My First Baby Had a Tail….And 4 Legs….


Before I had my children swirling around my feet as I attempted to cook dinner….or make a phone call…or go to the bathroom, before I spent many, MANY, meals attempting to feed my children a variety of organic steamed and pureed veggies and meats only to have them end up in my hair, and even before I changed that very first diaper in the hospital (which was, by the way, my VERY FIRST DIAPER), I was a mama.


But rather than those adorable little diaper-bums, my first baby had a curly tail….a furry one. My first baby never spoke a word in English…..but I always understood just what she needed. My first baby never, ever, rode in a car seat….she much preferred to ride with her head hanging out the window, her tongue and ears flapping in the wind. And I let her….. Yep, I was one AWESOME mama, long before I was ever pregnant. You see, my first baby was a pug/german shephard mix (let your imagination run with that one for a minute….) named Lita. My now-husband and I lived just around the corner from the Irvine Human Society in Southern California and just for fun on Sunday afternoons, we would often go and stroll the aisles of the kennel admiring the faces of all of those loyal companions-to-be, just waiting for The One that would eventually become our first baby. And when we found her….it was love at first short-snouted, snorty, a-face-only-a-mother-could-love, sight. She was ours. And we were hers.

Lita came everywhere with us. Many road trips, hikes, camping trips, and walks in the park made for many memories. She was witness to the wedding planning process, the first-time-living-together learning curve, and budding new careers. She was without-a-doubt, our first baby. Our conversations revolved around her. Our friends and family asked about her when they called. Several years down the road, we found ourselves again looking to expand our family. Not quite ready for a “real” baby, we again rescued an 8 week-old pup we named Austin….and a year later, came Abby, another 8 week old pup. Yep, we were hooked on this whole rescue thing.

As I write this article, Austin and Abby are curled into their beds, snoring peacefully. They spent their day much the same way….except when they were lying next to my kiddos as they put together some puzzles, wagged with tails with excitement when my husband came home from work, and sat patiently by our feet at dinner waiting for those scraps that inevitably come their way (my kids are 3 and 5 after all….they are not particularly stealthy at handing off their food). They followed us from room to room as we got the kids ready for bed tonight and they laid by our sides as we read stories and the kids drifted blissfully off to sleep. They were in our lives before our baby babies, and although they admittedly receive less attention these days than they did pre-children, they are still by our sides. They understand. They live life with us.

In honor of October being Adopt A Dog Month, we want to spotlight the important role our pets play in our everyday lives. They truly are family members, and there are so many loving, furry, companions just waiting to be rescued and brought into a great home for a lifetime of memories. If your family is considering “expanding your family”, please consider the following local agencies (and the many others that are out there as well).

HALO Animal Rescue –

Arizona Humane Society –

Arizona Small Dog Rescue –

Arizona Animal Welfare League –

Maricopa County Animal Control –


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Jessie is the proud mama of two little loves, Reese (born 2009) and Brooks (born 2011). She is fortunate enough to share her life’s adventures with her husband (and high school sweetheart) Todd to whom she has been married since 2004. Although she and her husband have lived all over the West Coast, Arizona is home and she can’t imagine leaving the warm Arizona sunshine anytime soon! A proud University of Arizona Alumni, Jessie spent her pre-kiddo years as a corporate recruiter and trainer. When she is not taking her kiddos to the park or exploring the many cool things the Valley has for families, Jessie is running her natural baby food business, At First Bite, and blogging about the many adventures of parenthood on her blog, At First Bite – Peas. Love. Yumminess.


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