An ode to my baby before my baby, my Dog


Penelope. Penny. Penny Poo-Poo. Penny Poopsy. Angel. Muffin. These are just some of the names I call my first baby. For 10 1/2 years before my baby girl was born, I was obsessed with my dog. She was my best friend. Long before I ever met my husband, or thought about being a mom to a baby, I was a dog mom and I liked it. My dog kept me company, provided hours of entertainment, and helped keep me fit by taking her on long walks. I was never lonely because she was always there. Even the thought of her getting sick, or one day passing away would bring me to tears just thinking about it. All my friends knew how important my dog was to me. When my friends called they would always ask how Penny was doing. My typical response was “she’s perfect.” I realize now how I find myself saying the same things about my baby girl. Being a dog mom really prepared me for the love I would have for my baby girl.

When I packed for the hospital I even included a tiny baby washcloth to capture my baby girl’s scent, so I could send the same home with my parents and get my dog ready for the baby.

The Day My First Baby Became a Dog: The day my baby girl was born, my first baby became a dog. Before that day, she was my baby. She got all the attention. I loved on her. I couldn’t wait to get home work and see her! Seriously, she was often the best part of my day because she was always so happy to see me. Spoiled rotten she was, and I liked it that way. I smothered her with kisses and belly rubs. There was no such thing as too many toys or too many treats. Now, if I remember to give her a treat, she’s lucky. Sleep deprivation, breast-feedings, and washing mountains of baby clothes keep me busy.

My stepmom has a hilarious shirt that says “I kissed a Dog and I liked it,” and I always think about that shirt when I look at my dog and realize how lucky I am to be a mom and a dog mom, too. Thank you to my first baby, you may be a dog now, but you will always be my best friend!

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Courtney was born and raised in Franklin, Tennessee. She is a graduate of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the Cecil C. Humphrey School of Law at the University of Memphis. A practicing civil litigation attorney in downtown Nashville, she may look familiar — because she was featured in a Krystal commercial with two of her friends and her face was on the Krystal cup while that commercial aired. Courtney is a huge fan of football, and when she is not traveling, she can be found checking out live music in Nashville. She currently lives in Franklin with her husband Clark, baby girl Elaine (who is the easiest/sweetest baby, and the love of their lives), and 11 year old mixed breed dog Penny.


  1. This post made tears well in my eyes (I’m embarrassingly emotional since become a mom) as my dog baby and human baby lay next to me. Great post. We owe it to our dogs, especially when they are so good around our human babies.


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