a letter to the dog

Colby Jack,

I cried the day I first met you, 6 years ago.  I held you, about the size of a beanie baby, in my hand and my eyes welled with tears.  I knew you were meant for me.  It was an instant bond.

Back then you were my only child.  And I treated you as such.  I remember an annual vet visit when I held you in my arms, and the vet told me that I should consider treating you more like a dog.  She explained that down the line… when an actual child was involved… it could cause anxiety or aggression issues when you were forced to share my affection.

But you were my baby.  I considered finding a new vet… instead… I sent your Dad to the following visits.


Then, we got pregnant with Colin. I worried & worried & worried during that pregnancy about how you would adjust.  The vet’s words repeated in my mind.  I even took a seminar on how to prepare your dog for baby.  We bought a baby doll and gave it lots of attention to see how you’d react.  You stared at us like they do know that’s a DOLL, right?

You adjusted perfectly.  Of course you did.  You’re the best dog.  I was so proud of you.  There was a moment, during week #1 when I was so very exhausted, and while I was feeding your new brother you came into the room & dropped a ball at the foot of the chair.  You looked up at me and I burst into tears, sobbing ‘I’m such a terrible mother to you!  How can people ever have two kids?  This is so hard!‘  [Oh, pregnancy hormones.  Thankfully, it gradually got much easier.]

Then, we were pregnant with Jill.  This time, I didn’t worry about you at all.  I knew you’d handle the new addition well.  You were patient and accommodating when your daily walks came to a halt because of my morning (all-day) sickness.  And sure enough, when Jill came home, you weren’t phased.


But I am phased.  After meeting the needs of two little ones, I am completely spent at the end of the day.  I have so little left for you.  I just can’t be there for you in the way I used to be.  I’m grateful your Dad has been working hard to pickup the slack.

Friends/family have made comments about ‘how far Colby has fallen’ because I don’t treat you like my only child anymore.  And it’s true.  You’re not my only child anymore.  It still breaks my heart to hear that though.  I’ve tried so hard to make sure you feel loved, but sometimes I can’t do it all.

It doesn’t help that your timing… oh, your timing… seriously, couldn’t be any worse.  Like when your brother & sister  wail all morning and then by some miracle take naps simultaneously.  A glorious moment of silence.  I sit down on the couch.  Exhale.  You sit next to my feet… and vomit all over the carpet.  Seriously, Colby?  Seriously?

I know your siblings will only grow more independent.  As they need me less & less, I will have more left for you.  Until then, I am so appreciative of your patience with me.  You are the definition of unconditional love.  And THAT is why, no matter how dramatically your life has changed, you still sleep in our bed every night.  Your brother & sister can’t say that.

You really are the very best dog, Colby.  Happy 6th birthday!

Love, Momma

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