music in the park san jose


So, does Lucy still share space in your bed?

my mother-in-law asked me earlier this week.

Yep,

I said.

We can’t exactly kick her out now.

Lucy, of course, is our 4-year-old miniature dachshund who has
been sleeping peacefully each night between my husband, Chris, and
I since the day we brought her home four years ago.
“So, does Lucy still share space in your bed?” my mother-in-law asked me earlier this week.

“Yep,” I said. “We can’t exactly kick her out now.”

Lucy, of course, is our 4-year-old miniature dachshund who has been sleeping peacefully each night between my husband, Chris, and I since the day we brought her home four years ago.

Well, nearly since the first day we brought her home. The first night home, after choosing Lucy from two squirming litters of impossibly small puppies, we foolishly thought she would sleep soundlessly in the kitchen in her newly purchased kennel.

We were wrong. While she hadn’t yet discovered her bark, Lucy wept like she was being mauled until Chris or I rescued her and tucked her in between us. To this day, Chris and I argue over who caved first. But what matters most is from that night on we have slept like babies.

That is until we learned we were expecting one. That was precisely nine months ago. Since then, we’ve been worried about Lucy and any “sibling rivalry” she may experience. Namely, fits of rage and jealously driving her to defecate us out of house and home.

But when we look at our little cherub we can’t help but think she’ll be the perfect guardian and companion for our little one.

I know deep down we’re in for a shock and Lucy is in for an even bigger one. She will no longer be the queen of the roost, the king of the mountain, the apple of her mother’s eye.

She’ll take second fiddle to a crying, pooping bundle who will want to stay in her mom’s arms all day. Lucy won’t understand that she’ll have to share my lap and that I only have one pair of hands.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been slathering Lucy with attention for the past few months. As my due date approaches, I feel a little guiltier about her imminent neglect.

“You haven’t weaned that dog yet?” my dad asked me earlier this month, observing Lucy cuddled on my lap one evening after dinner.

“I can’t help it,” I said.

And I can’t. Lucy has, in fact, been our baby. She thinks she’s more person than dog – and I know we only have ourselves to blame. But if you could just see her, trust me, you would have done the same.

In many ways, Lucy has helped me prepare for the real thing. As my mother-in-law says, you make all your mistakes on your dog. I think she’s right. Chris and I have probably broken every dog owner’s rule. Lucy sleeps with us. She gets unlimited treats. She has a supply of toys at her disposal. She’s allowed to jump up on our furniture. But, you have to remember, she’s our baby.

But then I’m reminded she’s not. And the real one will be here any day and nudge Lucy out of her position in our family.

A few months ago, Chris and I ran into friends of ours in downtown Gilroy. The wife of the couple eagerly asked me if we had prepared Lucy for the baby.

“Prepared?” I asked genuinely perplexed. “How do you do that?”

She told me that I had better start soon and recalled how their dog didn’t eat for a week when they brought their baby home.

So, I did what every responsible parent would do – I bought a book on the Internet called “There’s a Baby in the House! Preparing Your Dog For The Arrival of Your Child.”

It’s written by a so-called dog expert who has taught many parents how to help Junior and Fido co-exist harmoniously.

The author warns you to read every section of the book and skipping the first section that reviews common canine behavior problems won’t do your child any favors.

Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that Lucy shows acute symptoms of nearly every behavior problem and we only had about three months to solve every one. So, I did what every responsible parent would do – hope for the best.

I tried the little tricks the second half of the book suggested. Like getting Lucy used to spending more than five minutes away out of my presence and making her sit and stay more than she’s used to.

I stopped short of carrying a doll around the house with me and trying to introduce her to small children. I felt a little foolish about the first. And she growls at her own reflection sometimes so I thought the latter would be futile.

But I have some hope. A couple of months ago, a friend of mine brought over a 4-month-old that she was baby-sitting. Lucy all but jumped into the baby’s seat as she eagerly sniffed him. She didn’t growl. She didn’t bark. She did OK.

Only time will tell. In just a few short days, Lucy will no longer be the baby of our household, but at least she knows that she will always have a space to sleep tucked in between us.

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