Sometimes when you are pregnant, your brain occasionally fails you. Okay, it failed me frequently. But there seems to be a time when one becomes particularly deluded and easily convinced that a very bad idea is a very good idea.
At some point in the beginning of November, I was just hitting the middle of my pregnancy and decided that if we didn’t get a dog this week we couldn’t get one for another year and a half.
As we are planning to get a couple of beef steers in the near future, we both thought it would be a good idea to have a dog that could help protect our property and potentially keep the cattle from charging one of our kids.
After not a whole lot of convincing, we drove up to get a 10 week old puppy.
Kolbe is half Australian Cattle Dog or “red heeler”, and half Australian Shepherd. This breed is unofficially known as a Texas heeler. He is cute as the dickens.
So let’s talk about all the reasons you definitely should NOT get a dog at the midway point of a very hard pregnancy. Or probably any pregnancy, who am I kidding.
1. Lack of Sleep – They might tell new moms to sleep when the baby is sleeping. They neglect to give new pet owners the same advice! Sleep when the poodle is sleeping just doesn’t have the same ring to it. But seriously. For all practical purposes, the first few weeks of having a puppy leads to approximately a 78% reduction in sleep. And if you are already having pregnancy sleep related issues, you might as well just sleep next to the dogs kennel. No sleep for you.
1.5 Lack of Energy – YOURS. C’mon, even in the glorious days of a good 2nd trimester, you are still exhausted. If chasing around a kids and a dog all day sounds like it’s going to help the situation, I promise it won’t.
2. Pee and Poo – Oh yeah, dogs have to be house-trained. Silly me, forgetting that I can smell everything within four miles. Let’s add dog poop to the smellacious smells around my house.
3. Veterinary Visits- The first two weeks I needed to take him to the vet at least 3 maybe 4 times. Leaving my house with my youngest two dictators is hard enough. Leaving the house with two dictators, a pregnant belly, and a wily puppy is enough to send even well grounded, sane individuals right. over. the. edge.
4. Worms and Fleas – My poor puppy came with worms and fleas. (We learned a lot about where not to get a puppy from the hard way). Naturally, anxiety levels go up when you are worried about your poor puppy with his fleas, tapeworms, round worms, and hook worms and worried about your two year old eating and stepping in dog poop (some of those worms are so sneaky they can live in the soil for centuries. I don’t know about you, but momma ain’t got centuries to worry about who’s going to be infected with hook worms). We were additionally worried about fleas taking over our home for the rest of our lives, my husband especially. If he could have rented a blowtorch to sterilize everything, he probably would have.
5. Barking – In the event you do actually get a nap, or uninterrupted sleep time, the puppy will choose that exact moment to bark endlessly.
6. Sharp Teeth- While you are training the dog not to mouth everyone in the house, he mouths everyone in the house. Those teeth are needle sharp. Yowsers. You’re pregnant. Unless it’s your toddler biting, you don’t have time for wound care.
7. Chewing- Dogs chew. They’ll chew on your new shoes. They’ll chew on your sofa. They’ll chew on anything that smells remotely good to them, including any poopy diapers or garbage in their direct, or indirect line of smell.
8. Training – Someone has to train the dog. If you are a stay at home parent, that person is probably you. If you come over and my puppy is badly behaved- its probably my fault. If you don’t come over and he’s badly behaved, still my fault!
I seem to have lost the rational part of my brain that recognized having a puppy was way more work than I remembered, and for longer than just a couple of weeks. Try months. He’s seven months old now and still definitely a puppy.
All that being said, we love our new family member. This guy has so much energy he could run down a train and come back ready for more action. He can nearly outlast some of my kids. Nearly. He’s smart as a whip. Not unlike my children, he does things just to see if he will get away with it. He usually does.
He’s learning things quickly and is eager to please. The kids think he is funnier than a belching contest. He does try to herd them, which involves nipping at their heels. Thus the name ‘heeler’. Not so fun when you just want to run around the yard like a crazy person, but we are still working on some of those behaviors. My husband is the boss, but the dog definitely loves me the most and follows me around like..a puppy.
We are so excited to get him outside this spring and teach him new skills, take walks, play fetch and have loads of adventures.
The moral of the story is this: Dogs are amazing, lovable, intelligent creatures that make an awesome addition to a family and a homestead…. but maybe when you’re not pregnant.
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If you liked this, don’t forget to check out Surviving the First Six Weeks with Six Kids
And there’s always Things My Kids Say