Firstly glad to hear through the media you are doing ok Lupo and mum & dad understand how important it is to still get your share of pats. So Lupo as a fellow Cocker and having now almost 2.5years of sharing a house with a small human I wanted to share my advice.
Sleep Deprivation – yes this effects dog too. Mum and dad will complain of it and use it as an excuse not to get up early for walks. I was also suffering sleep deprivation too. Having sleep interrupted during the night with mum getting up to feed or change nappies or whatever else was the matter with small human. But the worse part was mum would get out of bed. I would then rearrange myself on the bed to take advantage of the space created then mum would come back and want her spot on the bed back. Worse part was that it was winter when little human was at this stage so I would just warm up my spot and then mum would return. My advice…. don’t bother moving in the first place. I eventually figured it was just easier to stay on the lounge and let all the commotion happen through the night without me.
Those baby carry things and ball throwing things – both are great investments. The carry sling thing or the thing that attaches on the front are great for letting mum or dad get out into the yard with the little human (and little humans seem to like being outside too). The problem with those slings or carry things is mum or dad getting down to get the ball. Solution. The ball throwing thing. Easy for mum or dad to just bend their knees slightly and get the ball in the end of the thing. Just make sure they don’t throw too hard. Would hate to see you loose the ball over the fence, although suspect there is a bit of space out there at Bucklebury.
Walking alongside prams and strollers – suggest the sling or carry thing whenever possible and offers way more freedom (seriously go get it and put it at mum’s feet) but if mum or dad insist on using the pram or stroller…. keep your paws clear of the wheels. They hurt!!! Also don’t try walking in front of the pram… that doesn’t really work either as when you try to stop and sniff mum can’t see and you get run over. Unfortunately it is a case of heeling. Mum still believes the best I have ever healed, including in Rally O rings, was beside the stroller (I think she briefly entertained the idea of taking an empty stroller into the Rally O Ring at Trials).
The little human may be a bit annoying. Watch out when they try to boss you about, at bath time and if they have a paintbrush in their hands, but just wait it gets better. They start to eat proper food and are then willing to share, they get toys that are fun to play with and my recent highlight has been toddler getting into my food and giving it to me (small handfuls but a bit of patience and it is worth it).
Good luck Lupo and keep up the appearances in the family photos (that is a great tongue).