When I was pregnant, probably the most asked question after “when are you due” was “how will Kona react to the baby?”. It isn’t surprising then that the most offered piece of unsolicited advice given to us was how to introduce a baby and dog.
P and I weren’t concerned about Kona’s acceptance of a baby for a number of reasons. She’s a labrador retriever, which is a breed well known for being excellent with children. In fact my Dad told us stories about my parents’ black lab, Domino, who was a bit nutty, but very good with toddlers and children. We’d witnessed her reactions to children, toddlers, and even an 8 week old infant. In all cases, she was happy and excited – in fact, she gets as excited about kids as she does about other dogs. Once she discovered strollers contain children, they became one of the things she would run to if she was off leash.
But being a young lab (only 18 months old when our son was born), Kona doesn’t know her own strength. When playing with small dogs or puppies she is noticeably more gentle. Still, we are very vigilant when children are around, especially those learning to walk. A loving nudge from Kona and they will tumble to the ground!
Countless people suggested that P bring a receiving blanket home from the hospital so that Kona could get used to the baby’s smell before we brought him or her home. Great in theory, but not practical in reality as we spent very little time in the hospital after the birth (less than 16 hours which included an overnight stay). Thankfully, it also proved to be unnecessary…
So how is Kona with our son? Well, a few weeks after we brought him home, I saw this picture on Facebook:
It perfectly captures Kona’s relationship with our “ugly bald puppy”. More on their first meeting and their friendship to follow!