We Got A Puppy Disguised As A Newborn


We Got A Puppy Disguised As A Newborn

As I lay on the floor next to the new baby, I kept repeating over and over in my head the sentence, “Please go to sleep, please go to sleep…” since all I wanted to do was fall back in bed and return to my warm, cozy slumber. Sounds familiar, right? Those early days of sleepless nights, midnight feedings, and not knowing which end was up. This time around I thought it would be different for my family and me.

Why? Because the baby I am speaking of is our new puppy Ellie, a seven-week-old golden retriever!

My children really wanted a baby brother or sister around the holidays and asked if they could have one for Christmas or Hanukkah (we celebrate both in my household), but I said no way. That ship has sailed for me and I am perfectly content with my one girl and one boy. So in October, when we had to put our sixteen-year-old golden retriever Lucy to sleep, my then five-year-old almost immediately started to ask for a puppy from Santa. He definitely was sad to lose his dog and missed her, but he is a dog person through and through and was relentless in his quest for another one. I, on the other hand, was not so eager to add another dog to the household so soon and made that very clear to anyone who asked when we would be getting another one. As you can tell from my introduction to this article, that did not last very long!

I figured a puppy was a pretty good compromise in place of a baby brother or sister for my kids, and since I have done the whole puppy thing before, I thought that would be way easier. Hahahaha. What I did not take into account was the last time I did the puppy stage, it was pre-kids. Which leads me back to my opening setting. A puppy versus a newborn…not so different after all!

So far, there are lots of similarities and more than once, I have found myself asking: What have I gotten myself into?

First, there is the whole not sleeping through the night. I literally was laughing to myself while I laid on the floor next to the kennel trying to get the puppy to stop crying and lay down to go back to sleep, all the while having flashbacks of doing the same thing with my infant son, except of course I was lying next to a crib then. What then made me laugh even harder was when my husband let out a loud snore, meaning he proceeded to sleep through the whole thing — kind of reminiscent of those newborn days. (Kidding. Hubby pulled his weight and pitched in just as much in the early days too.) However, moms, you get what I am saying. Mom was the one laying with one hand in the crib at 2:30am, rubbing baby’s back, not dad. Then, during the day, when the puppy was napping, I proceeded to shush everyone in the house and gave the kids a death glare if they dared make any noise that would even remotely wake the “newborn” up.

Another freakish similarity is making sure to watch every little thing the puppy is putting in her mouth, just like I had to do with my babies. We pretty much had to baby proof the entire house all over again. Baby gates are back up, small pieces to toys that can be easily swallowed are put away, and shoes and socks are nowhere to be found. I am right back to where I was when my children were toddlers and I couldn’t leave a room for more than five seconds at a time for fear of them getting into something that could potentially harm them. Forget about just letting her outside to play in my gated backyard. Every single little thing on the ground is fair game and goes right into her mouth. Cool. Just when I thought I was done with all of that, I put myself right back in the thick of it!

Then I brought the puppy over to my friend’s house the other night to let her meet her and her daughter, and get in some puppy snuggles, again…just like when there is a new baby and everyone wants to see them in the early days. As I was leaving to go home, I was packing up the equivalent to a diaper bag for Ellie’s puppy things. I couldn’t help it — I started laughing hysterically. All the things were being packed up that I had made sure to bring with me, just as when I had my babies and went anywhere with them too. Snacks, toys, blankets. Only things missing this time were diapers, wipes and an extra outfit!

In the moment when you first bring home that tiny new baby, the world you knew your life to be is momentarily rocked. A new puppy has the same effect. We figured out life with each new baby we welcomed into our lives and I know this too shall pass once we get through the newborn stage — all of this will be a distant memory. We are looking forward to the joy and love we know a dog brings. Now, I must go nap as they say to sleep while the baby is sleeping and she is currently out cold, so good night!

It’s been a minute since I have done the whole puppy training thing. Do you have any great tips to share for training a puppy?

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Hi! I’m Stephanie, an elementary school teacher and mom to two, a girl, and a boy. My husband I have been married for 12 years now, together for 21. I am a Knoxville transplant, and am originally from South Florida. I am UCF alumni, a Miami Hurricanes fan, and a recently converted Vols supporter! I have loved calling Knoxville home and raising my family here. I love getting the chance to experience seasons and all things fall related, which you don’t get in the Sunshine State! We love to explore all that Knoxville has to offer and have made many memories. I am an avid reader, coffee drinker, black belt shopper, Disney enthusiast who loves a good laugh with good friends and family. I am so excited to share my experiences and thoughts on navigating life as a mom with you all through my passion of writing!


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