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June 14, 2017

A Puppy’s Guide to Pregnancy

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.)
Puppy, Pregnant, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chicago, Marking Our TerritoryI 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 TerritoryOn 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 TerritoryAnd how to listen attentively when your mother is speaking!Puppy, Pregnant, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chicago, Marking Our TerritoryOn 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 TerritorySupport each other:Puppy, Pregnant, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chicago, Marking Our TerritoryAnd always remember to revel in life’s simple joys:Puppy, Pregnant, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chicago, Marking Our TerritoryThe 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 TerritoryAnd best of all, we should have no trouble teaching Lincoln how to walk on a loose leash!

Comments for A Puppy’s Guide to Pregnancy

  1. Emily looks absolutely beautiful in all her pictures. And joyful. It was just amazing to see, thanks for sharing it. Zero looks enthralled, which is adorable. Can’t wait to see how your family changes with the new addition(s)! And congratulations again…so happy for all of you!

  2. I’m sure your Lincoln will always remember the best time with his two furfriends… it’s a blessing to grow up wit dogs? …and babies need diapers? wow… ;O)))

  3. Congrats! I didn’t know Lincoln had arrived yet. Wonderful news. It was great to have you and Emily in my Dog + Baby class. I’m sure you both will be great parents, you already are with your 4 legged children.

  4. Emmadog says:

    Plenty of fun and excitement at your house! Enjoy the human puppy, he will grow up fast too, but not as fast as a canine puppy!

  5. T&S says:

    Congratulations

  6. Jo Rhodes says:

    Emily was even more radiant with her belly! I think Zero and Lincoln are going to have to have a talk. Listen Lincoln, she was my mom first, understand? And Penny must be delighted to have a minion with opposable thumbs! I can hear her telling Zero to look hungry!
    Infinite love, Jo, Sam and Dean

  7. Jo Rhodes says:

    Emily was even more radiant with her belly! I think Zero and Lincoln are going to have to have a talk. Listen Lincoln, she was my mom first, understand? And Penny must be delighted to have a minion with opposable thumbs! I can hear her telling Zero to look hungry!
    Infinite love, Jo, Sam and Dean

  8. KarenS says:

    Lincoln’s off to a great start to life. You, Emily and the pups have focused on the more important things. Joy. Laughter. Love. And sharing!

    Can hardly wait for stories of Lincoln and Zero off to save the world. All the while you documenting their adventures, and Emily and Penny there to set them back on course.

  9. Such a precious post. Before you start thinking about that loose leash walk, I hope you and Emily are getting enough sleep. Maybe first concentrate on training the new addition into napping with the pups.

  10. Victoria Coleman says:

    great pics of Emily and your four legged kids!! You guys are set (except for diapers)

  11. Tricia Thompson says:

    We had our first, trained, Ridgeback before we had the kids. It definitely helped training the children. I did get some odd looks when I told my kids ‘sit’, ‘stay’, when we were out in public. But they sure knew that I meant business, and were quite well behaved. You have to be consistent in dog training, and once we learned that lesson well, we just translated it to the children. BTW, they both grew up to fine adults. Best wishes on your growing family. They are beautiful!

  12. Robyn Brown says:

    I love all of the pictures of your beautiful pregnant wife and her four-legged family member attending classes. How precious! Thinking of all of you during this new, exciting and happy transition in your lives. Thanks for the update, as always!

  13. What beautiful photos of happy and definitely glowing Emily before Lincoln made his entrance – and no doubt there are plenty of tired (!) smiles from both of you now that you look at that adorable little boy of yours. I know the pups can’t wait to take HIM for a walk…..Sending hope that everything is wonderful in your new world.

    Pam and Teddy too……….

  14. Connie Taylor says:

    Not only do kids require an endless supply of diapers, wipes, blankets, toys, snuggies, binkies, but also the very basic item: food :). Love the photos of Emily, Penny and Zero relaxing on the couch and waiting for Lincoln to show up in person .

    p.s. you need to start thinking about their Halloween costumes, it’ll be here before you know it

  15. Tears in my eyes and a resounding….I LOVE IT!!!!

  16. TheRidgebackLife says:

    Well, this explains why there have been so few pictures of Emily with Zero; there was no hiding her baby bump from us. I was concerned she became camera shy all of a sudden. You four have done such a fabulous job of preparing for Lincoln’s arrival (except the diaper thing, apparently), I couldn’t imagine your home lacks in anything. He will be a very lucky boy to be surrounded….even from below….by so much love. I’m sure when Lincoln is up and walking, Zero and Penny’s mad minutes will give him a huge birth. It’s obvious they already adore him. Or they’re waiting for him to start throwing food on the ground…..

  17. Will, I am interested to know if either Penny or Zero have displayed any signs of jealousy or feeling slighted over the natural and necessary living attention given to Linc? After all there are only so many minutes in a day and a baby requires unending attention; it must be very different for them. You probably can’t get away to the beach as often, for example.

  18. cathwhistler says:

    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  19. Congratulations! Love the photos of Emily and the pups.

    We had Abraham when Victoria was born. I worried about his barking possibly waking her up, but the vet assured me she would sleep right through it because she’d heard it through the womb. She was right. And Abe was adorable with her. He liked sleeping next to her crib. When she cried, he brought his toys to her room and left them by the crib. It was so sweet!

  20. Jumping in with both feet is always a good idea. That whole toe in the water thing is overrated. Do it all – all at once – and with gusto! I like your style!

  21. Elyse says:

    Did I miss the whole pregnancy notice? Congratulations!!!!! Oh, and congrats on bringing Lincoln home after that birth in the woods …

    But I agree with your decision to get the puppy before bringing home the baby. My son Jacob was 14 months old when we brought Bernese man dog puppy Charlie home. It was challenging! Your way was better!

    Long, happy life to the five of you. The stories I didn’t think could get better just might!

  22. Kismet says:

    Aren’t you the first and best friend?

  23. Congrats congrats congrats!!! Holy cow 9 months and a birth went by and I never knew a thing or missed a lot! Lol. Congrats on your new arrival and on becoming human parents.

  24. I missed out on all of this news. Many congrats to you all! Brightened up my day reading this xx

  25. Emily looked fantastic through her pregnancy 🙂 Glad you all are well. Looking forward to the next great adventures of a young boy and his dog 🙂

  26. “On a functional level we figured we could probably get some cross-species training tips.”

    I love that line! And I love this post. It’s been added to not only my list of your best posts, but also to my list of all-time favorite posts!

  27. Eve says:

    Yes I believe Zero will be a great first playmate for Lincoln! Mom said that when my brother was little we had a collie mix and she would dive in between my little brother and anything she thought he would get in trouble for and even once got in between my brother & Mom. But they will definitely a first love between the two and I can’t wait to see this caught on camera or video! Congrats again and enjoy this thing called Parenthood!

  28. Judy Petitto says:

    Hilarious sweet, funny and filled with family and love!

  29. Elisa says:

    God bless! Congratulations on your new addition. My two ridgebacks Abby and Tara were are 1.5 and 9 months and my granddaughter is 1 year old. They are practically growing up together and they love each other very much. When I take care of her it’s practically a day care center. Enjoy your beautiful family ! Elisa.

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