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Ten Things That Every Family with Dogs Understands

We've been there. 
You, mother of a family that includes dogs, are not alone. 
We've gotten the looks of disgust from people 
when one of our dogs kisses our baby. 
We've had them sneer at the dog hair under the chairs
and cry out in anger of the slobber that just touched them.
We've had them ask questions like, 
"Well if you are low on money why don't you sell your dogs?"
"Once you have a baby, you won't need dogs anymore."
(both true stories)

Excuse me for a minute. 
*Slow breath. Slow breath.*
Count to ten.
Ok, I'm alright.

Here you go.
Here are ten things that you already understand,
to let you know you aren't alone. 
If you've got awesome kid-loving dogs, you know what I mean.

1. No one loves your kids like your dogs do.
(except maybe you)
Your guests think your kids are cute, 
but they wouldn't hesitate to take off when the diapers get smelly
or the face gets messy. 
Your dogs will help out with all of it.
They never get angry,
but are so very patient and loving.

2. Dog kisses are happening. Too bad haters. 
In this house, slobber of the baby and dog varieties are welcome.

3. There will be dog hair. 
Other houses have people hair everywhere, 
but we prefer the canine kind.
It will be on the furniture where they are allowed to be
and on the furniture where they aren't allowed to be.
It will be on the floor where I swept ten minutes ago. 
No outfit is complete without it. 
It's so very worth it. 

4. Yes. The baby is allowed to sit with the dog. 
No he won't maim her. 
He may be the size of a small horse, 
but he's been wrapping his body around her on the floor like that
since she was a week old. 
She's his baby. 

5. You will get a crash course in how to give commands to our dogs the moment you walk into our house. 
They are very obedient, 
despite still technically being large puppies, 
but if you can't give them the correct verbal commands
or hand signals, 
they have no idea why you are getting mad at them
or flailing your arms about
like some roadside car dealership dancing blow-up man. 
Listen to us 
so you can enjoy them listening to you.
Our kid even knows how to give them commands.

6. No, the dogs don't get put away if our kid cries. 
Our little lady knows how to communicate with them better than you do. 
If they bump her too roughly or she wants something from them, 
they know it and they listen to her body language. 
She gets over it.
She looks past their big clumsy movements 
and learns how to forgive as lovingly as they do.

7. Yes, you will get the most adorable muzzle on your leg 
the entire time you're eating at our house. 
Stay strong and you'll get to eat your whole meal.
Tell them to "lay down."
The pleading eyes are powerful, 
but you can avert your gaze.
Don't worry about them starving.
They survive on a healthy diet of dog food, 
cheerios, goldfish, fruit slices, 
veggies, and pretzels. 

And occasionally, Swedish pancakes.

8. Vaccum? People still do that?
I have two mobile vacuums running at all times in my house. 
Where do you think they get all of the toddler snacks?

9. The dogs will be included in the family pictures, 
even if it makes them more difficult to take. 
They are in every single day of our lives, 
so why wouldn't we want to see them when we look back at our photos?
The dogs aren't replaceable. 
They are actual family members.
We celebrate them
and we include them.
Heck, I'm a family photographer
and I even encourage my clients to include their dogs if they want to.

Family Photos by Ten22 Studio 2015

Bamse & Saga's 3rd Birthdays - Frosty Paws Ice Cream

(Santa, Mrs. Claus, Head Elf, Dasher, and Prancer - Halloween 2014)

(Lady, the Tramp, Spaghetti, the Chef and our little Meatball - Halloween 2013)

10. Everyone in the family needs dog snuggles. 
They're therapeutic. 
Mamma needs them. 
Pappa needs them. 
Baby needs them. 
They're a thing.

This post includes only my personal opinions. I in no way condone trying anything risky with your pet and/or children. You are the best judge of your own dog's character and tolerance. All photos taken were closely supervised and my dogs really are this awesome.
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