Saturday, April 23, 2011

How Having a Dog is Good Toddler Training

First off if you missed the Mama 2 Mama post, I would love to hear your birth story!

Roy and I had a fight this morning.

And if you're new to this blog, Roy is our dog. Our 90-lb Chesapeake Bay Retriever (we think) with more personality and a will of his own than any other dog I've met.

He is a great dog. Wouldn't trade him for the world. He's very intelligent, superbly loyal and overly-attached. If someone ever tried to harm me they would have to kill Roy to get to me. But this having-a-mind-of-his-own-thing means that we're capable of having wordless arguments. And this super-attachment means that if I'm in the apartment then he is wherever I am...usually not more than 3 or 4 feet away.

There are a number of reasons why dogs are a great warm-up to having kids. In fact, I started this blog and decided to turn it into an article. You can read it HERE, but I thought I'd throw in a few more personal experience touches on the blog.

1. You learn to deal with bodily fluids. 

For me, having worked in nurseries and being a nanny for 4 years my gross tolerance is pretty high, but Matt was a different story two years go. Heck, Matt couldn't hardly take care of Roy's "business" without gagging when we first got him, and the first time Roy vomited Matt called me on his way to work and told me Roy had thrown up in the bedroom and he had covered it with a towel and LEFT it for me since "I knew how to handle that stuff better." That was not a fun mess to clean up, let me tell you.

Since then, though, Matt's level of handling the grossness has increased significantly. He's even offered to clean up so I wouldn't have to! This is a huge plus because when our little Tater Tot comes along, I know he'll be able to handle diaper changes a lot easier!

2. Your Personal Space Goes Out The Window

Take this morning, for example. I wanted to sleep in, I really did. I know my days of sleeping late on a Saturday morning are quickly drawing to a close, and I want to treasure each and every one of those lazy mornings I have left!

Usually Roy will let Matt or I sleep pretty late. He may not even leave his bed until close to noon (bladder of steel). But some mornings, like this  morning, he was ready for me to get up.

First he tries the nose technique. Getting on the bed and lying on Matt's pillow, he puts his nose right on mine. I kept my eyes closed, trying to ignore him. After a minute he gives a huff and starts itching. Not because he's itchy, but this is his way of irritating the heck out of us. I reach out and grab his foot with my eyes still closed.
He huffs.
A paw lands on my head. A big, scratchy, heavy paw.  I move it off.
He huffs.
He tries scooting closer to me (how much close can he get???) and nudging my hand. I oblige and rub his ear and let my hand drop.
Another huff.
Then he licks my chin. I roll over. He jumps off the bed and gets in my face again. I pull the covers over my head and he huffs yet again, sits down and begins to itch some more.

I finally think maybe he just wants to be let out and then fed, so I get up, let him out, feed him breakfast, give him some Benadryl to 1) make him a bit sleepy and 2) stop the stinkin' itching! Then I get back in bed.

He repeats his process of nose, paw, itching, licking. I continue to try to ignore him. When I finally realize my defeat and get up, I see I've spent and hour trying to win this battle of a few more minutes of sleep.

Roy won the argument today.  He's currently asleep.

This intrusion of my personal space pervades a lot of my time at home. I can't go to the bathroom unaccompanied, and if I shut the door on his face then he sniffs at the crack, then lays down in a huff in front of the door. 

I cover having your stuff demolished and losing the ability to keep a house perfectly clean in the hub, just thought I'd share one of Roy and mine's wordless arguments for the day. 

And again, would love to hear your birth story!

1 comment:

  1. I have got a similar dog - a chocolate brown labrador retriever, Cora, she is 4 years old now.
    But she is not allowed to as much freedom within the house as Roy :-) she cannot sleep in my bedroom, cannot lay on on sofas... there is just one place where she can lay on a bed (which is not used by people) and even this place is "officially forbidden" - so she can go up only if her pillow is on :-))) she loves that so much...