At least three times a week someone asks me…
‘How is Ricki doing with Jake?’
It’s true, I’ve been a mom for a long time already. A puppy mom. I’ve babied the crap out of my dog because I can’t resist his adorable furry face. I take full responsibility for that extra pound he’s carrying around because I’m always giving him ‘just one more carrot because I love him.’
Yes, my first baby is a dog.
And now my second baby, a human one, is here as well.
So how is Ricki doing?
Truthfully? Alright. Just alright.
It is taking time, but I’m already foreseeing these two being the best of friends in the future. To be honest, Ricki didn’t seem to really even notice Jake at first. We did everything the articles told us to do. Adam brought home one of Jake’s hats for Ricki to sleep with while I was in the hospital. And when when we brought Jake home, I walked in the door and greeted Ricki while Adam stood back holding Jake. Really, he didn’t seem all that interested. A few sniffs at Jake and he went on his merry little way. Within a few days of being home though, it became clear that Ricki was upset with me. For holding Jake all the time, for not being able to let him out at that exact second, for not being able to carry him around a bit (this dog LOVES to be held and carried).
He never showed any signs of being aggressive towards me or Jake, he just seemed bummed.
It kind of broke my heart.
I felt like I was neglecting him.
So we changed things up a bit. During Jake’s morning nap (and my morning coffee) I make it a point to pull Ricki in my lap for extra pets and snuggles. During his afternoon nap we play in the backyard for a bit or I’ll sit in the front window with him for a while. When Adam walks in the door, I hand him Jake and took Ricki out for an extra long walk.
As for getting Ricki and Jake on the friend track? I spend about half an hour a day with Jake on his playmat and Ricki right next to me. That way I can interact with Jake while giving Ricki some attention as well. After a few days of this, Ricki seemed to warm up to the idea of this tiny human in his house.
They’re not best friends yet, but they’re getting there.
For anyone about to go through this situation, the best advice I can give you is to give your dog time. Don’t expect him to be on board from day one. Just as it took him a while to adjust when you brought him home, it will take him a while to adjust to your new family member.
Whom he’ll love until your little one starts walking and wanting to use the dog as a horse.
You’re on your own for that one.