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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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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

1 Johanna March 16, 2016 at 9:59 pm

That’s awesome they get along well! I separated from my husband when my daughter was 5 months and I moved home for some help and support. It happened quickly so there was no preparing my parent’s 8 year old Cairn Terrier for the baby and it has not gone well. She’s 17 months now and he what’s to keep and eye on her at all times but she can’t get to close. Sadly we have to keep them separated a lot of the time . I’m hoping one day he will adjust. We work with him but he’s 10 now and it’s tough. We have been in Florida for the last two weeks on vacation so I’m hoping the time away will give him a much needed break!

2 Kim March 16, 2016 at 11:37 pm

What a great big sister she is! My heart just melted when I saw the photo from your baby cam.

3 Kathleen March 17, 2016 at 7:24 am

Absolutely love this! The bond between humans and animals can be so strong and equally rewarding.

4 Valerie @ Geaux Momma March 17, 2016 at 7:34 am

That is so sweet that she loves her so much and checks in on her. Tuggs at my heart.
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5 carol March 17, 2016 at 8:08 am

So sweet … very, very sweet. Your daughter is a beautiful little girl. Not to leave Maddie by the wayside – she also is beautiful. Best wishes to you.

6 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner March 17, 2016 at 9:06 am

All these pictures are so adorable. Glad to see they’re such good friends already.

7 Paige Phillips March 17, 2016 at 9:22 am

This makes me smile! There is nothing like the love of a good dog!
Paige Phillips recently posted..Sometimes I’m Dumb

8 Amy March 17, 2016 at 9:22 am

It’s amazing how dogs seem to just know and accept new members of the family/pack! My dog is my first baby and spoiled absolutely rotten. He was definitely a little heartbroken when we brought our baby home and he’s perfected his “sad eyes” but he’s amazing with her. I think what surprised me the absolute most is that he hasn’t chewed ANY of her toys or soothers, which is amazing because he’s the kind of dog that loves nothing more than to rip all the stuffing out of a stuffed animal. So it seems like he knows what belongs to him and what belongs to her. It’s definitely a tough balance and I feel bad that he doesn’t get the attention he used to, but I love him even more now for his patience and understanding.

9 Kelsey M. March 17, 2016 at 9:41 am

I’m so glad things worked out so well with your fur baby!! I knew she would be an awesome big sister! That last picture of your two girls is so so precious! I love it.

10 carly March 17, 2016 at 9:45 am

We have a 100lb labrador, and we were worried how he would react to our son. As it turns out, he generally likes/tolerates him, while our now-toddler thinks the dog is the single greatest creature in the universe.

One issue, we did have to make a very important, do not ever break it, #1 rule in our house: NO GRABBING THE DOG’S PENIS. Dog personal areas+curious toddlers=bad mix.

11 Stephanie March 17, 2016 at 1:13 pm

I HIGHLY recommend the book Tails are Not for Pulling.
It is part of a whole series to promote good behavior that our toddler loves.
We focused a lot on teaching my kiddo animal manners- flat hand pets on backs, no approaching from behind, watching the doggie, and also talking with dog owners. We always ask ‘is your doggie friendly and would like a pet?’ if they say no then we just wave to the doggie.
But seriously that book is great.

12 Amy March 17, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Great idea! I can’t believe how many little kids will come up to my dog and pet him without asking. I had one little kid actually kiss him on the nose! It was adorable but also horrifying – my dog is great with kids but what if he wasn’t?? I would definitely recommend teaching Annalynn NOT to pull of Maddy’s tail or ears rather than training Maddy to get a treat when it happens. Annalynn will eventually understand – Maddy won’t. And Annalynn will encounter tons of dogs in her life, most who WONT be used to getting treats if she accidentally hurts them. If you teach her to respect animals you’ll go a long way in preventing a terrible accident.

Thanks for the book rec! I’ll definitely be looking that one up!

13 Meghann March 18, 2016 at 11:51 am

Thank you for the recommendation. I just ordered the book from Amazon.

14 Stephanie April 13, 2016 at 1:16 pm

I was cleaning out my inbox and saw the reply to my comment. I just wanted to ask how you liked the book?

15 goldie March 17, 2016 at 1:36 pm

Your daughter’s face in the first pic cracks me up! What a little star she is! X
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16 Heather Oswald March 17, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Oh my gosh! The puppy and baby pictures are melting my heart. I’m a puddle.

17 Lindsay @ liftinginlilly March 17, 2016 at 7:54 pm

Those are ADORABLE pictures!!!!!!
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18 Jess March 17, 2016 at 10:44 pm

Lovely that it has all gone so well!!
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19 Reenie March 18, 2016 at 10:54 am

How sweet ~ I’m happy all is going well. Love that Maddie checks on her.


20 Megan March 18, 2016 at 12:15 pm

This is so awesome! My dog is 7 and while kids are not in the (anywhere to near) future, I’ve thought long about how she’d react to a little one, as she sounds like Maddie that she used to be kinda terrorized by kids at the dog park and now is very apprehensive. My fiance’s sister just had a baby, so we’re hoping to work our way into her being comfortalbe there so she know that not all little people are scary. 🙂
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21 Michelle Brandon March 18, 2016 at 9:09 pm

So happy to have a Maddie update! She’s handling her big- sister role like a champ!

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