Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Canine Mother We Never Knew We Always Wanted

Chloe is our dog. We bought her the year before we had our first baby. Frank and I had been looking for a puppy and saw an add in the paper for a new litter of cocker spaniels. We went to see the pups one Friday after work together. Frank picked her out. He knew she was the best one because she kept climbing to the top of the pile of puppy brothers and sisters and then rolling down. I thought I wanted the little black one but Frank was sure that the climber was our girl. He was right. She quickly became a big part of our family. It was fun to take care of her together. I would come home on my lunch break and check on her. Frank would get home before me from work and school and spend an hour tossing Chloe's favorite toy, a rubber chicken, down the hall for her. My favorite pair of boots (my Emery Cemetery boots) have little Chloe chew marks on the toe. 
Then I got pregnant. Before I was even showing Chloe started guarding my stomach. She would sit on my lap and lay across me. Then when I was showing ANYTIME I SAT DOWN she would sit with her dog hind on my baby bump and her paws in front. While pregnant I would wake up at night to find her curled up around my belly. When the baby came she would sleep and lay as close to the baby as she could get. Never bothering the baby, or even nosing or pawing it, just being close. Protecting, watching, making her canine presence known. 
During our second visit with our CF team the pulmonologist at the time spent a lot of the appointment answering questions we had about how to live the best CF lifestyle in regards to our home. He was covering many topics, one he touched on was pets. He recommended none, due to potential allergies and other concerns. "What about a dog?" we asked him, "because we already have one of those." 
"Well," he said, "how has your baby done with it so far?"
"Do you feel like she has had any allergic reactions to it? If so, I would recommend getting rid of it. If not then I would say to keep your eye on it as she gets older and see how she does with the dog being around her."
8 years and 3 kids later Chloe the dog is still a member of our family. There have been days that I have been furious at her for waking the kids up from naps or stealing a snack from one of their hands, but all in all she is an amazing support. She has taken naps with all the babies. Eaten any extra carrots, watermelon, or corn we have laying around. Guards our front door with a furious vengeance, ESPECIALLY when someone is outside mowing the lawn. She is always there to give and receive love from anyone in the house and has been there since the start of our family with kids. We are very lucky to have picked the puppy climber cocker spaniel and she has been the canine mother we never knew we always wanted in our home.  



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