Chapter 1: Conception
Its positive. I’m going to have a baby!
I hug Dog.
‘What’s with humans and all the hugs?’ thinks Dog.
‘Sorry’ I think back.
I take Dog for a walk to settle myself. As we sniff our way to the creek I look around for the mute button in my brain. ‘Oh my God this is amazing!!! Oh s##t! I can’t believe it. Oh s##t. How should I tell Jack? I said Oh s##t. I wish I didn’t have to take time off work. This was Jack’s idea - why do I have to sacrifice? I’m lucky I can stay home with the baby for a while’. Etc.
‘What is wrong with you?’ asks Dog. ‘You’re nervous and you smell weird. Try sniffing this poo - that always helps me focus.’
Jack is delighted. Then cooks dinner and laughs at the TV. This reaction fascinates and impresses me. His mute button may be in a more obvious spot than mine.
I need the loo quite frequently. This is worrying as its only been a few weeks. More worrying is Dog busting down the toilet door every time I go.
‘I’m sorry. I’m just a dog and I care about you. I know something’s going on with you. If you’ll just let me smell your wee, I think I can make a diagnosis.’
‘Did you know the pharmacy has these little sticks that do that?'
Dog and I make an uneasy agreement. If he gets his head out of the bowl and waits at the door, I’ll let him sniff the room - after I finish. This seems to relax him a bit. He sniffs, stares at me, sniffs, stares at me, sniffs, stares at me, and walks off.
Then he starts howling when I leave the room. He’s also bullying other dogs at the park.
‘I’m a bit nervous too mate, but you do you see me eating the couch?! I know you did it - there’s no-one else here and you look guilty’
‘This isn’t a guilty face. It’s a stop yelling at me face’
‘You’ve got stuffing on your nose'
I decide to act like an adult and sit down with a notebook.
Things I can do to make Dog feel better and stop being a dickhead:
1. Pretend he’s a puppy. When you go out, you’re supposed to leave puppies in a place where they can't eat couches. (‘Yeah mate - I’m looking at you!’)
2. Adaptil collar. I read these pheromones help some dogs feel more safe and relaxed. A bit pricey but cheaper than couches.
3. Try not to be a dickhead myself. It takes one to know one. Might be a good time to start that meditation course…
4. Chill out together. I’ll give Dog a massage and brush his back tonight, stop being rude to him, and take him to the beach this weekend. That does the trick when Jack’s stressed.
Related information (links, downloads etc):
Smelling helps dogs feel good
Can our dog tell that we’re pregnant?
Guilty look research shows its actually appeasement behaviour
Adaptil collar info
Management to prevent mistakes and make your life easier
How dogs react to our stress