Monday, August 2, 2010

Hoping

Lately, I can't walk by Bo without stooping down to scratch his head and squeeze his neck rolls. He's so, so, so stinking cute. When I put my palm against his forehead, he presses his face into my hand and the front half of his body collapses onto the floor to be pet. And then nonsense words start pouring out of my mouth, things like "my shnookums-pookums-pudding-pie-dough, you're the cutie-patootiest guy in the world" or "why hello, my sweet little butter lover, Mr. Knees Magee!"

(I had to go pet him just now. I couldn't think of any nonsense words just sitting at my computer. I had to squeeze the neck rolls for some inspiration. And it came flowing out, just like always.)

His facial expressions are so cute and the way he leaps around the house is so cute and the way he jumps into the lake is so cute and the way he chases lizards into the hostas is so STINKING cute. Sometimes when Brian and I are sitting on the couch, watching a movie up in the loft, I'll suddenly miss Bo. Yup, inexplicably, I'll miss him, five feet away on the floor. So I'll climb onto the floor and lay with him and get my fix of neck rolls.

I know this is all foolishness to you, but nevertheless, that's the way it is.

And I say all this because I simply can't believe that I won't feel this way about Bo when we have a baby someday.

Everyone tells me, "Oh, just wait until you have a baby. You get so annoyed with your pets."

That just doesn't seem right. Or fair.

The last time we had our friend J at our house was in 2008, and we were dogless. He and his wife had no kids at the time and they'd just gotten a second dog. J proudly showed Brian a cell phone picture of their new walker hound. "You guys have to get yourselves one of these," he said convincingly. "You gotta get a dog."

And what do you know? Four months later, we had Beauregard.

(And around the same time, J and his wife got pregnant with their baby girl.)

When he visited last weekend, we got to introduce our dog to him for the first time. J rubbed Bo's head enthusiastically, exclaiming what a good boy he was. He looked like he was enjoying petting Bo, so I asked him if he missed his dogs.

He scoffed. "NO. They're so annoying. Now that we have the baby, I can't stand them. There's fur everywhere and every time they're inside, I worry about the baby."

I was so surprised at his reaction. "Are you serious?"

"I mean, I still like them, I guess," he said. "But now we keep them outside in the summer. It is so nice not to have them in the house." Then he added, "Just you wait. You'll feel the same way about Bo."

Bo? My baby, Bo? The one who came to live with us when the baby-waiting had become so frustrating and lonely? The one who made us feel like a family? To heck with those who say that people like me have an unhealthy relationship with their pets. When I wanted a baby so badly, and Brian said no, we got Bo. And all of a sudden, I felt the baby fever easing.

Brian has a hard time, too, with the idea that we won't want Bo around. How could that be?

I hope, hope, hope that's not going to be the case. But I hear so many stories of people who either got rid of their pets after having babies or started seeing them as a mere annoyance. Can anybody tell me otherwise?

-Maeg

4 comments:

  1. A dog's "mom"August 5, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    Yes, in one word: DUKE.

    Your pets--if you have a heart and empathy for their hearts (knowing that a dog's heart can be broken)--your pets are half-children. You don't have to worry about their eternal destination or education & you don't get a tax deduction for them. In every other way, they are like children. Discipline, medical bills, feeding, cleaning up after, laughter & tears.
    After a little Ward(s) come along, Bo won't get all the walks and all the attention, true. But, it is true--the more kids one has, the more love has to be shared. But, somehow, in God's math, it multiplies!
    So, stop worrying and go scrunch a mooky-schnooksums!

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  2. I feel your pain! I worry about the same thing. I cannot imagine not loving our pups the way I love them now or not wanting them around. I know several people who have gotten rid of their dogs when kids came along and it breaks my heart. What did they do to deserve that? And what suddenly makes you not want them? You so badly wanted them before! And in no way do you have an "unhealthy" relationship with Bo, I agree - to heck with them! They most definitely are like kids and a part of the family so why would you treat them any different?? Sounds to me like you're doing a fine job being Bo's mommy :)

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  4. Mom... yes, Duke. That's a good point. BUT I can't help but think you got him AFTER all your babies were older. So he became your new baby! Haha. :) But that is a good insight about how a dog's heart can be broken. I do believe that.

    And Veronica... thank you for empathizing! Let's make a pact, you and me... we won't do that to our (furry) babies! Never! If you do it, I'll send you back to this comment you wrote... and if I do it, send me back here too. (But honestly, looking at Beau and how cute he is... I just don't see it. And yours are pretty cute too. :)

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