A little while before the twins were born I wrote this blog post about how we were preparing our dog Josephine ‘Posy’ for becoming a big sister. I posted an update when the twins were newly born and five months on, another update is well overdue!
If you’re a regular reader of my blog then you will know that she’s been the canine love of my life for a number of years and is a cherished member of our family, so I was nervous about she would adapt to her new role as a sibling of sorts to human babies. But I needn’t have worried because it’s been fine!
From the moment that they were brought home and sat next to her on the sofa for her to sniff at, they were members of her family. We did see a little bit of resource guarding during the first few weeks, where she was reluctant to let people – particularly men – close to ‘her’ babies but thankfully with a mixture of distraction and gentle correction that behaviour was quickly resolved.
For the most part these days, Posy is politely disinterested in her small brothers. She’ll tuck up next to them on the bed and completely ignore that they’re shrieking like banshees – very little seems to faze her about them at all! They on the other hand are often fascinated by the dog and alternate between shouting their heads off and waving their arms about in an attempt to attract her attention. They love to play with her soft fur and we’re already having to take their hands and practice ‘gentle touches’ rather than pulling. We don’t ever want her to find herself in a position where she’s faced with either having to put up with being hurt because we’re not on the ball enough to protect her – or the alternate scenario, where she snaps at them in self-defense.
We discovered the other day, thanks to someone – ahem – dropping a bowl of trifle on one of the babies, that Posy won’t snatch food off of them. She’s very respectful of their personal space. I’m not sure whether she realises that they’re human or is just treating them as particularly harmless hairless cats (having been swiped at by my mother’s moggies on numerous occasions she’s now petrified of cats!) but regardless of the reason, it’s good to know that she won’t accidentally harm them when food or other resources are involved.
I suspect that it will all become trickier once they’re mobile, and we plan to give her a ‘safe space’ where she can go to get away from enthusiastic little hands, but right now we’re feeling optimistic that we haven’t ruined her life by adding to our pack.
I’ll let you know how she feels about it all once they start crawling!