New normal

Many of you have asked how Leo is adjusting to life and sharing a house with baby Gus. From what we can tell he’s doing okay. His new normal now includes waking up at 3 am to a baby squealing, getting his breakfast served up with one hand and a baby in the other and generally if someone is cooing in the house it’s not for him but rather a tiny smelly human being.

He certainly isn’t the centre of attention anymore. Sometimes I catch him in the corner of my eye when we are fussing over the baby, wagging his tail and looking to see if anyone is possibly talking about him or looking at him, ready to have his ears scratched or his head patted. When the fussing is over and the baby is sleeping, Leo does get plenty of cuddles and gets a special concession bed pass in the early evening. He also goes on extra special walks every day with the baby wrapped in a fluffy bear suit and squeaking as he sleeps in the sling.

Once a day Leo trots into the baby’s room and takes a sniff of his laundry hamper, walks over and sniffs the baby where I’m holding him in the chair, gives the top of his head a little lick and then moves on again.

It’s still early days and I’m sure the dynamic will change once Gus starts crawling and walking, but for now things have gone remarkably well. One thing we’ve really worked hard on is to always include Leo in the ‘mix’, he loves the feeling of being part of his pack and lying in his bed in the same room as everyone else.

A few nights ago, we started noticing just how serious Leo is about being part of his now extended pack. At Gus’ bathtime he comes into the bathroom and lies down at the door for the duration of the event, through the squealing and excitement of singing endless renditions of Old MacDonald and Twinkle Twinkle…

This photo below truly captures how he feels about his new normal:

this pack is my life, it is worth defending so I’ll just stand guard here because I like hanging out with them…


  • Annie

    Glad to hear that it’s all going well with Leo, Marita, they do say that Staffies are the Nanny dogs of the world :-)

    I love the bottom picture, Brendon looks so puzzled by what’s in front of him!!

    • Marita

      LOL Annie, that’s a good observation ;)

  • Sabrina Raaff

    Hey M, you know woofies are the closest thing to my heart so these pics have just made my day. You and Brendon really are such role models. Thank you.

    • Marita

      ah thanks Beans, we are learning as we go along but we absolutely love our family unit with leo – he completes the picture!

  • Rene

    Hey marita,

    Its lovely to read your blog, especially the baby / dog dynamics. We have two dogs, a jack russel and a bull terrier. Oh, and two kids – one 4 years and the other almost 2. The jack russel is bothered less than zero about the kids but the bully is all over them. Watching them when they eat, watching them when they swim, trying to play with them. Its really cute. I remember before we had kids the bully slept in our bed, ate at the table (really), and took part in all the spoils but she has adjusted really well when the kids arrived. Because she was the ‘big’ dog we had to instill some boundries with her since she is very very strong. But It helps to keep them involved in the daily routines.

    The jack russell however is our problem ‘child’. she does not adhere to any rules, ignores the kids and eats out of their plates.

    Happy new year by the way, will keep reading the blog!


    Rene (one of the twins from school)

    • Marita

      Hi Rene, so lovely to hear from you and thank you for reading my blog! Of course I remember you from school :) Your little family sounds so precious and your dogs sound so cute. I think it’s great to bring up young children with dogs so that they’re not scared of them – I bet you guys have a lot of fun together!

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