Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dogs and Pregnancy

Well, we made it through our first hurricane. We are very lucky, our little family of 4 and 1/2. Our building is a giant cement block in the center of Staten Island on the top of a hill. This put us out of harms way from the downed trees, flooding, giant waves and other chaos that went on in many unfortunate neighborhoods.
These two furry children (Dexter and Olive) were showing their sensitivity to the weather earlier in the week. I could feel the pressure changes in my head and I'm sure it was doubly so for them!

Dogs and Pregnancy
I was very curious to see when and how my dogs would understand that I am pregnant. Sometimes I think they absolutely know and other times, I'm not so sure. They definitely are in the process of learning not to jump up on me when they say hello.
In the beginning I thought that if they smelled my pee, their magical noses would pick up on my chemical changes. Not sure if that worked. Then I figured they must just smell the new hormones I am producing anyway. I wondered if they could hear anything with their head close to my growing belly. Perhaps I overestimate that sense just a little.
The first thing I really noticed was when I am at the gym (our business), Olive (the bigger, older one) barks at everyone who walks in the door. She knows pretty much every single member by now and at some point had become totally un-phased by the constant people coming and going. When I am there, it is different. Next, I realized this was going to make it impossible for me to walk with her outside off-leash because she runs up barking at anyone she sees. It doesn't help that she does not consider me to be the "pack leader" as the Dog Whisperer would say. This is partly my husband's fault for "barking" over my orders when I try to command the dogs.
I will say that they are both a little extra clingy to me lately. Who wouldn't like the extra love! When we are out walking in the woods, Olive likes to be by my side more than usual. She also wants to sit behind me on the couch when we eat dinner and curl around me. It's cute until I want to lean back and be comfortable.
There was one instance when I was sitting and Olive went to jump up and put her paws on my lap but moved them out to the sides so as not to hit my belly. I thought for sure this was a sign she knew! But now it seems like she forgot entirely that my lap is disappearing.
I've read about a couple of similar behavior changes in online articles here and here.
I am only 5 1/2 months along, starting to really look pregnant and am very curious to see how this progresses with the two dogs. Dexter, the littler one, has such a laid back attitude and wants to cuddle with anyone and everyone at all times. So, I haven't really noticed any changes in that behavior. He may be a little bummed when I start calling someone else "my little baby."
As for the birthing process, since they will both be here when it happens in the house, it should be interesting. I think Olive's tendency to be over anxious in certain situations may take over and she may end up in the corner shaking. I hope not, but we have yet to see.
I can't wait for them to meet their new pack member!

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