I have often thought about our dog Tj or Dodo has he’s referred to by Sophia for many reasons, the way he was our first baby, the way he has fitted into family life with Sophia coming along, the fact he’s no longer number 1 in the house and how on occasion I feel he is truly neglected. It got me thinking, how do pets fit into your family? Appreciate not everyone has a pet but if you’ve a goldfish, cat, dog or snake they will all have the special place within the family I’m sure.
Tj came into our lives the same year we got married, in fact it was quite a hectic year, both at uni, both had part time jobs to a pay a mortgage, we got married and got a dog (what were we thinking). We got married in October 2004 and Tj came bouncing into our lives in December 2004 so this October he’ll be 12. He’s seen 3 different houses, 4 different cars, friends come and go, 1 Sophia arriving and player 2 due this November!!! As I sit and type this I realize actually how much he’s been through, seen and done. He’s always been and will always be our first baby, we may not have always been the best/most disciplined of parents to Tj but we love him.
It was always just the 3 of us and we even went on holidays together and even when Mrs D and I did go abroad he’d always go to a grandparent, very rarely does he spend time in kennels. Growing up I had 3 gun dogs which lived outside and were very disciplined and I wasn’t really allowed to cuddle them so I guess I spoilt Tj. So when we knew Sophia was coming we weren’t sure how he would react, much like now when we’re not sure how Sophia will react to another baby arriving in November!!! Tj was used to being the chosen 1, the main man, the big dog so to speak. We had discussed hom going to stay with one of our parents for a few weeks at the start to let us get settled in at home with Sophia and then slowly introduce him. We’d read about taking a blanket or piece of clothing that smelt of Sophia and letting him sleep with it, smell it, generally be in his vicinity so when she did appear in the house it wasn’t so much of a shock. However after much deliberation we decided no, he will be there for the start, he’s part of the family and he should be there to greet mummy and Sophia when they get out of hospital. Mrs D had spent 9 days in hospital when Sophia was born and Tj missed her as much as I did. It was the right thing to do. I always remember feeling worried but when we enetered the house he went straight to the car seat, sniffed the baby and walked off, and that really has been it since then, he hasn’t taken any interest in her.
As Sophia has become older she has become more and more interested with Dodo and at nearly 2 years old she love him, always looking for cuddles, sharing food, even trying to take him for walks. Unfortunately the feeling is not mutual, he has no interest and will always find somewhere else to be should he see her running straight for him. However its great to see that they can get on so well and respect each others boundaries.
For me, I’m sad that I cant spend as much time with Tj as I used and certainly doesn’t get the walks he used. In fairness he is the laziest spaniel I’ve ever met and isn’t big on walks but that shouldn’t be an excuse to not walk him……its just finding the time. As we both work full time, he gets a walk in the morning and when we get home at night he’s out in the garden until Sophia has been fed, watered and put to bed. After that its a matter of giving him cuddles when he wants them. He is quite happy to settle down for a while while we watch tv for a little bit before bed and we start the cycle all over again. The fact he is going to be 12 on his birthday is probably to our advantage as with a puppy they’d need far more attention, walks etc.
I’ve no worries for the new baby coming, he will much and such the same, he’ll keep to himself and ignore what’s going on around him. As long as he get food and gets out to the toilet he’s a happy guy. We’re very lucky we’ve got such an easy dog.
I just wish I could spend more time with him, I feel like he’s at the bottom of the pile a lot of the time and while he doesn’t pine for attention or does anything mischievous to gain attention I personally want to give him more. I think this is more a it me not you moment hahaha.
Pets really do become part of the family and are treasured as much as your child. Tj in our in lives is great, he makes a bad day better!!! I’m sure you’d all agree. We love him. How does your pet fit in with you? We’re away to take him for a walk and enjoy the weekend!!!!