Well if that’s not an alliteration, I don’t know what is! As requested, Truckee is finally, finally getting her moment in the spotlight. I often times forget that Truckee used to be featured on the blog quite often back in the day. Back before her two little tiny human siblings came along and stole her thunder, that is.
So one of the topics I received requests for in my reader survey was how Truckee has handled the transition to two kids. Specifically, how she’s adjusted and if we’ve had any issues with her. The short answer? She’s been absolutely perfect. The long answer? Hmm, where do I begin…
Truckee is the epitome of a gentle giant, and we couldn’t ask for a better dog-sister than her. And she’s always been a gentle giant, even when she was a puppy, she was always gentle and never showed any signs of aggression or anxiety. So, when we got pregnant with Adeline, we knew we had nothing to worry about. And, sure enough, Truckee was a dream with baby Adeline. If you follow her account on Instagram, @truckeetales, the two of them practically rolled on the floor together on a regular basis. Truckee always let her climb on her, sit on her, pull on her, ride her. She was always just very patient, tolerant, and when she no longer wanted to play with her baby sister, she’d quietly meander back to our bedroom and drift off to sleep on her bed (read: our bed). Or a pile of laundry.
As Adeline grew, Truckee became a bit more playful and spunky, I’d say. I have so many memories of the two of them just rough housing playfully back and forth. This sometimes bit Truckee in the rear though because it was easy for her to forget her true size. Once Adeline could walk, and stand to be about as tall as Truckee was while standing, Truckee would forget sometimes how powerful she was and how much bigger than Adeline she really was while they were playing, or even just cohabitating. Several times, out of pure accident, Truckee would plow Adeline over, and leave Adeline on the ground, a little stunned and confused like a just-sacked quarterback. Hilarious, more often than not, but we’d still have to sternly remind Truckee to be gentle, slow down, and watch where she’s going. She never hurt Adeline, of course. But, a 100 lb dog can easily knock over a 20 lb toddler, no matter how fast they’re going! I remember sometimes even just her tail wagging would knock Adeline over. Adeline never seemed too phased.
Now that Adeline is a “big kid” and much more sturdy though, she can really hold her own. Truckee will still sometimes knock her over, but it’s usually because Adeline is the one not paying attention, not Truckee. Adeline has, for the most part, outgrown the stage of wanting to constantly ride on Truckee or sit on her, but we’ll still occasionally catch her using her as a foot stool, which she now gets in trouble for because she’s big enough to hurt Truckee’s back. Adeline loves playing with her in the backyard, throwing her ball for her, and holding her leash on walks. And Truckee loves following her around, and sneaking into her room. Basically, they’re still besties. The only time Adeline and Truckee ‘bump heads’ if you will is if Truckee’s paws find their way onto whatever activity Adeline is playing with at the moment. Truckee loves to be close, but sometimes we have to yell at her to back up and quite literally, move her big ‘ole booty out of the way.
When we got pregnant with Barrett, while I wondered how Truckee would do with another baby, on top of a 3 year old, I more so wondered how we’d all do. I was a little nervous how we’d handle having another living thing to worry about and take care of. When you have a huge dog and one baby, you still have a spare hand to deal with the dog. But when you have a huge dog, a baby, and a toddler, your hands are tied and dealing with the dog becomes slightly more difficult. (And sometimes annoying when they’re whining to go out, and you’re nursing a screaming baby whilst entertaining a toddler, whilst your husband cleans and cooks dinner and does all the things you can’t because again, your hands are tied!) I did still wonder though if Truckee’s temperament would change. Would she be depressed because she was getting even less attention this time around? Had she forgotten how to be gentle around tiny babies?
Once Barrett arrived though, it was like nothing had changed. I’m pretty sure it took a few weeks before Truckee really even acted like she noticed him. She basically just did her own thing – sleeping all day, and coming out of the bedroom whenever she wanted to make sure we were all still around. She was super sweet anytime she was around tiny baby Barrett, and would sniff him, and lay at our feet often while we held him. Almost like she just knew to be extra sweet. She never acted jealous, or aggressive, or depressed. And she never seemed to act out, like older siblings act out sometimes after the birth of a younger sibling. They’ve even already had a few cuddle sessions, and Barrett seems to fit perfectly in her nook, just like Adeline did. I can’t wait to see these two become close.
I will say though, that the biggest stress she causes us simply stems from the fact that she’s such a people dog. She wants to be right under your feet all.the.time. I guess you could call it a negative positive trait of labs. They love their people well. But, with a baby and a 3 year old, it can be hard to deal with when you’re still struggling to maintain your sanity in the first place. So many times I’ve almost tripped over her, Adam’s stepped on her in the kitchen, she’s laid down on the floor a little too close to Barrett, she’s stepped on Adeline’s toy or blanket and made her mad, etc. Bless her sweet little puppy dog heart. She just wants to be with us! But again, I would be lying if I said I hadn’t lost my cool on her a few times and threatened to give her away. (I would never, you guys. Adam would just leave with her and leave me with the kids! HA!) We did have one mishap where we left the house and forgot she was in the backyard. For several, several hours. Okay like 9 hours. Oops! But in our defense, getting out the door with two kids and remembering to bring the dog back inside at the same time after going potty is very difficult!
In all seriousness though, Truckee has been great. We haven’t had any serious issues with her other than her just being around ALL THE TIME. We often joke that we feel like we actually have three children. And she snores all night. And keeps me up sometimes. And barfs if she drinks cold water. And drinks from the toilet. Then barfs because well, it’s toilet water and not warm enough. And she sheds a lot. And she slobbers a lot. And she big girl barks at the UPS guy. And she eats the kids’ wooden toys. And she eats any little bite of people food left out within her reach. And sometimes she acts way dumber than she really is.
But, she will always be our first born, and we love her so much. Our family wouldn’t be our family without her. She’s our big furry anchor, and we need her just as much as she needs us. She’s truly handled the transition with ease, and has come out of it with fewer grey hairs than I have. So, there’s that.