When Bobby was in Dental School at NYU and I was his girlfriend, we used to talk about owning a dog together. It was probably the first step to being committed to each other. Dog, living together, marriage, then kids right? When I took the plunge to be with him at his first duty station in North Carolina, we made that dream a reality.
We got our girl Sam at Pender County Rescue Shelter. Sam was a beaten puppy and very scared. However, once she realized we loved her, she loved us back. Today, we swear Sam speaks English. She moved all over the place with us and has been there for every highlight and every storm. We had a second fur baby join our family when Bobby deployed to Afghanistan, but she tragically died when she was two.
That’s when we rescued our abandoned Weimaraner named Shelby. So here we are with two dogs for the past 12 years and they truly have become part of our family. They bring so much joy to our home and like all dog owners feel, they are our constant. They are always there no matter what hill you are climbing or accolade you’re celebrating.
I love dogs so much, that I really never understood people that didn’t. Sure they are work, they are similar to having children, but I wouldn’t trade them in for the world.
Recently, we moved to a one story home that is in the shape of a U and it’s hard to keep track of my littles all the time, especially if I am cooking dinner. A few days ago while I was cooking, Sam came up to me in the kitchen and barked very strangely at me. She then shook her head indicating I should follow her. I followed her around the U shape house to a door and sure enough Roman opened it and was standing outside. My dog literally came and got me to tell me get this boy. My heart dropped, but was grateful for my brilliant dog.
When strangers are around our home, you can guarantee that I know because they will be barking. They make me feel so safe, they really do. They have become the protectors of our family and our home. They alert us when we need to be alerted. And they give us so much unconditional love. The children include them in play all the time and they keep us going on family walks after dinner. The benefits of owning a dog go on and on.
Having a dog rocks.
Overcoming a Fear Of Dogs
As a parent to little children and two fur babies I find it really hard when people come over that expect me to put my dogs in the yard. Their children are deathly afraid of dogs and sometimes I see the parents supporting that instead of getting them to warm up to them.
My dogs have never harmed a soul and are truly great dogs. They do have a loud bark that can be intimidating to a child who is never around them. I am sure it’s the unknown and unexpected that contributes to their fear. However, when I try to tell my visitors they are sweet girls and not to worry, I find myself in this weird situation. Is it my house, my rules or am I being rude by not putting the dogs outside?
Tips on how to help your child overcome their fear of dogs
1. Understand your child’s fear and explain this fear isn’t rational (unless of course it is)
2. Do NOT reinforce your child’d far by keeping your child away from dogs, rather have him/her pet the dog under the chin. (if its a strange dog ask the owner if it bites)
3. Gradually expose your child to dogs by watching dog movies, books with dogs, go to a pet supply store. Go at the child’s pace.
4. Find a mellow adult dog to meet before a rambunctious puppy.
5. According to web MD seek out dressed up dogs. There has been studies that kids do so much better with dogs that are in clothes.
6. When your child is ready to pet the dog, don’t have it stare at him/her, have it occupied so the kid can get a pet in without staring.
7. Lastly, teach your kids manners. Teach kids to never, hit, push or tease a dog. Also, never pull a dog’s tail. It simply isn’t acceptable for kids to tease dogs, it could be dangerous.
Guests that aren’t too fond of dogs
It’s tough not to take it personally when guests come over that do not want your dogs around. If you’re crazy about your dogs and know their exuberant greeting is short lived, and your guests are viewing your dogs and a pack of wild wolves, then we have to try to make some changes to be fair.
#1 Take your dog on a long walk before your guests arrive so that he/she is tired. If your dog has pent up energy, this is a no brainer.
#2 I have tried this before e and it works, get your dog a new bone for when guests arrive. If not a bone one of those toys that you can fill with peanut butter. That way they are very occupied and distracted.
#3 Instead of having your guests ring the bell and come in, be outside with your dogs on a leash. This will prevent them from jumping on your guests and barking like crazy. Also give your dogs your favorite treat on the ground outside.
#4 Train your dog. This is something we did with both school was take them to puppy school so that they learned basic commands. They sit when they are told and lay down.
Either way, I do believe us dog people can co-exist with non dog people. We just need to compromise and possibly enforce these suggestions when hanging out together. I would love to hear from you. Has this happened to you, where you were asked to put your dogs outside? Tell me your stories.
Source: Web MD