Courtney Mazza and Mario Lopez are expecting their first child in September. But Courtney is a little concerned about how their French bulldog, Julio, will adjust to the new arrival. She speaks to momlogic.
momlogic: Were you pregnant when you got Julio?
Courtney Mazza: We got him on a Monday -- and that following Sunday, I found out I was pregnant. So we got a dog and our baby news all in one week!
ml: Do you and Mario consider Julio to be your "baby"?
CM: He is our baby! I can't imagine our life without him. I know people say, "When that baby comes, you're not even going to remember that dog," but I'm going to do everything in my power to not make that happen. Our baby is obviously my top priority, but I have to find a happy medium with Julio. I don't want him to feel neglected.
ml: How did your life change when you got a dog?
CM: Life changed by having that extra responsibility and not being able to run out of the house at a moment's notice. You have to allow that extra time to make sure he's been fed and that he's gone to the bathroom! It definitely makes Mario and I closer to have this love for an animal. We sit down and say, "If we have this kind of love for an animal, what kind of love will we have for this baby we made?"
ml: So having a dog together was a bonding experience for you and Mario?
CM: Definitely! We talk about Julio like he's a human when we're away. The woman who takes care of him when we're on vacation sends us pictures via e-mail, and I'll even start crying! That could be the pregnancy hormones kicking in ...
ml: Are you nervous about how Julio will adjust to the new baby?
CM: Of course I am! But I know French bulldogs are awesome with kids. Julio has been around Mario's nieces and nephews and my niece, and he's great with them.
ml: Have you consulted any experts or trainers on how to prepare Julio for the new arrival?
CM: Not yet. I did read in a book that it's good to play a crying baby on CD so the dog gets used to the sound. I am going to start playing that for him, because he's never been around a newborn before.
ml: Lots of our readers have dogs and babies -- any questions you would like to ask them?
CM: My main concern right now is that when I'm with the baby by myself and I need to take Julio out, how will I juggle it all? I'm petrified of coyotes, and we're up on a mountain, so I can't let the dog out alone. I'm sure it will all work out, but that's on my mind. Any pointers would be welcome!