How we’ve got on with a baby and a dog in the house…

I found out I was pregnant just after we got our dog, Lenny which wasn’t ideal and we definitely wouldn’t have planned it that way. He’s a cockapoo who are known for being quite jumpy and playful, and when we first got him he was hard work. I wasn’t living at home at the time but I know he used to cry all night and whenever he was left. He was really bitey as they are when they’re puppies and it took a while to train him. Luckily, by the time Isabella was born he was (relatively) well trained and he has the most lovely nature. When he’s out with other dogs, he goes nuts and doesn’t stop playing but when he’s at home, he’s really gentle and easy-going.

When we brought Isabella home from hospital, he was interested in her immediately and really wanted to work out what she was. He seemed to know straight away that she was a human but wondered why she was so much smaller than the rest of us. We wanted to sniff her a lot and tried to lick her which wasn’t possible for hygiene reasons but it was lovely he wanted to show her affection. He would get really distressed and upset when she cried, looking over at her really concerned like he wanted to help her. I think dogs are such lovely animals how their instincts just tell them something’s wrong, even though they haven’t been taught that crying=bad. He would come up for cuddles and just gently place his head on her to be close to her and despite our worries, he has never jumped up or been rough with her at any point. It’s like he knew how delicate she was and only wanted to be close to her. We have a no dog upstairs rule in our house and he has always abided by it. Even at other people’s houses where he was allowed upstairs, he’d just sit politely at the bottom knowing it’s out of bounds. However, as soon as Isabella was born and he’d hear her crying, he’d run upstairs to come and see her. It was so cute as he clearly has protective instincts towards her and hates the thought of her being in trouble. Even at Christmas she had a baby annabel in a box and Lenny was going crazy trying to save her.

Now that she’s nearly 9 months and pretty mobile, the tables have turned a bit. We’re usually trying to protect Lenny from Isabella as she grabs him and pulls big handfuls of his fur. Sometimes she’ll whack him over the head with one of her toys but he seems to just take it bless him. He never gets angry or tries to do anything to her. He’s still interested in her but he’s used to her now so doesn’t get distressed when she cries or shouts. Sometimes he misses the attention being on him so he steals her socks and tries to get you to chase him. The toy situation is a bit of a nightmare as he just thinks they’re his and constantly takes them. Most of her toys are now paraplegic and the plastic ones I spend half my time washing. Lenny also tries to steal all her food out of her hands and she’s discovered that it’s super funny to feed him from her highchair. She dangles it down for him and sometimes gives it to him to have a lick then tries to put it back in her mouth. I quite literally can’t lose concentration for a second.

Although it can be hard work, they get on so well and are the cutest little double act. She finds him absolutely hilarious and could watch him for hours. She’s so lucky to have a dog to grow up with as I think they’re such a lovely pet to have. They teach children about kindness, taking care of somebody, life and death and most importantly, love. I only ever had a goldfish when I was little who was alright but a right boring bastard to say the least.

Love, Olivia xxx

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