Wednesday, September 17, 2008

92 Pounds of Love

As I'm watching Natalie on the monitor, it's dawning on me that we may not have a nap today. She is attempting somersaults on her toddler bed. I don't know if I should laugh, or cringe and wait for the 'THUD!' At least Cole is getting some rest. He's dreaming and kicking my chair as I type this. I have no clue how he can sleep on top of dozens of Natalie's poky little toys. I guess he finds it a peaceful alternative to being pounced on unexpectedly by her.

I'd say they definitely have a love-hate-aloof relationship. Natalie is either determined to pet him, kiss him, and sing praises to him, or she is shoving him out of her way, and yelling at him for stepping on her toys. Cole, on the other hand, either ignores her completely, tries to stay away from her, or is laying next to her, licking her, sniffing her hair and ears (which makes her giggle)

This dog has never been anything but gentle and tolerant of Natalie. She will even pet him and stick her hands in his food bowl while he's eating! (which we try to intervene here) But his reaction? He steps back and waits to resume eating until she moves her hand.

The day she learned to crawl was the day Cole waived goodbye to peace and quiet. She has pulled on his ears, tail, and tongue. Put her hands in his mouth to grab at his teeth, stuck fingers up his nose and under his eyelids. She uses him as a step stool to get up on the couch, and tries to ride him as a horse. All of these are things we have intervened on, by-the-way.

Sniffing her toes:

Checking out the new baby:

Always next to Natalie:

Multi-tasking (guarding her and catching a nap)

Discovering the feel of fuzz:

Puppy toes:

I caught them holding hands/paws:


When she was an infant, he would lay as close to her as possible. He would whine at us if she cried. When Natalie was toddling, she kept getting over by the fireplace at my parents house, and we kept bringing her away. We were so nervous about that! When she got over there again, before we could reach her, Cole put himself between her and the hearth and stood there. He's barked at a family member that accidentally spooked her one time. He's even chased off a pitbull that got too close to us when we were on a walk. He wouldn't allow that other dog to get one toe inbetween himself and Natalie. There are so many of these stories that have awed us. Those of you who have owned labs (or retrievers) probably aren't surprised. As you can see, there's a lot of sweetness between these two.

Reading to Cole:


Sharing her blanket with him:

She loves to sit in between his front legs:

Window watchers:

We feel so fortunate to have this dog. I can remember being pregnant with Natalie, and crying many times b/c I thought we'd have to give our high-spirited dog away once the baby came. I was sure he'd trample the baby. Ha! It's obviously the other-way-around.


Erin said...
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Tate Family said...

I am not even an animal lover, but this post made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. ;) Feeling the love b/t those two.