A Puppy’s Guide to Pregnancy

Puppy, Pregnant, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chicago, Marking Our Territory

I have been on roller coasters that lasted longer than Emily’s first maternity appointment. I guess when you’re a pregnant OBGYN visiting a colleague in your own office there’s not much to chat about.

Which was good, because time is a precious resource when racing against the clock to prepare for your first child. And there are plenty of people eager to tell you how you need to spend that time. On one side there are articles titled things like The 10 Things You MUST Do Before Your Child Is Ten Minutes Old to Get Them Into A Top Ten College. While other sites feature posts like If You Do Not Deliver Your Child By Yourself, In The Woods, You Are A Terrible Person.

One of the few nearly unanimous sentiments among the disparate voices was, “DO NOT GET A PUPPY!” Even friends and family would ask, “Are you sure this is a good idea?” (As if I have ever based my actions upon the objective quality of the precipitating idea.)

“Don’t worry, the OBGYN said it’s fine,” was my standard response. Though I often forgot to mention the doctor was my wife and might have a slight conflict of interest.

So when most people would be putting together a crib and signing up for baby classes, we were putting together a crate and registering for puppy class.

In the months before Lincoln’s birth we spent more time together at puppy class than we did just about anywhere else outside our apartment. Weekdays? Class. Weekends? Class. Valentine’s Day? A hot date at obedience school.

Puppy, Pregnant, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chicago, Marking Our Territory

On a functional level we figured we could probably get some cross-species training tips. Like teaching our kid how to be polite in public:

Puppy, Pregnant, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chicago, Marking Our Territory

And how to listen attentively when your mother is speaking!

Puppy, Pregnant, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chicago, Marking Our Territory

On an emotional level, the experience was about building something much more important than a nursery. We were building the family we wanted to share with our child. A family where we laugh loudly:

Puppy, Pregnant, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chicago, Marking Our Territory

Support each other:

Puppy, Pregnant, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chicago, Marking Our Territory

And always remember to revel in life’s simple joys:

Puppy, Pregnant, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chicago, Marking Our Territory

The day we brought Lincoln home we may have been missing a few things (who knew kids need diapers??) but thanks to Emily, Penny and Zero our home is filled with all the love he’ll need to thrive. Not only that, but from the look of things, I have a feeling I know exactly who my son’s first and best friend will be.

Puppy, Pregnant, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chicago, Marking Our Territory

And best of all, we should have no trouble teaching Lincoln how to walk on a loose leash!

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