The Family Dog: His Evolving Role
We have a dog. Did any of you even know that? I’m not sure I’ve mentioned him much. With all the priorities we are juggling these days, he seeems to be the most neglected member of our family.
We were never the dog is our baby people. We loved (love!) our dog. We took him places that were dog approrpiate, not to the mall or any other place that non-service dogs just don’t belong. We walked him and baked him birthday cakes but we always knew we were going to have real live human kids. In fact, we only had Walter (that’s his name, Walter, after Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears) for a few months before Max was born.
Now, sadly, I feel like sometimes Walter is overlooked. His nails are a little too long and once the weather turns cold and the skies get dark early in the evening he really doesn’t get walked as much as I’d like. Sure, sometimes we toss around a ball but that gets old quickly. His most spirited part of the day is when the school buses start rolling by each afternoon…which unfortuntely is also prime conference call time. So for someone who works from home, you can imagine how much fun that time of day is for me. He’s nervous around strangers, so is banished to our bedroom whenever we have guests and there is no love lost between him and and Max. They simply wish the other didn’t exist. I feel bad for the old pooch.
But, when you’re sick or just not feeling well and he follows you around (even Max); or at night, when the kids are in bed and he’s cuddled up next to me on the couch, or when my husband travels and he’s allowed to sleep on my bed (vs. the GIANT therapeutic LL Bean dog bed Santa brought him), it’s kind of like the good old days. The old family. Back when it was him and us and no real live human babies.
Sometimes I wonder if he’d be better off with a nice family who would focus more attention on him, but the thought of not having him around is just unthinkable.
Are we the only ones? How has your family dog fared since the birth of children?