I haven't written a blog in a bit because I have been on the go with little Miss Johanna. I figured today I would take advantage of the fact that it's October 1. There are so many things to be said about this month but aside from pumpkin everything I think my favorite October celebration is the fact that its National Pitbull Awareness Month. I haven't written about dogs and babies yet mainly because I wanted to see how quickly Cookie (my pity) would adjust to Johanna.
Just a little background on Cookie: she's a 10 year old pity with some pretty serious separation anxiety but like most pits she is the sweetest girl to humans. She is dog aggressive and has been since she was a puppy so we steer clear from other dogs but it's not a major disruption. She takes fluoxetine daily due to her separation anxiety and it seems to do the trick. Now this anxiety can get pretty bad so I try my best to keep a consistent schedule with her. Change can trigger her anxiety. This was my main concern while I was pregnant. I knew a lot of things would change for Cookie and to be honest I was terrified that her anxiety would get worse. When shes separated from me she crys, paces back and forth and has even gotten into the bathtub. She also digs at the carpet as if she's looking for me. Needless to say I thought bringing a baby into her routine could either go 1 of 2 ways. Either her anxiety would be through the roof and she would become extremely jealous or she would be way too protective and possibly not let anyone near “her" baby.
I did so much research on introducing dogs to newborn babies, specifically pitbulls. I even considered having a behaviorist come to my home and help me control her anxiety better when the baby came along. I started doing things like playing baby noises including screaming baby noises on my phone, turning on the music baby machines and letting her sniff just about every baby product I had. I was nervous. She is an old gal and set in her ways! With all that being said, I'm glad I didnt spend the money on the behaviorist.
Heres why…. Cookie didnt even pay Johanna any attention when she got here. While I was in the hospital, Joe brought back blankets that the baby used and let Cookie smell them. When we got home all she cared about was that I had been gone for 3 days. She smelled Johanna once then went on about her business as if Johanna had been here all along. Now Cookie has been around plenty of babies but none that have been around for good. It was almost as if Cookie knew that this “thing" I brought into her home was fragile and needed to be left alone. I didnt want to force Johanna on her so I tried my best to keep Cookies routine the same. Same feeding time, same attention, same potty times, etc. We had some issues with the walks for a few days and that's still underway but we are figuring it out. Cookie is a bit scared of the stroller and it's tough to control a baby and a strong pitbull.
Cookie is great girl and I think she will warm up more when Johanna is more mobile. I can tell that she's accepted her into our family. She will come get me if she hears Johanna crying, she is beginning to lay closer to her, she knows if I grab the moby wrap it's time for a walk, she lays on the nursery floor or in the doorway when Johanna is in her crib and she's starting to try the licking thing (I completely disapprove of this by the way). I have tried to put Johanna closer and closer to cookie but she will literally get up and walk away. Better than the alternative, right? So I learned that I have to let Cookie do this on her own time. I can't force her to cuddle with Johanna because obviously that would probably put her off and who knows what would happen then.
I also need to let Johanna warm up to her as well. She watches Cookie for long periods of time and is definitely interested in what this four legged creature is. She reaches for her and tries to touch her when she gets close which I think is the cutest darn thing. Johanna is also not affected by her barking at all. In fact when Cookie barks, Johanna laughs. Also another cute thing. So my hope is that one day they will be two peas in a pod. I plan on teaching Johanna how to pet her four legged sister and not pull on her ears or her tail. I don't want Cookie thinking Johanna is out to hurt her! So there you have it, babies and pity's. Oh and my last thought on this, I'm not yet comfortable leaving Cookie alone with Johanna in a room where Johanna is on the floor or the couch. Not for fear that Cookie will do any harm but more so that she will lick the crap out of her baby sister!