Cooper Update (it's been a while!)
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  • I just realized it had been over a year since I've logged in… And so much has happened in our lives!

    Cooper is approaching his 5th birthday, and we seem to have his allergies and skin issues managed well. We are on cyclosporin, hydroxyzine, and allergy shots with success, and he's on prescription food. When he does have an outbreak, we refuse steroids and do a 14 day course of antibiotics (he seems to over-react to staph, which sets in when he gets into an allergen!).

    Cooper has been to more states than most people (he's lived in 5 different ones with us!). He got to travel out to the western U.S. on a multi-week trip in the summer of 2009. He thought the Pacific Ocean was big and cold, but he loved snuggling in our sleeping bag and going on hikes. He lived with us in a hotel room for two weeks while my husband did some research. He wasn't too fond of the cleaning staff, but we usually went out for a multi-hour walk along the Columbia river.

    We now live in western NY and don't plan on moving for a while. We bought a house AND had a baby! And Cooper couldn't be more thrilled. He had to give Isaac a thorough spit bath when he came home from the hospital, and he's doing really well with everything, including the occasional whacks in the head by flailing arms (Isaac is almost 4 months old).

    Photos attached include Cooper at the Pacific Ocean, Cooper cuddled in our sleeping bag in our tent, and some various ones of Cooper and Isaac (for some reason I can't get the most adorable ones to upload :()
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  • Houston

    So nice to see Cooper in all of those pictures. Sounds like you have been busy, traveling and living the large life. Congratulations on the baby, Isaac looks adorable.

    Welcome back.

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  • Thanks for sharing your pictures. Cooper looks like a very protective, loving dog. I'm so glad to hear that he loves baby Isaac (who is adorable!) because we hear so many stories on the forum about people giving up their basenjis when they have a baby. So nice to meet and hear from you.

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  • This is great. Thanks for sharing!

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  • Cooper had some great experiences with babies a few years ago, and we're always working with him on new training skills, so we did our best to set him up for success with a baby (a big turnaround… when we first got him, he got nervous when he heard babies on TV). When I was pregnant, Cooper and I tried to walk every day, and did obedience training on our walks (loose leash walking, sitting for stops, sitting to watch kids go by on their bikes, laying down while I get my mail at the post office or look at books at the library... it's a small town and he's allowed both places!). He got to sniff and inspect every new baby item that came in the house and got to smell a baby blanket while I was still in the hospital. When we put the crib together, I'm pretty sure he thought it was a new crate!

    I firmly believe that Cooper knew exactly what was going on throughout the whole pregnancy. He didn't like getting kicked through my tummy at first, but eventually warmed up to it (it meant more cuddles with me, after all!). And when we came home, he was so happy to see Isaac! I didn't let him get too close at first, and then I realized that he just wanted to meet the baby so badly... So Isaac got a spit bath, and Cooper calmed down right after. He even got up with us in the middle of the night those first few days home, but he quickly learned that there's no need for him to interrupt his precious sleep!

    Now when I nurse Isaac, Cooper curls up with us and takes a nap. The three of us go on walks together every day. I've really tried to make sure that Cooper's routine hasn't been too disrupted. I'm sure we'll have some rough spots (like when Isaac starts using a high chair... Cooper's food allergies mean we've installed a gate to lessen the chance of him scavenging), but I'm really happy with the way the last few months have gone.

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  • such a nice story in a world where many people think they have to get rid of the dog when the baby comes!

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  • Thank you for this lovely update on your life with Cooper! And congratulations on doing such a great job of introducing the baby, Cooper is a very lucky dog to have such a loving family.

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  • Congratulations on your new baby Isaac, he's gorgeous. How nice to hear things are going well, sounds like you have worked realy hard with Cooper.

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  • I said it in another thread, but want to say it here too….WELCOME BACK! I was just thinking about you the other day when I was going thru an old thread. Wondering where you went. And welcome to the world baby Issac (LOVE this name)...he is adorable! So glad you are back!

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  • Welcome back to the forum. Love both the pics and your story :) Congrats on your new baby!

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  • P

    Thank you for Cooper's update and many congratulations on the birth of Isaac. You all look as one happy family and have obviously done all the right things to accustom Cooper to the new arrival. It's a shame that others fail to make sure that a new baby is welcomed by their dogs.

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