I’m very happy to have a dog in my home, especially as I’m raising my daughter. There are so many wonderful benefits to having a dog. He cleans up when my daughter spills food. He’s a constant friend for her. He could help prevent her from developing allergies. Still, there are times when having both a dog and a toddler makes life a bit more difficult that it would otherwise be. Here are six ways that my dog doesn’t help out around the house.
6. The dog is oblivious. This isn’t necessarily a bad quality. It took my dog almost two months to realize we had a new baby in the house. He never got upset by crying, crawling, screaming, drooling, etc. In fact, he really only seems to notice the toddler when she’s got food in her hands (see #4). The problem with his obliviousness comes when he gets excited about something, generally food or a walk. He’ll run through the room, not really paying attention to any obstacles. This includes our toddler. We’ve become very good at grabbing her and making sure she’s out of harm’s way, but sometimes that greyhound is just too quick.
5. The dog and the toddler like to help Mommy with her yoga. At 5-ish months pregnant, I’m trying to take care of myself a little bit, for the benefit of the new arrival. It’s hard to do yoga when Downward Facing Dog results in a toddler butt in your face. It’s hard to do yoga when there’s a dog lying on your yoga mat. It’s harder to do yoga when you have both at once.
4. The toddler carries food around at dog-face height. The dog loves food. He’s been foolish enough to steal food from me, when pregnant. A pregnant Science Momma does not share food happily! Fortunately, the toddler has learned some very fancy sidesteps to avoid having her food stolen.
3. The dog does not help the toddler learn animal noises. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t expect my dog to sit down with the toddler and tell her, “Cows say ‘moo’.” The problem shows itself when we ask the toddler what dogs say. She responds with a high-pitched whine. This is a breed-specific problem. Our large, 80-lb male greyhound does, indeed, cry like a little baby.
2. The dog likes to shake off in front of the toddler’s bedroom door. With loud, jingly tags. Right after I put her down to bed.
1. The toddler circles around before lying down. At least she doesn’t feel the need to dig up/tear up the bed.