May, Wai & Tui

with an incoming newborn, ever wonder how are the parents gonna cope with both preparation and their furkid?

Mom-to-be

With couple May and Wai’s baby due in another 2 months, we sat down with the two of them to find out how they are coping with May’s pregnancy alongside Tui ( their 8-year-old Singapore Special ). The couple had adopted Tui about 2-3 years back.

Tui – 8 years old Singapore special.

 

May, Wai and their adopted Singapore Special - Tui

What was it like having Tui along for the past 2-3 years, and how are things like now with a baby incoming?

What is your dog’s name and how old is he?
May: Tui is about 8 years old, and we’ve had him for about 2-3 years. 

How many months pregnant are you?
May: 8 months, due in November!

Are you excited about having your baby?
May: I was worried initially; however, we will take it when the time comes. I believe it may be quite easy to manage as I have all the support around me.

How long did you plan for your pregnancy?
May: We thought for a couple of years and were contemplating to try for a few months. Fortunately, we were lucky on our first try!

Did you have any worries when you found out you’re expecting? For example: having to handle Tui and the incoming baby?
May: My only worry was the confinement nanny – Whether I could find one who isn’t afraid of dogs, or one that liked dogs. We were also worried whether Tui will be okay with a stranger walking around the house for 1 month.

Oh! Did you manage to find a confinement nanny?
May: My first criteria is must be okay with dogs! I searched through agency, but I managed to find a recommendation from Facebook where this nanny looked after other couples in my situation. So I faster go book her! I faster text her and ask her if she’s okay, and I told her my Tui is a big dog, and I sent her Tui’s photo. Her next question was if Tui will bite, which I confirmed with her Tui doesn’t! After that we booked her straightaway! 

Was Tui reacting or showing signs of acknowledging your pregnancy? 
May: Actually he didn’t seem to react anything. But one time when I fell, Tui came over to smell my tummy and ever since then, he’s become more protective over me. Like he started following me around the house and waiting outside the toilet until I came out.

So in a sense he did become a bit more protective over you?
May: Yes, seems like it.

Did you do any House Preparations for when your baby is born?
May: Yep! We purchased baby gates to segregate dog and nanny. This is just a precaution more for the nanny actually. Because we don’t know how they are going to react so it’s just a precaution at the corridor for the nanny to go to the toilet and what not, so Tui can have the whole living room. Tui usually sleeps around the whole house and during the night, he will sleep with us whereas the baby will be sleeping with the nanny.

Right! So I’m sure you’ve heard of other stories where couples got pregnant and start giving up their pet dogs. What are your thoughts on that?
May: I have heard quite a few. I think some of them are concerned about the hygiene like fur, or maybe about the dogs barking. Or probably because they don’t think they have enough time or energy to handle both the dog and baby, and the baby is more important to them. Some will put their dogs at their parents’ place but some will rehome.

Will you ever go that route?
May: No! No. My dog is my life!

So you don’t have any worries about Tui and your baby once the time comes?
Wai: Have. Actually, we do because Tui has some routines.
May: Oh yeah, because Wai has to wake up, go to work then leave Tui to me. Then I’ll bring Tui down and handle him. So this is the only part we worry cause Tui is very sticky to me. Because during the confinement I cannot bring him down, so Wai will have to bring him down. But Tui will be like “Mummy’s still sleeping, so I go for what?” It will be weird for Tui. So I will have to wake up and like, “go go go!” such that Tui will think I’m going down also. 

So the worry was more on Wai then May?
Wai: Actually I am okay. Just that he has some routine. 
May: Just that he sticky to me lor.

Okay a little of a tough question, touch wood yeah! What if your baby is allergic to dog or dogs fur:
May: Oh my god! Pray, pray! Haha I have seen cases where the allergy is very bad that they couldn’t do anything about it. So if it’s really that bad, we won’t let them be together much. We will try to have areas for them. Like have a separate area and probably can’t sleep with us in the room. 

So you’re never taking rehoming or giving Tui up into consideration? 
May: Of course not! It is to put a barrier in between them so we will look after both well. For Tui he actually takes up very little space so if let’s say need be, we will make sure he has his own spacious area and bring him for walks, while keeping the baby side as clean as possible.

Are you worried if Tui will ever aggressive towards your baby?
May: No. Definitely not. He knows who our family members are. I have been telling him “Baby is coming.” So he knows. And I am confident he will never be aggressive in any way. He is very sensitive and very human. It’s like talking to him as a human, and we can feel he understands. 
Wai: It’s really like talking to human. Because you can feel he understand. You know how people say the dog is 3-4 years old, but he is like an older kid. He understands what we say very well. 
May: Yeah, he is very mature. 

Advice to couples who might be going through this scenario?

May: I think first thing’s first, they need to assess their dog’s personality and also depends on their dog’s temperament, size, and whether the owner is committed to the pet while having a baby.

The main thing is to communicate with their dogs and to let them know that there will be another baby that will be joining the family. Because some of these dogs can feel a lack of love, like how an older child would feel. Cause when you are expecting your second kid, you need to tell your first kid that “Mei-Mei or Di-Di is coming but we still love you”.  So as applicable for the dogs, they are also part of your family. So you need to tell them beforehand also. 

If these owners feel that they could not cope with having both dogs and babies, then they shouldn’t go through the process of having either one in the first place. 

Because I’ve thought of it before. If I get a chance to know if my baby comes out allergic to dogs and I have to give up my dog, I rather not have kids then. Until my dog passes away then I’l consider having a kid – Because I will never want to be making that kind of decision.