My Unborn Son Is Already Best Friends With the Dog

Jenny Benjamin
11

black dog face
Ruby!
I've heard several women say that their dogs went a little wackadoodle at a certain point in their pregnancies -- becoming suddenly more protective, more needy, or just plain old strange. Well, in the last couple of months, my big, sweet Lab, Ruby, who's been allowed on the couch since we got her (because we're suckers), has started snuggling up to me with her head on my lap, her face up against the left side of my belly. It's where one of my identical twin boys lays, and as soon as Ruby nestles in, I feel "Herman" (his womb nickname, not his real name) tap-tap-tapping, like he's trying to pet his dog. It doesn't matter what time of day it is or what I've eaten -- when that boy feels his dog there, he starts squirming.

So, I've started to wonder if Ruby knows that the boys are there too, if she and Herman have a special bond already, and if they'll continue to have that connection once my sons are born, almost like they're old friends.

Of course, I can't help thinking about who these boys are going to be, as impossible as that is. I keep finding ways to differentiate between them already, so that when they're older, I'll have different "when you were in Mommy's belly" tales to tell them. For example, "Berman" moves around a lot more, he responds to his Daddy's voice, he apparently likes Eminem, Metallica, and opera music. Herman, though, is a little quieter, and aside from the fact that he occasionally likes to tap-dance on my bladder for no reason, the only things he really seems to directly respond to are sugar and our dog ... his dog.

So I'm definitely interested to see what happens when the boys are big enough to play with Ruby. I'm wondering if I'll notice a particular bond between her and Herman, if that relationship will be different than the one she has with our other son. When I was little, we had a big, goofy English Sheepdog, Gus, who was attached to me from the moment I came home from the hospital and, later, was not so hot for my younger brother. Maybe dogs develop an affinity for certain people over others, regardless of where they fall in the pack, regardless of whether they look and sound exactly alike, as my identical boys will.

I mean, honestly, my guess is that after Ruby gets over the "What is that racket?" annoyance and "Hey, why aren't we going to the dog park anymore?" confusion of our family's new life with babies, she'll probably love all over both of our boys, the same way she does our family, friends, the cleaning lady, the neighbors, multiple contractors, and the UPS guy. Ruby loves nothing more than a full house! While it will be interesting to see whether Herman has more of a fondness for the dog, or vice versa, I imagine that once there are two toddlers walking around the house with precariously-held food in their hands, Ruby might just butter up to whatever boy is better about sharing his snacks.

Did your dog start acting differently during your pregnancy?


Image via Jenny Benjamin

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