A Dog and A Baby

‘Are you okay?’ she asked. My moment had frozen as I recognized my upturned buggy, bassinet face down. ‘I’ve got a newborn in there,’ I said, then rushed to retrieve him, terrified. I didn’t know what I’d find inside. He was slumped, still inside the bassinet, and screaming. That was surely a good sign. I pulled him out. No signs of a smashed face, and he could move his head and neck. I don’t think I’d ever held him tighter as I consoled my screaming child, absorbing what had just happened. I had taken the wrong – extending – lead out with me, which, unlike the rope lead, is hard to control with one hand. As I was picking up his poo, my dog had run around the front of the buggy, towards another dog, and catapulted our pushchair and baby through the air. 

We went straight to the doctor. It was that or A&E. It was my favourite doctor, always friendly, always reassuring and he was calm but the most serious I’d seen. He looked inside his eyes, his ears, checked his spine, his limbs. Other than a black eye everything seemed to be fine, but we had to look out for signs of concussion for the following 24 hours.

I think we had one major saving grace. Unlike earlier in this hot day, RB was strapped in with two blankets and the bassinet was zipped up. I can’t let myself imagine the outcome if he hadn’t been. He seems to be a strong sturdy child, but still, he’s barely born.

Having RB has been shit for our dog. He’s been wonderful, not jealous or possessive as we feared he might, but he was our baby, and now he’s been relegated. We make an effort to give him attention but naturally, he gets less of it. Along with fewer walks. I tell him to wait, wait til RB is a bit bigger and he’ll love it, they’ll be best of friends, but that doesn’t stop the depressed slouches. The sighs, as he lifts his head and slumps again. He’s getting fat as we try to buy his love with Dentastix.

After the drama we had a few weeks off our walks as a three – me, the dog and RB. I was too scared to repeat it and decided to wait. I thought I might have RB in a baby carrier by now but I don’t think my stomach is up to it so I’m trying with the pushchair again. Though now, I’m super aware of the risks. And I’ll make sure I always take the right lead.

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