Friday, March 23, 2012

On Dogs and Babies

Some people ridicule the notion of adopting a dog as "practice baby-training." Well, I disagree with that. Maybe some people think it foolhardy, but we adopted a standard poodle around my 5th/6th month of pregnancy. I love dogs, you see, and we moved to a place partly for my husband's hankering for a yard to grow stuff in, but also for my deep desire for a dog of our own. So soon after we moved, that's exactly what we did. I hesitated as the adoption fee wasn't cheap, but my husband said to go for it, anyway. And boy am I glad we did. Now the journey wasn't easy: she was found with mange, heartworm, and earmites, and was emaciated, so we did our best to heal those. We named her Bella, and smart cookie that she is, she responded to that name within days! However, she was also super skittish and shy, and wanted us in her sight at all times, hence our moniker sometimes for her being "Velcro dog." And therein is the big part that I'm glad we got a dog first before we had our baby: babies are fussy, and they want to be attached to you: after all, they were in our wombs for 40+ weeks, in my case, 41. They're used to being held 24/7, and fed 24/7. With the addition of a dog in our lives, there was another being to care for, spend for, someone else's schedule to think about, and who relies on me, whether it be food or medicine or even affection. With a baby, it's intensified like 500% as babies are even more helpless (so it does help that they're cute)! That plus our dog is really chill and centered when she's not spazzing or being all clingy; quiet, too: it took her months for us to hear her bark. But she's getting better: she doesn't get scared we'll leave her when we crate her, or see it as punishment; she has put on weight, and responds to the few commands my husband taught her; she even follows us into the bathroom now, whereas before she was terrified of it for some reason. Like her gradual improvement, we hope similarly for our baby, though at a slower pace as babies do take a while to hold their heads up on their own and not need us on demand 24/7. With the baby's arrival too, she is no longer the center of our lives, but she has responded to this with reluctant and resigned grace. With this standard poodle's awesomeness, plus the fact that she doesn't really shed, I am sold on standard (poodle)s! As my friend who told me about them, they are great family dogs. Indeed.

That being said, there are other things going on in life! I rarely cook as I am afraid of the stove (just as I dislike mess and bugs, but that's another story), so I feel bad that my husband even more so than before is doing so much for our family, what with cloth diapers and so on, on top of the regular stuff we have to do around the house, which with the baby has taken a bit of a backslide, hence my desire to help out more. Friends and family giving us food has been a godsend, but it won't last forever, so I was looking at these soup recipes: they look pretty easy, so maybe I can make them and make my husband happy and proud :-) Two in particular are catching my fancy: this Cucumber Gazpacho and this Coconut Cauliflower Soup, then macaroons for dessert! Is it super obvious I'm into healthy fats right now, especially coconut?!

I also got my certificate of graduation from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, or what we students fonds call IIN. Woohoo! Now on to more learning!...after I get the hang of caring for this baby...

1 comment:

  1. Having someone or something depend on you is definitely good practice! Maybe if you think of the cooking as an act of love or mission it might be easier?