When Harrison and I got our black lab puppy, Meeko, I was 5 months pregnant with our daughter Wylden. We got all kinds of comments about how crazy we were for getting a dog right before the transition of having a baby, but I’m going to tell you a few good reasons why we thought and still think it was a great idea for our little family!
1. It makes for an easier transition
Before Meeko, Harrison and I could essentially do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted! We could just hop in the car and head to dinner downtown or spontaneously go out of town for the weekend. But when we got Meeko, that allll changed! (Totally worth it, though!) With Meeko, we had to think through, does the restaurant have a patio with outdoor seating? Is the place we’re traveling dog-friendly? Do we need to find someone to stay with him, feed him, take him on walks, or let him out while we’re gone? Do we need to bring a leash, dog food, or water bowl?
It felt like a good stepping stone of letting go of some of the “independence” & “freedom” that come with being kid-less, or dog-less. Now with Wylden, it’s similar questions. Do we need to pack a bottle, pouch, or snacks? Is this place kid-friendly? Do we need to arrange a baby-sitter? Are we willing to deal with the late night consequences of keeping her up past her bedtime? (; But it doesn’t feel quite so earth-shaking because I believe Meeko helped ease us into it.
2. it helps you hold more loosely to things and tighter to things that aren’t things
In our house, I love for things to be clean. (I didn’t say I love to clean, I said I love for things to be clean.) And having a dog makes that infinitely harder! Hehe. Muddy paw prints on the floor, dog hair in all the corners, dirty baseboards, chewed up bark and sticks across the house, mud on our all white walls. (I had to pick all white, didn't I?) And now, the beloved Antrhopologie bedspread that we splurged on as newlyweds has a nice dull, orange-ish clay stain from quite a few puppy snuggles.
BUT, I wouldn’t trade the snuggles & wet nose & figure 8s between my legs & tag around the house for cleaner walls or bedspread. The same way I wouldn’t trade spit up on my favorite shirt or the unsweet iced tea, coffee, or Chick-fil-A milkshake Wylden has knocked out of my hand time and time again for the amazing gift that she is to us!!!
3. your baby gets to grow up with a best friend
I can actually get pretty emotional when I fast forward thinking about how dogs don’t live as long as humans. It’s morbid, but I already hate thinking about the day Wylden will lose Meeko! They are already such good buddies and it’s so much fun to see them interact. Wylden had been in love with Meeko for a while and it seemed like as soon as she started crawling, he took a renewed interest in her too. She was finally big enough to play!
She waves her wubbanub (crazy name for her passie with a little lamb on it) in front of his face to tease him and they play gentle tug-of-war. As she climbs the steps to our upstairs, he stays with her every step and helps push her little booty up with his nose. She feeds him every other bite of her food from her high chair on the kitchen island and he licks her face when she’s done. It’s the sweetest relationship. They’re best buddies.
And, since Meeko was just a baby himself still when she was born, he didn’t have long enough to get too used to the idea of being spoiled and king of the house. He’s had to learn how to share (both his toys and our time & affection!)
I know I’m biased, but Meeko definitely helped prepare us for having a baby in more ways than one and watching these two grow up together is already bringing us SO much joy!! So, should you get a dog before you have a baby? My answer is YES!!! :)