Read Chantal’s previous story, Tick-tock…Anguish as time passes both too slowly and too quickly…

Lisez le récit précédent de Chantal en consultant Les tics et les tacs… L’angoisse du temps qui passe trop lentement et trop vite.

Last stretch! 

36th week, 4 left. It’s very reassuring to know that a baby born at 37 weeks is considered term. Our little man did a great job. We’ve been wondering for a week which side he’s on. We think his head is downward…but we aren’t sure if he is posterior or anterior.

We are looking forward to our next appointment with the gynecologist next week. We hope he’ll be able to tell us more. One this is certain though …he’s still able to move around, because he is moving fluids around!

Photo - Gestion animale et arrivée de bébé - 36 semaines de grossesse - journal intime de Chantal

Still not too many contractions, so we don’t think he’ll come early for now. Personally, I am not very stressed about delivery yet.

My thoughts these days are about animal management. We have a house full of cats and a dog. They are all adorable, but they are still animals. Especially Lukas, our 6-year-old wheaten terrier. I adopted him three years ago from an animal shelter, and like all shelter animals, we don’t know his history or wonder if his past was troubled. Rachel, who is carrying our baby, joined the family after Lukas, so it was my choice to adopt this dog. For a year he was problem-free, though sometimes anxious in noise and stimulating environments. During the 2nd year, there were times when Lukas was hyperreactive, associated with not being comfortable around children. After a few canine behaviour consultations, we realised that he is insecure when stared at. Of course, children love to stare, especially at eye level. So he reacted poorly to a child close to the family. No damage, but it was a traumatic experience. When you know Lukas, this wasn’t like him. He is friendly and affectionate by nature, a happy dog. We started dog training classes and desensitization exercises. He is terrific and wants to perform well. He is beginning to make the right decisions.

But we will always have to consider the risk and never to forget it, even when things seem perfect. This means we have to make choices. We’ve decided that the dog’s behaviour is better, and have noted that he is less anxious in many situations. We have gotten him used to a muzzle, and we still have work to do for desensitizing him to several situations.

Rachel accepts and supports me because since I adopted him, she lets me make the decision. She is not pressuring me, and I love her even more for that. Despite everything, I know that it’s a decision that will impact the management of our daily environment with our little one. It helps, we are lucky to have a large property where Lukas is free to run and burn energy while the baby will be in the house. This will allow us time to take a break from managing the dog.

They say the arrival of a baby is a significant life change. But the presence of a special dog and Lukas’ adaptation will make the experience even more intense. Nothing is final yet, and for the moment we have decided to see how it will go. It doesn’t mean that we won’t change our decision. If we find it too difficult to manage, we will have to find a better solution for everyone. We know that while Lukas is learning, growing, and is calmer with us, other options exist. Fortunately, we have received a lot of help from the Centre le Prestige Canin to help reassure us whatever the decision. Our consultations may have prevented canine separation, or at least gave us the tools to work with Lukas or another dog in the future. I recommend these classes for all dogs. You can better understand your animal and set better boundaries.

I say that we’ll take it one day at a time. My sister will sit him while we get used to life with our little man in the home. When we are ready, we’ll introduce him to Lukas, one step at a time. We are already getting Lukas ready, and we think everything will be fine. But we want to make sure our little man’s environment is 100% safe all the time. We hope that Lukas and the baby will become the best of friends, which is often the case with any type of dog. The confidence that Lukas will help develop for our baby will help him to learn how to live with a child. But we know this won’t be transposed to all children. I will always consider Lukas our special dog, requiring more management than others. This will also allow our child to learn how to interact with a dog. Even the best dog in the world won’t like having its tail or ears pulled by a child…Lukas is a good dog who deserves time to understand and train him correctly. But I wanted to talk about this today because it is part of my thought process as I prepare for the baby…Each family is unique, and requires special attention …let’s hope that our special Lukas will be part of it for many years to come.

Talk soon!

To continue reading, go to Head Up, Head Down!

Pour poursuivre votre lecture, rendez-vous à la suite Tête en haut, tête en bas!

Chantal

The opinions found in this article are the author’s alone.

Photo - Échographie 20 semaines - journal intime de Chantal et Rachel

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