A Full House

I want to tell y’all my experience with animals and babies.

Not them as individuals, more like what it’s like having pets with a baby.

And I’m talking about the first few months…

I have two pets.

Let me tell you about them,

I’ve had my dog since 2013. That’s about five years now, and he’s the absolute sweetest. His name is Toby. He is a chihuahua mixed with dachshund, basically a weenie dog with a chihuahua face. This guy has been with me through the toughest of times and he’s like, no he is my emotional support dog. Yes, I’m well aware of emotional support animals being such a controversial subject because people do get away with it, BUT my dog is it. It’s strange though, because he was never trained to be one. He just knows. Maybe because I’m his human. Dogs, they love their human more than anything in this world. That’s a FACT. When I’m about to have an anxiety attack and/or episode, he comes running to me to comfort me. He cries trying to get my attention in order for me to pet him or just comes and lays on me. He just knows. He’s not just a dog, he’s family.

I also have a parrot. An African Grey to be exact. Her name is Odysseus. Yes, we thought she was a boy when we got her and found out she was a girl, but we stuck with the name so yeah. We loved it. Anyway, we got her in 2017. That’s about two years now, and she is … well, HIGH MAINTENANCE. **For any of you guys that are thinking about purchasing or adopting a parrot, please, please, PLEASE do your research before owning a parrot. They are wonderful animals, but a lot of work and much needed time dedicated to them.** Any who, she’s great. She is. But she can also be a brat, clingy, destructive and mischievous. She’s a really INTELLIGENT bird. What she does, she does for a purpose. Not even joking. Like usually, she goes to daddy because she knows mommy is the tougher one. So when I’m not around, she gets what she wants. AND SHE KNOWS IT. I could probably give you a whole story dedicated to her, because ya know she’s a bit much. But again, she isn’t just a bird, she’s family.

I now have a baby, year 2018! And guess what? You have NO time for anything. No time to sit, no time to breathe, not even to take a shit. Unfortunately, not even time for your pets. We do our best to make time for them, because they are still very much loved and are not any less valuable. BUT GUYS. It’s hard.

Let me explain,

Toby, he is super awesome because he doesn’t require much. He eats on his own, we just need to fill up the food and water bowl. We take him out every now and then to the park, on a stroll or for a run. He usually goes out to do his business, two to three times a day. When my husband is here, he does the job, but when he is not. I am required to take him out, which becomes the difficult part. I wait until baby is asleep, or has been fed, changed and doesn’t need anything from me to take Toby out, but I can’t go the full walk around and wait until he poops. No. I stand outside my door and let him do his thing and right back inside we go. I mean, I could take baby but that’s a lot of more EXTRA work. Especially since it’s currently cold season. You got the stroller, the car seat or carrier and that’s not even the beginning of it all, just a whole pile of things to take out the dog. So outside the door works just fine, for now.

Odysseus, well. One thing to know about parrots is that they need a lot of human attention. The bigger the parrot the more attention. They need a high amount of stimulation because if they don’t get it, it results in behavior problems. Behavior problems result into plucking of the feathers. Which result into veterinarian bills. NO ONE WANTS THAT. We all want a happy, healthy, talking parrot. But having a baby makes that a lot more challenging. You see, Odis LOVES being with us. Whenever she is outside of her cage she flies to us. We have this whole dedicated area for her. Toys, ladders, structures, you name it, we have it. But she refuses to be there, not because she doesn’t like it, I mean she does play there sometimes. But because she wants to be with us. Parrots have STRONG and DANGEROUS beaks. I’m all for Toby being around the baby because he will not hurt him. He is gentle. On the other hand, Odis. Well, she’s not so much. We fear that she could hurt the baby, so we try to keep some distance from the two at least until he’s older. This is where it gets tricky. We cannot have her out of her cage, as much as we wish we could, she cannot behave without our supervision, she won’t. I can tell you, she will break and rip whatever is in site. Let alone poop all over the place. Yes, she’s potty trained but not 100%. So we try to take turns, whenever we are both home. If at least one of us is in the living room, we will take her out. And as soon as baby is sleeping, she will come right out and hang out. Again, time and dedication.

Another thing, she’s a princess. She needs to be fed, by hand. We give her pellets. We give her the Harrison’s brand, which is pretty good. If you have a parrot I recommend it. They are a pretty decent size pellet, but she will refuse to eat it that way. I mean she does when she’s hungry and we aren’t able to feed her that very second. But she still expects us to feed her, twice a day, morning and night. This is what we do, we blend the pellets so it becomes fine. Almost like flour. We mix it in with WARM water. Yes, temperature IS KEY. She will not eat it cold. We mix it until it’s mush, BUT it needs to have a bit of water in it. And there you go, she has a happy, full tummy. Also, she knows what TIME she gets it. So she will make sure you know until you feed her. She does this thing called ‘chicken scratching’ at the bottom of her cage which is quite obnoxious. I mean you would think so too hearing it multiple times a day for practically the rest of your life. This is her way to get a attention, that’s not exactly what it is in the wild though. But with us she does it. Oh, and she makes sure we hear it.

Yes guys, it’s a lot of work. Having just a baby is enough work, imagine having a parrot and a dog or even other animals! This is just the gist of it all, but we make it work. Without them life wouldn’t be the same. Even though the added stress comes with it, they give us plenty of love and happiness. So if you are planning to get pets after baby, or even have pets now, make sure you make the time for them. They should be treated the same, I can understand how it is to own something new and forget the old. But remember, they were once that shiny, new toy and should always be treated the same. Animals have feelings, too. Plus, they make everything much more exciting!


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