Monday, February 16, 2009

The Forgotten Furry Children

I am sure some of my wonderful readers have pets and children. Perhaps you were like me and had pets first and then children later. Maybe some of you found that this had no affect on your relationship with your pets. I assume that is possible. For me becoming a dad has led to the unfortunate situation of having our forgotten furry children living alone in the back yard.

We have 2 dogs. Otter is a yellow lab. He will be 5 years old next month. Yes I stole my profile name from my dog. When I started this blog I wanted to write anonymously to some degree so I made up a name. I figured if it worked for Samuel Clemons then it would work for me. Back to the canine Otter. He was my original room mate and my best friend before I met Arica. He lived in the house and went everywhere with me. What an emotional roller coaster it must have been for him spiraling all the way from number one sidekick to sharing number 3 with Abbey. Abbey is our reddish brown mix of a dog that we adopted from the animal rescue people. She is always happy like she knows that we saved her from a life on the streets.

A few months before we found out Arica was pregnant, we decided to banish the dogs to the back yard. Otter weights 95 pounds and Abbey chimes in at 55 pounds. That is way too much dog to have banging around in the house. They stayed outside during the day and then came in to sleep at night bringing all the mud in the back yard with them. When they weren't muddy they were shedding blankets of hair all around the house. We finally decided it was too much work trying to clean up after 150 pounds worth of dogs. It was at this juncture that they became a permanent outdoor fixture.

At first I still went out and played with them every day. As the days went by our playing time lessened. Later after Braden was born I just didn't have much time to play fetch or otherwise entertain them at all. Otter having once been the king of the castle still looks upset by this development. It makes me feel bad but there isn't much I can do. They are fed well and have each other for entertainment. When spring comes I will take them fishing with me like always. Later in the summer we will pile in the boat and go for a day of swimming. I still love my dogs but my days as their best buddy are probably over. The good thing is that Braden will step right up and take my place. He will love the dogs like crazy once he is older. They will play together every day, and Braden will become their new best friend. He is already on his way because he laughs and smiles every time they come to the sliding glass door to check him out.


Russ said...

We have a dog that is in a similar situation. She still lives in the house, but then she is only 20 pounds. She has learned to tolerate a lot, and I mean a lot, of "playing" (or abuse really) from the kids.

WeaselMomma said...

My experience with dogs and babies is that the dogs are protective of and defer to the babies too. They become great playmates as the babies grow up and get used to the lack of doting.

Super Mega Dad said...

The dogs will have their day again. As the kids get older, they'll start getting a lot more attention. Kids LOVE dogs.

I've been putting off getting a dog until the kids are a little older. I feel bad for any animal that has to put up with the eye pokes and ear pulling. We're OK with a guinea pig for now.

Momo Fali said...

It's amazing how the way you feel about your pets changes after you have kids. Luckily, our dog is pretty well behaved and can stay in the house with us. She sleeps in the 10 year old's bed, which both of them just love! I could do without the fur, but I can't stop them from hanging out together!