Big Brother Casey
Casey's going to be a big brother! Like, really big. Like, it will be years and years till this kid outweighs Casey. I keep getting the question, "So, how do you think Casey's going to adjust?"
Mostly, I think he's going to be fine. I don't worry that he'll be aggressive toward the baby. I don't worry that he'll chew up the baby's stuff or any toys. Babies have climbed in his crate, pulled his ears, taken his toys, and he takes it all in stride. He's an intensely curious dog, so he'll want to investigate everything (and everyone) new, but once these things and people become fixtures, he'll go back to being his old laid-back self. For those of you who have met Casey, I doubt you'd use the words 'laid back' to describe him, but, trust me, when things are 'normal' in the house, he's very laid-back.
He's big, and most of what I worry about is that he doesn't know his own size or strength. When a baby is sitting & patting him, he may lean into him (like he leans into us) and knock the baby over. Not much harm done. When toddlers get excited and squeal and run around, he gets excited too, and runs around and may knock over a kid. He'll get used to the noise and commotion, and eventually not get as excited by it.
Something I am adamant about, though, is teaching kids proper behavior around dogs. Even kids that grow up without dogs in the home should know obvious stuff: Always ask permission before petting a strange dog. Offer the back of your hand for it to sniff before petting it. Don't run away from a dog. Don't put your face in its face. Don't pull/pinch/hit dogs. Don't mess with a dog while it is eating. I'm amazed that even elementary-aged kids I've come across don't have these basic manners.
With any dog, no matter how much I trusted it, I'd watch the baby and the dog intently when they're together. We've already got a tall baby/pet gate that will come in handy with keeping them separated when needed. Josh has been working hard to get a fence put up in the backyard, so we can throw Casey out there to run off energy if he's underfoot too much. We'll keep him on a leash indoors more to be able to quickly pull him away from any bad situation. Mostly, I think he'll be like Nana in Peter Pan- watchful and protective and gentle. I'm looking forward to this baby having a big (furry) brother to grow up around!