momlife, The Salties

Fur Babies and Baby-Babies

The minute we moved into our house, I started dog hunting. I pored over animal rescue group Facebook pages, I searched City-funded shelters, I even looked up breeders and in pet stores. I knew my dog’s name was Ace, I knew he was under a year old, and I knew in my heart he was out there somewhere just waiting for me to find him and bring him home.

I had puppy fever.

And when we found him, I swear to God, it was love at first sight. My husband and I looked at each other and said, “This is Ace.” And when we got him out of the kennel to take him home, I swear to you, he knew we were his people, and he knew who we were. He pulled us until we were basically horizontal, straight to our car (he magically knew which one was ours his), waited impatiently until we opened the car door, and jumped right in. And he never looked back. And neither did we.

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We called him our baby. We fed him the best of foods, paid for the most expensive trainers, and bought him about 1100 beds until we found the one he liked best. He had a million toys, he had playdates, he had long walks on the beach and hours at the park. People were like, “when are you going to have babies?” And we’re like, “we have one.”
They always responded with side eye, a smug little smirk, or sometimes with distaste, like what we’d said was offensive at best, sacrilege at worst. “Wait until you get kids, you’ll see. It’s different.”

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And so we got a kid. And I know you think you know where this is going.

But Ace is still our baby.

We still celebrate his birthday each year with a cake. His new leash cost more than my purse did. He has beds in each room of the house, and custom-made water and food bowls that we bought for him on Etsy. We photograph him. We walk him. We love him. He is our vacuum cleaner, our motivation to stay active, and our evening-tv-time-snuggler. We tell the kids that Ace was here first, and that he is their big brother, and they need to respect him. And they love him, and they mostly accept that this is the way things go.

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So no, Judgey McJudgersons, we didn’t ditch Ace the moment people-babies entered our household. We taught him to run alongside a baby stroller, and to stay in his spot in the house and away from the kids’ rooms, and we taught the Salties that Ace is not a pony or a plaything or a jungle gym. And we keep a very close eye on them because, let’s be honest, life is unpredictable and dogs are dogs and kids are kids.

And Ace? Ace is family. From long before he actually arrived until long after he is gone, he’s our family. And he always will be.

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11 thoughts on “Fur Babies and Baby-Babies”

  1. I have been there. We got Gordon as a puppy and I’ll never forget what it was like to bring him home. He was like a child. A perpetual toddler. We all loved him fiercely and he had such precious qualities (like bringing me a paci whenever our newborn was going to nap). He was incredibly intelligent and constantly outsmarted me. He was SO high maintenance, energy-wise. After hours at the dog park, he still wouldn’t be tired.

    SO when I got a full-time job (because we were desperate to pay our bills), and we were moving into an 800 sqft apartment with no yard, I knew it would be so, so cruel to keep him in that space, alone, for hours and hours. We found an Airedale rescue service so he never went to a shelter, and now he lives with an amazing family with tons of people to love on him… but it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I cried for so long. The only thing that gave me comfort was that I was making the best choice I knew how to make, FOR HIM.

    Check out his hashtag on IG to see how cute he was: #gordongolden.

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  2. Ace sounds a lot like our Sookie. Once we had a baby, she became even more of our baby though. We hardly ever travel without her and she’s even more spoiled

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  3. I love this post. My husband and I got an Airedale puppy about 3 years ago. He was absolutely precious and definitely like a perpetual toddler. I was a stay at home mom at the time, and devoted lots of time every day to keeping him active. Walks and the dog park every day, no matter what the weather. He was so high energy and never got tired. But he was the smartest dog ever and SO sweet and protective over my kids. When he’d see my newborn going down for a nap, he would come and bring me a paci to give for her (to be fair, he had stolen it in the first place… lol).

    Then I got a full time job because we couldn’t pay bills. We downsized our place to an 800 sqft apartment with no yard. And I couldn’t keep him. I didn’t think it was fair to him to be cooped up, alone, day after day. We connected with an Airedale rescue team and he never saw the inside of a shelter. Now he lives in a nearby city with another family who renamed him Rufus. Surrendering him was one of the hardest things I had to do! So many tears, but ultimately I made the decision for him.

    If you want to see him, and some serious cuteness, check out his old hashtag on IG: #gordongolden.

    I miss him all the time!

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    1. I’m sorry you couldn’t keep your little man, but you have to do what’s right for everyone. If he wouldn’t have been happy (which it sounds like he wouldn’t have!) you did the responsible thing and found him somewhere that he COULD be happy. That sounds some good dog-momming to me!

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  4. Oh I love this so much. Ace seems like the perfect dog and I love that he gets along with your kids! I also love that he knew your car when you first got him..i say finding him was meant to be!

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