Monday, January 28, 2008

Probably just trying to secure his spot in the will

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.


jsi said...

It sounds as if this has been a very loving transition for him. He'll think she's terrific forever, evern when she grabs his tail. He has a big heart, that little dog of yours.

chelsea said...

Sounds like you did get lucky! My aunt's cat is like that too and has been great with her kids.

Erin in Scranton said...

I'm so glad Toby has adjusted to having Alli in the house. But you do need to be careful -- the reason most dogs bite youngsters is that dogs discipline their puppies by lightly (to them) nipping them in the muzzle to correct behavior. So when an older infant or toddler pulls a dog's ears or pokes it in the eye, the dog may bite the baby as a corrective measure, which obviously does a lot of damage.

Janice said...

aww, that's wonderful. It's a pity that some people's dogs either don't take to the baby or the other way around.

Ray said...

Sweet post. That would be my fear though about having a dog, and then bringing a baby to the mix. Some dogs get really jealous and when that happens, stories like you read in the newspaper sadly appear. It's terrifying to think about it.

On the other hand from the way you write about Toby, he really is an awesome dog. An awesome dog who wouldn't hurt a fly.

Take, care.

Anonymous said...

aww your post makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside :) hopefully jerry can catch a picture of you 3 someday...or vice versa

the plainsman said...

It really sounds like Toby has lived up to being the great dog we all knew he was. :-)