Man’s best friend is a phrase you often hear about how loyal dogs are and how they make the best companions. The same goes for children.
Growing up, my 3 sisters and I were constantly around animals. I blame my animal-loving mother. At one point we had 9 animals, including 3 dogs, 1 rabbit, 1 guinea pig, 1 blind squirrel, 1 hamster and 2 fish. You could say it was a zoo. However crazy it was, it taught me responsibility, companionship, respect and kindness. To this day, I truly appreciate these traits in both myself and others. Observing how others care for animals is a pretty good inclination as to how they treat other people.
Long before my husband and I thought about having children, he gave me permission to adopt a dog. We named him Leland. And it was Leland who kept me company throughout the tail-end of our 5 years of long distance. Leland’s sweet disposition and lovingness had turned my husband into a dog lover.
Fast forward 4 years to the day from when Leland was born, our son Liam was born. Don’t even ask me why we named them so similarly. It’s insanely hard to not get tongue tied when calling their names. Before bringing Liam home from the hospital, my mother took one of Liam’s baby blankets home to Leland to let him smell and get used to. Once we arrived home from the hospital for the first time, Leland was very curious to meet this new baby. It took a matter of minutes for them to both share my lap. Below is the first photo of Liam and Leland together on the day we came home from the hospital.
Ever since the two met, they’ve been great friends. Any time Liam cries, Leland is right there to help or come get me for help. Liam has mastered the art of playing fetch with Leland, which keeps them both entertained for hours. And finally, Liam is learning the words gentle, be nice and how to love on Leland. Thankfully, Leland is a very patient dog and would never do anything to hurt Liam. Leland is baby’s best friend and I’m so thankful that Liam is growing up with a dog in the family.
I know some dogs are just not friendly or patient with kids, so be mindful of this when considering bringing a dog into the home. When a dog is first meeting the baby, be very careful with the introductions and carefully monitor how well they get along to ensure both baby and dog are safe.