A Letter to Our Pets

Pets and Babies

Dear Agnes and Bode, (to new readers Agnes is our 7-year-old rescue bulldog and Bode is our almost 1-year-old rescue kitty)

For a moment the apartment is quiet. The morning nap is usually a brief one so I don’t expect to finish this post. The only sounds are the rain outside (yes, it rains in sunny San Diego) and the washing machine in the hallway. I try to sneak in at least one chore whenever LG sleeps.

I glance over at the couch. LG is asleep on one side, cushioned by a plush nursing pillow, and Agnes, you are on the other end curled up in a tight ball. Bode, your favorite spot to snooze during the day is the rattan chair I bought for rocking LG in his nursery. You’re there now. I haven’t used the chair a ton, but it is the last place I sit with LG before I put him down for bed. I’m happy you use it, too.

Nighttime now is the only time you two fur babies have us to yourselves. Like it used to be. Before baby. Six months ago back on August 13.

I know you don’t understand what happened or where LG came from. Or maybe I’m not giving you enough credit and you do have some instinctive clue. One minute we dropped you off at the local pet lodge (Agnes) and ditched you at home for 48 hours (Bode), the next we walked in the door with a needy, screaming, crying, cooing, kicking, fussy mini-human, the likes of which neither of you had ever seen.

I was really nervous the first few days. I remember we tried to have LG sleep in our bedroom upstairs, Agnes, but once he started crying in the middle of the night you started whining in chorus with him. I think it was less a cry of your own discomfort and more of a “Mom, help him!” cry. Bode, you were less vocal but you tried to hop into the rock ‘n play with him which scared the bejesus out of me. It was too much for me to handle so we carefully slid the little cradle-like rocker into the nursery. So much was already about to change, I couldn’t kick you two out of the bedroom at night — your last baby-free sanctuary and the only place you could share mom and dad alone.

You both have been amazingly patient with us and with LG. And for that we are beyond lucky and grateful. He’s not quite interested in playing with you yet, but I know that day is coming soon. He’s already started reaching towards you with his strong, curious hands. I have to be careful because he doesn’t know what it means to be gentle. He grabs my hair with the strength of a warrior clasping a spear. The last thing I want is for him to grab your ear, tail or cheeks in such a manner.

Not only did we bestow a new sibling onto you unwanted, but we moved you across the country, as well. Bode, you and dad made the trip in four to five days and you patiently slept in your crate in the car the entire way, stretching out in a hotel room every night before being put back in the car early every morning. Agnes, you kept Nonnie company in the back of my car with LG, and I made sure to keep you cozy in my bed each night in the hotels. When LG cried to be nursed every couple of hours during the trek, Nonnie would take you out for a walk around the not-so-glamorous gas stations we stopped at along the way. Nonnie and I were so impressed with how amazing you were the entire trip. I don’t know how you did it. Driving a few miles to Starbucks with a baby can be madness. Driving 2,400 miles with a baby is inconceivable, yet somehow we managed. And we could never have done it without your cooperation. Thank you, my dearest girl.

I’m sorry if dinner isn’t always on time.

I’m sorry if we may skip a walk here and there.

I’m sorry if we don’t take you on enough adventures like we used to.

Agnes, you love camping and we hope to introduce LG to one of our favorite pastimes soon, but I’m sorry we haven’t taken you camping in forever.

Bode, I’m sorry I’ve skimped on feather play (our 1-year-old feline loves to chase after feathers on a stick) to take care of the LG.

Agnes, I’m sorry so much of your personal space has been invaded by playmats and an exer-saucer the size of a small planet.

I’m sorry I’ve had to kick you both off the couch to nurse LG.

I’m sorry LG’s cries have disturbed your precious sleep, though I’m sure you’re relieved bedtime has gotten exponentially more peaceful now that LG is sleeping through the night.

Agnes, I’m sorry I don’t let you lick LG for more than three seconds. It’s almost like you think he’s your baby and you’re just trying to help keep him clean and loved.

We’re sorry you may feel like second and third fiddles, but just know we love you to the moon and back and we don’t take you and your devoted and rambunctious spirits for granted.

With love, an extra rub and treat tonight with dinner, your Mom and Dad


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