When Henry Met Connie
By Carrie Thomas Acors

How do you tell your three year old Pembroke that you are pregnant? In a note tucked under his water bowl or perhaps in Bonio's on the kitchen floor? Henry had always been our baby - he has a bed in every room of the house and he likes his tummy rubbed after his morning walk. We dote on Henry, however this was big news and we had to tread carefully. Henry first realised something was wrong when I took him out for a walk and quickly ran out of energy whilst walking up one of Folkestone's hills. I was literally on all fours and Henry looked at me rather bewildered and tilted his head to the left, like corgis do.

Henry then thought it was strange how Dad was cooking three different dinners every evening because Mum kept changing her mind and Henry wasn't allowed any of them. The final clue was when Henry jumped on the bed and his eyes widened at the sight of Mummy's tummy looking like she had swallowed one of his footballs. However, Henry is now an adult and no longer a puppy. We knew he was old enough to accept a new arrival, despite Mummy wanting a puppy instead!

Connie was born rather prematurely. She was in fact supposed to arrive on 7th December but she decided to arrive instead on 7th November and was rather quick about it too. My waters broke at 6.30pm and she arrived at 9.52pm! Matthew was in the middle of cooking his Special Chicken dinner, which is basically chicken in a white wine sauce with carrots and peas - but this was cut short by the sudden rush of preparing a hospital bag, Henry was bemused by this sudden departure and that he didn't get any chicken. As I breathed through the contractions, I thought of two things; firstly, the next time we step back in this house there's going to be a little person in tow and secondly, this must be a false alarm as I have an audit tomorrow morning!

Connie weighed in at a healthy 6lbs 4oz but she wasn't feeding properly and we had to stay in hospital for a week. I missed Henry dreadfully during those seven days, but I was told he was getting plenty of attention from his Uncle Nick and enjoying long walks along the beach. I hope he hadn't forgotten me.

When we were finally discharged, I couldn't wait to see Henry and I went to pick him up on my own. He was so pleased to see me that I thought he was going to take off! His little face lit up and he jumped up, licked me and squealed excitedly - but how would he react to meeting Connie? Henry was introduced to Connie shortly afterwards and he sniffed her head, he licked her ear and then ran off because he saw a squirrel in the garden. (That was easy, I thought).

The next 24 hours were tough; we put Henry in the kitchen for the night, which completely threw him. Henry barked all night. We were up with Connie anyway, but knew Henry was unhappy and a bit confused. It wasn't fair to suddenly change his routine so, after much deliberation, we allowed him to stay in the bedroom and he curled up in his bed and fell asleep - even Connie's cries didn't wake him!

The perfect couple

We haven't made any drastic changes to Henry's routine, but have introduced Connie in small doses and treat Henry exactly the same as before. Henry often sits next to me on the sofa when I am feeding Connie and rests his nose on the cushion. If I go away for a short time and leave Henry with Matthew or Uncle Nick I always come back and greet him first so that he knows he's still an important part of our family unit. In my eyes, he will always be our first baby and even though people say, he's just a dog; he's someone that we feed, water, exercise and above all, love. We need him as much as he needs us.

We want Connie to grow up with a positive impression of dogs as so many children don't and I've noticed that if the parents are scared of dogs then it is likely that the children will be too. As Connie grows up I'm sure Henry will be as protective over her as he is of us. She'll be showing him in Veteran before we know it!

From Our Corgi World, Summer 2014 with kind permission.