Fur Baby Meets Human Baby

Our first baby, Poppy the cocker-spaniel, is what the Maltese call a fissuda. She loves her cuddles and the attention she gets for being such an adorable ball of fur. Along with this disposition comes jealously. Try petting another animal in front of her and she will scream like a child, as if to say “Love me, not them!”.

When I fell pregnant, we were worried about how she would cope with the new addition. Having to share attention with a baby would be a huge shock to the system.

However, you do hear of dogs sensing the foetus in the womb and becoming best friends with the baby, so I was hoping this would be the case with our furry one. It wasn’t.

During pregnancy, it’s fair to say that Poppy did not notice my condition. I had imagined she would gently place her head on my growing belly and be extra careful around me. In reality, she was completely oblivious! She would plonk her furry butt right on my bump, showing no consideration that I had a bun in the oven. I said to my husband, “Surely she can recognise a change in me though?”. He said, “All she’s thinking is, ‘Geez, Mummy is getting fat.’”

With my bump growing bigger and bigger, Poppy didn’t seem to notice and soon the time came to introduce the baby to her. I was so excited to see her reaction. I expected her to be curious about this new creature we’d brought home and to have a right good sniff. She didn’t react like that at all. She seemed indifferent at best and scared at worst. She barely even looked at her and promptly took herself off to the bathroom for solitude. I felt awful for her. For the next few weeks she continued to ignore the baby but kept a respectful distance, as if she knew the baby was vulnerable and part of the pack.

Although she appears apathetic towards Olivia, she has displayed behaviour that shows she is protective of her. When a midwife came to visit me a couple of weeks after I gave birth, she was amazed by how Poppy acted. Apparently, when I popped to the loo, Poppy got up, went to check on Olivia, then went back to her spot where she was sleeping. It was as if she was making sure she was safe with this stranger in the house.

Poppy is now more used to Olivia and often stays close to her, especially when they’re both napping. However, with Olivia wanting to play more now she is four months old, Poppy is finding it difficult not having the attention on her during playtime. My husband and I are helping her through this by showing her lots of affection when one of us is interacting with the baby. It seems to be helping.

I’m hoping their relationship will blossom and they’ll love each other’s company one day. She is a wonderful dog and is doing well adapting to this new life with her sister.

Love you Diggle McSniggle! 🐾

Content retrieved from: https://maltamamadiaries.wordpress.com/2024/01/16/fur-baby-meets-human-baby/.

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