Before James came along we had Howie. Okay, so we didn’t “have” Howie, considering he’s a dog but we adopted him from a shelter. We had both been raised with dogs and wanted one of our own. But we lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment and couldn’t justify having a dog in that little starter home. Eventually we got a three bedroom townhouse and decided it was time.
We wanted a golden retriever. The hubby grew up with one. I got to know her (Amber) too. We wanted to a get a golden rescue but since everyone under the sun has the same idea, the wait was long. So we went to the humane society. We had gone into look at another dog, a lab named Star. She what we thought we wanted. A golden lab, a girl…perfect. We got to the shelter and we were essentially told Star just wasn’t ready for her forever home. But they had another dog, if we wanted to see him. Howard. (I have no idea who names a dog Howard) Howard was a border collie/husky mix. He was also a he. But there was something special about this dog and we decided he was the one.
We decided to call him Howie. Howard was a ridiculous thing to call him and we didn’t want to change his name, well because we bigger issues. We had behavioural problems. Howie was born on streets and had been returned once already. He had anxiety issues and the mix of his breeds meant he was highly intelligent and high energy. If he was left alone too often, he would get anxious and destructive. The beginning was hard but we’d made a commitment. So we worked with our vet and slowly but surely Howie became our baby. He’s a spoiled dog that thinks he has the right to kick humans off the couch because he wants to lie there. But we wouldn’t have him any other way.
Then we got pregnant with James. I was worried, not because I felt like he would ever hurt James but that Howie would act out. He started acting strange even when I was pregnant. Sometimes he’d want to be really close even so far as to follow me to the bathroom and stay while I bathed. Other times he wanted nothing to do with me. I knew eventually he would love James because Howie loves anyone who either gives him food and or throws him the ball. If you do both, he’ll love you forever.
We tried really hard to make Howie feel included but priorities change and James comes first. Howie definitely has shown signs of jealously. He’s also very smart and quickly caught on that people really like when he’s nice to the baby. It was hard for him, from going to the center of attention to being secondary. He still sometimes, when we’re fussing over the baby stands in the doorway looking pitifully sad.
James on the other hand loves Howie. Always watches him, randomly smiles at him. Plus, much to my chagrin has an unhealthy interest in Howie’s toys. He’s begin crawling of sorts and will always make the effort to get to Howie’s toy. (Nylabone and Chuckit ball) James much prefers these toys to any of his own. He’ll spot them and whine until they’re out of sight or until he can get to them. It is beyond annoying. Howie is ever patient, indulging him when he tries to pet him or take his toys. A few times Howie’s expectantly dropped his ball in front of James with the expectation of James to throw it. Howie, even while feeling jealous and sad, has been beyond amazing. There of course have been moments where Howie doesn’t understand how it’s different with James and not to say step on him. 😳 But we’re working on both of them being gentle with each other.
It’s just another thing that so beautiful to watch unfold. I love that they now both have constant companionship. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. I really truly feel that a child having a pet is a worthwhile beneficial experience. I’m so looking forward to their adventures.