Week 24: Our Other Baby

I’ve neglected to mention until now that there is actually already another member of our immediate family besides C. and me: Gracie the dog. We adopted our lovable mutt from a shelter about a year ago. She’s got a scraggly black beard, soulful eyes, and a tendency to toss her Milkbones the minute she’s locked inside a moving vehicle. (She gets that from me – weak stomachs run in the family).

Gracie is the sweetest dog in the world, even if she’s no Rhodes scholar. She flees from garden gnomes and barks viciously at wind chimes. She’s fallen face-first into duck ponds and off the edge of decks because she’s unable to distinguish them from solid ground. She has consumed entire boxes of roach poison and peppermint tea, along with several recycling bins’ worth of junk mail. What can I say? We love her anyway. Maybe too much.

Sometimes I look into Gracie’s deep brown eyes and say, “Dog, you have no idea how your life is going to change in a few months.” She’s used to being the baby of the family – commanding all our attention and affection, sleeping at the foot of our bed, being taken to the dog park on weekends. Little does she know that in May, a little pink (not to mention loud and stinky) interloper is going to join the family. Poor pooch doesn’t even see it coming.

She may have her suspicions, though. The whole week after we got back from our “babymoon” she gave us the cold shoulder. Wouldn’t come out of her bed, wouldn’t play with her favorite sock-ball, wouldn’t even come upstairs when we whistled. The brat.

Gracie would have even more reason to resent us if she knew that I have considered taking her name away and giving it to the baby. Don’t judge me! We have been having such a hard time coming up with a girl’s name that we both like and that sounds good with our last name. “Gracie” works. And we wasted it on the dog! Anyway, we already renamed her once. At the shelter they called her “Jacquita.” Would another name change really matter at this point? Still, I can’t bring myself to do it. “Gracie” is such a brilliant misnomer for our clumsy mutt.

I hope that Gracie will adjust to having a baby around the house. Like I said, she’s a sweet dog and she’s good with kids. Plus, she and the baby can bond as they slobber on anything within arm’s (or paw's) reach.

Weird Symptom of the Week: This is a new addition to my journal, made necessary by the fact that I am now experiencing random, pregnancy-associated discomforts. This week, it’s calf cramps in the middle of the night. Can you say OUCH?!

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