Poor Indy, I barely write about him these days. I had hoped his standard of living wouldn't suffer too much after we brought the baby home, but some demotion was inevitable. I truly had the best intentions to continue with his daily walks after Nico was born, but then I had a C-section, and then the winter hung on and hung on, and then I started working 7 AM to 5 PM, and then we had a brutal sweltering summer. Things just haven't worked out in our favor. With luck, my sister will soon start coming over a few days a week to walk him, and surely the weather has to break soon. (right?)
There aren't really any cutesy baby and dog stories or photos to share yet, either. Indy did better with Nico when he was tiny. The bigger and louder he got, the more anxious Indy got, to the point where he would shake when Nico cried. And then Nico started army crawling and Indy nearly lost his shit. He was scared to death, and I suppose the baby did have this freaky lurchy inexorable zombie thing going on for a while. We've been vigilant about never leaving them together and about never letting the baby down to play on the floor without removing Indy from the area or at least sequestering him via baby gate or other form of blockade.
For his part, Indy does seem to be relaxing. He no longer shakes when the baby cries, though he does serve as a mobile baby monitor. If Nico starts to fuss while I'm in the shower at night, Indy materializes in the bathroom, nose inches from the shower door as he stares at me, willing me to get out and make the kid shut up. He'll stay even after MB has fetched Nico from his crib. Once I get out of the shower, he's inches from my knee the whole time I'm toweling off and brushing my teeth, unless I shoo him out of the room until I'm done. When we play with Nico in his bedroom, Indy will hang out in the hallway on the other side of the gate, sighing mournfully every now and then to remind us he's out there. We're taking it slow, giving them space, and hopefully in the long run it will pay off. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, poor ol' Indy has one more unpleasant surprise in store. Tomorrow, we're taking him to the vet to have his dewclaws removed. He was born with double dewclaws on his hind feet, which everyone tells us is extremely rare. The dogs that are born with dewclaws at all usually have them snipped when they're three days old, but Indy still had his when we adopted him around four months of age. At the time, the rescue group told us the shelter vet had told them it was best just to leave them alone, so that has been our method as well. But the older he gets, the less tolerant Indy is of having the dewclaws trimmed, and the longer they get, the more danger there is of them getting caught in his collar when he scratches. He's already had one incident where the outer dewclaw nail got caught in his collar while we were at the pet store with him, and we couldn't free him before the nail was broken. It's finally come to the point where he'll probably need tranquilizers each time we need to trim his dewclaws and we worry that he'll get hurt every time he goes over to play with my parents' dogs.
We talked to the vet, and we decided that having the toes removed entirely is what's best for Indy in the long run. I won't lie, though, I'm pretty bummed about it. I've always loved his extra toes. I know he'll still be special without them, but I do feel bad, like we're taking away his winged sandals or something. Ridiculous, yeah, but I never claimed to be sensible when it comes to the dog.