Have I ever told you about my tail?

No, as much as you might want to think I have a real tail, physically attached to my body… I don’t. But I do have a dog.

Her name is Gretel.

She is 14 years old.

She’s an australien Shepard mix.

The sounds of the military firing range near our house scare her. But not as much as fireworks.

Her fur is the most beautiful red color I have ever seen on a dog.

I rescued her when she was 7. I was in high school. My mom called and said she had found a really ugly dog that needed a new home. Gretel was so neglected she was covered in mattes.

But the first time our eyes met it was love. True, serious, forever, love.

I know dogs are  called “man’s best friend” but Gretel has been mine, and she came at a time when I really needed her.


But seven years later… well, we have a problem.

I can’t move more than a foot with out her getting up. Currently she has positioned herself at the corner of the living room and the hallway. That way she can see me on the couch, and she can see when I go to the bathroom. When we’re in the office she is under my desk. When we go to bed she likes to sleep right umm… well… where I need to step when my pregnant butt gets out of bed every 3 hours.

Recently we started locking the dogs in the office at night. BUT… every time I would talk or couch or hiccup or well… do anything she would bark. Ya know “just making sure you’re still alive Jessica!”. That bark. I quickly decided that wasn’t going to work, because if I have a sleeping baby and a cold the dog will bark all night long. So now the dogs are still corralled into the office, but with the doors open… and a baby gate keeping them in.

The barking stopped (mostly)… not she just whines. It breaks me heart!

EVERYONE: My dog has separation anxiety. And I’m not talking about me leaving her for days. I mean… if she can’t see me she freaks out! While I find it endearing that this sweet animal loves me so much… I am starting to get annoyed. If I stand up, walk 2 feet to just grab something and then turn to go back, I’m liable to trip on her! When I get home from work on Tuesdays and Thursdays she dances and jumps like a little puppy. Then she refuses to go anywhere except for… under my feet.

I had never considered that there might be dog problems when baby comes along… Gretel has always been such a sweet spirit, and she is great with children. But I wonder if she’s the jealous type. She didn’t have a problem when we got Zuko (our little dog)… but I just wonder if adding a baby to the dynamic is going to throw her for a loop. I also worry about having her under foot while I try and walk around. It’s not like I’ve done anything to spoil her (I’m the stickler, no people food for dogs, and we didn’t even have dog treats in the house until Zuko came along).

Any one have personal experience with this? I don’t want to make my sweet doggy feel unloved, but I also can’t stand having her 6 inches behind me at all times!

Continue the fun!

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  1. You should post a picture of Gretel, she sounds adorable. 🙂

    We have an Australian Shepherd, too. She was abused before we got her, so it took her about a month to really get over being terrified, but once she did she bonded to us like crazy. In December we took our first vacation without her, and she had a really hard time staying at my mom's. When we got back, she went absolutely crazy running between the two of us and crying – I have never heard a sound like it before.

    The only thing that helps us is just introducing her to people over and over. When the weather's nice, we take her to outdoor cafes so she can get used to being around so many other people. I think her breed really just means that she'll never get over that strong attachment, but when it comes to babies I'm pretty sure Aussies bond strongly to them, too, so hopefully she'll calm down?

    1. I considered posting a picture… but I have posted many before, so I didn't want to have a dog overload!

      Gretel "cries" too when I get back from… checking the mail. lol. She does really well with people, she was our "family" dog for many years, and actually didn't come to live with me until after I got married. Most of my college career she lived with my parents.

      She does really well with people – but dogs are a little more challenging. She is a German dog, and we've been told she belonged to a hunter (which might explain why she's so darn afraid of anything that goes "boom"). Then she jumped American families for many years. It is very expensive to bring a dog back to the US from Germany, with all the shots, and the flight and the required boarding. Eventually she ended up with a family who lived on the third floor of an apartment build. They wouldn't give her too much to eat/drink because they didn't want to take her out. They had two little terror children that would chase, pull, and practically torture the poor dog. My mom was helping these people get some things in order (cleaning the apartment) and she just couldn't leave the dog there.

      The first week at our house she hid under the dining room table (which was were she hid from the kids at her old home), so I just spent a lot of time lying on the floor, brushing her hair and cutting out mattes. When it came time for my family to move back to the US I couldn't bear the thought of leaving her – and my parents paid to bring her back to the US.

      Sorry that's so long. 🙂

      But she really is the sweetest dog.

      PS: Here is a picture of Gretel (the red dog), Zuko (the little one), and my husband and myself.


  2. I can't speak from experience (I don't have any dogs now–though I did growing up; and I'm also not pregnant), however, I read entirely too many pregnancy-related blogs, and on more than one occasion have read about the family dog "knowing" when you're pregnant. It seems dogs really do know something is going on, that there is something special about a pregnant momma, and they are more attentive (annoying!) than usual. John Cave Osborne actually posted about it recently–it's happened with both of his wife's pregnancies. Scroll down to about half way through the post to where he writes about Briggs: http://manofthehouse.com/family/family-planning/w

    So maybe she's being a protective doggie to you!

    1. I told my husband yesterday that I think Gretel knows I'm pregnant, and he said that was silly! lol. Thanks for sharing the link! I'll have to let the man know I was RIGHT!!! 🙂

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