Before I brought home Olivia, I read every book and website and prepared myself for my new arrival. I read that it takes a few nights of crying before they get used to their kennel, and I was mentally prepared to be tough. The first night home, she fell right to sleep and I thought, "that wasn't hard!"
The second night didn't go so well. She cried, I gave in, she curled her 10 pound body around my neck and has slept there ever since.
For the first 6 months of her life, I never left her alone, brought her everywhere with me, and jumped to her attention at any peep she made. Her tiny paws rarely touched the ground as I carried her almost constantly.
What I didn't realize, was that I was creating an adorable monster who would forever require constant, undivided attention. With the world revolving around her, she consumed every waking moment of my life.
When I started talking about getting a second dog, my family and friends thought I had lost my mind. How would I carry two 55 pound dogs everywhere? Where would the second one sleep?
But I reasoned that a second dog would actually reduce the amount of work. Olivia would have someone to play with and take on some of my entertaining duties. I wouldn't need to bring her everywhere because I wouldn't feel guilty leaving her alone- she would have a brother to keep her company.
When Griffin joined the family, he was nearly two years old and had grown up as a normal dog- sleeping in a kennel, cared for but not coddled. I was surprised by how little he needed me. He was content playing with a toy by himself, didn't like being carried and slept by the side of the bed. He didn't throw tantrums or demand to be on my lap all the time. He was just easy going and spent most of the time hanging out. I was pretty excited for Olivia to gain some of Griff's independence.
Sleeping on the floor eventually evolved into sleeping at the foot of the bed, which led to sleeping at my knees. Pretty soon, he was at my hips, then my shoulders and recently he has been most content with his head on my left shoulder (yes, I sleep sandwiched between 110 pounds of bulldog, whatever). Whereas he used to hate being picked up, now when he is tired (in the morning when we first wake up, when we go to bed at night, and well, he's a bulldog, so most of the day in between), he has adopted Olivia's preference for being carried.
And now, well, he has decided he is most happy when we are physically touching. If I am within sight his sight, but not actually within reach, he cries.
He hasn't taught Olivia to be more independent, she has shown him what it means to be a pampered baby.
I realize I should be tougher and put my foot down and teach them both to be less needy. But when he looks at me with those pound puppy eyes and cries with his old man/nasal-y cry, I just can't resist...