« Pets

Kids need pets and vice versa

by Nikki Montgomery

Kids need pets and pets need kids.

Before we had kids we had dogs. We had one dog, Kolby, and two years later got a second, Mookie. They were best friends. They had to be near one another at all times. When they slept they snuggled together. When they went outside they ran around together. If one got into mischief the other was into it too.

When we had Mia the dogs kept an eye on her, but kept their distance too. Then the twins came along and they started demanding more of our attention. It was hard for us to give them the attention they requested having three kids under 2, but we tried to give them lots of love while the girls were sleeping. Mia was at the age now that she liked to run around and chase the dogs and they liked it too, but it wasn't the same as attention from mom and dad.

Then Kolby got sick. I started feeling guilty about my inability to spend more time with him, taking him for walks, playing outside and just snuggling on the couch. Mookie tried cuddling with him and Kolby would nip at him to get away. Poor Kolby just wanted to be left alone. As Kolby got sicker and sicker Mookie got sadder and sadder. After weeks of watching Kolby becoming less and less like the dog we fell in love with 7 years earlier we knew it was time to let him go. He was suffering and we couldn't stand to watch it anymore.

After we put Kolby down Mookie was very mopey. Mia was so young she didn't really understand what had happened she just knew that Kolby was gone. Nana Beanie and Papa Randy explained to her that Kolby had gotten very sick and he went to heaven up in the sky. Mia came home and told us that Kolby was sick and up in the sky like a bird. She mentions him sometimes and remembers he is gone. It makes us very sad.

Mookie has started coming around. He has found comfort in cuddling with the kids...all three of them. The babies love when he is close enough for them to touch him. When he gets near Mia he rolls over to reveal his belly to her and she'll sit and pet him and say, "Oh Mookie, I gotta go play." He tries to follow her into the playroom until she kicks him out of "her room". She's afraid he'll eat her toys...he has chewed up a couple of her balls. It makes me happy to see how much he loves the girls and how happy just looking at him makes the girls. When the babies are fussy he walks over and puts his face close to theirs and they laugh. There are nights Mia won't go to bed unless Mookie sleeps with her. The other day Mia didn't want to leave the house without giving Mookie a hug.

The more time Mia spends with Mookie the less she talks about Kolby. I think it's good for both of them that they have each other. They have a special bond whenever Mookie is off the leash and runs off we can call him and call him and call him and he won't come, but as soon as Mia calls for him he comes running back.

As hard as it was for us to let Kolby go because he was our first baby it's going to be harder to let Mookie go because of the effect it will have on Mia. He's 7 so hopefully we have several more years with him.

Mookie needed that bond with Mia to get over the loss of Kolby and Mia needs Mookie to understand the love and joy pets bring to our lives.