Beauty and the Beast

Natalie and Syrus - July 18th 2010 - 1

Just the other day I was browsing through recent status updates on Facebook when I came across something interesting. A friend, and soon to be father, Dr. Terry Simpson, made an observation about child warnings.

Terry Simpson says:
Funny thing happened to me — I use to laugh at the plastic bags that had the warnings about suffication. Now I think about JJ – and I pay attention. Life changes

It seems strange to look back at the way I used to view things in life. Terry is absolutely right, as parents we see those warnings from a new perspective.

While plastic bags and buckets do present concerns, there was something more pressing in the back of my mind. As time grew closer to bring my daughter home from the hospital, I was worried how a new family member would be perceived by our four-legged family member, Syrus.

The concern I had was not what you may expect. You see, Syrus is an American Pit Bull Terrier. A large segment of the United States population sees this breed in a negative manner. My wife and I, on the other hand, believe in blaming the deed, not the breed.

My major concern was our young pooch becoming a little too rambunctious and banging into our newborn daughter. Syrus is not a large dog in terms of body size, but he is dense. In his relatively small frame our pooch packs in 55lbs. Despite his small form factor, this dog of ours is amazingly strong. He is also a bit of a klutz, which is where my concern came in. My biggest fear was that Syrus would go running through the house, which he does on occasion, and run into Natalie’s swing or bouncy chair.

My wife and I were both amazed by his awareness of our daughter. I don’t mean aware in the sense that he knows she is in the house. I mean he seems to know precisely where she is before he makes any sudden moves. For a dog that doesn’t seem to know his own strength most of the time, he is very gentle when she is close by.

Being home for a few weeks now, it is clear that our family dog has bonded with our daughter. I look forward to both of them getting older and playing out in the yard. With my wife and I having grown up with dogs, it was important to us that our child have that same experience growing up.

Natalie and Syrus - July 18th 2010 - 2

How did your family pet take
the addition of a family member?

6 comments On Beauty and the Beast

  • I believe in blaming the owners for training the dogs to do what they do. However, that particular breed scares the living doodie out of me.
    I remember when my two step sisters were born and how our dog reacted to them. It seems that dogs know what infants are and naturally take on a nurturing role around them.

    • John,
      That is understandable as the breed always seem to take center stage, in the media, when something bad happens. They are also an intimidating breed. We’ve had a couple of house guests come to visit us and were visibly shaken by the presence of our pooch.

      Syrus is a tad clingy and loves nothing more than to curl up in your lap (he is rather heavy to be a lap-dog) and go to sleep. If he can’t get away with that, he’ll roll over on his back and wait for you to rub his belly.

      It must be an instinctive thing with dogs. When I brought Natalie’s cap home from the hospital, ahead of time, he way very gentle in sniffing the clothing. It was a relief to see him take to her so well.

      Thanks for the comment.

  • I do not remember this obviously, but I have been told that our family pet, a daschound, was very protective of me when I came home. She would sleep under my crib and bark to alert my parents whenever I wimpered or cried, as if they couldn’t hear me already, lol. Glad Syrus is doing so well with your new little one.

    • tmbryant73,
      I’ve been told similar stories about my childhood pet, as well as my grandparents dog. I’m told that when I visited my grandparents, their dog took it to a whole new level and refused to let any non-family members near me while I slept.

      Thanks for the comment

  • Our Cocker–prissy and high-maintenance–turned into a she-wolf with our children as her pups. In the living room, she’d lie down between the front door & the kids; if they played in their bedrooms, she’d lie down in the hallway. When friends came to visit, she was between them and the children. One had to be known or to gain permission to walk past her where her pups were concerned.

    She was never bred, so had none of her own, except my four. That seemed like enough.

  • She is so damm cute walt….

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