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"Friendship isn't about whom you have known the longest, its who came and never left your side."
I had always heard about great stories of friendship between a dog and a human. Its all about unconditional love. But this all sounds great until you have a baby.
Today I am sharing a beautiful journey of friendship between Chukoo (our pet at my mom's house) and my son- Shrihaan has grown through different stages i.e. Starting as an acquaintance to getting friendly to evolving friendship to best buddies now.
But it all dint start as lovely as its sounds.To explain the stage today... let me take you little backwards in time. How it all started? In 2015, august my family(parents side) welcomed their new member Chukoo( an adorable pug). In no time, he became the apple of everyones eye in the family .Everybody was showering their love to this youngest member of the clan. Months passed and We(I and my husband) (My husband and I) announced about the addition to our family too.Time went by and I was at my pad for the delivery of my baby and the after care. Everybody was excited to welcome the newest member but little did we know about the challenges that were coming . It almost always happens that with the arrival of a new baby, we often ignore our pet babies.
We too were so immersed in basking our love for Shrihaan that we cared less to learn about tricks of how to bridge a gap between a new baby and an old pet baby.
Nevertheless.. its better to be late then never. So, this time before coming to my mom's place for a vacation...I had this agenda clear on my mind. I wanted my son who has just turned one year old to befriend Chukoo. For which I did my home work. And after an intense research, I framed few rules to begin with. Like,
🌺They should be properly introduced to each other. But how?
By Acting Normal. With courage I allowed Chukoo to sniff the baby's foot, perhaps with that scented sock.By allowing chukoo to actually look at, smell and touch him, he understood there's nothing to fear.
By giving Ownership. Tried referring Shrihaan as belonging to Chukoo, like “Chukoo's baby brother.” Yes, it sounds silly, but just saying the words changes the attitude which can be comforting and calming to our pets.
By rewarding Calm Confidence. Praising him when he behave well.
By associating Good and positive things. Dogs quickly learn to associate the baby with what’s important to them. If you ignore or yell at them when the infant is near, the baby will acquire negative associations. So I Figured out what Chukoo loves and link it to Shrihaan's presence.
🌺Never allow him to interfere or go closure to Chukoo when he is eating, chewing a bone or holding a toy.
🌺 Actively participating in the daily care of Chukoo. We( I, Chukoo and Shrihaan) go along on daily walks or help refill the water bowl. The more our child participates in our dog’s care, the more they will grow to trust and love one another.
🌺Teach babies how to properly touch a dog.Babies and toddlers are just learning about the world and their instinct is to grab everything that catches their interest. Dogs may see any of these gestures as a potential threat and snap at the child. Hence, I am training Shrihaan that dogs prefer to be touched on the side of their face or under their chin. Also they must never sneak up on him or touch him when he’s sleeping.
A tip for supervising adults
🌺Know the dog’s stress signals and body language like tucked tails, flattened ears and lowered eyes. These are the signs that your dog may be feeling overwhelmed. Once you get these signals, its better to divert both of them into different directions! 😄
So thats how, with little effort from my side, my son has got his BFF. I feel so good to be able to see the unspoken love song between these two.
Signing off on that note.
Stay tuned !