After having a child, I still feel the same way that I did about my dog.
This might not seem like news to some people, but for those of you who are not in the Puppy/Person Mom Circle (I'm calling it that; not sure it exists) I feel I have a duty to clue you in.
I cannot count the sheer volume of people who told me---insisted, even---that once I had a child, I would no longer feel the same way about my dog.
"Whatever you feel for your dog, you'll feel a million times more for your child!" They would announce, eyes glazed over, a knowing look on their face.
I even had someone who is obviously mentally ill tell me, "I hate my dog now."
Something to look forward to, right? As if a pregnant woman doesn't have enough unknowns on her plate: let's just throw that one on the pile. The one soul that loves you unconditionally becomes a lesser being in the minds (and apparently the hearts) of Moms Around The Town...and we are supposed to say, what?
God, I'm looking forward to that! Oh, to only have room for one person in my heart...YAY!
(Insert sarcastic emoticon here)
If you are expecting, or even thinking about it...and you find yourself unsure as to how you will feel about your family pet, let me offer you this alternative avenue of thought: Old is like Drunk.
Did you ever hear someone say that a cantankerous old person is nasty simple because he or she is old? I always disagree and say that person was nasty when they were young: old is like drunk, it just magnifies whoever it is that you already are.
If you're a happy person as a general rule, you're probably a happy drunk. And if you're a nasty person...a nasty drunk is sure to follow.
So where's the connection, you ask? Hang in there...I'm getting to it.
If you loved your dog and considered him/her a family member before you had a child, you will in fact continue to love your dog, and even though you may have less individual time for your pooch, the fabulous thing about dogs is that they love you no matter what. So don't worry. And don't listen to other people's experiences. They're theirs. Yours is yours alone.
Most people find that they have room in their heart for more than one being; the majority of dog owners I know are not species-prejudiced.
You might even find, when that beloved baby is crying, teething, and tugging at your leg...that your love for your dog grows. Because they don't ask for much. They need food, love, and water. A walk, a ball...a rub on the belly every now and again.
And trust me when I say that you should take the time and rub that belly. You'll be better for it.