When Chad and I got married he also inherited my dog, Scooter, and my cat, Sukie. Scooter is a beagle/basset mix that was a graduation gift to myself after I finished my master’s degree! I had another cat, Emmie, all during college, but sadly I had to have her put down right after Chad and I got engaged. He was hoping I would wait until after we were married to get a new cat, but about a month later I brought home Sukie!
Scooter is a very happy, easy-going dog! I had seen him around other kids and he always seemed to do well. He hates bicycles, but otherwise enjoyed playing with kids and babies. Sukie, on the other hand, has always hid when kids come over. She does not have any claws, so I was never worried about her hurting them; I just knew she was not particularly fond of them!
I think that animals are very aware, and they knew something was coming! Sukie was even getting into Ryder’s crib while I was still pregnant! When I had Ryder almost 8 weeks early, Scooter went to stay with Chad’s parents in Levelland. I was anxious to get him back home, though, just for a sense of normalcy! I think Sukie was particularly deprived of attention while we were going back and forth to the hospital, but rather than acting out I think she was acting more loving than ever! We started bringing home Ryder’s blankets from the hospital when they needed to be washed, but we always let Scooter sniff them for a good while first! Scooter went back to Levelland for those first couple of days after we brought Ryder home. They finally met on January 23rd, and Scooter would not leave Ryder’s side!
Those first few nights with Scooter and Ryder were a little wild! Scooter would get up every time Ryder cried. I think he was concerned about his brother! It didn’t take long, though, before Scooter started sleeping through all the noise.
I think Sukie has been the most surprising to me! Everyone was so concerned about us having a cat and a baby, but she seems to be rather protective of her brother! Sukie is ALWAYS close by Ryder! Her favorite thing to do now is to watch Ryder get baths! She even gets up with me for the nighttime feedings.
I think it was helpful to bring home Ryder’s scent before we brought him home. I also still take Scooter for jogs with just him and me to make sure he gets enough attention. As I mentioned before, Sukie is so much more affectionate now even with strangers, but I try to remember to still brush her and give her attention!
I think Ryder’s childhood will be that much richer with the love of his pets!