Roozle’s Dog

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.

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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.

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Now my Zoe is 9.5 years old. She sleeps with me every night and doesn’t get out of bed in the morning until I do. She totally rules. I am so incredibly grateful that she is a part of Roozle’s life.

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.**

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7 Comments

  1. Sooo this is a major point of sadness and heartache for me. I had a dog from puppyhood did not want to “give up” on her. But she has bitten and broken skin. I was pregnant and terrified as to proceed. I didnt know what to do all the rescues wouldnt take her. My parents took her while i was in labor. Theyve had her since, my brother fell in love with her. Everyone else is off limits and sunday, she went after my guy. I didnt see any bites, but she terrified him. And i almost wet myself thinking I allowed it to happen. I dont know what else to do now. :(

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  2. hm I used the floating method for comments and now theres SIX?

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    • Hmm. I need to fix that somehow. But thank you for your comment.

      It totally broke our hearts to give up Fenway when that happened. Some dogs just can’t handle kids. (Some kids can’t handle dogs either, but that’s a different scenario). I am really sorry you’re struggling with this. It’s HARD. :(

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  3. We have had three dogs over the course of our kids’ lives (all at the same time for about two years) and all three were great with the kids. Two have since passed, which was hard, but a life lesson, too. One of our dogs would have let the kids ride her if they wanted, but the other two had limits. The kids know not to approach a dog when it is sound asleep or when it is eating.
    I am so glad it has worked out for Roozle and Zoe. I can’t imagine our house without a dog running around!

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  4. Thankfully though, Fenway was sent by God to help Kathryn and her mom. And now they’re ridiculously happy with one another sleeping in a giant Virginia bed.

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  5. Beautiful piece. I’m amazed that you have a two-year-old who simply won’t touch the dog.

    In our house, it’s two cats, two kids … The beta cat attacked our firstborn when he came home, but since then everyone has learned how to get along, for the most part.:

    http://mamanongrata.com/?p=204

    Now, we are starting to have the questions about “What happens when one of the cats dies?”

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