Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sadie and Wilson

While I was pregnant one of my biggest fears was how our rescue dog Sadie would react to a new baby. You see, we adopted Sadie from our crummy local animal shelter. She was very sick when we got her and we had absolutely no background information on her, except the small town where she was found. She was a typical puppy around is, but we soon realized she had some serious issues with strangers and children. We did our best to socialize her as a puppy, but she never could be around children. That leads us to believe she was abused in some way by rough-playing children before we got her. Of course, once we recognized Sadie's fear and aggressiveness towards kids, we made sure she was never, ever around children. I don't think she would hurt anyone, but I want to keep everyone safe. 

So I knew my sweet Sadie may have had some issues with a baby. She had never been around a little baby, so I was hoping that she would see Wilson as her "puppy" and sense how young and fragile he was. But I was still terrified that she wouldn't adjust well. I was scared she would bark at him or act out from the lack of attention. My ultimate fear is that I would have to make a choice between Sadie and Wilson. Obviously I would have chosen Wilson, but Sadie is my baby, too. 

While we were in the hospital after Wilson's birth, Sadie stayed at home and either Caleb or our friends (who Sadie adores) would check on her throughout the day. When we came home, we took Sadie to be boarded for a few days while we adjusted to our new baby. After 3 days, I was missing my puppy so we decided to bring her home. Maybe it was the post partum hormones, but I cried scared, nervous tears as Caleb drove to get Sadie. 

To my absolute surprise, Sadie didn't care one bit about the new addition. She came bursting through our front door, just happy to be home. After she settled down, Caleb took Wilson and sat on the couch next to Sadie. Sadie sniffed at Wilson for just a second and then turned her head back to her new bone.

And for the next 3 months, that's pretty much how things went. Sadie barely acknowledged Wilson's presence, which was fine by me. She didn't act out too badly, just getting into the trash or dirty clothes while we were gone. She still was her loving, lazy self with Caleb and me. 

After Wilson started getting more active, Sadie paid a little more attention to him. She would watch him play and go lay next to him. She would give me a concerned look when she heard him cry. But mostly, they both still ignored each other. 

Around the 6 month mark, Wilson became fascinated by Sadie. He watches her run and play. He starts smiling and laughing whenever she gets close to him. He wants to pet her all the time. He loves her. And I can see Sadie warming up to Wilson, too. She acknowledges his presence now. She sits patiently by his saucer or high chair waiting for Wilson to drop a snack. She comes close enough for Wilson to pet her. When she hears Wilson waking up in the mornings, she jumps off our bed and goes into his room, looks at him through the crib, then runs back to our bed and stares at me like "Hey, mom. The baby is awake. You going go get him?" It's really sweet. 

So in spite all that worrying I did, Wilson and Sadie are getting along great. In fact, they are starting to bond. I can't wait to see their friendship grow over the years. 

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