There’s a little human growing inside of me, which has made me a little more sensitive than usual. Okay, so I may have burst into tears at a commercial for Walmart last week. May have.
Being pregnant has so many physical and emotional symptoms, from heartburn, to fatigue, to tiny feet kicking me in the ribs FROM THE INSIDE. There’s the joy of creating life, and the sorrow of giving up irresponsibility and independence. There’s the guilt when my dog, Rusty, wants to go on a two-hour hike when I can only manage about 30 minutes at this point. And the anger when he decides to take off full speed after a horse. A HORSE. And I have to run across the beach to catch him before he catches a kick in the head.
The image of a horse and rider being chased by a Schnauzer being chased by a nine-months-pregnant lady huffing and puffing and holding her belly as she raced barefoot across the sand was likely lost on none of the tan beachgoers on their towels and picnic blankets.
Luckily, Rusty was not fast enough to catch the horse. He eventually gave up the chase in favor of peeing on some driftwood.
But these are just my experiences. Every pregnant dog owner has her own stories.
Unlike certain conditions, like, say, bipolar syndrome, pregnancy manifests itself so physically obviously, especially where I’m at -– the end of my third trimester — that the entire world feels entitled to comment. I’m used to people coming up to talk to me about my adorable dog. Now I have people coming up to talk to me about my sizable belly. Or my adorable dog. Or how my sizable belly may relate to my adorable dog.
I’ve heard some cute comments directed at Rusty such as, “He’s going to make a great big brother.” And some other not-as-encouraging comments like, “I sure hope he likes babies.”
So, for all you pregnant dog owners out there, I’ve put together a list of fun responses to the endless questions and comments from strangers about your dog and your impending parenthood. Feel free to use:
Comment: “I hope your dog likes babies.”
Response: “Oh yes, he finds them delicious.”
Comment: “What are you having?”
Response: “I hope it’s a baby. Although, this one came out as a puppy and worked out pretty well.”
Comment: “Are you having a boy or a girl.”
Comment: “Is this your first?”
Response: “No, I have a dog.”
Comment: “Have you picked a name yet?”
Response: “Yes, his name’s Rusty.”
Comment: “Can I touch your belly?”
Response: “No, but you can pet my dog.”
Comment: “Can I pet your dog?”
Response: “No, but you can touch my belly.”
Comment: “Are you planning on breastfeeding?”
Response: “No, he seems pretty content with his dog food.”
Comment: “When are you due?”
Response: “What do you mean? Oh, you think I’m pregnant?”
That last one always gets the best, embarrassed reactions. I’m just kidding. Most of these I’ve never used, except the boy or a girl one. I love that one.
I’ve found that most strangers mean well. Some of them get it a little wrong and are perhaps a tad too personal, but the majority are just excited to see a growing family. I’m sure I can expect many more comments once the child is actually born. Just a few more days or weeks …
What comments have you heard from strangers about your dog, belly, child, or all of the above? Please share in the comments.
Read more by Audrey Khuner:
About the author: Audrey is a contradictory mix of cynicism and sentimentality –- thinks wedding vows are cheesy, yet cries at almost every episode of This American Life. Enjoys telling jokes with her 100-year-old grandma, drinking bourbon cocktails, and cuddling with her husband (Wes) and Schnauzer-mutt (Rusty). Creator of Hot Guys and Baby Animals and writer at Dogster.