Three months after MCB and I met, we got a dog together. Best idea ever, right? MCB had been wanting to adopt a dog for a few months before I arrived, so her plan was to go the shelter, pick out her own dog, and adopt it. Or just go look and fall in love with every dog there.
What we weren’t really expecting was that I would fall in love with a dog. The greatest dog in the world. My Zoe.
Zoe was returned by a couple who had adopted earlier that week. It wasn’t working out. She was six pounds and terrified. We had an idea that someone in that family wasn’t treating her well. She and I quickly decided that we needed each other. I mean, we decided that MCB needed to adopt her. So she did.
Zoe doesn’t like kids. She never has. She has nipped once at one and never had a chance to be that close again. We were terrified when we decided to start a family. We knew we would be taking a huge chance with Zoe and it would likely not work out.
Thankfully, we were wrong. From the beginning of the pregnancy, Zoe slept on my belly, listening carefully to Riley’s strengthening heartbeat. She bounced around from Riley’s tiny kicks. When we brought Riley home from the hospital, we let Zoe approach the carseat. She licked her tiny little ear, like she does with me (I don’t let her lick my face). Right then, we knew it was going to be okay. A lot of work, maybe, but okay. Riley loves this story, by the way.
Since then, they have grown together. Zoe is on guard all the time. She knows Riley’s moves before Riley even thinks of making them. She gets out of the way. She has some spots in the house that Roozle can’t get to, or won’t. They give each other space. A lot of it. We have one rule: Don’t touch Zoe. You can feed her. You can walk her. You can play with her. But you can never touch her. And it works. Riley really doesn’t touch her. She has tried a few times and Zoe gives her space and then gets away. Zoe adores Riley. She protects her. Checks on her. Plays with her. Shares snacks with her. It’s perfect. They just give each other space and it works.
How do you feel about kids and dogs? Have you had good experiences? Bad experiences?
**Sometimes dogs and kids don’t work out. We had another dog, Fenway, who now lives with our friends because he and Riley were not a good match. We just got really lucky with Zoe. Kids and dogs are a tricky combination, especially in a small city apartment.**