Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Fur Sister

by Meghann on March 16, 2016

Don’t worry, you may not see her on the blog as much, but Maddie is still very much loved and snuggled with.

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I’ve had more than a few questions on how Maddie is dealing with the new baby, and to be honest, I’ve been holding off writing about it because I’m terrified of jinxing it. One of the things that gave me anxiety during pregnancy was worrying how Maddie would react once Annalynn was here. You see, Maddie is the sweetest dog on the planet IF she knows you. But if you’re a stranger or small child? She prefers to keep her distance while simultaneously barking up a storm.

I addressed these concerns with my vet and she gave me great advice – don’t force it. She told me that once the baby was here, to not push the baby on Maddie. Make sure to keep the baby at a distance and allow Maddie to warm up to Annalynn on her own time. She also gave me the number for a dog trainer that specializes in dogs and newborns just in case.

We were planning on sending Maddie to doggie camp while we were in the hospital, but my parents ended up staying at our house, so it worked out. Per the suggestion of my sister (and every single one of my dog-owning parent friends), we sent home one of Annalynn’s hospital blankets so Maddie could familiarize herself with the new scent before we went home. Maddie took it, cuddled with, and rubbed her own scent all over it.

When we eventually went home, Maddie was obviously super curious of the new baby, but not as afraid as I was expecting. Maybe it’s because the baby had our smell? Or maybe the blanket trick worked? But it seemed to click with her that this was her new sister and she was here to stay.

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Throughout my maternity leave, I was pretty much connected to Annalynn 24/7 and, as a result, so was Maddie. She snuggled by our side while Annalynn nursed, she enjoyed leisurely walks with us around the neighborhood, she played with us on the floor during tummy time, and she napped while we napped.

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In fact, Maddie hates being away from Annalynn. I had to start closing the nursery door while Annalynn naps, otherwise Maddie likes to check in on her. When the door is closed, she’ll wait not-so-patiently outside.

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She also gets impatient waiting for Annalynn to wake up every morning.

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And still snuggles with us during late night feedings.

As Annalynn becomes more mobile (and curious of the world around her), she’s starting to notice Maddie more and more. I’ve been tugging on Maddie’s ears and tail every time I give her a treat to prepare her for what’s to come. I also NEVER leave them alone together. Still, Annalynn is starting to grab at Maddie and pet her, and so far Maddie is taking it in stride.

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Maddie will be 7 in April. I’ve had her since she was a puppy and love her with all of my heart. She’s a big member of the family and that isn’t changing any time soon. Even if she doesn’t appear on the blog quite as much as she used to, trust me, she is still very loved.

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These two have years of adventures ahead of them. I can’t wait to watch them embark on them together.

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