Meet the Rest of the Family

As my wife’s blood pressure dropped back into the realm of normal, we prepared for our exit from the hospital.  We packed up all of our stuff, gathered our flowers and gifts and made sure to take all of the hospital supplied stuff we were being billed for anyways.

My wife was stoked!  Everyone we talked to said “Stay in the hospital as long as possible” but she was anxious to leave.  The thought of being a dad without the safety net of a 24 hour nursery, nurses and doctors kind of freaked me out but like everything else during this journey that is fatherhood, I sucked it up and plowed forward.

Our little girl, Reagan, was not only going to see her home for the first time, but also meet the rest of our little family.  I’m not talking about my West Coast side of the family, but our two dogs.  Now, neither my wife nor I are those pet wackos who think that their dogs are their kids or that they would be my daughter’s sister and brother.  But for better or worse, our dogs are part of our family and we do love them.

Riley: The Functionally Retarded Lab

Riley was our first dog. My step-mom and Dad got divorced when I was 17 and she took the dogs with her.  Ever since then I had been dying to get a dog.  The weekend I closed on my house I went and picked her up.

I love her to death but she can be a handful sometimes.  Despite puppy class and all kinds of training / discipline regiments she is hyper, destructive and doesn’t realize she weights 55lbs.  She has ripped apart our couch, eaten my DVDs and done severe damage to our carpet.  She loves to drool, lick, and would probably fall in love with an intruder if one should happen upon her.  My wife and I joke that she a little ”touched” and we call her “Riley; the functionally retarded lab.”

Our fear with her is that she is so big she isn’t aware of herself sometimes.  She has knocked over little kids before while just trying to play with them, smacked me in the eye with her tail, and scratched us both with her nails.  So naturally, we were concerned how she would be around the baby.

Barkley was our second dog.  Valentine’s Day 2007, I took my wife to her favorite Indian restaurant where we had way a little bit too much of the wine.  There just happens to be a pet store close.  30 minutes later the combination of wine, Valentine’s Day and my wife’s pleading led to the purchase of a little ball of fur, a Bichon Frise, we named Barkley.

Toughest Dog in the World

Barkley is a crazy little dog.  I should have named him Napoleon because he has little dog syndrome like you have never seen.  Anything he gets his paws on a treat, bone or anything he wants he will growl at Riley if she even tries to approach.  He is militant in his defense of his stuff and his person.  (He let some big dogs have it at the dog park because they were sniffing him in the wrong way.)  His over protectiveness also concerns us in regards to the baby.

So in order to prepare, I did a little research on the glowing box with a keyboard and also with the help of several “Dog Whisperer” episodes I formulated a plan to get them adjusted to our newest member.

  • We started by not letting them in the baby’s room for too long.  They could smell the stuff but they weren’t allowed to hang around.  This way they don’t think “This is my territory”.
  • I brought home several blankets that had been used to swaddle the baby at the hospital.  At first I let them just smell them, but then I started wrapping stuffed animals in them and pretended it was a baby.
  • I read that you need to take the dogs out for a run and bring the baby in while they are gone.  This way they are coming into the baby’s space and not vice versa.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do this, so I just let them outside to play before my wife came in with Reagan.
  • Finally, dogs need attention too.  My wife and I take turns playing with them, giving them treats and just petting them.  Every time they come close to the baby to smell her or see what all the fuse is, we tell them they are good.

We figured the little one would be the worse because he is my wife’s lap dog.  But honestly, he doesn’t seem to care much.  He likes to smell her but besides that wants nothing to do with her.  And Riley, the functionally retarded lab, well a picture says a 1000 words. . .

Best Friends


8 Responses to “Meet the Rest of the Family”
  1. Kelli says:

    That picture is too precious!

  2. Super Mega Dad says:

    Now that lab will never leave her side. Best Friends Forever!

    And welcome back home! It’s such an awesome feeling to be able to take your baby some place and not have to worry about getting permission from the nurses.

  3. Jill says:

    that picture is the cutest frickin thing i have ever seen!

  4. Adam says:

    Thanks Jill!

    Yeah, they are pretty adorable. I think we’re gonna keep them both!

  5. 'cuz I'm the mommy, that's why says:

    Every little one should have a big hairy slobbery best friend. My 2 year old has 2 - a 75 pound German Shepherd Dog and a fast growing Golden Retriever (who I think might be bigger than the shepherd when he’s done growing). I have a great picture of the Poose (kid) and BabyGirl (shepherd) in front of the tv, watching Dora together. Just wait until Reagan gets moving - the pups will be very helpful in locating her. Also in DDD (Dirty Diaper Detection). I find they make excellent cleaners for under the high chair as well.

  6. Adam says:

    I am concerned once she starts crawling. That is when she might get too close to the little one’s bones or get smacked by the surprisnly strong tail of the lab.

    German shepards are great protectors. I had an ex who’s parents had a shepard. he would always stand between her and I when he was in the same room. And if I tried to hug her he would growl at me! I guess animals can sense evil. . .

  7. Otter Thomas says:

    The picture makes me sad that I banished our dogs to the back yard. I am sure they would be OK with Braden but I was just too tired of the big smelly dirty animals living in the house. I am no the only big smelly dirty animal that is allowed inside.


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