Monday, December 20, 2010

Baby's first words

Shane and Magnum - June 2010

Every mother imagines their baby's first words.  "Mama"

Not my baby.

Nor was I the object of my baby's attention.  No, Shane was not an ordinary baby.  Shane loved me.  But he loved me second.  The object of my baby's attention, affection... my baby's security blanket... was not me.  Nor was it my husband, or my older son.  Nope.  Shane's little baby world revolved around one thing.  Magnum.

From the moment Magnum first saw Shane, the feeling was mutual.  I have never seen a bond between a baby and a dog, like theirs.  Magnum was never more than a few feet from Shane.  He slept when Shane slept and sat vigil when Shane was awake.  And if Magnum dared to wander away from Shane while he was napping, Shane was wake up with a jolt and a scream.  It was like they were connected on so many more levels than the average boy and his dog.

As the months rolled on, and Shane started talking his baby talk more, I anxiously awaited the first "real" words.  He spent hours conversing with Magnum with his baby words, and Magnum listened patiently.  Shane would press his sticky fingers into Magnums eyes and nostrils, and the poor dog never flinched.  They were a pair obsessed with each other, so I shouldn't have been surprised the day that I heard those first words.


No.. not MAMA,  not DADA.... It was DAWGDAWG.

And Magnum answered to it.  The pure joy in that labradors eyes when he heard "dawgdawg" that first time, was priceless.  His puppy could talk!

I really couldn't tell you when Shane finally said "mama".  It didn't really matter.  His first word was dog.  Or more precisely "dawgdawg"  And not too much later, when I would hear Shane call his dog, it usually meant mischief.

One day, while toddling around in the kitchen, Shane spied something on the kitchen counter that he wanted.  I don't remember exactly what it was, but I remember pushing it a little further back on the counter to stay out of his reach.  He gave me this look that seemed to challenge me.  He wanted it, and he would get it.  "DAWGDAWG!!", he yelled.  Of course Magnum wasn't too far away, and reached Shane immediately.  Shane pointed to the floor... and Magnum layed down, right in front of the counter.  With a grin, Shane climbed up on Magnums back, tiny toes dug into his warm brown fur.  And what do you know?  That object was no problem for the toddler now!


  1. What a precious story! I think all children should have a dog growing up, it really teaches them compassion, responsibility, and helps them to be less shy :)

  2. Hi Leslie,
    I'm so sorry for your loss of sweet Magnum. I know how much you must be missing him. My Chocolate Lab, Daley, passed away just over a year ago. Your reflections on Magnum's personality in his early months remind me of my early days with Daley, who I was lucky enough to have by my side for nearly 14 years.

    What a beautiful, loving, caring and truly special boy Magnum became. I look forward to reading more about his life with you and your family. I bet Daley and Magnum have found each other and are going to town playing with their angel Chocolate Lab spirit in full force!