"The Chicken and The Egg"

My little chicken and her egg…

I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that I believe our dogs are aware that I’m pregnant.  They’ve been sniffing my stomach for the past nine months, and on occasion they’ve “babysat,” laying across my belly (despite the awkward balancing required) to where the baby can hear their heartbeats.  These have been entertaining and endearing habits; ones that I haven’t minded a bit.  However, over the past two weeks, something’s changed–especially with Olive.

I’ve started referring to this change as “The Chicken and The Egg” because it’s really the best picture of what’s occurring.  Oscar, as the “man,” has really limited his interaction with me, although he “checks in” (literally, walking up to me, staring at me, then once seeing I’m okay, going about his business) more often to make sure that the baby’s still sitting tight. Olive, on the other hand, has become my little chicken, literally sitting on my belly as often as possible.  Now, let me clarify–“babysitting” has really been the dogs lounging, laying, sniffing, snuggling up to my belly. Olive’s behavior has been quite different; it’s as though her little puppy instincts have told her that my belly is an egg and that she is the mother hen who must warm and protect it.

So she sits on me.  Literally and a lot.  Even when I’m laying on my side, she’ll plop herself down right in front of my belly and back her bottom up until the “egg” is nice and cozy.  Weird, right?  The first time it happened, I thought she was just asking for attention, but now it’s a common occurrence.  It’s as if she’s trying to help me “get this thing hatched” as quickly as possible, and despite being a bit, um, inconvenient (?) at times, it’s a sweet gesture from woman to woman.  When she’s playing mother hen, she often looks back at me with these sympathetic eyes, and I know that she is thinking, “Girl, it’s almost over! What else can I do to help speed up this process?”

The one difference between my belly and an egg?  The baby can (obviously) feel the pressure of a little dog sitting on her…and from her previous “reactions” to people, we already know that this baby is quite outspoken.  Thankfully, it seems that her reaction to Olive’s “hatching” has been to (essentially) pet her.  What a strange sensation–Olive being rubbed by the baby’s hands and feet through my stomach!  But Olive doesn’t seem to mind (what dog would turn down a free massage?) and the baby doesn’t seem to either; her movements are distinctly “rubbing” and not kicking (which she tends to do when something’s poking or bothering her).  I’m taking Olive’s instinct to play mother hen in stride and am delighted that perhaps God is giving me reassurance that the baby and the dogs are destined to be lifelong friends.

To answer the age-old question, in the Shove household, clearly The Chicken came before The Egg.  Riddle solved. :)

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