Before there was Rowan, we had our fur baby Finn. We brought this sweet little cockapoo into our family knowing full well we were hoping to expand it with a baby before long. Even though we picked out a breed that would be good with children, we weren’t quite sure how Finny Bear (as we affectionately call him) would react to his baby brother. I’ve heard stories of families whose dogs were put up for adoption or had to permanently live with other family members once the newborn came home. I was resolute that this would not be our story.
We followed certain pieces of advice, such as setting up the nursery far in advance and introducing a blanket with Rowan’s smell on it as soon as possible. Finn seemed to think the new room was great, although I’m not convinced he didn’t think it was all for him. And I hear that he wanted to play tug of war with the receiving blanket, which isn’t really what you want. But at the end of the day, we had to wait and see how it played out once Rowan came home.
When we returned from the hospital, Arthur and the baby stayed in the hallway while I entered our condo and greeted Finn individually. Then Arthur brought Rowan in to introduce to the dog. Finn was immediately intrigued, sniffing and trying to get as close to him as possible. He was concerned when he heard Rowan’s first cries and followed us around the house with him. It was love at first sight; Rowan had an instant best friend and has given Finny Bear a purpose.
The dog lies faithfully by the crib at night as we put the baby to bed, and he wakes up with me at 2 AM for feeding time. If Rowan is sleeping elsewhere in the house and Finn and I are snuggling, the dog forgets I exist as soon as he hears his baby brother stirring. During tummy time, Finn joins Rowan on his mat and tries in vain to give him supportive kisses.
All of this bonding has led to Finn being overprotective, however. If I’m walking him alongside the stroller and we come across another dog, more often than not Finny Bear acts like a bodyguard and tries to ward off the other dog. And if he hears a noise or sees a shadow he doesn’t like underneath the front door, he gets all up in arms.
Even with his more alert persona, I’m so glad that Finn has accepted Rowan as part of our pack. I always wanted to raise our children with a dog, and it seems that Finn is more than up to the task. They’re only eleven months apart, so they have a long time to get to know each other and grow together. I can’t wait to see how these two boys interact as Rowan gets older.