Not just a dog

Well, well,

look at the little friends 🙂

bell and liv

You’ll be the smallest one in the house again pretty soon here, Bell 😉

I thought I’d write a little update about Bella and Livi, since a few of ya have asked if it’s still going well. (The first update, a couple of weeks after we brought Liv home is here)

The word: Bella has officially taken on the role of mama dog, and even though she still keeps her distance, you can tell she loves Liv so much.

When I get home from running errands, I’ll open the door from the garage into the house and Bell will come running out. I’ll tell her “let’s go get sissy!” and she’ll race to the car, jump in the back seat and wait for me to get Liv out and bring her inside. She still smells her fairly often, and face kisses are not allowed, but I think she understands that Livi is a person, and that she’ll be around for a while. During one middle-of-the-night feeding sesh, Bella curled up right next to me while I was feeding her, which made my heart happy because I know she was sad for a little while. I’ll never forget the accusatory “traitor” glares I got during the first couple of weeks.

As you guys know, I wondered quite a bit about how things would go once the baby arrived. I knew Bella would never hurt the baby, but I didn’t want her to feel like we loved her any less just because someone else was in the house. She was my first *baby*, and even though she’s a dog, she’s a part of our family. One of my friends, who also has a little dog and is expecting soon, emailed me and said she couldn’t believe she’d love someone more than her dog, and at the same time, she was scared she that she would.

Some people told me while I was pregnant that your dog goes from being your baby, to “just a dog.” For me, I’ve found that I love Bella just as much as ever, if not more because she’s been so wonderful with Liv, but at the same time, it’s hard to show her in the ways I used to.

She still gets lots of snuggles from Tom, myself, and whenever we have company over, but we take less walks and play less often. After Liv goes to sleep, we’ll play fetch with Bell and chase her around, but during the day, she chills.

Even though she isn’t quite as spoiled as she used to be, she’ll never be “just a dog” over here.

bell and carrot

And I think she’ll like Livi even more once she starts eating solids. Bella loves people food 😉

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  1. Leslie Wingate on March 18, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Having a little dog that sneaks under that highchair for all the crumbies is awesome! I didn’t realize how much my schnauzer, Lacey, cleaned up for me until she was gone. They both look precious!

  2. Stephanie @ Legally Blinde on March 18, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    That’s so cute that Bella will hop in the backseat until you get Livi out of the car! Very sweet. My cousin has a 2 1/2 year old little girl and a small dog, and they’re best friends – it’s so cute to see them play together! Her dog has always been super gentle with her little girl, too.

  3. Alicia on March 18, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    I don’t have kids, but my dog is my ‘fur baby.’ I once told an ex boyfriend that I loved my dog more than him haha. to be fair I think something happened that night to her and I was freaked out she was hurt/in pain and that something was wrong with her so I was upset. But she really is my baby. If I could take her with me everywhere I probably would. I sneak her into stores now and then, and she always comes in the car and on errands. My mom got her from our neighbours litter about a month after my dad passed away when I was 16, so she is very special and dear to me. I think dogs understand more than we know! And I’m sure she will be very protective of livi! They have natural instincts too!

    • Fitnessista on March 18, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      yes, i totally agree!
      i used to take bell with me everywhere when she was a baby. she saw a couple of movies and finance lectures 😉

  4. Kerry @ Totes My Oats on March 18, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Yay Bella! I love the loving/protective family nature dogs can possess!

  5. Lisa @ Fresh Spinach on March 18, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    That’s great to hear! I’ve been thinking about how our 2 cats (our fur babies) would react to a new baby in the house. It’s a long ways off, but I still wonder.

  6. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More on March 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Awww that’s so cute!! I’m sure she’ll love when Liv gets older too so she can play WITH her! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 18, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      yes, she’ll love it 🙂

  7. Laura @ She Eats Well on March 18, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Bella totally has her own personality and it comes through on this blog. It’s so freaking funny…you can tell she’s got a lot of personality in the photos. She looks so big next to little Liv 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 18, 2012 at 11:34 pm

      she definitely has a funny personality 😉

  8. Danielle on March 18, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    I’m so happy that you are one of those owners that view her as part of the family! I don’t have kids yet, but I couldn’t imagine thinking about my dog as “just a dog” when I finally do.

  9. Sara on March 19, 2012 at 12:26 am

    One of my cats (I have four) is very ‘motherly’ with all babies, of all species. When I got a kitten, he used to do the grossest thing.. bring in mostly dead mice so that the kitten could learn to hunt and kill. Then, when we had a baby in the house, he did the same thing, with a rat. He trotted into the lounge and spat out a mostly dead rat in front of the baby, who thought this was super cool. I’m not sure that the adult reaction was quite what Mog was looking for! But, it’s cute that he thinks it’s his job to provide for the babies of the family. Even though we humans don’t quite appreciate the efforts as much as we probably should. I’m sure its quite a skill to catch and maim a rat to the correct level….

  10. Averie @ Averie Cooks on March 19, 2012 at 12:28 am

    That’s so sweet that Bella is the Mama Dog and so protective and that you all have adjusted so well. Glad that it all worked out and everyone’s happy!

  11. j3nn on March 19, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Our pets are part of our family, so to us, it feels like another addition; not less or different relationships with the animals, just more members in the nest. 🙂

  12. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey on March 19, 2012 at 7:30 am

    My Charlie could never go to “just being a dog” – even though I’m not pregnant nor do I have any kids, I just couldn’t imagine it! He is “my baby”. I’m sure things will change a little bit, but he is definitely part of the family!

  13. Gina on March 19, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Hi Gina!! Its your friend from Massachusetts (i’m Gina, I had a dog named Bella). I was wondering how Bella was adjusting to the new addition. I’m glad its going well. I can just imagine the fun they will have together when Livi starts to crawl and walk!! Bella will stand guard under the high chair for sure waiting for Livi to start throwing her food on the floor!!!

  14. Kristen on March 19, 2012 at 7:44 am

    This was one of my biggest worries while I was pregnant. The day I went into labor I actually cried between contractions when I looked at my dog. And the first couple of days home from the hospital I bawled. She wanted me to pick her up and I couldn’t. I felt awful about it and so guilty. She looked so sad. Plus my hormones were CRAZY.
    Our baby is now 2 weeks old and while we’re still finding our groove, it’s alot better than last week and I have found time to give my fur baby some attention. She seems back to her sassy little self now.

  15. Sylvia on March 19, 2012 at 9:21 am

    That’s so sweet! I’m glad that you treat Bella like a family member, because they are 🙂
    I also have a small dog, but no kids yet. He doesn’t really care for adults but he gravitates towards little children, he just LOVES my bfs little niece. He let’s her do whatever she likes to him and is super gentle. I’m sure once Olivia is older they can run around and chase eachother. My dog loves being chased by the little niece who is four and she finds it funny when he tries to steal her toys haha.

  16. Lauren on March 19, 2012 at 9:54 am

    So sweet! Watch how beautifully their relationship develops. My daughter is almost 16 months and she hugs the dogs and lays with them all the time. It’s so sweet! So many photo ops! 😉 my daughter even says “Gingey” and “Sueshay” for Ginger and Sueshe. It’s the cutest!!

  17. Kelly @ Vegolosophy on March 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

    awww totally cute! I am totally one of those people who can’t imagine our dog just being a dog when we have kids one day. Pete is our little baby and I think always will be! 🙂

  18. Sara on March 19, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Your daughter just LOVES to stick her tongue out at us! Lol, she definitely has your spunky personality 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      haha she sticks her tongue out a lot!

      • Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs on March 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm

        I love when babies are going through the “what is this thing in my mouth” phase! My niece used to stick hers out and suck on it like a binky haha.

  19. Rebecca @ Miss Magnolia Munches & Moves on March 19, 2012 at 11:51 am

    And just think how much fun Livi will have with Bella when she is old enough to play with her! I’m sure she will adore Bella as much as you do.

  20. Natasha on March 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    It warms my heart to see that Bella is still the furbaby. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who turn the furkids into “just dogs/cats.” I’m sure they will continue to bond as Livi grows and can participate in Bella’s playtime 🙂 You guys are great role models, showing people that it is possible to love both human and furbabies and that you don’t have to choose one over the other <3

  21. Jenny @ simply be me on March 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Our son is almost 3 and he loves our dog. Glenn (a 7-year-old Irish Setter) wanted nothing to do with him at first but now they actually play together and it is definitely heart melting! We are expecting baby #2 in August so we figure they will become even better friends once he/she arrives 🙂

  22. Lara on March 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    This is so great to read. Thanks again for all the feedback and being so responsive. I hope we have a similarly positive experience with our pups and little one 🙂

  23. Katie on March 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I totally agree! We have a yellow lab who is way more than “just a dog”-she’s our first baby. Now that we’re expecting a human baby, I’ve had a couple people tell me as well that she will become “just a dog” when the baby arrives. Both my husband and I disagree- we’re sure she wouldn’t get quite a much attention as she does now but she will always be a valued member of our family! There’s just something about unconditional dog love…. 😉

  24. Helene @healthyfrenchie on March 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    That picture of Liv and Bella is so precious! Looks like they will be best of friends and playing together in no time!
    I’m glad you posted this, and that a lot of people commented.. We just got our little Freddie in November. I never had a pet before and I never expected to love a dog so much! He’s my fur baby and it kinda breaks my heart a little when I have to close the door on him in the morning..
    Now I know I’m not crazy haha

  25. Helen on March 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks for this post! I love my dog more than anything, and have been a little worried that when me and my husband decide to start a family our dog will not be as happy because we’ll be spending so much time with our baby. We actually just had a conversation about how we still love our dog so much, and would want to make sure that our “first born” never feels neglected. 🙂

  26. Barb on March 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I have three dogs and a few cats, and they are our “kids.” Everyone, including my mom, always tells me that as soon as we have kids, I won’t love my pets as much; that they will be just dogs/cats. I have to respectfully disagree 🙂 I’ve got lots of room for love, and don’t feel that having children will detract from that, but rather add to it. It is so nice to see that I’m not the only one who feels this way!

  27. Brandi Scott on March 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    We have a great dane and when I was pregnant with our first he went from being our baby to my protecor….he has been great. Our son has basically used him for everything from teddy bear to kitchen table to jungle gym since his birth and the dog takes it all with love and patience. So much patience that now that I’m pregnant again he has noticed and is going back into super protector mode. No one is allowed to touch my belly if he sees it. And if its anything like last time we will once again have to use a blanket or something to burp the baby because if he hears skin on skin contact prepare to feel a gentle nudge of big dog mouth on your arm until you stop “hurting” his baby.

  28. Lindsey on March 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Loved hearing she will never be “just a dog.” My fur-baby Lizzie will always be my first baby. I know things change when a baby comes along, but I can’t imagine ever loving her less. I’m glad they are getting along and Bella is acting so nurturing and sweet!

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