My brother has a 6 year old pit bull terrier named, Bam Bam. Bam Bam is known to most of our friends as the Human Puppy because, he is just that, a human trapped in a dog’s body! He is the funniest little big guy you’ll ever meet.
Well, from day one, Bam Bam and I were joined at the hip! He came right to me when my brother brought him to my mom’s house and I helped care for him when my brother had to leave town on an extended business trip. We also share the same birthdate. When I was first ill with my colitis and my mother was caring for me, Bam Bam was by my side every moment and alerted the house whenever something was wrong with me. He was my little buddy! But that all changed when I became pregnant. Before I knew I was pregnant, I noticed Bam Bam wouldn’t run to me or jump up at me when I walked through the door, and I thought the training had finally kicked in. But as my pregnancy went on it Bam Bam became more distant. He would approach me, smell me and then run…not walk, but run the other direction. He would rarely come and sit with me next to me and would maybe stay at my feet. But mostly he gave everyone around me love. So of course I freak out thinking that the dog could end up jealous of the baby that was coming and so we set out with a plan of action.
Finally the day came when we were going to bring Jax over to my mother’s house to meet family and… Bam Bam. There was a knot in my stomach. Most people are scared of pit bulls, just because they are pit bulls. But any dog can became jealous of a baby and I know everyone didn’t want to have to get rid of Bam Bam. He was apart of our family! He was the youngest member and the longest any of us had ever had a pet. He was our family dog, but he had never been around small babies and they way he was reacting the one growing in my belly, this might not be a good outcome.
My mother had read an article on how to introduce a new person or baby into the home when you have a dog. It said the best way to do it was to have the baby meet the dog outside of the home. Let them feel one another out and then allow the dog to bring the baby into the home by leading it inside or whatever. Basically you don’t allow the dog to feel threatened by the presence of the baby, as if the baby is coming into the dog’s territory. Keeps the tension and confusion down. The dog will welcome the baby into the pack and still respect you as the leader because you are showing respect to everyone’s space.
So my mom brought Bam Bam downstairs to the outside gate where we had the baby in his carrier. When Bam Bam saw me and Steven, he ran over but then stopped suddenly when he saw the carrier. UH-OH! I took a deep breath, and then I heard Steven say, “It’s okay, he’s just checking the situation out.” Steven was the calmest out of all of us! He had only known Bam Bam for a year, but had more faith than all of us! My mom walked Bam Bam over to the carrier and I pulled down the blanket. Steven greeted Bam first and then I did. On his own Bam Bam walked over to the carrier. He sniffed the carrier and then the blanket. He peered into the hood and looked at the baby for a little bit and sniffed. He backed up and sat down. That was the calmest I had ever seen this dog! That was it! That’s all he did! I looked at Steven and he looked at me, was the initiation over? Is Jax accepted into the Pack? Bam Bam then stood up and walked back toward the house leading us in! Whew! So that part was over, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad after all!
Actually it became something I had never seen before! From that moment on whenever Jaxon was in Bam Bam’s space, Bam Bam stood guard! He was never more than a foot away from his carrier, playpen, or someone holding him. If Jaxon cried or fussed, Bam Bam ran to someone and barked at them leading them back to the baby. As Jaxon grew older they became the best of friends. Jaxon learned how to crawl by watching Bam Bam, and Bam Bam would actually wait for him to catch up. They snuggle together to watch TV or nap, they bark at passing cars together and whenever Jaxon takes a tumble Bam Bam is right there to lick him up back to health. They genuinely love one another and I couldn’t be more happy or relieved. The bond I had with Bam Bam seems to have passed onto my son. Jaxon is Bam Bam’s puppy!
Shortly after writing this post, Bam Bam was taken to Emergency because it looked like he had an eye infection and he was very sluggish. We have since found out that unfortunately our beloved dog has Glaucoma and had been in an immense amount of pain. Everything is very new and fresh with this condition and information, so we are working through figuring out the next steps. Please keep Jaxon’s best friend, Bam Bam in your prayers.