I’ve been thinking a lot about our dog lately, mainly because he’s been acting strangely.

He’s always acted strangely, really, but since the baby arrived he’s had a tough time adjusting. He used to be the centre of our attention. Laps were his for the taking, he could cuddle with either of us any time he wanted to. All the toys in the house belonged to him and him alone.

Since the baby came there has been a lot less lap space, less time for him, and since she started crawling his things are being interfered with. He has to get used to the fact that she’s grabbing his mustache, picking up his toys, and splashing in his water bowl, because she just doesn’t know any better.

I’m worried about him because I have to take care of her and I don’t know if he realizes that he’s still an important part of this family and that someday the two of them will be great friends. He might even give up sleeping cuddled next to me for her bed in a couple of years.

Henry the Schnauzer (properly Chancellor Heinrich von Fluffenstein Puppyface), is a very special dog. Joe and I brought him home when he was just eight weeks old. He weighed 2.1 lbs and he was our Christmas present to each other. We bought him from a family that had bred out their schnauzer. We saw their posting online and went up to see the puppies and put down a deposit. It was a big of a long drive, and it was a cold, dark night, but when we got their one of the little girls in the house had placed a warm puppy in my cold hands before I could get my boots off.

It was a girl dog, chubby and cute one of three in the litter. Five boys. We wanted a boy dog. We had already chosen a name for him. He would be Henry, shortened from Heinrich, because as a schnauzer he should have a German name.

The little girl took the first puppy away from me and handed me another. He had a tiny blue ribbon around his neck to differentiate him from his brothers. He was the runt and the girls had dubbed him Tiny Tim. I held him in both hands and looked down into his adorable little face. He licked my nose. I looked at Joe and said “This one.” I almost cried.

It was as though he knew we were there for him and he was meant to be part of our family.

The day we met

He was so small when we brought him home. He was so scared. He’d never been outside before and when we picked him up on December 21 it was cold. He didn’t know cold. He cried most of the way home as I held him in my hands, and he cried all night.

I was still in university and so I was on Christmas break and I could spend all day with him at home, training him and getting to know him. We bonded almost immediately.

He knows when I’m sad and he comes over and tries to make me feel better. He gives hugs – he’ll come up and place his chin on your shoulder. He just seems to know when I need him.

Every day I remind myself to pat Henry, hug him, and let him know that he is still our special puppy, we still love him, and he will adjust with us. The baby already adores him and soon enough he will adore her too.

Friends... eventually

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