Tuesday, February 28, 2012

An Update on "The Boys"

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled baby updates for something....different....

It's no secret to anyone who knows us that our dogs are not just dogs...they're members of our family. We were only married 1 month before adding Gershwin to the mix and Lennon happened upon our family just 6 months later. So really we've never known what it's like to not have them.

Starting around week 8 of my pregnancy both of the dogs started to become a bit more clingy with me. They have always been very loving but I'm convinced that they know I'm pregnant. They fight over who sits nearest me and never ever ever approach K when they need food, water, or a trip outside. They still enjoy playing with him when he offers, of course, and they are always so excited when he comes home after an evening of practicing or studying. He takes them out to play while I make lunch and dinner every day and they love the time outside with him. However, it never fails that when given an option they choose to come to me for attention. On most days I think it's sweet but on others I want so badly for them to quit pestering me! :-)

Gershwin is such a sweet dog. He loves attention from anyone and is very sweet about asking for it. He'll come and sit nicely in front of you and stretch his head forward with a pleading look in his eyes. If that doesn't work he'll gently paw until he has your attention. He rarely licks but his favorite thing is to gently nose up to a new person's face and sniff them. Don't worry, though...only if you let him! He's pretty good about giving up the conquest for people who aren't interested but that leads to him throwing himself on the floor and sighing as loudly as possible. Dramatic. His favorite activities are roaming and taking walks because those are his best opportunities to explore. His purpose in life is to sniff and explore everything. He loves to play with Lennon and frequently resorts to ramming into him while he's busy with his Frisbee to remind him that there are more important things in life than flying discs....like brothers!

Lennon is a lover. K and I refer to Lennon's brand of affection as "fierce love" because he doesn't know how to give or receive it without going a little overboard. He runs in circles while people pet him, loves being in people's laps, and will lick every inch of you if you let him. Basically, people who don't like stereotypical dogs can't stand Lennon and true "dog people" think he's perfectly adorable. We are those people! His favorite activity is anything that involves his frisbee. It is an obsession that was truly born into him and K has become quite the budding trainer for him. They spend a good amount of time every day outside working on new tricks and throws while Gershwin explores new smells in the yard. Lennon is extremely intelligent, fast, and driven...the perfect combination for a disc dog. This time outside enjoying his frisbee time with K is absolutely essential to keeping his energy level under control and is the best way to work on training with him. We love him so much and can't quite imagine what life would be like without him and his big brother!

I have done a lot of reading up on the best ways to acclimate dogs to life with a newborn and tips for keeping balance when bringing the baby home. We're both agreed that doing everything we can in advance to prepare ourselves and the dogs for the transition is best. For Lennon this means lots of work on knowing when to be calm, not jumping, and less licking. For Gershwin this means working on not pushing boundaries (for instance, staying out of LDB's stuff). We take their training and well-being very seriously so we're prepared to do whatever it takes to help them transition to how to behave with a baby in the house. K and I are both trying to anticipate problems and work on them now so I think by the time we bring LDB home Gershwin and Lennon will be as prepared as possible.

If you're shaking your head in disbelief that I just wrote that much about my dogs please refer to paragraph number one :-)


Esther said...

I am NOT shaking my head, haha...because I have one and I know how they spawn words!

Are you using clicker training on them?

I wanted to teach Tweed to catch a disc, but I don't think I'm going about it right, and don't have time right now anyway.


Beccamazing said...

Esther, we did use clicker training for a while with Gershwin but we haven't worked with it in a long time. It definitely works with the right dog!