It’s been a little quiet around here but we’re ready to get back into the swing of things…6 months after a beautiful little baby girl joined our family! (For those of you with kids, I’m sure you understand the delay! 🙂
Now, I wish this blog could end with that nice little update, but there are some things I’d like to touch on about this new addition to our family.
Chloe used to be the only child, a.k.a the center of attention around here, and it was like that for a good 9.5 years. There is no doubt that this whole transition from 3 to 4 family members has been a little hard on her. And I can understand her point of view. I, myself, am an only child. I can’t imagine how hard it would have been if I had been the center of my parents’ world for that long, and then suddenly wasn’t.
Chloe got to meet her baby sister the moment she was born because we did a home birth. It was a beautiful experience, and I am especially grateful that Chloe could be there, because she really has been my [unofficial] “emotional support Dood” throughout the years. I know that she knew I was pregnant before I did, but during and just after the birth, I don’t know if Chloe fully understood what was happening. At one point, she got a little too excited and almost jumped right on the baby, after which I did raise my voice and scolded her. I don’t know if that particular instance triggered it, or if it was a gradual onset, but ever since baby joined us, Chloe has been displaying some behavioral issues.
Up until about two weeks ago, I felt like Chloe basically wanted absolutely nothing to do with me. Throughout the day she would come to check on me and/or the baby, but as soon as I acknowledged her she would turn around and leave the room. And she hardly let me pet her.
Things have gotten a little better on that end in the past few weeks. She’s just now starting to warm up to me and the baby. She will come closer and has started to interact with us more. And I’m surprised that she actually let me groom her for 4 hours!
This has been a major adjustment for all of us, but I’ve been better at giving Chloe more attention lately as things become easier with the baby.
However, she still doesn’t want to sleep in our room anymore. We’ve tried to “force her” to stay in the room with us at night, but she will start freaking out and running through the sliding door blinds until we let her out.
She also still gets triggered by any little noise, like when the baby grunts, or when there’s food sizzling on the stove, for example. Whenever she hears these sounds, she immediately hurries to her “hiding spot”, which is the laundry room (away from everything).
She didn’t use to be like this…
I feel frustrated and sad and sorry that she’s behaving this way…
I know we just need to give her time and space, but…
I sometimes feel like I am losing my best friend. 🙁 And I wish that I could have done more to help Chloe (and myself, let’s be honest) prepare for this major life change.
I hope she returns to her 100% normal self really soon. I have no doubt that once her baby sister learns how to throw the ball that they could be the best of friends!
Update: 3 Years Later
Chloe’s quite the senior dog now (13.5 years old!) and baby (toddler) is now 3.5 years old. It took a while but things really did turn back around for Chloe. She does still struggle a little bit and would never choose to be alone in the same room as the toddler, but she no longer has the behavioral issues. She eats, sleeps, and hangs out with us as normal. She’ll even let the toddler play with her sometimes, and Chloe does seem to know to stay with her and protect her when we’re out in the yard.
I can’t pinpoint it, but it must have been quite gradual. But I’m glad to have her back 🙂
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Have any of you introduced new family members to your older Doods? How did they take it? What tips do you have for raising children and dogs together?