The Dog and the Baby

There is a special bond between Cameron and Dulce that is growing every day.  It all started once I hit the third trimester of the pregnancy.  Baby G was moving around a lot in my big belly and Dulce suddenly loved to cuddle with her!

I know there are a lot of articles and advice out there about preparing your pets for a new baby but we didn't do anything to prepare Dulce at all... at least not recently.  When we first adopted Dulce over three years ago, she was a little skittish and growled at small children.  So I began doing things to her that a small child would, without hurting her of course: I would pick her up suddenly from all angles, grab her tail and ears and legs, hold and carry her awkwardly, touch her mouth and face, and grab food and toys away from her, all with the intent of desensitizing her to those sorts of things.  I actually still do some of that now in a playful way :)  The desensitization did work because now she is awesome around children!  She is always getting petted, poked, pulled, grabbed, and carried by people known and unknown, young and old, and she stays calm and passive (as long as she's not being hurt or threatened).  When she's had enough, she walks away.

Dulce is fantastic around Cameron.  We still watch her carefully when they're together but I'm trusting her more and more every day.  Dulce gets very close to Cameron and sniffs her all the time, but she doesn't lick her and rarely touches her.

Dulce had never been around a new baby before so she had no idea what Cameron was when we first brought her home from the hospital.  Here is a video of their first time meeting:

During the first two weeks after Cameron's birth, I was recovering from the C-section and didn't move around very often.  I rarely went downstairs for anything.  Dulce was a huge help during this time!  She would carry things downstairs to Johnnie from me, and bring things upstairs to me from Johnnie.  For example I would send my empty water bottle downstairs with Dulce, Johnnie would fill it up, and Dulce would bring it back up to me.  She also carried things like packs of diapers, bags of wipes, baby things, snacks that were packaged or in ziplock bags, mail, etc.  Some of those things were pretty heavy but she managed to always get them up the stairs to me!

Dulce is still a big help around the house, like an extra set of hands at times.  If I drop anything, Dulce picks it up for me.  This is particularly useful when I'm holding Cameron or nursing her and can't bend down to get it myself.  Dulce also keeps all the drawers and cabinets closed in the kitchen.  If something is open, she'll push it shut!  The cutest thing (though but not particularly helpful) is that Dulce searches out pacifiers and the suction bulb and brings them to me when Cameron is fussy!  She has learned how to get these things off the top of the dresser, off of my nightstand, and wherever else they may be.  It's so sweet and amazing that she knows to bring a pacifier when Cameron cries, but I can't exactly use it once it's been in her mouth.  I suppose it's the thought that counts :)

When we first brought Cameron home, Dulce got anxious and whined whenever Cam cried but she grew accustomed to it after a couple weeks. The first sign of acceptance was when Dulce offered her rawhide bone to Cameron when she was napping in her bassinet on the floor next to me. Cameron wasn't interested so Dulce took it back and chewed on it herself. It was still a sweet gesture :)

Dulce is a cuddly lap dog so she does get a little jealous at times when the Cameron is being held.  She used to try to join Cam on our laps but now she waits until our laps are empty so she can get our full attention.  Smart dog :)  Unfortunately, Dulce hasn't been getting the same amount of cuddle time and attention as she used to so there are times that she gets very needy, clingy, and whiny.  I try to give her extra loving when I can.

Dulce is very curious about Cameron and the things we do to her.  If we do anything at her eye level, she is right beside us sniffing and watching carefully.  The first time I gave Cameron a bath, Dulce went crazy whining, barking, and pulling at things; obviously upset that the baby was in the water.  Now she watches calmly, maybe understanding that the baby is not being harmed.

Dulce checks on Cameron often when she's in her crib, especially if she hears her making noises.

Dulce often plays with her toys beside Cameron when she's on the floor. She'll offer them to Cameron once in a while and seems disappointed that Cam won't take them.  Soon enough, Dulce, soon enough! Cameron really seems to enjoy watching Dulce whenever she is near.

These two are going to be the best of friends :)

"A dog naps so much because it loves so hard!"


  1. Angela I really appreciate your post. I am a Ratbone volunteer since 2004 and have seen many, many dogs returned because the family had a baby. You are proof that a baby and a dog can live in the same family.

    I cannot imagine my childhood without our pets. I am sure I would not be the person I am today if they had not offered me love and taught me compassion and responsibility.


  2. Hi Angela,

    I found a link to your blog on the rat terrier forums. I believe it was the post where you announced the birth of your baby girl. Congratulations! I LOVE this post about the growing friendship between Cameron and Dulce. We have a rat terrier (with another puppy coming to us on Monday!) and our kids just love her. She loves them right back. I can't imagine not having her as a part of our family. Coincidentally, I am an Air Force wife too and Coco gives us all some comfort when daddy is deployed. Many blessing to you and your growing family!