I can’t express what becoming a dad is like without using old cliches, but isn’t that the way it should be? Everyday a new adventure, everyday a new discovery. If anything, I feel younger then I’ve felt in years. I don’t think I’ve been this comfortable in my own skin since I was a teenager. It’s amazing the clarity of purpose that comes. People warned I would need to give up much. Well, what I’ve let go I’ve gained back a million fold.
Understandably we were very concerned about introducing Emma to Xena, our dog.
Stories of dogs becoming jealous are common place. Xena was a surrogate baby for us. She’s a confidant, a friend, a playmate. While bringing up Xena, I had read a ton of books including the terrific “How Dogs Think”. We hoped that we had done our job and been responsible parents and that she would be fine. But there is always that X-factor – she definitely has a mind of her own and is a very physical dog. How would she handle a new arrival?
We flipped the traditional advice on its ear that has to do with introducing your baby to your pet. “How Dogs Think” and the the Dog Whisperer both are clear that dogs need to know who is pack leader. It’s about confidence and sense of order. So we had Xena away with a family member for a few days and when she came back, we were already settled in with Emma. By then Emma’s smell was all over the house. It was her house. So when Xena met Emma, she acted almost as if Emma was always here. A little curiosity, but not too much. No pawing. No jumping. No licking even. Sniffs from a few inches. Walking to her when she is crying. Following Richelle and me around while we feed, change and cuddle with Emma. All along we’ve made sure to give Xena a great heaping of attention, less to be sure, but she’s not rejected, she’s still part of the pack. No matter our comfort level however, we never leave the two of them alone, nor out of our sight when together.
Here is a great shot of my mom and her granddaughter 🙂