Friday, March 30, 2012

Project 52 {13}

My favorite thing about you is:
You love our animals.

f/2.8 1/640 ISO-200

I've explained about Atlas, and how he was our wedding present.  We got him and Bella as (what turned out to be) practice before having real kids.  We thought:  "If we get the dogs years before we have kids they'll  be nice and calm, well trained, yet, still be young enough that the kids would love and remember them".  We were right on.  When they were puppies we messed with them while they were eating, we poked at them mercilessly, pulled on their tails... all in preparation of the day when we would have babies in the house.  We wouldn't stand for bad behavior with babies rolling on the floor, so we started early.  

Low and behold, the kids came along and they messed with the dogs while they ate (even ate the dogs food with them - KALE!), they climb all over them, dress them up, and yes, even pull their tails.  We correct the kids against the behavior, just like we corrected the dogs against their reactions to this behavior.  I'm proud to say that the symbiotic relationship between the kids and the fur babies is quite harmonious, and it gets better with every passing day.  

Haley is old enough to feed the dogs their breakfast and dinner, Kale lets them out when they ring the bell, and most days unintentionally share their breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks with them.  But for all the responsibility that they're growing up with by having the dogs around, I'm most thankful for the love they give them.  Kale fully believes that Atlas is his dog, and Haley knows Bella is hers.  They love them, cuddle them, take care of them.  

On the particular day of the picture above, we were out to a wildlife preserve shooting the kids' Easter pictures in their new outfits, and the dogs were lucky enough to tag along and run their hearts out.  We made them take a break from running to put on their Easter outfits:  A tie for Atlas, and some dress up necklaces for Bella (and maybe a pair of bunny ears too...).  Kale saw Atlas dressed up in his tie from last Easter and went over to give him a big hug, "My puppy" he said.  

Want to check out some other super great Project 52 eye candy?
Can I link you too?  Leave me a comment.


  1. We have two dogs and right now they are kind of afraid of her since she is mobile. How do you get them over the fear that she is some kind of monster coming for them? Hahaha.

    1. First, I appreciate your weekly comments! Second, our dogs started to hang around more often when they realized that there was food on their faces or in their hands. That's when they started to become fast friends. Our dogs are kind of like our shadows, so they're never far from my hub or I and if I'm down on the floor with the kids, you can bet, they're right there with us, so just showing the kids how to pet, rub tummies, stuff like that while we're right there. Lastly, I think it's important for your pets to learn to take treats from the kids, so our learned the phrase easy, which basically asks them to be gentle when they take something (versus the normal Cujo), so the kids get a treat, tell them gentle, and they feed it right to them - it creates trust between them.