This is the story of how Taylor and Abbey - an aging Labrador and a baby girl - came to be friends. (As a side note, it's a pity we didn't name Taylor 'Jasper' because then I could be like K-Rudd with his new story-book... actually, no, on second thought, I'm quite happy to avoid the similarities).
Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a puppy called Taylor. Taylor lived a peaceful life with her adopted Mummy and Daddy. Her days were spent running around in her backyard, going for walks, being patted and playing. Taylor liked to get into mischief, especially with food at Christmas time, and made her Mummy, Daddy and grandparents laugh.
Then, all of a sudden, Taylor's Mummy started to get fat. Mummy became tired and a little bit grumpy, and her stomach kept growing and growing. Taylor would come and cuddle up, with her head on Mummy's tummy, but stopped doing this when the tummy strangely started kicking her in the head.
One day, Mummy looked like she was in pain. She cried and Daddy drove her away in the car. Taylor thought that Mummy might have gone to a fat-camp to slim down again. But Daddy started coming home with items of miniature human clothing that smelled sort of like Mummy, but of something else as well. This was becoming very strange to Taylor.
Then Mummy and Daddy brought a little person home. Taylor did not know who she was - she thought that maybe she was a visitor - but she stayed. She cried, she spewed, she had smelly nappies. She cried some more. She took all the attention. Mummy and Daddy called her 'Abbey' and gave her lots of cuddles. Still she cried.
Taylor was worried and did not know what to do with this Abbey who had come into her home and taken over everything. Taylor liked to smell Abbey and touch her with her paws, but Mummy always stopped her from being too rough. Taylor just wanted to play, but she was much bigger than Abbey and did not know her own strength.
Meanwhile, Abbey grew bigger and bigger. She loved to look at Taylor and learned to point, say 'dog' and make a strange kind of animal noise that made her sound more like a devil-child than a pretend dog. But she did not like to be close to Taylor. In fact, she would scream and clutch to her Mummy if Taylor came near her.
Mummy decided to give Taylor and Abbey some time to get to know each other through the fly-screen door. Abbey held her hand up against the door and Taylor would lick it. Abbey laughed. Then Mummy started holding Abbey while she touched Taylor. Abbey liked to pull Taylor's fur, but Mummy taught her how to be gentle and pat Taylor.
Abbey decided that Taylor was not so bad after all. And Taylor thought that now Abbey did not cry all the time, she was all right too. And she realised that Abbey was the source of all the food that now appeared on the floor. This was a wonderful thing for Taylor. So the two adopted sisters played nicely together in the backyard and inside. Mummy or Daddy was always there with them, just to make sure they stayed happy and gentle with each other.
And they lived happily ever after.
PS - You can read about introducing babies and pets from Dr. Katrina Warren: here and here.