Learning To Love Again

learningtoloveagainPUGS

Have you ever fallen so deeply in love, only to find yourself years later realizing that the love you once felt seems to have diminished?

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but that’s what has happened with our incredibly sweet and painfully adorable pug dog. Cob’s been in our life for over 10 years; my husband and I eagerly and lovingly adopted him when he was just 10 weeks old. He fit in the palm of our hands, we doted on him incessantly, and could not stand being away from him for longer than a few hours. We loved obsessed over him and thought of him as our pug-son. Yup, we were those people who sought out dog bakeries for special birthday treats, made time every day after work for fun at the dog park, and even had him as our tux-clad ring-bearer in our wedding.

And then I got pregnant with our son and, as we neared his arrival, things got real.

In preparation for our son’s birth, we did many of things suggested here. We were determined to help make the transition to big brother-dom as seamless as possible for Cob. And he did great. Never once since our son’s birth in 2011, nor our daughter’s in 2013, has he behaved in a concerning manner. He’s remained his sweet, loving, snuggly self. All he wants is love and attention {and kibble bits}…

It was I who changed. I was a new mom, exhausted, overwhelmed, and wanted by two little beings who needed me and I.Could.Not.Handle.One.More.Creature.Needing.Something.From.Me. I was the one who fell out of love. Cob, on the other hand, remained loyal and loving, ready at any moment to cuddle up to me on the couch or accept all the vigorous baby and toddler love given to him by his siblings.

Now that I’ve come out of the exhaustion-induced fog of motherhood and have a bit more room to breathe, I recognize that I never truly stopped loving Cob; I simply needed to recalibrate my love and my expectations of this love, recognizing that my affection for him had changed. While he remains my pug-son and receives all the care a pet should receive, he is not my child. I am mom to two little children, and my love for them will never come second to my love for my dog. In fact, I can’t compare the two loves. But I can return to being his pug-mama, loving him as a dog should be loved.

And please don’t get me wrong; Cob is L-O-V-E-D. His brother and sister shower him with affection {almost} incessantly. They want to play with him, walk him, run around the yard with him, and always look forward to feeding him his kibble bits at meal time. In fact, seeing them love Cob as they do has helped me remember what an important role he plays in our lives. Yes, he’s our pet and is loved as such. But he’s also part of our family, and is loved for all that he adds to it. First thing in the morning, both kids run to his bed and offer him a good morning hug. He returns the love by making them giggle as he stretches and yawns his way out of his doggy bed. He’s a wonderful big dog-brother, and continues to fill our home with his exuberant tail wag.

And most importantly, Cob is helping my children learn to love animals. There’s something so incredibly special about seeing your little ones cuddle around their dog while reading a book. And he’s {thankfully} taught me to slow down, breathe, and let life happen, without worrying about the next thing I need to do. He’s helped center our family life, sometimes around a pug-snuggle, sometimes around his dinner bowl as we watch him eagerly eat the food his siblings loving poured in his bowl. Cob’s a central part of our family and without him our home would feel empty.

Cobintux

Isn’t Cob super-handsome in his tux?!?! He wore it so very proudly on our wedding day! And for those curious to know, those were our wedding cake toppers (a gift from our equally pug-obssessed friends)!

So, tell us…do you have a family pet and did you experience moments of detachment from it after becoming a parent? Did you too find yourself feeling like the dog days were over?

 

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