I got Rolo (my Lhasa Apso) before LagosDad and I were married. In fact, I got him before we were even engaged. He was, in every way, my baby.
I fed him, I bathed him, I walked him, I cleared up his messes and I comforted him during thunderstorms.
Things, of course, changed slightly once LagosDad moved in. Rolo couldn’t understand why he wasn’t allowed to sleep on the other side of the bed, and LagosDad couldn’t understand why each time he got out of bed and came back, the dog was in his space!
Rolo was still my baby though!
When I went away to have V1, I was gone for over five months. I know Rolo was well taken care of in my absense – but I missed him. I even cried when I said goodbye to him. And (confession time), when I first held V1, I may have (ok, I did) cooed at him and called him a ‘good dog’ (oops).
Of course once I came back, it was all change again. Rolo went so nuts when I walked through the door, that he didn’t even notice the baby in the car seat. And when he did notice, I put the car seat down on the floor and let him have a good sniff and an all over lick of the baby (much to some people’s horror). I saw no reason to not let him continue to share the bed. And I didn’t mind if he rolled over on V1’s playmat. As far as I was concerned, I was boosting the baby’s immune system!
But… even though all that happened/was allowed – things were different for Rolo. Even though he still got a lot of love and attention – he didn’t get as much as before. I was busy. I had a baby. Poor Rolo – he adopted an old Care Bear of mine in the weeks following our return. This Care Bear became his security blanket. Or, as I like to call it, his Hump Buddy. He took the bear with him everywhere he went. Upstairs, downstairs, this room, that room. Everywhere. He humped it, he chewed it, he slept with it, he ripped its nose off and he pulled its stuffing out. And, (I think) when he was wishing ill upon the new baby in the house, he chewed its neck. He did this a lot.
(Sorry for the poor picture quality)
So the state of the bear in the above picture isn’t actually that bad. While I was away this time, having V2, the bear was ripped to shreds (by him) and was thrown away.
When I came back, Rolo, now ten years old, was ecstatic. As was I. I’d missed him. A lot. He was very happy to see V1 as well (quite indifferent to V2) and spent the first three days trying to hump him! Finally I told V1 that we had to go through all his cuddly toys and find which ones he wouldn’t mind Rolo having. He picked out about four (with my approval) and we lined them up, ready for Rolo to choose. He chose the biggest bear of them all (one my mum bought me when I was 15). It’s actually bigger than him! This bear is already being dragged up and down stairs, in and out of rooms and some of its stuffing has been pulled out already!
Poor Rolo. I think his choice of bear relates directly to how insecure he’s feeling!