Friday, August 22, 2008

Vintage Lil' Dude V

This will be the final installment of Vintage Lil' Dude . . . Mama's girl will already be home waiting when I get done with work today. Miss that kid!

I know someone else who misses her too. The Beagle. He might not openly admit it, he might prefer that his dog dishes are not disturbed, his bed not played it, his ears not swiped at. But, he misses her even if secretly.

The Beagle's . . . affection started with the lil' dude when she was brand-new. I know the Dad and I were relieved. He'd been our baby, our little person with a tail for 2 years before we had a baby. I told the Dad I wanted the Beagle in the delivery room as my focal point. He is such a relaxed, chill dog I thought that would help me relax if I needed to. In the end, though, the Beagle spent the delivery weekend at his pseudo-mom's house. My focal point turned out to be Victor Newman as the Young and the Restless played on the TV in my room.

Here is the Beagle meeting the lil' dude for the first time. That he didn't eat her, we were grateful, ensuring instant BFF status.

When we were home on maternity leave, the lil' dude did the majority of her day sleeping in her chair with the Beagle never far away.

First thing every morning, he had to find who was holding the baby. He would get her in tiny face to sniff her, to make sure she smelled the same as the day before. Only then could he start his day.

The Beagle had always loved his toys. With the introduction of the small person and all her sweet, fuzzy, squeaky playthings, I worried the dog would simply think they were his and we'd be forever finding shredded Little People in our house. To this day, it's never been an issue. He did however, find her chair too tempting to resist one evening the Dad and I were de-Christmasing the house downstairs. Too bad he couldn't figure out the Vibrate/Sound function.

As the lil' dude slowly morphed from slumping, snoozing lump into a little mover and shaker, the Beagle became even more intrigued with her. He loved the jungle gym mat time each day.

Oh, how tummy time would wipe these two right out. I think the presence of the Beagle helped the lil' dude fight through it because wow, did she hate tummy time. When she would scream, the dog would wince, his ears pulled back tight. But he never left her side.

As the days of leave dwindled down, I began to worry more about the Beagle's transition back to routine than my own. Or, the lil' dudes. He had 12 weeks during the dreary winter spent inside the cozy house, next to his pink BFF. How could I get him to understand his return to the garage kennel would break my heart more than his would?

Here's the two after a long day in daycare and the kennel. He would inchinchinch closer and closer to her on her blankets and just take her in. I miss you, he would say with his whiskers.

Lately, there haven't been two many pictures of them together, at least not in the same frame. They both move too fast now. I view their relationship like that of a big brother and little sister. It's all on his terms, and when the little girl finally gets big enough to reciprocate her feelings and attachment, he acts too cool. Like he can't be bothered by a girl. She chases him as fast as she can, and he retreats to the small areas of the house she hasn't mastered yet. But I know deep down he adores her, and always will. I know the day where I find the two of them stretched out in the sun, snoozing all tangled up together is not far away.

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