BEFORE BABY: Part I
To make sure Petey felt included in the baby preparations, we included him in as much as we could.
I picked up a bunch of dog treats and dog toys at a sale at Pet Supplies Plus and kept them in my truck.
The method to my madness was big items or big shopping trip for baby = toy for dog. Small bags of stuff = bone/biscuit for dog. I put it right into the bag, and let him help me unpack the goods and find his treat.
As my tummy got larger, we encouraged him to put his head in my lap and didn't push him away when he sniffered my belly. He used to lay his head on my tummy or snuggle up against it. He used to nudge my belly with is nose and Gremlin would kick him, he'd move to the other side and do it again.
When I bought recieving blankets, sheets and burp rags, I got an extra one for him.
We set up the crib about a month before I was due so he would be used to it. We let him jump in and investigate it, then he slept in it for a couple nights. Then when the novelty wore off, I put a life sized doll in it.
About two months before my due date, we started getting ourselves in the habit of EACH of us giving him 15 minutes of undivided attention each day.
We used to hold and rock the baby doll so Petey would get used to us having a baby and learn to be aware of it. He used to barrel into our laps and jump around alot, so we wanted to him to start LOOKING before jumping on us. We told him that the baby was HIS baby, and made a big deal when he was gentle.
We also took any opportunity to introduce him to babies.
We made arrangements at Petey's favorite kennel to board him when I went to the hospital.
After Gremlin was born, Mark picked up Petey and brought him home and gave him the blanket that we had the Gremlin sleep in the first night. He didn't want the blanket, he insisted on LOOKING for the baby. Mark said he was like, "Well, where IS the baby?"
When we came home from the hospital, one of the first things we did was Mark sat on the couch holding the Gremlin in his arms and invited Petey up to meet her and sniffer her over, which he did. He actually pulled off her socks and licked her feet.
Part II later