Monday, November 22, 2010

Of Puppies and Penguins

Today was the first day where I can honestly say my son chased our dogs. Up 'till this point, they have simply co-existed. I was really a little scared about bringing a baby home to two dachshunds. They are a breed that is supposed to not be "good with kids." What was I supposed to do about blending a new human into a home that was half canine? I read all the articles I could find on the topic and tried to follow the advice. I sent home baby-smelling clothing before bringing Jax to meet them. I came in and played with them before bringing him in to be sniffed, the whole nine yards.

Early on in their relationship, they mostly just whined when he cried, and otherwise ignored him. The only other way you would know they knew he existed was the fierce defensiveness if someone got close to the baby when I wasn't holding him. That, and the need to sleep next wherever he was sleeping. Then there was the licking during tummy time, but generally, I think they just thought he was a really ugly, really dumb, new member of our little pack.

I should note that our dogs are not the most identical, though a matched set they may be. WiMax is half standard size wire haired dachshund and half friendly-neighborhood-terrier. We rescued him from the pound when he was about a year old. About a year after that, my mom found a miniature wire haired dachshund with "macaroni penguin" eye brows on petfinder and soon we added Isadora, an old lady with bad teeth, to our family. WiMax is very smart and learns quickly; the sort of dog that could work in movies if his humans would invest a little more time. Isadora's only trick is to drag cute outfits from her bin for you to put on her so she gets more attention.

In practice, this has meant that WiMax is unimpressed with the baby, but that Isadora would desperately seek his attention... or any attention... from anyone. She would scootch up to the edge of the blanket where Jax was playing so that his feet might *accidently* bump into her, thus constituting rubbing and petting, and therefore doggie validation. To be fair, WiMax has taken a much greater interest in being in close to proximity to Jax any time self-feeding is involved. Jax has rewarded this interest by noting, and reinforcing, the amusing dance-of-the-hind-legs that WiMax is more than happy to perform when food is involved.

But, back to today. I have been waiting for real, genuine, amusing interactions, and today really qualified. It was a bizarre little dance of army crawling and chubby fists grasping at tufts of ear fur. Lunges into a dog bed and stolen cheek lickings amused everyone. I'm sure there will be many giggles and tears to come. I'm sure there will be more germ swapping and probably a bit of nipping as everyone figures things out. I'm just excited to watch some sibling bonding between my fur kids and my bald one.

Do you have kids and pets? In what order did they join the family? How did you introduce everyone? What are your favorite moments with your pets?

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