To me, the world can essentially be divided into two types of people - dog lovers and, in the spirit of political correctness (which is increasingly unpopular these days), “non dog-lovers”.
As you can see in the photos, I obviously fall into the former camp.
I’ve grown up with golden retrievers all my life, and when I was pregnant with my son, I decided that three months before he was born we would get an 8 week old golden retriever puppy. This was after a year of convincing my husband, my family, my friends and anyone who happened to have an opinion, that this was a not a crazy idea.
The reactions I got ranged from the slightly concerned to the utterly appalled….
“Oh, hmmmm, interesting…..”
“How will you take care of an infant and a puppy?”
“Are you suicidal??”
“You must be completely insane.”
Undeterred by such feedback, I proceeded exactly as planned. Three months before my son was born, I brought Edi - a sweet little golden retriever - into our home. I spent every day with him, potty trained him, and made sure he felt as loved as a firstborn child would.
When Liam arrived, I read up heavily on how to acclimate a dog with a newborn - such as letting him smell his blanket, setting the baby in a bassinet near his food, giving him treats when he was next to the baby, and generally associating positive things with the baby’s presence. Naturally I never left them alone together or in unsafe situations, but most importantly I made Edi feel just as loved as before Liam came.
And let me tell you, three years have passed and having my son grow up with a dog has been the best decision ever. They play together, take naps together, go to the playground, he walks him, feeds him - and overall loves and is kind to animals as a principle.
The other day he even went to Edi, hugged him as said, “I love Edi so much, and I’ve loved him for a long time….”
So, having a dog may not be for everyone, but if you are ready to love and care for the dog as a true family member and sibling to your children, I would say you can’t go wrong.