My Two Kids - Dog is Baby's Best Friend

I wasn't so sure how Clarence would be with a baby sister. He's a dog (shhh!) after all. 

When AO came home from the hospital, he was automatically a good kind of protective. He'd get between anyone new and her baby bed. (But not in a mean way..In a good, "let me check you out" kinda way.) 

He'd go up and lick her face when she'd cry. (And it worked...she would stop.)  That doesn't work now, but they've moved on.

Now they play together. 

Meet Clarence. Also known as Arleigh's favorite chair. 
He's the first one to wake her up in the morning. He plows past me pushing open the door and gate into her room and starts huffing, whining and spinning in circles until she wakes up. He also licks her face and feet or whatever body part he can reach through the crib bars. (He's REALLY happy to see her.) This little trick is not so adorable when Clarence thinks she's napped or slept long enough, and HE decides it's time to wake her. It happens, too, unfortunately for Mama. His parents aren't exciting enough now that AO is in his world.

AO kisses Clarence and gives him real hugs. Probably 10x as many as she gives her Mama and Daddy. I wish I were joking, because I would LOVE some of that TLC from my kiddo.  And they are just sporadic. She randomly goes up and plants a big ole kiss on his shiny wet nose. The hugs are pretty precious, too. Maybe I should spend more time down on her level. (I'm jealous, can you tell?)

They play a mean game of keep away. Clarence keeps something and runs from AO, AO gets something and runs giggling hysterically from Clarence. This goes on for what seems like hours.Sometimes concluding with a tug-a-war game and the parents intervening. Bless it.

AO is concerned about Clarence's nutrition, so she feeds him from her highchair. Sometime he even wears the food because she's flinging it so fast. She also shares her snacks. She doesn't understand why she can't play in his food or water, though.  We've even caught her licking her tray like Clarence does. Yuck. Not much for southern manners and grace, there, honey. Cuts down on the silverware, though.

We take her toys away from Clarence, AO immediately gives it back to him. Same way with him. We take his toys from her, He picks it up and drops it at her feet.  At least she is really learning to share. They have a "what's mine is his" kinda friendship.

She rubs his belly. He nuzzles hers and makes her roll over. And PUSHES her over while she's laughing.  He gooses her with the big black nose. Again, she giggles hysterically.

He lays on the bathroom floor when she takes a bath and gets ready for bed.

He's the last one out of her room when she goes to bed at night. (EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.) 

Did I mention they were best friends? Like, Seriously.

From the beginning, we let them find their own way to mesh together. We haven't pushed it. And we haven't discouraged it. There are times when we have to tell Clarence to be gentle, or slow down. Same goes for Arleigh O. (HE LOVES running beside her in the hall and goosing her into the wall. And she HATES it. That's her least favorite game. The "Clarence is so excited to see me he knocks me into the wall" game. She's not a fan. Neither is her Mama. Just like she has to be closely watched rubbing the belly, because she's pulled parts that shouldn't be touched on ANY creature.)  But the majority of the time, they mesh so well together, they don't need intervention. Of course we watch them very closely, because he's still (gasp) a dog.  That's the best advice I can give on the dog-baby relationship. Let them do what comes natural if it's safe. Even the (icky) licking and kisses. Just let them be. Clarence is a very gentle-natured dog. And we do trust him. But safely monitoring the trust.

I never thought I would be an inside-the-house dog person. But he's Clarence. And he's the best rescued from a gutter-mutt-black-dog-child-brother on the planet.

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