Our dog, Daisy, is in many ways a very odd sort of dog. She is a labradoodle, but one that was the product of the union between a full-sized labrador retriever and a miniature poodle, so rather than a majestic, curly-furred creature, she is a medium-sized, slightly dishevelled-looking dog with hairy hobbit feet and a beard. She doesn’t like car rides and rarely shows any interest in food dropped on the floor. More than anything, she likes to lick. She will lick your hands, your face, and given half a chance, the inside of your ears. She will lick them incessantly until you tell her to stop and physically remove her to a distance of no fewer than 6 feet from the body part she was licking. She will occasionally give you a slurp on her way past so stealthy you don’t realize it’s happening until it’s too late, and she has been known to lick inanimate objects, like the coffee table, for no apparent reason. When she was a puppy, she managed one night while in her crate to somehow actually LICK a HOLE in the WALL.
At the end of April, our family will be growing in size due to the arrival of one (1) baby, hopefully the kind with chubby thighs and, as my grandmother put it, an innate willingness to sleep through the night starting immediately at 6 weeks. As first-time parents, we’re worried about all the usual things — how to deal with the sleep deprivation, how to remember to put the brakes on the stroller so the baby doesn’t roll down the driveway, what to do if the baby doesn’t have the kind of hair that looks adorably hilarious in spiky pigtails, what to do if the baby bypasses my DNA altogether and develops Mike’s natural athletic ability and wants to enroll in a sport that has games at 6:30 on a Saturday morning — but we’re also being kept awake at night by a rather gaping hole in our parenting knowledge (such that it is at this point), specifically on the subject of how exactly one should go about ensuring their dog doesn’t lick a hole in their baby. Apparently this is not one of those things that one can expect while they are expecting.