I always see those sweet photos of little kids with their dogs.
Honestly, I thought that was how our dog, Sophie, would be with Madeline. She was always such a cuddly dog. She seemed to love kids when my little cousins came to visit. And then we had Madeline.
We did things the way the books suggested.
We introduced a blanket that Madeline had slept with to Sophie first. Thinking that this would allow her to grow familiar with her scent before we brought this new little creature home. We tried to continue to give her attention. Allowing her to come close enough to get a look at the new baby and get a get sniff or two. But almost immediately she had no interest in Madeline.
If we were holding Madeline, Sophie stayed away.
At first that was fine. I mean honestly a dog and a newborn, I didn’t mind if she didn’t take that much interest. However, as Madeline grew and started noticing the dog more herself, Sophie still wanted nothing to do with her.
If Madeline would try to pet her Sophie would run away.
Much to Madeline’s confusion, every time she tries to pet the dog, she runs away and hides. She has never bonded with her, and that makes me sad. While she has never been outright mean or aggressive towards her, she has snipped a few times, and it has made us consider whether she is still a good fit for our family.
Most of the time Madeline loves Sophie.
We’ve asked her if she would be sad if Sophie didn’t live with us anymore. She says she would. Then of course we have moments like the other night when she got super upset and sad because,
“Sophie looked at me and hurt my feelings.”
The drama of a three-year-old is real in our house. I mean look at these hurt feelings here, folks.
Of course, then again, the first thing Madeline says everyday when we get home from school is,
“Hi, Sophie, I’m back.”
So really, they have a very complicated relationship. I just wish I knew how to get Sophie to bond with her a little more. Is it too late? How to you get your preschooler and your dog to like each other? Any suggestions?