My Family and other Animals - Guest post

Hello all. I thought it might be fun to run a short guest post series about pets. But not just about pets, specifically about pets that people bought after having children. The sort of "oh there isn't enough pee and puke in the house, maybe we need a puppy too" sort of person.

I myself was guilty of this when at 4 months pregnant I decided one dog wasn't enough so we needed a puppy too (a whole other post) but were other people as mad as me? Well let's find out!

I thought we would start with a lovely post from Colette at Going On an Adventure

"When we got our puppy just months after having our first baby, everyone thought we were mad.

We hadn't planned it that way but our circumstances were a little unusual. We didn't go out looking for a puppy as such, but we had always said that when Mum bred from her bitch Molly, we would have one. It just so happened that my baby and Molly's puppies were born just three weeks apart.

We're going on an adventure - Colette with baby Ben and Thomas

Mum was a complete superstar and kept Thomas, our brindle boxer puppy, at her house for a little longer than usual so she could give him a head start on things like toilet training. By the time he came to live with us he was a good three months old and ready to go out for walks and such like.

We're going on an adventure - Thomas at 10 weeks

I quickly found myself in a bit of a routine which worked for both Ben and Thomas - we would get up first thing, feed Ben and then take Thomas out for a walk around our local park. I soon learned that if I walked Thomas as soon as I could, he was much easier to deal with during the course of the day! Ben would often sleep in his pram for most of the walk and I tended to just stay out walking for as long as he slept - meaning not only did Thomas get plenty of exercise but so did I. With a combination of breastfeeding and puppy walking I lost my baby weight very quickly and without even really having to try.

We're going on an adventure - Colette walking Thomas and Ben

Having a puppy to walk meant I got to know more people in the area - for a start, you don't get to walk a beautiful boxer puppy around without people wanting to stop and talk to you! But we also made friends in the park, other people who were generally walking their dogs at around the same time as us each day. It's not that I'd have gone for coffee with any of them or anything but it did mean I got a daily dose of adult conversation which any Mum on maternity leave with a newborn knows can be hard to come by some days.

We didn't suffer any sort of jealousy issues as neither Thomas nor Ben knew a life without each other, which meant that when we had the girls at a later date Thomas never really bothered with them. Babies were just the norm in our house at that time. We struck lucky with "Toss" - he was gentle and patient and surprisingly calm for a boxer (unless he was chasing around with his sister and then it was a different story altogether). He was always beautifully behaved, even if he did pull a bit when we walked him sometimes, and we trusted him as far as anyone should trust a dog with their children.

Chloe and Thomas

We lost Thomas at the back end of last year, he was only seven and it has been a real shock to all of us but loss is part of life isn't it and far better that our children's first real experience of grief is that of a pet than a family member. Growing up with a pet teaches children responsibility, empathy and boundaries. It shows them how to take care of the needs of others and gives them a friend. Yes, getting a puppy while we had a newborn was probably one of the maddest things we'd ever done but I wouldn't change it for the world."

Burgess family in Heaton Park with Thomas

Thanks' so much Colette for that sweet story. Loving the top tips about exercise and breastfeeding to lose that baby weight, and a dog is indeed a brilliant way to make new friends!

you can follow Colette on twitter at Lollinski

Keep up to date on Facebook at We're Going on an Adventure

And on Instagram at Going on an Adventure Blog

If you got a pet (of any sort!) after you had children, and would like to be featured in this guest series, email me at Tatmummy@gmail.com and include 'Guest Post Pets' in the subject line.

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