So we have these dogs…
The white one is Alex. Aka “Albino Dire Wolf,” aka “Lobo, Duke of the Fulshear Wilds,” aka “Goddammit Alex, Shut UP!”
Alex is, well, Alex is special.
Remember the animated movie “Bolt?” The one with the little white dog with the “Super Bark?” Yeah, there’s a reason why they chose an Eski for that film. Alex’s bark is one of the most piercing things this world has ever suffered. It’s so loud that it actually blinds you for a split second as all of your senses recoil. So loud there’s a ringing aftershock after each bark. Ethel Merman singing the Cranberries “Zombie” into a bullhorn would be a dulcet tympanic shiatsu by comparison. It effing hurts.
Now this would be fine under normal circumstances. After all, you do want a dog with a loud, alerting bark.
The problem is, Alex barks all the time.
Kids playing on the street? BARKBARKBARK!
Trash guys? BARKBARKBARK!
Commercial with a doorbell in it? BARKBARKBARK!
Someone actually rang the doorbell? DESTROY!
He also has a thing about anyone touching Jen. Touching is forbidden. Doubly so for me. My wife and I have been together for 7 years, and Alex has never stopped attempting to punch me in the balls every time I move within arm’s length of her. And yes, he’s aiming. You see, over time, hitting that particular area has proven to elicit the strongest response in ceasing the unwanted behavior, i.e. me touching Jen. And so now he really does, “sic balls.” (Pavlov’s got nothing on me.)
So add these two lovely personality flaws together, and then multiply.
How do you have a baby in the house with a dog like that?
It’ll be nappus interruptus every time Alex feels he needs to repel the marauding horde of invaders (read as: children playing in the street), from the sanctified borders of our home. Which means Daphne will get woken up about every 30 minutes or so.
And what will happen when Jen reaches down to pick our child up? Will he recognize that little thing as another human and attempt a
Falcon Canine Punch?
These are things I worry about. And we’re not going to know one way or another until we get Daphne home and see how he responds.
And then there’s Jib.
Jib is gentle. Jib is even-tempered. Jib is obedient. Jib is an incredibly sweet and loving dog. I’m certain that Jib is going to love Daphne, and be extraordinarily protective of her.
The thing is, Jib also loves toys. And, all your toy are belong to Jib.
Again, this would be fine by itself. Alas, Jib has a penchant for tearing open these toys and swallowing all the stuffing/plastic bits that lie inside them. To him, they’re like little fuzzy Gobstoppers. And these delicious plastic parts subsequently get caught in Jib’s intestines, thus necessitating thousands of dollars worth of invasive doggy surgery at GCVS.
And so I’m going to have to screen all of Daphne’s toys for contraband squeaky bits, in an effort to keep Jib from tearing them apart and happily destroying his own innards.
Jib, like most dogs, also very much likes his routines. They help him make sense of, and derive comfort from, an otherwise confusing human world. Breakfast is served the same way each day. Followed by the morning walk. Followed by dad leaving for work. But all is okay because dad says, “okayIloveyoubegood!” over and over, and that means he will be back. These things make Jib a happy dog.
But! Woe betide a messed with bedtime.
Jib sleeps in the bed with us. Or, more to the point, we sleep in Jib’s bed with him. He languorously stretches out in the center of our expensive memory foam mattress, and Jen and I fight to keep about 18″ of space on either side of him. And, if I happen to wake up, or roll over, or talk in my sleep, all are met with quick and strong kicks to my side. These send a very clear message.
“No. Stop. Jib is sleeping.”
And since Daphne will be with us at night (in her bassinet) for a while, and given that infants are notoriously poor sleepers, I’ve no doubt Jib is going to get testy about his lack of beauty sleep. Which means I’m going to get kicked. A lot.
Now please don’t misconstrue this. I absolutely adore our dogs, and I’d do just about anything to ensure sure they’re healthy and happy. Which means that we’re all going to find a way to make this thing work. There’s just going to be a learning curve…for everyone involved.