A Boy and His Dog

Noah may be our first child, but he wasn’t the first youngster in our household. We adopted our dog, Noelle, from a rescue shelter when she was three months old. She is a German Shepard Shar-Pei Husky mix and is literally the best dog in the history of the world.

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Noelle is the friendliest dog, and while she may not be the best-trained dog, she is extremely loyal and will stick by our side whenever we are out. She’s basically on a leash-optional plan unless there are other dogs around.

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Noelle was two and a half years old when Noah was born. Our dog was one large, very energetic bundle of joy at that time. Noah was a big baby, too, weighing over nine pounds at birth. Noelle weighed between 60 and 70 pounds, though. I was confident that Noelle wouldn’t harm Noah in any way, but she was big and very strong.

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It was late in the evening when I brought Noah and Ashley home from the hospital, less than two days after Noah’s birth. Noelle was excitedly watching us through the large bay window in the front of our house. Noelle met us at the side door. She looked extremely excited to welcome us home. She was wagging her tail like crazy and when I inserted the key into the lock she began to jump up and down with glee.

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I slowly opened the door and let Noelle come out to meet us. She kissed and sniffed Ashley and I and then cautiously moved on to Noah. I held onto Noelle as she sniffed Noah’s feet and slowly made her way up his body. I tightened my grip as Noelle’s snout neared Noah’s face. I could tell she wanted to lick his face, but we thought Noah was a little too young for that treatment. Thankfully Noelle was OK with that. She seemed content with her brief meeting with Noah as her interest shifted back to us.

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Noelle ended up being even better with Noah than I could have imagined. My only complaint is that she occasionally woke him up by barking. She has never been much of a barker, but she would spend a lot of time in our bay window and she would bark at any dog that walked by and any person that walked by in the dark. She was very protective, even more so once baby Noah joined her family.

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As Noah continued to grow and develop Noelle stuck by his side. She let him lay up against her, cuddle with her, pet her, and hug her. She only objected when he would pull on her fur or touch her paws. But she never came close to harming him; if he really bothered her (and he did have a brief phase of this) she would just get up and walk away.

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I’m not sure I could say that Noah and Noelle have always been best friends, but Noelle has always cared for her baby brother. She welcomed him with a warm heart and large, protective paws.  And Noah, at less than two months old, stuck by his dog after she had knee surgery.

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I’m so glad our children have had a great dog in their household. They’re too young at this point to grasp the responsibility required of a pet owner, but they have both had a great relationship with Noelle. I think it has helped them to develop a love for animals at such a young age. I definitely plan on fostering this relationship between our kids and animals as they grow. Showing kindness and respect to animals is very important to me and I plan to instill the same belief to my children.

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