A few months ago, I talked about the importance of finding time to still love my pets even though Everett is now taking up a huge amount of my day (and I still have that full time job to worry about too). I mentioned that we also made sure that we allowed both our dog and cat to come over to sniff Everett and be able to figure out who this new addition was. We believed it allowed both our son and the pets to get comfortable with each other.
It is now several months later and probably a good time to decide if our efforts have paid off. We still get many people who ask us how Summit (our dog) gets along with Everett. I think often what they really mean is, “Has that 85 pound beast tried to eat your son yet?” People don’t seem to ask about Crosby (the cat) as much, but that is probably more due to the fact he’s easy to miss when you’ve got a giant jumping mound of fur blocking your view. Our answer is always the same, “Oh they get along great. They’re best buds.”
Everett and Summit really are best friends. Any time we lay Everett down, Summit will have to go over and say hello (or what some may know as “poking his nose into the baby’s face”). Everett will often stare at Summit and watch his every movement. His watching leads to smiling and laughing and talking to the dog. Recently, we’ve put Everett close to Summit so that he can “pet” him (or also known as “cling on to a chunk of Summit’s fur”), which usually causes Everett to unleash several smiles and laughs. Summit seems to enjoy being “pet” by Everett, and he even allows us to put Everett on his back (dogback riding is the hottest new recreation). Summit has accepted Everett as a part of the family, and someone that he enjoys being around.
Summit is also a protector of Everett. When Everett starts to cry, Summit will often run to the room that Everett is in, and if we don’t jump into action, Summit will often come back to give us a look like, “Um, aren’t you going to fix this problem? Now!” A few weeks ago in the evening, Everett was in bed but started to cry, and so his sorrow could be heard on the baby monitor. Summit ran to the monitor, started to sniff it, and tried to figure out why poor Everett was stuck in there. Summit then stared at us, and made it clear we needed to rescue Everett immediately.
You’ve probably noticed Crosby’s relationship hasn’t been mentioned in this column. This doesn’t mean Everett and Crosby don’t get along. They accept each other’s existence just fine. Crosby shows his love by walking on him, try to make some room on our lap when we’re holding Everett, and occasionally, giving Everett a token sniff. Everett likes to watch Crosby, but he seems to view him as this weird crying creature rather than as a beloved friend like Summit. Sometimes they will decide to join into a chorus of cries together, which usually is a competition to see who ends up getting fed first (Everett comes out on top most times).
I am really happy the pets accepted Everett so quickly. I know this has to do with the fact that we didn’t ignore the pets the first few months, and I always tried to find time each day to lavish some attention on them. Plus we never hid Everett away from them, but encouraged the pets to visit and sniff him since the very first day Everett arrived. Now, Everett has himself two wonderful furry friends (or at least, one large furry friend and one fellow crier for food).