Up until now, our one and only baby was our dog Payton, a Jack Russell Terrier mix. I fell in love with her six years ago when I saw her at the Idaho Humane Society. Since then, I’ve lived in 3 states and moved 6 times. She is the only constant I’ve had. Now I’m married and my husband is just as taken with her as I am. As we get ready to expand our family again we’re both extremely nervous to see how she handles having to share the attention with a very demanding human baby.
Payton likes to be held like a baby, she loves being on our laps and she can be quite demanding herself. She’s also quite protective of us. When another dog wants to be pet or sit in our laps she shows her dominance. Another trait she has that makes us nervous is her anxiety around young children. I adopted her when she was 2.5 years old. I don’t know what happened to her in the first few years of her life but it appears she may have been mistreated by the children in the home. All this is why we’re so nervous to see how she’ll respond to a baby.
Superstar Fergie and her hubby just had a baby and they brought in the Dog Whisperer to help them prepare their pups. We loved the idea and reached out to local animal communicator, Kathy Van Guilder. What I learned was quite surprising. Van Guilder told us “Payton’s worried about the baby and she’s confused but she’s also worried about you and the baby. She’s worried you’re going to lose yourself. Obviously babies need a lot of care and I can explain that to her, but yeah that came up right away she’s worried that you’re going to do too much and it’s going to be overwhelming. They know far more than we think.”
She also gave us some insight to Payton’s life before us. Van Guilder says she was in a home where she spent most of her time confined, got very little attention and was mistreated by a child in the house (something we’d suspected).
The good news is, Van Guilder says Payton wants to be more of a protector than a competitor with the baby. That’s something we’ve been telling her since we found out we were expecting. Van Guilder says she’s very comfortable with that role.
If you’d like to learn more about Kathy, you can visit her website, www.KathyVanGuilder.com. She does sessions on the phone, in person, teaches classes and is a pet photographer.