Coping

They say that when you’re pregnant, your dogs can sense that something is up.  With Bean, this was true.  Lucy and Molly stayed closer to me, were quieter, and were gentler during my whole pregnancy.  And then Bean came along and their lives changed forever.

This time around is slightly different.  For one thing, the dogs don’t sense that something is up.  They KNOW.  And they KNOW exactly what’s going on.  They’ve seen this before.  And, trust me, they are none too pleased about this unexpected turn of events.

Each dog is preparing for the arrival of our second baby very differently.  Lucy is just angry.  Pissed off.  Mad.  She walks around snapping and barking.  She demands food.  Demands to be let out.  Refuses to get off the furniture.  Has no patience with Bean.  Hates us and her life.  Every so often I’ll catch her giving me the stink eye and I can see her thinking, “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me again.”

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Molly though is taking on a very unusual fascination since I’ve become pregnant.  The closer we get to welcoming Baby Gracie, the more obsessed Molly becomes with shadows and light beams.

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It’s almost like she knows that our time is getting ready to be taken up even more and so she better go ahead and find a new way to keep herself entertained.  And shadows and light beams have become her coping mechanism.  We started noticing this weird new thing a couple weeks ago.  Every night that we sat on the couch and watched TV, Molly was right under our feet.  Which is pretty normal.  But she wasn’t interested in us or what was going on around us.  She was interested in the shadows and light that the TV made dance under the table.  She fixed her eyes on them and every fiber of her being waited in nervous anticipation for one of those shadows that the TV cast to flash up under the living room table.

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It is the weirdest thing Chris and I have ever seen. It’s like Molly is possessed. She’ll sit and stare at them for oddly long amounts of time. In fact, these pictures all look like they were taken in sequence really quickly, but they were actually taken over the course of several hours. She just never moved. For hours. Oh, except for her tail. Her tail wags violently the whole time she’s sitting there.

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I think she’s cracking up. I think bringing Bean into her life was a big change, but bringing another baby into her life might have actually pushed her over the edge. And I feel bad for her. I really do. I know just how she feels. Sometimes I find myself wishing I could climb under the coffee table and not deal with anything else, too. But change is a fast-moving freight change, my friend. And Molly hears the whistle blowing. She just won’t stop staring at the tracks.

*****
Today I am grateful that Chris cooks dinner every night.

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23 Thoughts to “Coping”

  1. You need a dog whisperer…maybe that’ll get to the bottom of it…

  2. Lisa

    Its been a while since you posted about your dogs! Its funny how they can sense something is up. A friend of mine’s baby girl was born into a family of 3 golden retrievers and they ended up adjusting very well to her and seem to know that they need to be more gentle and less excitable around her. Doesn’t stop her from getting a wagging tail to the face every once and a while but at least they’re trying!

  3. That cracked me up! so if you played the game where you shine a flashlight on the floor and move it around like your at a club or something would she go totally crazy?

  4. Amy

    Aww… poor Molly. I bet once she meets your sweet girl she will be reassured that the world is not, in fact, coming to an end 🙂 Our cats to weirdo stuff like this all the time (mood swings, chasing shadows, staring at non-existent spiders, etc…) so I have a feeling that when we introduce babies into the mix in a couple years they won’t be phased at all.

  5. During my pregnancy, our dog was certain something was up. Especially when we started bringing home loads and loads of baby stuff. And when Kate finally arrived and we brought her home, our dog could not for the life of her figure out where that crying sound was coming from! We kept trying to show her the baby, but it look a while for her to put two and two together. Now that Kate is almost 8 months, our dog loves her because she tosses food on the ground. 🙂

  6. whoa–that’s crazy that your dogs can both sense and adjust their behavior. hope molly isn’t possessed!!

  7. Thats pretty cute. But something tells me when you Chris and Bean aren’t looking they will be sneaking kisses to Gracie. Besides they know if they are patient enough the high chair and sharing of food is right around the corner. 🙂

  8. Poor puppies. It’s amazing what animals can sense. Thanks for stopping by my blog by the way 🙂

  9. My dog is the one that told me I was pregnant! They definitely know, and I think our second will push Bailey over the edge, too. I can’t wait to find out what her coping strategy is. I just hope it’s not eating the carpet or tormenting the cat!

  10. Jessica

    I’m sure both dogs will be excited when Gracie starts dropping food from her high chair. This blog (which is not mine), http://babiesandbeasts.blogspot.com , has some really great info on living with kids and pets and how to prepare dogs for babies. Obviously you’ve already done it once so I’m sure you know how to do things but just in case you want some info from another mom of kids and dogs. I think this post http://babiesandbeasts.blogspot.com/search/label/NILIF might help you with keeping Lucy from having her little hissy fits 🙂

  11. The shadow and light thing is so bizarre! Hopefully the dogs will be less grouchy/angry once Gracie arrives.

  12. Verity

    I saw this on an episode of It’s the dog or me? with Victoria Stillwell – its like some sort of doggy OCD and you have to try and snap them out of it by distracting them with something else I think. As a new mummy of an 11 week old baby and a 2 year old lab I would love to know how you manage the dog walks?! We have just had to postpone our dog walkers while I am on maternity leave so I am using a sling to take the dog and baby out together but phew its tiring now the baby weighs so much! how do you schedule in the lab love of running and walking with a baby?! BTW now I have a baby I am re-reading all your archives for when Bean was the same age! love this blog!!

  13. Leah

    At least they’re just moody or “possessed”:-). Mine have decided that if I’m going to be preggers (it’s our first so they don’t REALLY know what’s going on) that they are going to make sure whatever comes out of me knows that it’s their house. In other words my 5 year old potty trained boys have become marking fiends. It’s driving me out of my mind. I’m hoping it ends when Hailey gets here but for now I’m crating them again during the day while I’m at work…it feels so mean but I can’t handle the constant stain treating and smell. Stanley Steamer came, I gave them one more chance to stay out during the day. They both failed so up the go. The poor things just aren’t ready to go from being my furbabies to dogs. 🙁

  14. Ann C

    The same thing that’s happening to Leah is happening to me. All 4 of our dogs have decided to unleash their furry on our house. One day they’re going to catch me and my hormones & wish they had kept their legs crossed. They will soon find themselves living in the garage if they don’t straighten up. **I would rather have a crazy Molly than be buying stock in Swiffer’s instead of Pampers.

  15. Shelley

    Molly could be developing OCD. It can be a manifestation of stress and anxiety . You need to snap her out of it. Talk to the vet or try an OTC remedy for calming.

  16. I saw an episode of Dog Whisperer where a dog did what Molly is doing. Apparently it can become quite a problem. But I don’t remember how they fixed it, and come to think of it it may have been Me Or The Dog.

    I’m not particularly helpful today, am I?

  17. we have a lab and he LOVES chasing laser lights. you should try it with molly and see if she can see it. i run it outside at night in the dark and my dog chases it like a crazy man. its great though cause he gets exercise and i dont have to walk him!!!

  18. This is my first and my dog knows something is up and it isn’t something that works in his favor. He has been super jealous and needy since the start! Lately he has started acting out by digging up the yard or taking our little girl’s toys outside. She isn’t even here yet and he is already acting like he is completely neglected! I am hoping this will get better once she gets here.

  19. Dogs sense the strangest things. When my husband isn’t home, or if I’m mad about something, or if we’re leaving for a few days, Mia (our dog) just acts ‘off’.

    About your “grateful” blurb today, what does Chris cook every night? I’m curious because 1. I am still learning the art of cooking for two adults without having mass amount of leftovers and 2. I want to encourage my husband that he can cook too. 🙂

  20. That is so funny. My cat is obsessed with shadows too. Whenever I do the dishes, he chases my shadow on the floor, which, oddly enough, started right around the time I learned I was pregnant. Hmmmm…

  21. Jennifer

    that’s funny about the dogs but what I can’t believe is that Chris cooks every night?????? Chris should blog about that, you know some man recipes that I could pass off to my man 😉

  22. Lindsay Z

    I would talk to your vet re: Molly’s behavior. It is a disorder and can be treated. http://doglinks.co.nz/problems/barry_place/obsessive_compulsive_behavior.htm

  23. My dogs had no clue about the pregnancy. None. There was a day or two when I thought they might but no. Since we’ve brought the baby home, I think they’re just hoping that we’ll take her back real soon. They don’t like having a new puppy around that they can’t play with.

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