Our black Labrador, 7 years old at the time, was less than thrilled when we brought our first daughter (Addison) home from the hospital.  He was curious but his curiosity quickly subsided as it became quite obvious that this little bundle of joy was going to be the main attraction in the house for the foreseeable future.  Not only were my husband and I busy with the baby but every person who entered our house fussed and doted over our darling little girl and gave the family dog a quick pat on the head only as an afterthought.  Scooby would lay quietly on his bed grappling with his new life and wondering when or if he would get a walk or if someone would take him outside to play ball anytime soon, but any concerns that I had about whether Scooby would ever try to hurt our baby seemed ridiculous once we brought her home.  Scooby would often lay down next to Addison while she slept in her bouncer but at that point, I think it may have been an attention-seeking tactic because he knew his odds were better of getting acknowledged if he was close to the baby or at least someone might trip over him or something.

When Addison was about 4 months old, we introduced solids and Scooby sat behind her staring at us like a green-eyed monster as we made yum yum noises and tried to feed her cereal. The poor pup looked as if we were ripping out his heart with every bite.  However, as Addison moved on to finger foods, Scooby saw the light and finally made friends with his new food source.  From then on, Scooby sat patiently next to Addison’s high chair for every meal and every snack and the two became good friends.  Addison got a kick out of throwing her food on the floor and watching Scooby lap it up with his sticky tongue and Scooby was in 7th Heaven with all the extra snacks.

Today, Addison is almost 3 1/2 and Scooby is almost 11 and they are still the best of friends although Scooby has moved on to a more fruitful food source and now sits next to my younger daughter (a new friend) during meal times.  Addison has taken over the chore of feeding Scooby his dog food in the morning and at night and loves to help take care of her buddy.  She even stands up for him.  When a family member recently said that they thought Scooby might be getting a little senile, Addison responded, “don’t you say that about my dog, he’s old.”  I have to say that I was impressed that she seems to understand what senile means at age 3.

I could not have chosen a better dog for my kids to grow up with.  My girls giggle and squeal in delight watching their pal roll around in the grass.  He is patient, good-natured and a good sport.  He plays dress up and runs after the girls happily as they ride around in their Barbie jeep.  He chases any ball they throw even if it only goes a foot and he has only shredded a handful of their stuffed animals.  It has been a real treat to watch the girls grow together with their four legged friend and I am grateful for having such a fun-loving dog be a part of our family. So, this is for you Scoob because life is better with you in our house even with all the dog hair.

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