We moved into our new house 2 weeks ago and it has been a flurry of unpacking ever since. Our enormous yard is still covered in far too much snow for the dogs to be able to really enjoy it, but we have gone for some really lovely walks around the neighbourhood.
Over all, we are all loving the new space. The dogs especially seem to love all the gorgeous light that comes in from the countless windows. We are spoiled in that regard, for sure.
The dogs have been doing so well lately that I find myself waiting for the ‘other shoe to drop’. I am forever thankful that they were both so healthy for my son’s first year of life. I truly don’t know how I would have handled the stress of a new baby and also the stress of one of boys being ill. But now that my son is 1 year old (HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!?!) I find myself holding my breath, and watching the dogs like a hawk. Surely this good fortune won’t last forever?
Speaking of which, Oslo is 10 years old this summer and I have noticed increase weakness in his rear end for the last 2 years now. At his last annual check up (in Dec) the vet agreed that he was definitely getting wobblier and attributes it to degenerative nerve damage from his traumatic surgery 7 years ago now. Of course we could bring him in to the Specialist for a CT scan… but at 10 years old, it hardly seems fair to put my old man through something so traumatic. I have resolved myself to the possibility that there is a chance that Oslo might be a ‘cart dog’ for the last year or two of his life. There are worse things.
Fortunately he doesn’t seem to be in any pain at all, and is his usual, naughty, silly, boundary-pushing self.
We are moving in 5 days. My house is overrun with packed boxes. We got a foot of snow this past weekend. My baby turns 1 year old on Friday. Life is hectic.
But look how adorable the 3 Amigos are together.
2018 is off to a busy start. In late November my husband & I fell in love with a house. We put in an offer, and decided “if it’s meant to be ours, we’ll get it… if it’s not, we won’t”. And low & behold, apparently it was meant to be ours.
We took possession January 5th, and since then it has been go-go-go nonstop to bring it up to 2018 electrical and plumbing codes. All of that is done now, and we are in the process of just making a few finishing touches to paint & tiles. There’s plenty more work to be done over the next few years, but the initial push to get it ‘move in ready’ is nearing completion. The moving truck rental is set for February 25th, just two days after my son’s 1st birthday.
It’s a beautiful 1933 Heritage Home with much of it’s original figures, charm, and elegance. It is also set on a 1/3rd of an acre lot, and is in one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods in town. We are very excited.
The dogs are going to LOVE having more yard space, and a new neighbourhood to explore on their daily walks. I can’t wait to show them their new home!
I’ve said before that seeing the pigs interact with my son is one of my favourite parts of motherhood. Today I wanted to talk a little bit more about their special relationship and how it has evolved since we brought our baby boy home from the hospital almost 1 year ago.
I won’t lie: The first month or two was chaotic. Jersey was, as usual, cool as a cucumber and didn’t give a single shit about anything.. But Oslo, in normal Oslo fashion, was anxious, obsessive, and manic. Every time I breast fed the baby (which, as any new parent would know, is basically 24/7) he would pace the room, quivering with anxiety, and do whatever he could to hump Jersey. I don’t know what it was about my feeing the baby that made him so unhinged, but it got to the point where we had to put Oslo away in a different room any time I fed the baby. Which, of course, made me feel terrible because it meant that he spent a good chunk of the day ‘put away’.
Oslo would do whatever he could to be close to the baby, meaning that we could never ever leave Bennett floor-level or Oslo would absolutely smother him. Ossie would stand around and quiver from excitement, just waiting for a small opportunity to get at the baby. It felt like he was constantly under foot– following me absolutely everywhere as I carried my 3 week old infant in my arms. I can’t tell you how many times I tripped over him as he followed me *much too closely* at all times.
I was dealing with my own anxieties, stress, and adjustment period, and I will admit that in those first few weeks I was not as patient as I could have been. There was a lot of sharp words and frustration from me, towards Oslo which I feel terribly about now. I knew that Oslo would be crazy for the first little while, but HOW CRAZY he was surprised even me. Over time though, Oslo & I both began to relax though, and things levelled out.
It took a few months, but slowly slowly slowly we started being able to put the baby on the ground, and have Oslo actually listen to us when we told him to “leave it” (the universal command we use for leaving something alone– whether it be a fallen piece of food, or a human child). Of course we would never leave the baby with Oslo unattended for even 1 minute, but it was nice being able to sit on the floor with Bennett, without having to pull Oslo off him (literally) every 10 seconds.
By about 5 months old, Bennett started to really noticed the dogs. He would reach out for them as they walked past him, and would smile & laugh at them if they did anything unusual– like sneeze, play with a squeaky toy, even bark. Benny thinks it’s hilaaaaarious when the dogs bark!
Oslo, being the showman that he is, seems to be aware that Benny is watching him, and seems to go out of his way to preform for him. With Benny a captive audience sitting in his jumperoo, Oslo will do spins on the carpet, the frenchie 500, and run back and forth with his most irritating squeaky toy in his mouth. Benny responds by scream-laughing so loudly that we often think something is wrong 😉
And now, when Benny is on the floor, Oslo will come over, give Benny a few too many kisses on the face, and then sit or lay next to him. Often Oslo will share Benny’s toys– finding something to chew on until my husband or I take it away. Benny doesn’t seem to mind sharing at all.
I don’t miss those manic early days where everything felt unhinged and I worried that our household would never find equilibrium again… But I also wouldn’t trade them for the world because I think they were a necessary stepping stone to get to this place. I am so excited to see their relationship develop as our son becomes more mobile.
(As for Jersey? He still doesn’t care about the baby either way. He will happily let the baby touch and pet him– because in Jersey’s world, any human touch is good touch– but doesn’t really go out of his way to be close to the baby or interact with him much beyond the occasional ear-snuffle.)
And just like that the holidays have come and gone, and we are already one week into a brand new year. We hope that your holiday season was warm & merry, and that the coming year is kind.
On November 29th, Jersey turned 7 years old. His birthday came and went without my noticing because I totally suck. Funnily enough, I forgot his birthday last year and remembered it on the exact same day (2 weeks later). So, at this point it looks like I am just starting a new tradition.
Seeing both dogs with my son is one of the best things ever. Oslo tends to get overly excited and relentlessly wants to lick Bennett’s face until he falls over and cries.. Jersey, however, will sit nearby (but out of reach– smart boy) and observe. Occasionally he will come over and nuzzle Bennett’s ears– which Benny loves, and leans into with the biggest smile on his face. Jersey is gentle, easy going, and polite… and I truly have no idea where he gets it from!