Dogs and new babies?
My husband and I are having a bit of a dilemma regarding our beautiful dog, and I wondered if you guys have any suggestions/experiences regarding pets and babies?
We have a lovely 2 1/2 year old labradoodle called Rodney, and until now, he has been the absolute centre of everything. Our friends and family take the mickey out of us because we treat him like a child, not a dog! He sleeps on our bed, lies by the bath while we are bathing, and comes everywhere with us. He is absolutely the most beautifully natured, calm, affectionate dog that i've ever encountered (haha, I know i'm bias!) and I trust him 100%, i've seen him wash and cuddle up with 8 week old kittens. (I don't mean that i'd take risks and leave him unattended with a baby, I totally realise that he is a dog not a human! I just mean that I really trust his nature)
Anyway, all of that aside, my family keep telling me that we need to make changes before our baby arrives, as we will feel totally differently about the dog when we have a child of our own. My Mum thinks that we should ban him from going upstairs, and stop him from sleeping on our sofa. I know it's really pathetic, as he is only a dog, and we are going to be bringing a child into the world, but I don't really want things to change! Before I got pregnant, I had a lovely mental family picture that totally involved Rodney, and had an idea that our child would grow up and remember how lovely their first dog was! I know that he is a really big dog, and that I will have to be really careful, because obviously babies are so delicate and need a sterile environment, but is it really unrealistic to have a baby and keep the situation the same with my dog? Two of my cousins even seriously suggested that they thought that my husband and I should get rid of him (this is not an option!)!!
Sorry if I sound totally ridiculous! I am a huge animal lover, and often get laughed at by my friends for treating my little menagerie like children, but I can't help it! Please feel free to tell me to get a grip! I am so so so excited about having my beautiful little baby, but am I asking for an animal/baby harmony that does not exist?
Does anyone else have babies/children and dogs? How do you manage it?
Any advice/experiences will be appreciated xx