Whenever I think of Allie and Emma, I think of the “Ruby and Max” theme song but replace their names. “Allie and Emma, Emma and Allie…” They are best friends. When we first brought Emma home from the hospital, we weren’t sure how things would go. We had been gone for four days and thanks to amazing friends, we knew Allie was alive and doing well. We weren’t sure how open she’d be to this new bundle of joy and the time it would take away from her.
We came home on Sunday afternoon after a long day at the hospital waiting to get discharged. Do you know how lonely a hospital is when you’ve been discharged and your child hasn’t been? I realized at 4pm that I hadn’t had my pain medication since that morning and as a momma with a c section wound, I NEEDED my meds. After a quick visit to Kroger to pick them up, my parents were already at the house waiting on us. They had taken Allie out and watered my flowers. Thanks mom and dad! We came in and Allie was more than excited to see us. Apparently, we had been away for 5 years and had just returned home. I love that part about Allie. It doesn’t matter if we’ve been gone 5 minutes or 5 days, she has the same excitement when we walk through the door. We let mom and dad watch Emma while we spent a little time alone with Allie. We loved on her and gave her a treat and reminded her of how much we loved her. After we felt some of the newness of our arrival had worn off, we brought out Emma to meet Allie for the first time. Emma was fast asleep and didn’t make a sound. Allie looked right past her like she didn’t even exist and went on about her way. This lasted until 10pm that night when Emma stretched and squealed, and Allie was on high alert. Someone was in the house and broke through her perimeter! She searched everywhere and finally realized that little noise came from my arms, and that’s the first time Allie officially met Emma.
As Emma has grown, she has come to love Allie just as much as Allie adored her in just those first few days of having her home. Allie wouldn’t leave the room Emma was in and she’s still that way. If Emma is in her room in her pack n play, you will find Allie right beside her. Emma loves to pet Allie. She squeals with delight every time Allie gives her a quick lick on the forehead. She has also learned how to pull Allie’s fur. Allie is very patient with her and has never snapped, but we are always quick to correct Emma and show her how to pet Allie rather than pull her fur. Allie loves us for this I’m sure. I’m seen those horror shows where the kids are allowed to run all over the house beating the dog, riding it like a horse, and terrorizing it until the dog is ready to pack it’s bags and leave. We wanted Emma to love Allie and she obviously does. Truthfully, if we left for 3 days, as long as Allie was nearby, Emma would be fine. She may not have food or water, but she would be entertained beyond words. When she cries, Allie is one of the only things that can cheer her up. Here’s the thing though, we knew Emma would love Allie. Our big thing is, we also want Allie to love Emma and here are some tips on how we’ve tried to make that work, and so far, it has.
*Allie is important. Allie was our child before Emma arrived. Does that mean Allie is more important? Not at all. It does, however, mean that Allie knows she was here first. She was in this home when it was just the three of us. Her life was seriously rocked when we brought home a baby and she became #2. We didn’t want her to become the knick knack you put up in the attic that you find 5 years later with dust and cob webs all over it. Shortly after Emma was born and we finally got use to no sleep, we planned an Allie day. An Allie day is when the grandparents or a close friend comes over to give Emma a play date and we take Allie out on the town. We’ve taken Allie to the dog park for a day of fun. She has regular play dates and occasional walks with us and/or Max. In November, we took her to Pals for a hotdog for her birthday. That was a bad idea. Vomit all over the floor is NEVER a good idea. The most recent Allie moment was JR just taking her out for a ride through town while he ran some errands. She was in love. She comes home refreshed and you can tell her tank is just FULL of love after Allie moments.
*Allie is BIG sister. From the very beginning, we have allowed Allie to love Emma. She is allowed to be in the room with Emma unless she is sleeping in her bed. This is the only time Allie is not around. Allie is very protective and wants to be wherever Emma is. If someone else is holding Emma, she’s fine with it, as long as she’s near by to watch over her and protect her from any harm that may come her way. Allie spends time with Emma and we all play together. There are times she wants to be too rough and we correct her and move on. We are trying really hard to remember the different between a sin and a mistake, even with Allie. When she doesn’t do something on purpose and it’s honestly a mistake, we try to simply correct and not scold her too hard. When Allie goes and pees in the floor while looking at me- that’s a sin. She knows full well what she is doing and is trying to send a message. Please still come over to my house. I promise I clean after any accidents like this!
*Allie is still Allie. She is going to play. She is going to throw her toys around while growling and barking along the way. We don’t want to interrupt her playtime and she shouldn’t be fussed at for doing something that for her is normal and not causing anyone any harm. We have never been parents that demand things to be completely quiet- we want Emma to learn how to sleep and rest in noise. Allie is allowed to play and do her thing without interruption. Unless it’s 1am. That’s bed time Allie!
*Allie is family. There are times when things get tough and we are at our wits end. We are about to pull out hair out and we’re about to blow. In these moments, there might be times where the EASY thing to do is kick Allie out or find her a new home. But Allie is family. Allie isn’t going anywhere. She is OUR puppy- mistakes and all. We are proud to be her “parents” and even more proud of the love and care she shows Emma. We don’t allow certain words in our home. Divorce is one, relocation is another.
How have you worked to get your pets and kids to get along? Any advice you would like to share?