Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A little of this, a little of that

Jeez, I have really fallen behind in my blogging. and just when I promised to do better. Sorry! All I can say is that things have picked up at work (slightly) and at home (tremendously) so I have little time for much else. SO MUCH has been going on. George's work schedule has eased up quite a bit so we are getting a lot more family time. Here are some recent  snip-its of what has been going on in the Bensabat household, in no particular order:

1. We had a trainer evaluate Lilly. She didn't see anything that made her think Lilly needed to be re-homed. We got some training tips that we are trying to fit into our hectic schedules. She noted that re-homing Lilly would be more traumatic to her because of her age than it would be to keep her kenneled 24/7. In the meantime, I am trying to give her extra love when Mark goes to bed, not yelling at her when she is near the baby, and allowing Mark to feed her from his highchair so that she associates positive feelings towards him. We are taking it one day at a time...this I find, is my new mantra.

2. We took an adults-only trip. I highly recommend it for all parents. Even if it is just a night at home with the kiddos at the grandparents. We were refreshed and recharged when we picked up Mark on Sunday. It was really nice to have one day to only think about me. I love my life but at times, a break is nice.

3. Updates about my sweet boy: Mark got another tooth, for a grand total of 7. He is standing on his own for a few seconds at a time. He LOVES music and has quite the rhythym (see video below). He LOVES cheese, and not much else. Food is going to be a battleground I can see. Every morning, after he nurses, he is the sweetest most cuddly baby ever. He just lays on me while I scratch his back.  He loves being around people, the grocery is one of his favorites. He does not like NOT sleeping in his own bed.

4. We have a big decision coming up soon. George is about to begin his third and final year of residency and with that means the job hunt is on. Stay tuned for updates!

Currently, I am planning our vacation to the keys (think grocery lists, packing lists, menus etc.) Yes, I have a problem. I am also planning Mark's first Birthday party which is kind of a big deal. Even if he does not remember it, I always will. I am trying not to think too hard about the fact that my baby boy is almost one! I feel like he just got here. Life goes by way too fast. I am also trying to make a special slideshow of his first year (a tradition I hope to continue until he is 18 as well as for my future children). THAT is taking up a lot of time. I promise (for the fifty-first time) that I will be better about blogging. I have been trying to spend more time with my family since George is home more often now.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Parenthood Dilemma # 1 out of thousands

For those of you who know our dogs well, you all know we have been worried about Lilly's ability to get along with our future children. Well, fast forward to present day and our worst fears have been realized. She is threatened by my sweet baby Mark. We know what must be done but it is breaking our hearts to think about getting rid of Lilly. Melissa said it best when she said "if she only knew what repercussions she just started..."  You see, Lilly is slightly obsessed with me. It is probably my fault as I treated her like my child from day one. I even held her on my hip (my clock has been ticking for a while now :) ). She would nap on my chest. When she got older, she would sleep in my bed, under the covers with one head on the pillow and I would scratch her until we both fell asleep. In short, the dog is rotten. And because I got her when I was in college, I had oodles of time to devote and attention to pour on her. Now, not so much. I feel so guilty about what little time I have to give to my child, that I honestly don't give Lilly much attention at all. Part of me feels bad about it, part of me doesn't. Anyway, Lilly would be content to sit by my side all day and have me scratch her back. It's like she remembers how it used to be. Mind you, we are talking about something that occurred over 5 years ago. But she must remember.

When we brought Mark home I thought things would go great. Lilly wanted to be by Mark and me and she never showed any signs of stress or aggression. Now that he is crawling, it is a different story. Remember how I said Mark is enamoured with Lilly and Layla, well kick it up a notch now that he crawls. I was not home to witness it but he crawled up to Lilly and was pulling her hair and touching her and she snapped at him, but did not bite him. We were freaked out but were willing to discount the event since he was harassing her. However, the next day, when Mark was crawling in her general direction, she bared all of her teeth and was snarling at him. I've seen the look before. She does it to other dogs and if they move any closer she will literally lose her sh* and go psycho until the dog is belly up. That terrified me. Two days in a row, and none of her toys or any food were out. She does not want Mark by her.

We called the vet who recommended a behavioralist but did not seem optimistic about the chances of Lilly and Mark being able to co-exist, unless they are kept entirely separate. She also acknowledged how difficult it is to keep an animal entirely separate from a baby. She confirmed that we were right to take this situation very seriously. Lilly is a big dog- almost 70 pounds. She has made other dogs bleed. She is extremely dog aggressive and the only dog she gets along with is her sister, although there have been times when they fight so bad blood is shed. Although those instances are very seldom, maybe once a year if that. She also bit my little brother when he was 9. He was messing with her collar and when he did not stop, she bit him. On his face. She didn't break skin but he had teeth indentations on his face.

As I sit here typing about her past behavior, I see the writing is on the walls. My dog does not like children, she feels threatened for whatever reason. We are going to try the behavioralist but I am not optimistic. In some ways, it will be easier to hear a detached professional tell us that it would be better if we re-homed her. Then I would feel like we gave Lilly a chance. I can't imagine her in another house, with another family. Or our family without her. I thought my kids would develop a relationship with her, atleast Mark. And remember her fondly. Unfortunately I dont think that will happen anymore. Although Lilly does not like other dogs or small children, she has been a wonderful dog. She LOVES adults. She will literally lay by your feet all day. Of course she expects a little back scratch in return. But in all, she is a wonderful dog in a home of adults. I will be so sad if we have to get rid of her but I have to make the best decision for my child. I cannot and will not put him in danger when I can prevent it.