I've noticed a phenomenon. Or maybe it's just another annoyance of being pregnant. Yes, I have a lot of them already, and they mainly deal with the opinions of other people. As soon as you get pregnant, people act like anything "else" you want to do should wait. Because you know, pregnant women are incapable of doing anything other than sitting around and knitting baby booties. Sarcasm...
|[Knitting... and knitting... and knitting... and knitting... Pee Wee's Big Adventure? Anyone?]|
When Tim and I got engaged, we agreed that as soon as we were able (location-wise, money-wise) that we would get a dog. In February, simultaneously, we found out we were having a baby and we were offered a great house to rent that allowed pets. Finally!
Well, as soon as we mentioned this aloud, the debbie downers chimed in. Your getting a dog AND having a baby AND you just moved? You're crazy! No real explanation for this was given. Just that we were crazy. Interesting.
(For her peace of mind, I'm not talking about my Mom who brought up the valid point of expensive vet visits. That's actually a legitimate reason to not get a pet and she has experienced this with multiple cats. Between gear, food and shots, they are very pricey and we factored this into our decision and our budget.)
It's my natural instinct to prove naysayers wrong, so I decided to brainstorm a little listeroo of why getting a puppy while pregnant is not crazy at all. Why, actually... it's awesome!
1. It is a great distraction from pregnancy. Honestly, it's not mentally sound to get too wrapped up in something for too long. I got sick of reading baby books within the first month. Being focused solely on what's happening in my b0dy for 9 months would be maddening. Now I am reading about puppies, what kind of food is best for what breed, how to crate train, etc. It's fun and it takes my mind off of all the things that could go wrong during child birth.
|[Our puppy on the way!]|
2. We want a pet that is comfortable around children, and we want children who are comfortable around animals... and learn how to care for and respect them. If we get a puppy now, we get both of these things. Our dog and baby will grow up together, and we think that's just adorable. We also think it's important that our kids understand death. I know this sounds morbid, but it's a good lesson in the value of life. Dogs don't live forever, and explaining it will be heartwrenching, but it's something that kids are frankly better off not be shielded from. They need to know that it's a part of life and it's something you will get through eventually. I knew allllll about kitty heaven when I was little and it did not scar me for life.
3. We want to post hilarious youtube videos of our baby and our puppy interacting. America's Funniest Home Videos... here we come!
4. Playing with and walking a dog is great exercise for pregnant women. At 8 months pregnant, I probably won't want to move my big butt off the couch. But if there's a cute little puppy whining to go for a walk... I'll have to get up & get moving! You can't say no to that face.
5. Caring for a puppy is the perfect practice for my husband to care for an infant. I'm not demaning him, he's just never had a pet before. Obviously, he can't stick food in a bowl for an infant and let it poop outside, but just the responsiveness and selflessness that owning a pet teaches will be extremely helpful. I'm sure we'll be playing quite a few rounds of "rock-paper-scissors" for who gets to change a diaper vs. who gets to take the dog out.
6. Labrador retrievers (which is the breed we're getting) are great "alert" dogs. Not great guard dogs because of their friendly nature towards strangers, but they will alert you if they hear a sound, which is very reassuring.
People who've been in our situation (baby + puppy) have told us it's not hard... and actually a lot of fun. Life is too short to not do the things you want to do! We can't put all of our plans on hold just because we're having a baby.
So we're just going for it!
So we're just going for it!