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| by The Fustany Team

Reem Gamil Tells You What's Her Life Like at Home with a Baby Girl and a Dog!

Reem Gamil never knew she could fall in love with dogs, until she got the chance to live with her (initially forced on) Labrador. Now, she has become totally obsessed with canines, and she thinks that dogs are truly a girl's best friend. But this young lady doesn't only care for her dog, Reem is a wife, a mother to a 3-month-old baby girl, Safeya Ezzeldin, and she also leads a successful career, as she's the editor-in-chief of What Women Want magazine.

We reached out to Reem to inspire families out there, to let them know that it's safe to raise your babies around dogs. Read along to find out how her life is like with the presence of a baby girl and a furry friend!


Can you share with us your pet story?

My dog’s name is Hashtag, he is two and a half years old. My husband is crazy about dogs, but back then, I didn’t want to take this kind of responsibility. After months of trying to convince me, he won. I decided to give it a try, and thank God I took the right decision; it’s the best relationship I have ever experienced

When you knew you were pregnant, what’s the first thought that crossed your mind?

I was so happy that my baby will have an amazing best friend to grow up with. I planned my pregnancy after I was totally done with my dog's potty training, vaccinations, and regular vet visits. The idea of letting go of our dog never crossed my mind, we actually decided to move to a bigger house to accommodate both kids in a healthy environment. Hashtag is my first child, and by working on our parenting skills, I am sure we’ll be able to help them co-exist.

Tell us how you introduced your newborn baby to your family dog.

I have been reading a lot into it when I was pregnant. When we came back home from the hospital, we let a family member carry Safeya, because of course the dog had missed us, and we didn’t want to push him away from thrillingly greeting us. We put dog treats and new toys in the baby’s stroller, to help him develop positive emotions towards this new family member who came without prior notice. He wasn’t interested in her when they first met, but as she started crying, he became very nervous and started crying too for 3 days! I was going out of my mind. (laughs)

Share with us the top safety precautions for babies and dogs to live happily together.

There is absolutely nothing to worry about if you trained your dog right. Dogs don’t know what to do when they are around a newborn. They decide to create their own zone far away from this weird human that doesn’t interact with them. Hashtag feels the responsibility to be protective of Safeya though, so he sleeps near her bedroom’s door, and when she cries he comes alarming me that something is going on over there. He loves her, but he isn’t sure whether to come near her or not. We allow him to sniff her hand or foot if he wants, then we wash her well afterwards. We never tell him not to come near where she is, he has to know that she is a friend, and not an enemy.

It is said that pets help babies to become healthier. What’s your point of view?

I totally agree. Scientifically, it’s proven that children who grow up with dogs develop better immunity. Not only they become healthier, but also they grow up to be friendly, compassionate and cooperative.

Any quick tips on how you balance your time with both of them?

Motherhood is 'energy.' The more energy I have, the better mother I can become. I won’t lie, it’s been an insane phase for us, I never thought the lack of sleep hurts your body that much. I try, but I am almost there. I play with my dog at home, and I took him to the beach once, but I can’t do it every weekend like I used to do before the baby came. I do the best I can, to make it work for all of us, but to be frank, 'balance' is a surreal word and it’s not happening anytime soon.

My dog is actually very jealous of Safeya, because he was the main center of attention, and now with a million things to do day/night exclusively for her, I don’t have the luxury of time to have a proper cup of coffee or even play with my dog. He is like an older brother who just has to be patient and wait for me to retrieve my sanity and energy. I am sure this is just a temporary phase, and few months from now we will all be going to play and have fun together.

Do you have any funny stories you’d like to share with us that involve your baby and dog?

When people come to visit us, out of jealousy, Hashtag brings all of his toys and piles them up in front of everybody to distract them from the baby, and makes sure they are obliged to play with him. He makes it so hard to reject those puppy eyes.

Photo Credits: Heba Begawi

Tags: Mothers  Motherhood  Babies  Parenting tips  Pets  Interviews  Arab women  Women