Over the weekend Nate and I attended a 2 hour “class” at Wake Med called Pets + Babies. The presenter had a lot of good things to say about how to handle the pets when bringing home new babies. A lot of it was common sense but it all made perfect sense and really it can’t hurt to be reminded that dogs are dogs, and not, in fact, the furry people we (I) sometimes think of them as. All in all I’m not worried about the animals being hostile towards the baby. What I do think is that they will be extremely curious about him, Layne will probably be a little nervous around him, and they don’t always remember to do important things like “keeping all four feet on the floor at the same time” so that’s high on my list of things to work on. That’s also kind of why we hired the new trainer in the first place; to help us get a better handle on the dogs and discipline and making sure they know the pecking order and know what is expected of them behavior wise. One of the suggestions that was made at the class was to be able to give the dog a command you know he will be successful at (like sit, or go lay down, or something) which will help make the dog feel better because he will know what’s expected of him and he won’t have to wonder what to do or how to act around this new thing you’re bringing home. So we’re going to be working back to basics at home over the next few months to make sure we really have the basic obedience down.
Now, before going to this class, Nate grabbed a pen and paper in case we needed to make any notes. While the presenter was speaking I noticed he would occasionally scribble something down on the notepad. I thought that was really cute, that he was taking notes! He was really paying attention and thought the class was useful! He was getting something out of it! How sweet!
And then after class I saw his notes.
- “Dogs notice posture” – This was in respect to dogs knowing something is changing with me. They can tell that pregnancy is affecting my posture and how I move, so I’ll have to work on that. This may also have been the first and only serious thing he wrote down.
- “Cats are evil and pee on things” – OK so maybe that’s not exactly what she said. She suggested that often when cats acts out, they do it by peeing places they’re not supposed to, but that cats are obviously pretty independent as it is so they may adjust with no problem.
- “Name toys” – Oh! I was wrong! More serious notes! This was to help encourage the dogs to learn what their toys are so you can tell them to “go get your Bobo” and they will bring back the pink loofa dog with a sense of accomplishment for doing what you want.
- “Tether dogs to cats.” – This was in response to her suggestion that if you don’t feel comfortable with your dogs being free to roam around the baby, even at night if the baby is in your room, you can tether them to something. I do not recommend tethering them to the cats, nor did our instructor.
- “Get sound CD. Tether dogs to CD” – Halfway serious? Maybe? She suggested we get a CD of baby crying noises to help get the dogs used to the potential new sounds. I also am not entirely sure that tethering the dog to the CD would be a good idea or even remotely helpful.
- “Lift dog from floor. Put on cat.” – Apparently picking something (like a cat) up off the floor will instantly make the cat more interesting to the dog. Picking a baby up off the floor might have the same results. I do not recommend sitting your dog on your cat. Or your baby for that matter.
- “Get scat mats and put them everywhere” – Apparently there are these things called “ScatMats” that use static to repel cats from going certain places by “a low power 3 second static pulse” but I don’t think he realized that it will also work on the dogs.
- “Cats are animals. Dogs are angels.” – I think you can see where this is going.
- “Cats are jerks” – Right.
So apparently 2 hours later, all he got out of the class was “cats are jerks,” and really all I have to say to that is “duh.” They might be jerks, but they’re cute furry adorable loveable jerks and I love them anyways! Anyways, his notes made me laugh so I thought I’d share them.
I don’t mean to make it sound like we thought the class was a waste of time or anything. We definitely got some good suggestions out of it and we think it was well worth it. Just maybe it wasn’t as note-worthy as I had originally thought.