Well in our house we now have an abundance of both. We have a Rottie, a cat and 8 goldfish adding to the Toddler and newborn in the house. Fortunately for the animals sake only one child is mobile so they only have to avoid the torturous learnings of one toddler for the time being. This is when they actually pay attention to her and are not off annoying each other. Both the Rottie and the cat we…‘re brought into the family for the girls to grow up with. However it seems that the cat and the dog seem to want to play with each other and ignore the child. That is until said child gets hold of a tail, then the child has the pets undivided attention.
We are teaching our toddler about being gentle with life especially when it is smaller than you. This sometimes has curious consequences when our toddler will swipe the cat away and send it flying across the room for no particular reason, but will then smoother it in kisses to make sure it’s ok.
The training around the dog sits more with the dog than the child. See the Rottie weighs in at over 40kgs, is not the most intelligent K9 on the face of the earth and is clumsy, I just don’t mean walks into things clumsy, I’m talking about tripping over her own feet. I have 2 feet and I go ok, have no idea how I would go with 4, but I know even if the Rottie walked on 2 she would still fall over. This creates interesting play times, when the Rottie tries to “play” with our toddler, the toddler usually ends up flying across the room due to Missy’s clumsiness. Add to this the cats sudden aerial movements as mentioned earlier when the toddlers around and the toddlers epic spills from the Rottie not knowing how big her arse is, you can see how our lounge room looks more like circus soleil than your average suburbanite toy show lounge room.
All 3 get along really well, however there are moments when the toddler has decided she wants a cuddle and the cat or dog has other ideas. Well as you can imagine this ends in tears….. Usually for the toddler but sometimes for the Rottie…… See dads boot is bigger than the Rotties arse, and when the Rottie gets over zealous and pushes toddler away poor Rottie remembers rather suddenly that she is not the biggest creature in this kingdom.
However amongst all this chaos, there are regular moments of calm. Where all 3 get along without causing grievous bodily harm towards each other and there is harmony in the family room. It’s very nice to watch all 3 interact, 3 beings which should in all rights be slaughtering each other. And there, ever so peacefully is Jade watching from her bouncer………