Jack was my first-born baby.
My husband and I had just bought our first home together--a beautiful brick bungalow in a vibrant Denver neighborhood--and things were just about perfect. The only thing missing from the picture-perfect life we were creating together was a dog. We were young, fun, Denverite home owners--we simply had to have a dog.
And so, on a sunny June afternoon in 2006 I brought Jack home. The sweet, 9-week-old, salt-and-pepper miniature schnazuer melted both our hearts the minute we met him, and his unique personality only grew on us more and more as time went on.
Yep, life with a dog was good. We installed a doggie door so Jack could venture out to our fenced-in backyard whenever he wanted to. We'd come home from work and go on long family walks around the neighborhood together. Sunday mornings involved all three of us cuddling in bed together until 9 or 10 a.m. Jack was a happy schnauzer and we were happy schnauzer parents.
Then it happened. That bug that bites the majority of married couples at some point during their marriage bit me--and it bit me hard. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt the overwhelming urge to have a child.
And so, on a snowy and cold December afternoon in 2008 we brought Henry home. The sweet six-pound newborn had captured our hearts immediately, although I will admit, the transition from doggie parents to newborn baby parents was a tough one. The sleepless nights, lack of a social life, and inability to fit into my pre-baby jeans were all wearing on me. Being a new parent wasn't easy.
Having a baby in the house wasn't easy on Jack, either. He was confused. Instead of him cuddling between my husband and I in bed, there was this other little person there. No longer did we think it was cute when he'd bark or howl--now it upset us because it would wake the baby. Daily jaunts around the neighborhood--when Jack could sniff anything he wanted, chase squirrels, and mark every tree--were a thing of the past. Now, we had to hurry because the baby would get fussy, or hungry, or need his diaper changed.
Life for all of us was drastically different, and would never return to the way it was before Henry arrived. With time, however, we learned to adjust. And now, more than three years since Henry moved in on Jack's territory, it feels like we are all living in relative harmony. Well, most of the time.
My name is Sarah Rumple, and I am a copywriter and editor for the American Animal Hospital Association. Each Monday, I'll blog about life as a parent to both pets and children, how to remain active with your pets, and more. Since so many of you likely have both pets and children, I can't wait to read your comments and thoughts on these common issues.