A little bit of an identity crisis

When I first suggested the name “Zoe” to Brad he said absolutley not, that he only knows dogs named Zoe. He said the same thing about Chloe. Well, maybe he was right…my child believes that she’s a dog. My dog believes he’s a human. It’s a mixed up world we live in people. Seriously though. Zoe has no siblings, she just has animals. So, somewhere in her tiny little brain, a brain that functions like a genius 99% of the time, she has convinced herself that she is a dog. Maybe it’s our fault, we do, after all, tell Hemmingway to be nice to his sister. He’s a great big brother, he really is. Maybe I should rephrase that and say he’s a great HUGE brother. So many times I’ve put Zoe on the bed {before she could move} and I would tell Hemmingway to watch her while I went to the bathroom, got dressed, did my hair. He really is a fantastic babysitter. And as she learned to scoot her little body, she would scoot right over to him and tug away at his ears, his tail, pat his body. Hemmingway looks at me for direction and I tell him that he’s being a good boy and to stay very still. That dog has a sixth sense about Zoe. He steps on my feet 50,000 times a day…but Zoe? Never. Well, to be completely truthful, probably like twice in the past 10 months…so in my book, that counts as never.

{Meeting each other for the first time}
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{I LOVE Hemmi’s face here}
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Ok, maybe she doesn’t really think that she’s a dog. Maybe it’s just that dogs and babies like the same things. I began to really pay attention to this last week when we were playing outside with Zoe’s water table. There are some balls that come with it, and as I was playing with them I noticed Zoe and Hemmingway’s heads moving simultaneously. So I did a little experiment. Up, down, side to side, I moved the balls and to my amusement both heads followed. I tossed them in the air, they both flinched. I put it down the center tower, their eyes were riveted to the ball slowly going through the tower. I started paying attention to how much Zoe loves balls…like, really loves them. She has this purple medium sized plastic ball and yesterday she crawled around the floor chasing it. I say “chasing” because as she tried to grab it she would inevitably push it farther away from her. Around and around the living room she went until she ended up under the dining room table. It was pretty entertaining to watch.

Lately, Zoe feels like she should have a crate like her big brother. We’re dog sitting, so we have a second crate set up next to Hemmingway’s. On more than one occasion I have found Zoe crawling into the crate. I keep telling her that she has a nice cozy crib upstairs…but she prefers the crate, at least to play in. Hemmingway, on the other hand, as we all know, believes that it’s his divine right to sleep on our bed. There is confusion in the ranks =)

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Last week I bought Zoe a new book. This isn’t an isolated event. We buy books all the time. She loves to read. She crawls over to her bookshelf and goes through all her book dozens of times every day. But, this book is different. It’s a book about how God made frogs special, and there’s a little frog that you’re supposed to squeak every time that you turn a page. Zoe loves it. Hemmingway loves it. When we read this particular book Zoe sits on my lap and Hemmingway sits immediately next to us, ears alert, both of them focused intently on that book. It’s kinda funny to watch. To them, there is nothing better than a squeak toy. Once, after a trip to the groomers I bought Avery a chicken toy as a treat. Avery loved that toy. I’ve never seen her play like that. At the time I’d also never seen the daughter that I birthed put a dog toy in her mouth and try to play tug-of-war with the dogs! That happened the first day the toy came home. That toy lasted for about 3 weeks before it met the jaws of Hemmingway, and every single day of those 3 weeks it rotated between Avery, Hemmingway, and Zoe. They played tug-of-war with it, fetch, hide and go seek, capture the flag…you name it, those dogs {and my daughter} played it with that silly toy. Her latest obsession is Hemmingway’s Kong. I swear, if you put her in a room full of toys and throw in a few dog toys…she will gravitate towards the dog toys. Every time.

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And I don’t know what it is about dog food that Zoe finds so dang delicious, but on numerous occasions I have had to retrieve dog food from her mouth. I tell her every time how disgusting it is, but she just doesn’t agree with me. To Zoe, dog food is a delicious delicacy to be enjoyed in those brief moments that mommy isn’t looking. And the water dishes? Oh, boy! The water dishes are the most fun toys EVER! In fact, Zoe has discovered that it’s fun to get soaking wet in 1 minute flat just by splashing a little bit and then turning the whole thing upside down.

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{naked after she got herself soaking wet}
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But, more than anything, Zoe just likes to hang out with them. To her, Hemmingway and Avery are her very best friends in the entire world. She delights in their presence. She loves on them, laughs with them, and plays with them all day long. They watch over her, they comfort her when she cries, Hemmingway gets genuinely distresses when Zoe is upset for long periods of time, they check in on her if they happened to be in a different room than she is, at the dog park they race around like madmen but believe you me, they come back to check on their Zoe. It’s really quite something to watch.

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{This one was taken today, when Zoe was trying to climb the stairs again. Please don’t freak out…I was there the whole time.}
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To be completely honest, the relationship between Hemmignway and Zoe is the only reason that I haven’t given him away. So many times in the past 10 months I’ve wanted to put him up for adoption. It’s not his fault, the dog’s a really good dog…it’s just that somedays a baby + 2 dogs + 2 cats + a husband + me = way too many needs to fulfill in one day. But, alas, Hemmingway will remain a part of this family because of his love for us. Dogs really are a man’s best friend. And in this case, a babies.

Do you have kids and animals? How does it work in your house?

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10 responses to “A little bit of an identity crisis

  1. So fun! My kids love dogs too. I have a picture of my daughter in a crate when she was about a year old. Great pictures!

  2. I swear, sometimes reading your blog is like reading my journal. Our Zoey pretty much thinks she’s one of the dogs too. I’ve found dog treats in her mouth (gah!) a couple times now and she constantly heads for my parent’s dog’s toys at their house. We only give our dogs tennis balls because they chew up any toy within an hour or so of us giving it to them. But Zoey loves crawing around our living room, picking up tennis balls and trying to stuff them in her mouth like she’s seen our dogs do. Thank God she hasn’t found their water dish yet.

    But the dogs love her. Scout goes in her room every night to check on her before he goes to sleep. And one time when she was still a baby, she was sleeping in her seat in the living room and I found Scout with his head in her lap, just watching her sleep–his tail wagging like crazy. Brutus prefers her at a distance now that she’s into the ear-tugging stage. Oh! And the other day, Greg caught Zoey trying to brush Scout’s fur with her baby brush. I wish I had seen that.

  3. I am absolutely amazed at how Zoe and Hemmingway interact. Pretty soon, they’ll be getting into more trouble together, than they already are, and while it may make you want tear out your hair (at that moment), you’ll look back fondly and laugh.

  4. Pics are adorable! Don’t know who’s more cute, the kid or the dog! lol! Actually, they are both pretty darn’ cute! Seems it was love at first sight… : )

  5. haha I can already tell that this is how my kid is going to be. She is already ONLY laughing at the dogs…apparently we’re not as entertaining or funny as they are.

  6. we are the same with our little hum-dog (human/dog) champ!! he loves AM and they have a great relationship!!! the pictures of her playing in the water bowls totally cracked me up. i took one of AM playing in Champs bowl yesterday. soaking wet – water all over the floor. haha!

  7. What kind of dog is Hemmingway? In the bottom pic he looks so much bigger than Zoe, it looks like you blew up the pic of him and inserted it behind her! Is it just the perspective of the shot, or is he really that huge?

    • It’s both! {Although not the photoshop option…I have no clue how to do that!} Hemmingway is a Great Dane mixed with some other type of large dog. He really is that big. Although he’s definitely NOT the size of the average Great Dane. He’s about 110lbs and his head comes up to my hips, and he’s very long. All that said, this picture was taken from below them….which makes them look larger than they are =)

  8. That is too cute! I swear our dog think she’s a cat . . . .except she’s an 80 lb chocolate lab 🙂 Charlotte thinks Bailey is her sister, though- she tries to play pretend with her. She’ll give her a “new” name, and then yell at her- she just doesn’t understand why Bailey doesn’t come when she calls her “Stella” or “Emma”! It’s so sweet, though- Charlotte climbs on her, lays on her, bounces on her- and Bailey just sits there & takes it. I am so grateful for a GOOD dog!

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