Hoda Kotb may still be on maternity leave, but when she returns to work, her pup’s got this protectiveness thing covered.
The Today show host, 52, shared a photo to her Instagram account Friday, showing her dog Blake hanging out near her 5-week-old daughter Haley Joy, who’s engrossed in the toys hanging above her play mat.
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Haley’s “big brother” is just one of many individuals who have taken to the adorable little girl. Colleagues from Matt Lauer to Meredith Vieira and Savannah Guthrie have all visited the new mom to get some snuggle time with baby Haley.
“I thought if it’s meant to be, if my child is out there, then it will happen, and if it’s not, it’s the way it was meant to be,” Kotb told PEOPLE exclusively of the prospect of having a child 10 years after undergoing cancer treatment that left her unable to do so biologically.
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“I decided to go on with life but just believe,” she added, sharing that holding Haley for the first time made her feel like “it was like a puzzle piece that just snapped in. I felt it. It was as if she had been with me forever.”
Of raising her daughter with longtime boyfriend Joel Schiffman, Kotb told PEOPLE, “Haley will call him Dad.”
“[He] has been so great,” she praised of Schiffman, who has a 23-year-old daughter named Kyle from his previous marriage. “He’s such a great dad and a great influence.”