Monday, July 27, 2009

A child of a different nature

Before we were blessed to be the parents of our Munchkin, we were the "parents" of several furry creatures, big and small. And when I say big, I mean, well, big.

Meet Jasmine, our "petite" great dane that we adopted five years ago from the Great Dane Rescue, Inc. She was six years old at the time, still young and spritely! As many childless couples do, we spoiled her and loved her like our own child.

Of course, time goes by and life changes. Our happy-go-lucky Jas is now an elder at the ripe old age of almost twelve. And showing her age as only big dogs can. As our vet said at her last visit, "She's not even supposed to be alive!" She's made it through cancer, lupus, a broken back, and severe allergies and dermatitis. She's stiff, and she groans, and she snores in her sleep all day long, and yet she still greets us with a happy wag of her tail stump-where-her-tail-was-once-before-cancer.

Of course, like most parents-to-be with a dog, we were concerned about how to make the transition from a childless home to a home filled with the piercing cries of a wriggly foreign creature that suddenly was the center of all attention. We read tips from the Humane Society, Baby Center, the Dog Whisperer. We planned and read, read and planned, and we worried. Our Jas had always been a gentle giant, but with her unknown past and a few quirks along the way, what would happen when the munchkin arrived? When you have a 125-lb dog with a head as big as your own, filled with a jaw of sharp teeth, you have to be a little concerned.

Finally the day arrived when we brought our munchkin home from the hospital, feeling that crazy mix of anticipation, fear, excitement, bliss, and disbelief that all new parents share. We followed all of the tips to introduce them slowly, over time, until finally it was time for Jas to meet the Munchkin face to face. Rather, face to toe. Mr. T carefully held Munchkin in his arms, while I held Jas's lead very, very cautiously. Jas looked at her, sniffed her sock, sniffed Mr. T's hand, and less than 15 seconds later, unceremoniously went to her bed and with a "hrump", curled up for a nap. A little anti-climatic after our months of worry.

Fast forward to now, nine months later. Munchkin is delighted by Jas, and she perks up her head to find her every time Jas snorts, sniffs, or farts yawns. And Jas? She is the same happy-go-lucky dog she always was before.

In fact, it would appear that nothing has changed in Jas's life. This huge, momentous occasion that changed Mr.T and I forever...the arrival of our baby...seemed just another ho-hum event in Jas's daily routine of naps, poops, and feeds.

Except for one thing. Jas has always slept in the living room of our house since the day we moved in three years ago. Lately, though, I've noticed that her favorite pillow tends to migrate, little by little, down the hallway. Until it stops here:

Right outside our Munchkin's door.

Good night, dear Munchkin. Good night, sweet Jasmine.


Anonymous said...

Very well said and very touching.

Nicole said...

That is so sweet that she sleeps outside your baby's door!

Anonymous said...

Jas is the gentle giant! This post brought tears to my eyes!~MD

amber said...

I'm sniffing. That's so sweet. I agonized over introducing my dog to our baby too, and while they're not best buds yet, he certainly accepts her as part of the pack! And let's face it, every kid needs a dog, right?

Let's here it for your survivor!

Condo Blues said...

That's so sweet! Even my husband said awwwww when I told him your story.

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