes ever since.

The younger is only five. She is a bad girl, passing obedience with flying colors only to come home and poop on the floor because she was too lazy to ask you to let her out. Some days I could shoot her. But she is so sweet. Gentle and observant. Quiet and unobtrusive. Unless you are sitting in her spot on the couch.

I have read how their status will change once the baby comes. I have read how they will no longer be my babies, and that I will see them for the animals they are. They are just pets.

It is true that the welfare of my child will come first. I understand that. I had to demonstrate that understanding and put down my boy dog who jumped Lovely for no reason other than he was sick. Not right. He was broken. And so I did. I ended his life and stayed with him through it. I said goodbye and that I was sorry I couldn't fix him.

But these girls. I will not love them less. I will not send them outside. I will not treat them like they are disposable.

And the people tell me I don't understand because I don't have my own child. They tell me to wait and see.

I tell them, come back in January. Come back and see how my family has grown. Wait and see how my pups are still my pups. They will adapt. They always have.

In return, my child will learn the importance of caring for an animal. She will learn the power we have to make their lives happy or to make their lives hell. She will learn that we have a responsibility to care for all living creatures, especially the ones under our own roof.

Best of all though, she will learn the unconditional love of a dog.

And if she is a patient grasshopper, she might even learn from Princess the joys of holding your face directly above the air conditioning vent and having your ears flap in the cold breeze.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Mamma DATE:Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 10:18:00 PM EDT There's no need for the pups to move aside. You're right!

They will love that baby. And that baby will LOVE them. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Andria DATE:Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 10:39:00 PM EDT I love it when babies love on their doggies! Our aussie will let babies and kids crawl all over him... but we are worried about our little lapdog- he snips at kiddos. You have pretty doggies, and are gonna have a beautiful little bird! I can't wait!!! Your pregnancy seems to be going by quickly... I don't know if you do the same, but when I was trying (and became pregnant) it amazed me how fast other bloggers pregnancies went by. Girl, Jess, and others... and now, I am in my third trimester! You have me, Amy, and then after the holidays- yourself! I'm so excited!!! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous slouchy DATE:Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 11:23:00 PM EDT How did she convey that she knew you were pregnant? That's so cool.

The love for your dogs comes shining through here.

So yes, I believe that they will remain high-status members of your household. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Candygirlflies DATE:Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 11:27:00 PM EDT Your baby will come first-- the unbelievable, ferocious love you feel for Bird is going to blow you away... but there is no reason why your puppies can't be your babies, too, just as they have always been!

I look down at my feriocious, bad, 14 year old cat who is sitting, purring and drooling on my lap as I type this. She was my FIRST baby, and I'll never forget that. She has been by me through thick and thin, and has been a tremendous source of love and comfort to me over the years.

I agree with you-- pets are so important to families... There is not one single human being out there who could not benifit tremendously from learning to love, respect, and care for an animal.

You're going to be a great mama, Canape. I can't wait till September!! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Perugini DATE:Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 11:49:00 PM EDT Maggiemooch was my first baby. Then came my 3 babies in 3 years. Then came Jackson. Your pups will ALWAYS be your babies. Nothing really has to change - that is on you.

And my kids adore the 2 dogs. don't let anyone tell you that things have to change. They'll protect your baby and form a bond that is incredible to watch.

I will NEVER live without a dog. Never.

And your child will grow up having a love and appreciation for dogs -you can't buy that anywhere.

WOOF! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Cathy DATE:Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 12:07:00 AM EDT My Molly is 13, and I know what you mean about stopping the clock.

When she got her shots a few months ago, the vet kept talking about how gray she'd gotten.

What breaks my heart is her hearing loss. It's gotten much worse over the last year.

Molly adjusted just fine to our kids. She's dozed by the glider as I nursed and she's allowed the children to drape her in Mardi Gras beads. You couldn't ask for a more patient dog.

I'm betting your dogs will be just as tolerant because they know they are loved. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous TinaGirl DATE:Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 2:03:00 AM EDT we had both our sweet babies before the human babies came along. They are not treated any different now than then. Still spoiled rotton. good to hear that others still love their animal babies right along with their human babies. I did and now my human babies have taken over role of care takers for the sweet canine babies and they are no longer mine. I am ok with that. my kids love and spoil my dogs at least as much as I do. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Anonymous DATE:Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 8:59:00 AM EDT Sparkle says amen!

You Know Who ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Kendra DATE:Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 11:16:00 AM EDT Our rambunctious 1 year old Doberman Pinscher who loved to run and jump, did nothing but sit by the baby and lick her head from the day we brought the baby home. We never really had to teach her how to behave around the baby, she was just fine and I'm sure your puppies will be too. Now, our daughter loves our dog and they are best friends. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous T with Honey DATE:Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 11:55:00 AM EDT I know you've already been awarded the Rockin' Girl Blogger, but I think you rock too! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous gail DATE:Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 12:13:00 PM EDT I think I have to send Charlie to you.... I feel bad, really bad now.

While I love him, he irritates me and with all I juggle he often is left behind.

He gets a walk in the morning and bacon though. I hope that's enough for now. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Jenn DATE:Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 12:23:00 PM EDT Unconditional love is one of life's best lessons.

There is no better teacher than a dog.

Dog, you know, is God spelled backwards. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous NoMommy DATE:Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 1:13:00 PM EDT There is no need for pets to lose their importance once the baby comes. I'm sure that there is room enough in your heart for all of them.

My dog is one of The Bug's best friends, and I know that having her in his life will teach him so many important things about life and love. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous FENICLE DATE:Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 8:52:00 PM EDT I think it sounds as though you are determined enough to make your family work...no matter what changes occur - so it will!!!

Plus nothing is cuter than a pup giving a few licks to the cheek of a baby!!!! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Whymommy DATE:Friday, August 10, 2007 at 4:07:00 AM EDT I believe you! Your pups are beloved members of the family. I am so glad that is true, and I can't wait to see how you all love each other even MORE when Little Bird comes!

The heart ... has an infinite capacity to swell and love all who come within its realm. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Mymsie DATE:Friday, August 10, 2007 at 9:09:00 AM EDT Awww - sweet post. I'm a dog lover too. :) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Susan Getgood DATE:Friday, August 10, 2007 at 12:29:00 PM EDT Your love for your dogs may change but it won't diminish. I had 3 dogs when my son was born 7 years ago, and we never had a single problem, nor did I love my dogs any less.

Two pieces of advice. If you are having your baby in the hospital, the night before you come home, have your husband bring a blanket with the baby's scent on it home to the dogs. Baby will now be a familiar smell when she comes home.

Second, if they are your dogs, have your husband carry the baby in the house, while you proceed to make a fuss over the dogs that missed you while you were gone. Then introduce the dogs to your baby, who will smell a little like you and a little like the blanket.

We did these two simple things and I remain convinced that it made all the difference. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous The Parents Zone DATE:Saturday, August 11, 2007 at 3:51:00 AM EDT Yeah They love you back more than you do.. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous AcadeMama DATE:Monday, August 13, 2007 at 11:43:00 AM EDT I genuinely hope the pups take to baby when the time comes. Babies growing up with animals can offer some of the cutest, most loveable moments! It's always a case-by-case basis, though, for some animals. We did have to have my husband's dog adopted because he'd never been socialized around children at all. He snapped and lunged at H one morning because she accidentally pulled his blanket off of him a bit while he was still sleeping. He'd also gotten nasty with me because he didn't recognize me as his master - only my husband - so we knew that we'd be taking a huge risk if we kept him once we had baby E. When the safety of your child is in question, the decision is difficult but still clear.

Our prayers were answered, and a woman who'd just lost a daschsund adopted our Spike. He was in heaven, b/c she let him sleep in bed with her, she had older kids who played ball with him, and she still sends us pictures so we can keep up with him. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Kathy's Surprise Party DATE:Monday, August 13, 2007 at 4:42:00 PM EDT I feel the same way! We have our girls (two 4 year old sisters) and people always say things like, "Poor things will be heartbroken when the baby comes." I hate that! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Fancy Pants DATE:Monday, August 13, 2007 at 6:04:00 PM EDT Don't you mean "He" will learn? ----- --------