Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Newborn Baby & Senior Dog--A Story of Hope!

Photo credit: anitapatterson from morguefile.com

When we had our first child, we didn’t have a dog. We had an older cat and even that was a concern as to how the 10 year old cat would react to the new baby in the family. The cat couldn’t have cared less. A year later we did have a dog and soon another new baby. Those baby gates were a godsend….keeping a frisky pup away from chubby toddlers. But what about the older pet. If we had our children years after getting our dog, would we have been concerned with the dog’s reaction to the new addition? And even more so if our dog was considered a senior dog?

Everyone knows that older dogs have aches, pains and limited tolerance compared to when they were younger and energetic. Often older dogs are dealing with joint pain and limited eyesight so may fear the new arrival and all the changes in the household.

 But having a child doesn’t mean you have to find a new home for your beloved senior dog. Rely on your instincts because in most cases things will be just fine. Case in point is a story I recently read of Rocky and Shelby as told by Rena Murray.  A young couple had brought home baby Shelby two months earlier and had the concerns of many new parents that their older dog Rocky might not accept the baby. To the contrary, on a day when the young mom was looking forward to a much needed nap, Rocky went crazy barking. The angry, tired mom was concerned the baby would wake up and when the dog headed to the nursery barking and jumped for the crib, she discovered that baby Shelby wasn’t breathing. Rocky’s persistent barking saved the little girl.

Trusting your instincts and your relationship with your old dog is essential. Though there are dogs are not as accepting, the story of this senior dog saving the newest family member is a reminder that sometimes older dogs are as protective of newborns as they are of their own pups.

Copyright 2011 OldDogPaws.com

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