Tina Sugandh: My Dog Ate My Baby!
The Newlyweds star jokes about her pups' relationship to her newborn.
Newlyweds: The First Year stars Tina Sugandh and Tarz Ludwigsen welcomed a newborn, Tarz, a.k.a "Tarzie," in June. It's the first child for the married couple. And over the next few months, Tina will be sending dispatches about motherhood and sharing them with the Dish: she'll open up about everything from decorating her nursery to little Tarzie's first milestones. Check back for more updates. This week, Tina explains why it's torturous raising a newborn—but it's not for the reasons you think.
*Before I even begin my circuitous blabbing, I just want to let you guys know that I will be performing as well as hosting a really fun "Family Feud" style game with Tarz at The Pink Runway this year! Come join Tarz and I for an incredibly important cause!
I've been writing updates about both Baby-Tarz and about my doggies as well. I mean, I just updated you guys on Tarzie like a week ago and newborns just do not do that much in the first couple months! Do you really want me to write a blog that’s all about how he eats, sleeps, and poops all day? (Well, he did start drooling last week, so I guess I could write a 4 page blog about that...maybe I’ll save that precious gem for next time.)
Anyway, let’s just get right to my choice of blog-title since I’m sure you’re all wondering (and probably praying) that my dog did not, in fact, eat my baby. Well, it did! But only in my dreams. While pregnant, I used to have these recurring nightmares that one of my two precious doggies would come up to me and be like "Hey Mama, I found this mouse! Aren't I awesome?!" Then they would drag the mouse all over the house like a proud trophy. Only, the "mouse" would actually be my newborn child!
Let me just give you a little background so that I don’t seem totally crazy here. (Although, if you watched Newlyweds, there’s really nothing I can say to prove my sanity.)
So, not sure why, but I grew up absolutely terrified of all dogs. I remember my neighbor had a little dog, Bo Bo, and this thing was like the size of Tarzie—but when it got loose, I would run like hell down the block screaming bloody murder. I wish I could defend myself by saying I was a tiny little girl at the time, but I'm talking about when I was like 12 or so. Imagine a 12-year-old (and I was really tall for my age) running down the block screaming bloody murder because she was being chased down the block by an adorable shih tzu or teacup maltese or miniature schnauzer or whatever that "scary beast" of a dog was. (I was the certainly the talk-of-the-block.)
SO I basically grew up thinking dogs were terrifying, vile creatures (I’m not proud of it, but I just didn’t know any better).
Tarz had one condition for marrying me. He said we can live anywhere I wanted, and that I can decorate the house anyway I want (I’m pretty sure he didn't realize that he had just given me permission to glitter the walls of our future home), but the one thing that he wanted that was non-negotiable was a dog. Of course, I threw a dramatic fit and said "hell no." (Tarz now claims that he was able to ignore my no-doggie-tantrum back then because he knew that the fact that I have a huge heart meant I would eventually become a dog-lover once actually exposed to them.)
So, then I met Tarz’s family (yes, we decided we were getting married before I actually met his family since it only took us about two weeks to realize that we are two nuts from the same acorn tree, so who else would be crazy enough to marry us?). Tarz had told me he had a family dog named Thor, but I had no idea that Thor was going to be a giant Husky/Lab! (Remember, I am the crazy girl that runs from a teacup maltese.)
So, long story short, I went from being terrified and disgusted by Thor—so much so that Tarz’s family had to lock Thor in a room every time I came and visited—to slowly having him around me now and then and trying not to freak out, to eventually replacing Tarz with Thor as my spooning partner at night! This transition from being disgusted by Thor, to having him become my "pillow buddy" every night took all of about 4 weeks!
I finally got why America is dog-crazy! Dogs are just awesome!
I'll leave out a ton of details, but I eventually went on to rescue 2 dogs for the "Tarzina" household (although the whole rescue story really an insane one! Hey Bravo, if you ever need a really good dog-blog, I’m your man.)
So now Xena and Loki are our babies. Xena is the female brown "Indian" German Shepherd/Chow dog, who is a nurturing, loving, sweet-as-can-be, mother hen—but is also a hyper, food-loving, nagging, attention-needing nutbag. (Sound like a certain Bravolebrity? I’ll give you a hint...she was on Newlyweds and she was a female brown Indian as well). Then there's Loki, the male white "caucasian" German Shepherd/Husky dog. He’s a soft-at-heart, snuggly cuddler—but also tough, laid back, and allows the Indian doggie Xena to be the center of attention as he is just fine being in the background. (Sound like another male white caucasian Newlywed to you?)
Loki and Xena
Xena and Loki have been our doggie-babies for years, but I always wondered what they would do with a human-baby. I had no prior experience with dogs, and it didn't help that my brother-in-law is one of the top plastic surgeons in the country which means he get the most difficult cases in the country-for example when a dog rips the face off a child. (Point being, I’ve heard some "delightful" dog/baby stories.)
Basically, as you dog-people might have guessed, everything turned out to be more than ok! People have told me that dogs just "get it," and now I understand what they mean. There have been all these self-implemented changes that Xena and Loki made from the very start of my pregnancy. For example, Tarz and I have taught our dogs that it's ok to greet just us by jumping on us. When I got pregnant, they just stopped jumping on me, and continued to jump on Tarz. So weird, right?
When the actual baby arrived, Xena stayed Xena, and Loki stayed Loki—they just redirected their personalities according to the situation. For example, Loki is the "cuddler," but we obviously don’t have the same amount of time to cuddle him now. So rather than getting jealous and taking it out on the baby, he just found other things to cuddle-such as a blanket, and well-himself!
Loki cuddling (above)
As for Xena, (remember she’s the naggy, mother hen), she has redirected her Mama Bear personality from watching over hubby and I to watching over Tarzie all day, (and I’m pretty sure she believes she’s Tarzie’s biological mother.) She uses her nagging skills to nag me about being a horrible mother. For example, god forbid my hands are tied and I can’t get to Tarzie immediately when he starts to cry. Xena will run back and forth from the baby to me as if to say "Hello? Mother of the year! Are you deaf? Do you not hear my baby crying?" Then when I finally get to him, she walks away frustrated like "god, if only I could feed that kids from my doggie-teats, that kid would never have to wait..."
Mama Bear, Xena, watching over "her" baby
So, there you have it. Everything is a-ok for now! Of course, Tarz and I never leave Tarzie alone with the dogs (just because you really never know), but at least we know they love the baby and accept him as yet another member of this crazy household!
Our pigs, Poofers and Peegu, are another story though. This new addition to the family has left them jealous and angry. Peegu swears she will not come out of my gym bag until the baby is gone, and Poofers is threatening to eat so many sour strips that he will explode. Sigh...off to pig therapy we go...
So all is the same (meaning as crazy as ever) in the Tarzina household! :)
As usual, here are some products that make "MommyLand" a better place to live in!
•Stokke Xplory Stroller: We got this really amazing stroller from Stokke that allows your baby to sit really high, so Tarzie can be right in my face when we are out and I can gab and gab away until he has heard every single one of my crazy thoughts. Lucky boy, huh?
•Frosty Paws: In honor of this blog being partially about Xena and Loki, I had to slip a doggie-product in! I’ve read that you should not give your dogs dairy, so when we have our ice cream on pizza-Friday, our doggies get their version of ice cream, called "Frosty Paws." It tastes pretty gross to me, (um, I mean, if I had actually tried it, I’m guessing it would taste gross...hehe), but the dogs freak out for it!
TONS of love and health and happiness,
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•It's a Boy For Newlyweds' Stars Tina and Tarz!