In a lot of ways, having a baby around is good for the family pet. There are tons of perks: you get a new playmate who never gets tired, pets you all the time, and shares food. However, it's not all fun and games. This tiny new person is constantly all up in your grill and making god-awful smells and noises. When they're not testing the limits of your personal space, they're taking up the attention. My fur babies were here first, so I feel like there are some apologies I owe the family pet, now that I'm a mom.
I've had my American shorthair cat, Hank, for 13 years. He's been through it all with me — including heartbreak and happiness, love and loss — and is easily my emotional rock. (When my husband and I argue, he sits on me protectively). Sheriff is my 5-year-old mini-Schnauzer that I adopted in Honduras. He's been through quite a bit too, including surgery for eating rocks because he's a freaking moron. They are both very sweet and precious to me, so when I got pregnant I was naturally concerned about how this major change might affect them.
Lucky for me, both the cat and dog took to the baby right away. She's their baby. As she's grown and become more mobile, their patience has increased exponentially. Sheriff sits quietly while my toddler plays with the tags around his neck, intermittently tugging at them and kissing him on the head. When she gets upset during a diaper change or bath, the cat comes running to check on her. He rubs up on her cheek and marks her as his own.
They're pretty terrific animals. I think they must have a sixth sense about her so they tolerate her antics and have never once hurt her. It's not always easy putting up with a kid in the house, and for what it's worth, I'm sorry, guys.