Family: Integrating Your Furry Family Member
So Victory’s life (as well as ours) got turned upside down when Baby Alex entered our lives. We knew everything would change, but we really did not know what that change would feel like until Alex got here. We are now starting to get the hang of things, even though Alex is constantly changing. Doug and I always were aware and wanted to be sure that Victory was not left out, as she is a family member, and she was here before Alex. So, we have done our very best to keep Victory involved and included, like she always has been for the five years she has been with us since rescuing her prior to Alex. We wanted to be sure Victory felt like her place was still her place, if that makes sense. What has worked for Victory during this life transition is always keeping Victory included and involved in our daily living; not making too many changes with her routine; making time for just Victory without Alex; and loving her as always.
I think Victory knows she is included, even though things have changed for everyone. Victory now crosses the bridge in our neighborhood when we go on walks with Alex; prior, Victory refused and we carried her over the bridge each day, for our walks, for the past five years, so we think Victory wants to be included and not left out whatsoever! (In the past, we hired trainers that came to the house, and nothing worked to get Victory to go over the bridge using her own legs except for Alex!) Victory still always loves to be in the photos, which is great, and we always give her the choice to stay for photos! She has adapted well, and she is very tolerant of Alex, thankfully! As shown in the image below, Alex is getting to know her sister well, even picking up her front paw! Normally, Victory would not allow another person outside of Doug and I to do that, so we consider this progress, as Victory knows how she likes things and she can be very particular at times! (For example, each time it snows, Doug has to dig out a potty pad for Victory so she will go potty; otherwise, we will walk around for what seems like forever, as she does not want her body to hit the snow during potty — who can blame her, right!)
Victory has even learned the word “sister” and she knows that Alex is her sister and she will go running to her when we tell her to go see her sister! Alex lights up, smiles, and chuckles each time she sees Victory whether that be when she spots Victory from her high chair or when Victory enters her nursery, etc.! As a daily ritual, Alex loves to give and Victory loves taking little treats from Alex whether that be from the palm of her hand or from her tummy! We really are looking forward to the spring and summer for some outings and adventures together, as the weather here has not been conducive for taking the two of them out together this winter; and spring, fortunately, is only about a month away, thank goodness! So, we feel really fortunate and we are delighted that our cherubs love each other, Victory appears to be integrated with everyone in our family, and it will be fun to witness their relationship continue to develop! Who knows, at some point, when Alex is in a toddler bed, Victory might even want to sleep with her some day!