Conversation with a Babysitter Dog

I often get to do animal communication for people who are about to become parents and are wondering whether their beloved animal companion will accept the little human newcomer. My personal opinion is that most animal companions will love and accept, even protect a newborn family member. But I know better than to foist my personal opinion onto someone making such an important decision.

Whether an animal companion will accept a newborn child is a serious question that deserves a serious answer. Not all animal companions will accept a newborn family member, and the outcome of a wrong decision can literally become a life-or-death situation. Learning and respecting the animal’s viewpoint is critical.

It’s a relief—and sometimes a hoot—to hear what animals think about their humans’ young’uns. I asked an older dog about his nighttime pacing, and the conversation evolved into what he thought about the young children in his family:

Why do you pace at night?

“I wake up with my hip hurting and my leg going to sleep, so I have to get up and walk it off. When that happens, I want to check out the house and make sure everyone’s okay.” (What he means by “check out the house” is that he’s doing a safety-check.)

What can your family do to make you happy?

“I’m happy! They don’t have to do a thing! I’m the happiest dog in the world! I know how lucky I am. All I want is for you to keep me in the family. I know you’ll be busy with the babies, and that’s fine. I can help!” (Showing that he will clean up any spills the babies make.)

Is there anything that anyone in your family does that you don’t like?

(Showing an image of a toddler trying to pet him and accidentally hitting instead, pulling his ears and sticking fingers up his nose.) But…

“I love my baby, and I’ll love the new baby, too! They can poke me and lay on me and do whatever they want. If I don’t like it, I will move away. I will never bite. You can trust me. I am a good babysitter. I’m your Good Dog. I know I’m a basic dog, and that’s exactly what I want to be. I don’t need or want anything fancy or special or extra. I just want to be your good dog, and to help with the babies. I’m excited about the new baby! I hope it’s a girl. Even if she sticks bows on my head and puts tutus on me, I’ll love her, and I’ll let her do it. You can count on me.”

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