This morning while I was flipping through my newspaper in a foggy haze and shoveling cereal into my mouth, I came across a story of a dog that mauled an infant. It immediately made me appreciate how well Toby has adapted to our family's new addition.
I'm not sure why or how we got so lucky to have the best dog in the universe. He is loving to a fault. He just wants to be on someone at all times. When I'm at the computer, he has to be in my lap. When we're sleeping, he's under the covers resting his head on our legs. If we close a door, he'll nudge it open. It's almost as if his lungs won't function unless he has at least one hair follicle touching another living being.
Allison recently became one of those beings.
He was always curious about her, but now it's more than just the euphoric look he gets on his face when he catches a whiff of a dirty diaper. He lays beside her while she's on her play mat. When I have her in my lap, he squeezes in, too. When she's in her swing, Toby's always nearby, centimeters away from getting decapitated.
The only thing I ever have to discipline him about is licking her face and blankets. But training a dog not to react to regurgitated milk isn't easy. The aroma is so appealing that if I accidentally drop a burp cloth on the floor, he rolls around on it in hopes of transferring the scent to his fur. Plus, it's his way of showing affection and I don't want to chastise him for that.
But the best part of all is that he knows when it's time to leave her alone. When we put Allison in her crib for the night, Toby knows to follow me out of the room. And even though the century-old knob doesn't latch, it's the one door Toby won't push open when it's closed.
A lot of people joked that Toby would be demoted in terms of affection when the baby was born, but if anything, my love for him has grown.
So after breakfast, I grabbed Allison, went upstairs and fed her in bed. Toby assumed his normal spot under the covers and the three of us took a brief nap.
I nodded off feeling all warm and fuzzy. Mostly because Toby's head was on my arm.