When we fell in love with Coda, we often told her she ‘had too much of our heart.’ Some friends and family told us that Coda would need to learn her place in our family when a little one arrived. Coda would become ‘just a pet’ and Ellie would become our whole world. Here it is Ellie’s day 16, and I’m more in love with our precious pup than ever. But how would Coda and Ellie get along?
If you’ve read the When I became a mother post, you know about our beloved rescue pup, Coda. She joined us a little over two years before Ellie did. So that makes Coda the big sister, if we were into personifying our dog… which we aren’t. Coda is a dog and our pet. We love her, but we don’t call ourselves “Coda’s Mom,” and we don’t call Coda “Ellie’s Big Sister.”
We’re still dog-crazy. We still have a Coda voice when she is ‘talking to us.’ We’re called Sara-Hooman, Maggie-Hooman, and now Little-Hooman or Little for short. She still has more of our hearts and our bed than any animal should. We love our Coda girl. Always will.
Which is why we were very interested in how she would react to Ellie. We had read some articles that getting Coda used to baby sounds was a good way to start acclimating her to the change. Every time we put together a stroller, or brought home a carrier, or converted Coda’s room (a family den) to a nursery, we put a phone with a baby sounds YouTube recording in the new item. Coda would listen and cock her head like “what is that noise?” I have no idea what she thought of the baby’s giggling or crying on a recording. It could be the recording didn’t register as a baby sound at all.
The day I was able to visit Ellie in the hospital, we had every intention of bringing baby’s cap home for Coda to smell. That didn’t end up happening because I was so tired coming home from the hospital at 11:30 at night after being awake for basically 36 hours straight. Even if I hadn’t forgotten the cap, I got home that night and barely made it to bed before crashing. I wouldn’t have been able to show Coda the cap and have her do anything with it.
Instead, I hope I smelled enough like Ellie and let Coda sleep on the bed with me. It’s not my favorite thing to sleep alone, and Coda knows that. She usually gets to sleep up on the bed when one of her Hoomans isn’t home.
The next morning, I left Coda at home for about 90 minutes as I went to go get Ellie and Sara from the hospital. Upon arriving home, we all fell asleep – even Coda. She didn’t seem to even notice the little one in a bassinet on our coffee table. When Ellie coo’d or grunted, Coda would look at her and be interested, but not enough to stick her head in.
Then Ellie started to cry.
We were over attentive to Ellie the first several days where she didn’t get much of a chance to cry. She would start to fuss a little, and we’d be ready with a bottle (see the Formula Reviews post to see how I couldn’t even make a bottle at first because I was so afraid of her crying). Eventually, we got to the point where Ellie crying a little bit was a good thing. She could work her lungs and even work a fart out because she was crying so hard.
Coda did not like Ellie crying. It didn’t matter if Coda was upstairs with Sara Hooman and I was downstairs with Ellie. If Ellie started into her full-lung cry, Coda would come down immediately and rush to help. She would use her nose to move blankets or nudge Ellie’s arms and legs. Coda’s favorite way to “comfort” Ellie is to lick her feet … or her arms … or her face.
We both didn’t want Coda to feel like she was in trouble for any interaction with Ellie, so we tried to encourage her while still keeping her from licking Ellie in the face. And, of course, we watched Ellie intensely to ensure she wasn’t stressed by Coda. To our surprise, she didn’t seem to mind. Ellie hasn’t fussed over Coda kisses yet. She’s not sure who this Coda animal is, but the two don’t seem to mind each other.
We are so excited for the day when Coda’s kisses make Ellie giggle uncontrollably or she crawls over to Coda specifically to pet her. That hasn’t yet because Ellie is only 16 days old, but so far, we’re pretty happy with this Doggo & new Hooman experiment.