Yesterday my baby turned 11 weeks old. He’s doing great. He’s already sleeping through the night, he’s got a healthy appetite, he loves to play, he handles visits to the doctor and shots like a champ, he doesn’t really cry in general, and although he is teething, he finds a way to keep himself together. Oh, and he’s even almost potty trained! I know, right? A. Dream. Come. True.
Even as he continues to grow, I know he’s going to be an amazing little boy. I know, no matter what, he won’t talk back, stomp up the stairs because I’m “the meanest mommy ever,” look at his food crazy and proclaim that he’s not eating it, start a fight with his siblings, deny me kisses and hugs, drag his feet to get out of the door, get grossed out when he sees mommy and daddy kiss, turn up his nose at clothes I may buy him, make me beg him to drink water, and he won’t be interested in spending as much time as possible on a screen. Most important, I know he will never, ever, ever, ever leave his mama.
This little boy truly has my heart. Dash is an amazing mini cockapoo with a beautiful tricolor coat. He’s spunky without being too crazy, smart as a whip (the trainer’s words, not mine), and literally all he wants to do is sleep, eat, use the potty, and play. If I give him belly rubs and cuddles, he’s as happy as can be. He is pure joy wrapped up in a small bundle of fur.
The newest Johnson was a delayed Christmas gift that arrived on New Year’s Eve and we are all so in love with him that I can hardly believe there was a time when I didn’t want a dog. I was one of those moms that let fear win. I was afraid that I’d be taking on too much. Many people warned me that getting a dog would be like having another baby at home and that’s all I needed to hear. There wouldn’t be a lot of sleep, he would require constant time and attention, he would need walking multiple times a day, grooming and vet visits. He would become one more thing to take over my time and life. The decision to ignore the incessant pleas for a dog, given all the solicited and unsolicited advice, was a no-brainer. I loved having babies but I’m too old, too tired, too impatient, and too whatever else there may be to even remotely consider having another baby.
What I failed to realize in all the advice was that despite the exhaustion and new responsibilities, a dog gives so much unconditional love that the things you fear, the things that make it a “no-brainer,” are moot.
The love of a dog is simply one-of-a-kind. It’s immediately uplifting because they are constantly grateful, happy, and very obviously just want affection and love. What mother doesn’t want this? In fact, I wish we’d gotten him sooner! With this special type of love and appreciation, he might have helped me over the years to keep my cool, recharge my “mommy” battery, and retain some of my sanity. In all seriousness, he certainly could have eased the often-isolating transition from having a professional career to being at home with a baby. That part where your brain starts to turn to mush, you start to lose yourself to mommy demands, and you’re so tired that you can’t even remember the last time you showered. The stress-filled, exhausting, depleting part of having kids. A dog’s love is the ultimate cure.
While Dash is not a baby I birthed, he is every bit my new baby boy. Don’t let the fear of having another baby stop you from having another “baby!”