Saturday, 25 August 2007


I recently realised that over the past few months of blogging, I have yet to introduce our pet dog, Dino. We like to call him Ah No from time to time.

Ah No is a yellow Labrador Retriever about to turn 5 next month. The Mrs and I were just discussing the other day about where to take him and perhaps buy him a birthday cake, meant for dogs of course, and let him eat till his heart contents.

Ah No is the sweetest and most gentle dog that I know. He is so mild that when he got bitten by smaller dogs (which happened pretty often) whenever we brought him to the dog run, he will not get upset and will continue to play. Once we brought him to West Coast Park and let him loose. The Mrs and I planted ourselves down in one corner and watched him go around and mingle. After a while he came running happily back to us and it was only when he passed us did we noticed that he was bleeding on the tongue, apparently he was bitten by a small dog. He was still trotting along without a care in the world and continued his journey of trying to fit in with the smaller ones.

Unlike my family, the Mrs's family did not have any dogs before hence my MIL is always a little afraid of Ah No. The Mrs will always tease her by referring to her as Ah No's grandma. Sad to say Grandma wanted us to get rid of him once she learned that we are pregnant. We don't actually blame her for having such thoughts since she has never been really "introduced" to any dogs plus she did have the Mrs's interest at heart. I always wonder how big her reaction will be should she see the Mrs kissing Ah No and allowing him to lick her face.

Actually for those who do not own dogs, their first reaction seemed to be that Ah No will either be given up or he will have to take second place with Baby's coming. I got asked a couple of times now on what are we going to do with Ah No.

"Do with him? What do you mean do with him?! Nothing! He is a member of this family and he will most definitely continue to be and at the same time play a significant part in Baby's growing up."

Some of those who are more into pets will discuss with me the preventive measures that we are taking to "protect" Baby. Right now I can only think of having those safety gates that we will place at the door to stop Ah No from entering the bedroom and licking Baby without our supervision and knowledge. This is serious because Ah No's tongue is so broad and wet that he might just drown Baby with continuous licking. (For those of you who are not familiar with Labradors, I am kidding of course. Continuous licking may result in choking and maybe even fainting due to Ah No's breath but surely not drowning.) Seriously, a study has been conducted and dogs' tongues are actually found to be cleaner than humans'. Go figure!

We are responsible parents and we will ensure that Ah No will not have direct access to Baby when he / she is still so young but eventually I am sure they will be having a ball of fun together.

Personally I am already looking forward to the day that Baby can be left in the walker. I believe it will be really interesting to see Baby chasing Ah No around the house. Knowing Ah No, "kay poh" he may be but he has very short attention span so he prefers to just lie down and observe the world goes by. I can already picture Baby running in his / her walker and crashing into Ah No who is lying down. For your information this is already happening to Ah No with our iRobotic vacuum cleaner.

I learned from somewhere that kids growing up with pets will naturally develop better immune system against the allergies that come with pets. I certain hope that this is the case since I am asthmatic although controlled.

The Mrs read from SMH that some dogs can sense that their mistresses being pregnant and she has been trying to educate Ah No of the same ever since. While he thoroughly enjoys the time spent on the bed with his head on the Mrs's thigh, I believe he is still very much clueless about the whole Baby thing.

My sis also taught me to bring the blanket that the hospital uses to wrap Baby home first for Ah No to sniff at before Baby actually comes home. This is to allow Ah No to get used to Baby's scent.

Honestly I am not worried about Ah No and Baby getting along. Labradors are known to be really good with children plus he has never given us any reason to believe that he will turn aggressive. Throughout his almost 5 years stay with us, we have tried so many ways of irritating him (my sis contirbuted too by "biting" him on his legs, neck and tail) but he wasn't really bothered by us. He probably finds us "Wu Liao" (people with nothing else better to do)!

In case you are fellow Labradors owners, I will highly recommend the book, Marley and me. I will give it 5 tissues (out of 5). If you own other dogs then it is still probably 4 tissues.

Oh, please do not make the mistake of reading the final few chapters in any public places unless you are totally comfortable crying with others watching on. Believe me, tears will flow!


Nicole said...

When I was pregnant with my first girl back then, everyone also asked me what will I do with my 10 years old maltese. Most people suggested giving it away, I don't blame them, they're not pet lovers and owners. What my mum did was put my dog over at her place during my confinement period, surprisingly, when my dog came home, he didn't bark at my girl or even bite her. My dog had been abused by his first owner and are very aggressive, he'll bite any strangers. So it's a blessing in disguse that he likes my girl. My girl is the one doing all the bullying! She'll chase him, pull his tail and etc but now that she's older, she'll play with him, give him food and ' sayang' him. Which is really amazing, the bond they have. Hopefully, my dog will accept my second one just as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm from the motherhood forum. Hope things are going well for your wife : )
I have 2 golden retriever myself and I have been telling them that a baby will be arriving soon. Both of them are tame but I'm not sure how they will react when the baby comes. Keeping my fingers cross.
I have problem with my parents too especially my dad who had been nagging me to give one of my dog away. It's really getting on my nerves at times : )

Trina said...

my parents also hinted at giving away my then 2-year old shih tzu when my son was born, but we just act blur. now, she and my 2 year old have so much fun together. it's heart-warming to see how my boy tries to leash her for walks, pours kibbles into her bowl n nudging her to "mum mum", insist she be in his room during his bedtime story session, pat and stroke her... all these quite without our prompting at all..

fucheen said...

I'm glad you're keeping Ah No when the baby comes! I have a 6 year old chihuahua and am due in November. Everyone is threatening to remove my dog, including my husband! It's sad that some people treat pets like accessories.

Anonymous said...

I think it is really crucial to understand that pet ownership is a lifetime responsibility. I am often amazed at how many people would give away theirs BEFORE the baby comes along. Often citing reasons such as they cannot handle etc. The baby has not arrived so how's that for self fulfilling prophecy?

Also, having a pet is said to be good for the kid in terms of promoting responsibility and compassion. So good on you both!

Anonymous said...

its me again! i've a 5yr old yorkshire terrier and he's getting along fine with my boy. in fact, my boy loves him to bits! good thing is, no one objected to me keeping my dog when they knew about my pregnancy and even if they do, i'm not about to abandon my dog. who says dog and baby can't get along?! there's simply no sense in it! luckily, my parents own a dog too and my mum is the main caregiver for my boy when i'm at work and she can totally understand the whole situation.

my mum's dog is pretty aggressive towards kids and other dogs and surprisingly, he was very gentle and mild mannered towards my boy. not a single sign of aggressiveness! and my worries were unfounded. can you believe my boy call my dogs' names before he even call papa and mama?!! and their names are 2 syllabus!

its really a lot of fun to see the kid and dog play. i'm sure you, Mrs and Ah No will have a great time when your baby comes along!

Lionel n Rachel said...

hihi, its me yvonne.

i hv a pet as well, its a cat though, not a dog. Everyone's been telling me to give away the cat eversince i was pregnant with my boy - 1st child. They tell me things like wat will the kids be suffering from; diseases, asthma, etc etc...

But as far as i know, if u owe a pet even b4 u are pregnant, ur body system wld hv gotten immune to it & having a bb after dat will nt pose a problem.

As u know, i had just given birth to my gal some time ago & so far, both of them (my boy & gal) are ok.

And animals are very sensitive creatures as well. They can sense whtr u really love them or will be forsaken just becos u hv a new addition. Tok to ur dog daily abt this new addition. How u will still love & care for it even after baby arrives. They will understand. (some people may laugh; crazy girl,tok to an animal???)But its true. Try it!

Dun forget. Pets can prove themselves to be the most loving playmates to babies & toddlers.

Lionel n Rachel said...

Oh ya! A note to add in. besides having a cat, i hv hamsters also.

Kids can learn to take care of their pets when they grow older & thus, they learn about resposibility. Cheers!


Anonymous said...

I dun have a pet. But my good friend have a Beagle and when her baby arrives, the Beagle became the protector. He will sleep under the baby's cot. And when baby wakes up, he will go wake my friend up. The baby grew up healthy with the Beagle.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Ladies,

It is really heart warming to see so many pets and babies stories and who says we have to give our pets up?!?

Fucheen, show your husband this comment page and hopefully he will be convinced that pets and babies not only get along but actually develop a special bond too. Plus like all the other mothers mentioned, your kid will grow up learning responsibility at a young age too.

Good luck with your baby and chihuahua.