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Tragic story... and now I need to find Riley a home


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My hound mix is great with children but could still hurt them by being over boisterous. As long as I'm around to keep a lid on things he's fine. My JR is the same but could bite if over stimulated by screaming children. Again, I need to keep an eye on what is happening. A couple of the others would rather not have to mix with children but would be unlikely to hurt them and one I wouldn't trust at all.

 

 

I think we all agree that with dog ownership comes great responsibility. Any dog can and will bite with the right catalyst. If the Riley situation is accurate, I don't consider Riley as being aggressive or a biter. He went to grab for that piece of meat, and made contact with the child's lip. Could have been ANY dog in the room that did that. I also don't think it is a bad thing that the OP and her husband are having this conversation. They are being responsible adults who are questioning the responsibilities of owning a dog. More people in this world should have this conversation.

 

And Lindsay -- that video made me cry. What a lovely tribute.

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I also don't think it is a bad thing that the OP and her husband are having this conversation. They are being responsible adults who are questioning the responsibilities of owning a dog. More people in this world should have this conversation.

 

Definitely more people should think ahead, but also not be afraid of the future.

 

This from Jenn's1stBC in her thread really impressed me -

 

For the question as to why I want him to interact with children it is not just because I live near schools. I am 18 years old and I am hoping that when I marry and have kids of my own I will not have to choose between the dog and my children. I know I am thinking in the far future but I figured this problem needs to be corrected now while he is young. And I would very much like to have my border collie until he is old.
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We had dogs and cats for most of my childhood. My brothers and I were never seriously injured by them. A few scratches and a couple nips.

 

There were some serious injuries from bicycles (surgery required once) steps (broken arm) each other (broken collarbone, numerous stitches).

 

There is some risk in owning a dog with young children in the mix. They both require supervision and training. But IMO the risk is no greater than the other risks that come with many other normal childhood activities - including driving to and from school each day.

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Re: the risk to children living with dogs.

 

Yes, there are risks. There’s no such thing as a dog that won’t bite. But not every child is bitten, and most never receive serious bites – especially if the dogs and the kids are raised and managed properly. The OP has had her “heads up” experience. This should help to motivate her and her husband to take steps to see that the incident doesn’t recur. This doesn’t mean they have to ditch the dogs. It does mean that they have to make some changes and think on their feet.

 

The fact that there is risk involved with having kids and dogs together doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be together. Lots more kids are hurt in motor vehicles accidents. Should kids be kept out of cars? Lots of kids are hurt in sports-related ways. Should they avoid sports? Lots of kids drown. Should all kids be kept away from water? Cars, sports and pools all are dangerous. So are dogs. We learn how to minimize the risk to take advantage of the advantages. And there are advantages.

 

Babies raised with dogs and/or cats are less likely to have allergies to these animals in later life. (for more on that see this-)

 

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/06/13/pets.infants.allergies/index.html

 

Animals are potentially healthful in other ways, too. My best friend while growing up was always my dog. He loved me. He understood me like no one else, was always happy to see me and ready for whatever adventure I decided to cook up. Training my dog taught me a lot about ways to get along with others. All good for my mental health!

 

Did he ever bite me? Yes! Once as I set his food down in front of him I noticed a chili pepper which had accidentally gone into the pan with the kibbles and scraps. I grabbed for it just as my Collie was diving into his dinner. I got bitten. I was outraged. My mom told me I should have known better than to put my hand in Chip’s dinner. She was right! And I was unhurt - except for a bruise, and my feelings, of course.

 

Did he ever save my life? Yes! By charging and knocking down a man who was shooting at our house. The first shot came through the wall just above the kitchen window, where we were sitting and having dinner.

Later in life a Collie kept my toddler away from countless dangers such as stairways, the fireplace and other things.

 

Will any of these things happen if the OP decides to keep the family dogs? I think it likely. (Though I hope no one ever shoots at her house – both for her and her family, and for her dog. My dog paid for his valor with his life. After the shooter got out of jail (he was charged with malicious mischief) my Collie disappeared. We never found his body, but feel sure that the man was the culprit.

 

Keep the dogs! Consider the husband, too. Especially if you want kids… :P

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To the OP: If I was in your shoes I would suggest the following compromise: no kids with dogs OK, but we don't have kids until these dogs have both passed on. I think that would be a fair trade off. Riley is 9 so its only 5-6 years most likely, and Mastiffs are not usually exceptionally long lived dogs.

 

Then you don't have to give up your beloved companion, Riley doesn't have to get re-homed at 9 years old, and your husband can rest easy assured that his future kids won;t have to live with dogs.

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Maralynn just said it. I am not sure if the instances where a nip or a total bowl over result in a minor injury are worth the trade off of teaching kids empathy, responsibility and loyalty. Nicks and scrapes happen. I don't remember the times I got busted by my ponies and subsequent horses. It taught us to be careful. It taught us manners. It taught us to listen. The reason we did not get hurt seriously? Parents that made sure we where not outmatchted. I have two very noticeable scars in my face...one from a horse accident. And one from the wall in the school gym. I continued with both....unfortunately with school.... B)

Had Riley bitten, really bitten...sure enough...a solution that would most likely involve re homing him would be understandable.

That is the part I simply fail to wrap my brain around.

The other is your husbands owning a dog yet jumping ship on her simply because he now has things that are more important than a silly old dog on his brain.

Do I feel for your husband with Riley giving him a tough time? You bet I do. That can't be fun to be on guard in your own home. There is no way he probably will ever get why Riley is important to you. To him, he is probably a major pain.

 

There are several dogs here that I will NEVER put around kids. So yea, I get it. But not the knee jerk reaction with an old friend that just simply saw a treat.

 

I was the person in my marriage that made my ex get rid of his dog. The dog was a cat killer which I was willing to manage. But when my ex failed to train his dog to leave my horses (my business) alone or supervise accordingly, strike two was all it took. Since he did not want to kennel him, he had to go after i had to get a horse stitched up. I felt horrible. In one way I admire him for seeing it my way...on the other I resent him for not having taken the time to manage him different. That was many years ago and I have changed a lot of my pov's as well. But it still does bother me at times.

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I have 2 kids under the age of 3 and a border collie that does not like children. That asid, he loves his children. There have been stages were they were grabby and he would stay away from their hands so they could not pull his fur. Instead he would come up behind then and lick the back of their heads. He was 2 when the first one was born and not socialised to kids. But kids don't come out running and screaming, your dogs would have time to adjust.

 

On the other hand, kids and dogs are alot of work even when there are no issues (and given your description of the situation, i would have no concerns about riley's interaction with greyson - although my dog is trained never take food from anyone unless it is being given to him). So if even the thought of the work you might need to do makes you want to bail, do it now so riley will have a better chance at a good home (as he ages it may be more difficult to place him).

 

As a side note, my kids are better people for having our dog around.

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As a side note, my kids are better people for having our dog around.

 

What a lovely observation. I have to agree that most people I've met with dogs seem like better people. Having a dog sure has kept me away from being a hermit couch potato who playes video games non-stop. :lol:

 

My best friend never had a pet growing up, and I always felt badly for her because she never had the experience of growing up with a family pet. She and her husband picked up a stray puppy a year ago, and I think it's really opened her up to new things (and probably helped her with preparing to have a kid).

 

I had two dogs growing up. One the family had before I was born and the other we got when I was three. I wouldn't trade those experiences for the world. I think a lot can be learned from growing up with pets; things like responsibility and respect.

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Your getting rid of your 8 year old dog and your husbands dog just to have kids? I say "just" because didn't you know kids would be in your futuerwhen you got riley.? Im 99% sure i dont want kids, but Jude was training to love children from day 1. If that 1% happens my FAMILY, which includes my dog, will stay together. I would never give him uo to have kids. You're throwing away his life, and everything he knows to fulfill that need for children?

 

I'm sorry but dogs are for life. There are situations for rehoming (you get a second dog, and first and second don't get along at all so you find number 2 a home) but having children and marrying is not one of them. If you get a dog, you need to think where will I be for the next 20 years. If children are in the equation then you train for that. If said dog doesn't like kids and its not working after a year of kid training, then rehome. Do not rehome a dog 8 years later to make room for another family member. Maybe this coming from the person who doesn't want kids (I love children though don't get me wrong, I just want a different lifestyle)

 

Why in the world are you getting rid of both dogs? Didn't you say the younger one has no issues at all? I'm sorry but that is just ridiculous.

 

Did you see a vet behaviourist? No one should leave kids and dogs alone until the kids are old enough to know how to act properly. Won't Riley be fine? How about you make a riley room in your house instead of a crate? Don't have a spare room, then give up some of your master bedroom and build him a Riley room, so you can keep baby and Riley apart.

 

I'm sorry with this harshness but dogs are for life. Anyone getting a dog should plan 20 years in advance. Especially with a breed such as a border collie, they bond so deeply to their people.

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As a side note, my kids are better people for having our dog around.

 

This! I used to take Missy along when I worked as a nanny. I started when the oldest boy was about 10 months old. Miss had never really been around super young kids, but she was fine with him and with the baby that was born a few months later. The kids were some of the best behaved around animals that I've ever seen. They grew up knowing how to be gentle and giving the dogs their space. Even though they were your average boisterous kids in most situations, they've always had great dog manners and knew to be calm around the dogs.

 

These are skills that will serve them well throughout life. IMO, kids that know how to properly act around dogs are MUCH less likely to get injured by a dog.

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Hello again ~

 

.... My husband understood, or at least I thought he understood, what Riley meant to me. I made a commitment to both. No I don't think his ultimatum is fair at all but I can also understand his reasoning that no animal is worth risking a child's life. And I am not prepared to simply show him the door. I had agreed that if the dogs showed aggression towards our children, they would be re-homed. Now he believes that NO DOG is safe around children and that having the dogs is an unacceptable risk.

 

I certainly don't subscribe to the "show him the door" idea! But I do worry for your future together, if ultimatums are liable to become his way of managing the household. I shall hope not.

 

Meanwhile, though, his belief that dogs are an unacceptable "risk" bewilders me. What will he do the first time a child of his falls off a bicycle? Crashes on roller skates? Gets whacked in the head by a softball? Trips on the stairs? This was an accident, and accidents happen in a child's life.

 

And this was certainly not dog aggression. That's what is so very sad. It was an accident no different than if you'd stepped on the baby's toe.

 

 

Once we have children, I could separate them, but even if I was perfectly adept at keeping them apart, what kind of life is that for Riley? My husband and I both work full time. Once we have kids, what time am I going to have that I am not with them?

 

But ... why separate them? Why would your dogs and your children have to live separate lives? :blink: Why can't the child grow up with a dog - just like a bazillion other kids all over the world? When I was a toddler, I rolled over/fell on a little dog and got bitten on the face, but my father certainly never offered to get rid of our spaniel at home. You DON'T have to permanently separate dogs and children in the home. You manage them.

 

Listen, my hair dresser was worried about her dachshund when their baby started crawling, and talked about having to "give her away" and all that. I listened and then finally said, "Why don't you just buy a couple baby gates, so when you can't watch both baby and dog, you can just stick the gate up for a little while and separate them?" A year later, the child is walking and she and the dog are pals. All it took was wise management and guidance.

 

After all, if you have two children, you certainly won't be able to keep them separate, and yet their chances of harming each other in play or spite is equal to if not greater than any threat from your dogs. When I was 5, I shoved my 3 year old brother down a flight of stairs and he broke his leg. To this day, I have no clue why I did that. Children are dangerous, to themselves and to each other.

 

.... I hope that my husband and I can come to another compromise. I hope he will understand that Riley did not react with aggression. But I don't believe I will be able to change his mind that the dogs need to be gone when we have children. And I'm aware that it's an "if" and not a "when".

 

I hope you can, too. Thousands of dogs each year are given up because of a new baby, and it's heartbreaking to see them listed on rescue or adoption sites, looking so sad and lost. You may tell yourself that Riley is a happy, friendly, loves-everybody kind of boy, but he's that way with you. When he is stripped of everything he's known for all his life ...

 

My husband is willing to work with me with a behaviorist to address the guarding issues. I have been able to convey what Riley means to me but he is still adamant that we will not be dog owners when we bring our own children home....

 

I mourn for you. That sounds like a sentence, not a family plan. No dogs once you have children - that's what, 18 years?

 

Think about that. You'll spend most of the next two decades of your life with no dogs. Because your husband can't get over a little nick delivered with no more malice than stepping on someone's foot.

 

I really, sincerely hope your emotion over this whole thing didn't trigger his extreme reaction. "I knew what I had to do ... put Riley down ..." If he was witness to all that, it may well be why he's reacting the way he is. :(

 

Whatever you do, take time with it. Don't make Riley another new-baby statistic, especially if you don't have any child-bearing plans in the works.

 

Good luck.

 

~ Gloria

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Gloria, I love your response. You put into words very clearly what I have been thinking but was unable to articulate. This thread has been on my mind since I first read it and it is really bothering me. First, because my husband did force the re-homing of my beloved dog, and second, because having dogs in our lives has been hands-down the best thing for my children.

 

My husband and I separated in November (actually, when he forced the re-homing of my dog, it drove a huge wedge into my heart. That was not the only issue, but it certainly didn't help things!). Over the last few months, I have been SO grateful for the dogs, as my child's love for his dog and the dog's love for my child have been the best therapy we could hope for.

 

I just can't fathom how you can give 8 or 9 years of your life to a dog, love him, care for him, provide for his every need, and then give up on him when there is a small accident that is in no way his fault, for the sake of a man who certainly has not given you all the years of love and devotion that the dog has. Not to say that the man's feelings and concerns shouldn't be considered - of course, they should! - but the sweeping demand to have no dogs when children arrive, when you already have dogs in the home, is a little extreme.

 

There were many times in my marriage when I went against my better judgement to accommodate my husband. Looking back, I wish I had taken greater care to ensure that MY needs were met. My husband no longer lives here, but the dogs remain and their love is unwavering. OP, I wish you every happiness in your marriage, and I hope that it lasts for all of your days - but if (God forbid) it doesn't last, will you deeply regret giving up Riley the way I deeply regret giving up my dog? I sure hope not. It is an awful feeling to live with.

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Okay, I'm a little confused after going back to the OP. Riley is listed as male, so I'm assuming if this is correct then this is a gay marriage. If this is the case, then are you looking to adopt? Knowing from experience, this is a long and often unsuccessful experience even for straight couples. For gay marriages it is even more difficult. (I have friends that have been trying to adopt for years now). Regardless of the way you plan to have a baby, are you willing to give up your friend of 9 yrs for the possibility of a baby? Even if you are, I for the life of me, can't understand the reasoning that dogs and children can't be together. My collie (my heart dog) loves my son best of all. I can always find Sam (we live in the woods) by calling my dog because she won't leave his side. Dogs just make people better IMO, and are very protective of their family and can actually protect them for other dangers.

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Riley Dog, we had a dog bite a child at our house over Christmas, too. luckily it was not one of my dogs (they were all out in the heated out building safely away from all the commotion), so I know how scary it can be (no injuries or blood, thankfully). Also luckily, everyone realized that the dog was put in a a bad situation - set up for failure - and rightfully, did not blame the dog.

 

based on your two posts, it does sound like there is more to the decisions, then just the incident. Riley is likely jealous that he is not the main man in your life anymore and BCs are sensitive dogs. I am sure that Riley's attitude towards your new husband has a lot to do with your husbands feelings about what should happen, some relationship building between your husband and Riley would likely turn that around in no time. There are also a lot of great resources out there to stop resource guarding and work on your part on this, would be great, too. Dogs don't always adjust well to change right away, but they do adjust. However, dogs have an uncanny knack of knowing who is in there pack and most end up being amazing with their "own" children.

 

however, with the decision being so quick and sever and absolute, it might be good for you and your husband to examine where that really comes from - it is likely much, much more then the one incident. perhaps the incident is a convenient excuse. I bring this up not in an accusatory way, but genuinely encourage your and your husband to both examine your true feelings around owning dogs and the responsibility that goes with it. Dogs are not disposable, and giving up a 9 yr old is heartbreaking for sure on multiple levels, keeping a dog in a household where one or more members of the household don't want the dog could cause a bad situation as well.

 

I encourage you not to rush into any decision, but spend some time working on the resource guarding, helping your husband build a relationship with the Riley and you with his dog and see what happens, but do not neglect to also dig in deep about what is really behind the decision.

 

if you both do keep the dogs, train, train train, both dogs and children how to behave with each other and make sure you as the owner/parent make thoughtful decisions.

 

Good luck and hope it all works out for the whole family.

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So Rainey nipped a child this summer.....turns out the kids were tossing a ball for her and one kids kept baiting her with it so when she grabbed the ball, she nicked his finger. No damage but the kid was crying. Now, we just don't let her play with kids. Talked to the dad and he was cool about it, we apologized and all is fine. She has played with kids hundreds of times but this was just one of those times when kids was waving the ball if front of her and telling her to get it......kids came out at Christmas and were fine with the dogs then.

 

Shiro tried to bite a kid once. We were at a potluck and she was laying next to our feet. The kid came over and sat next to her and stabbed her ribs with a fork so she growled. I told the mom to move her kid and her response was "she is playing with the dog" so I asked again and she said the same so I grabbed her kid and removed her. She didn't speak to me for a long time and I told people what happened....they were appalled st her behavior. They got a Border Collie since ours were so well behavied. I told them not to get one. Their dogs bites everyone and is very aggressive.....I think it has bitten well over five people.....but she doesn't seem to care. I told her what can happen to her but she is like "oh, whatever, Diane, you are such a drama queen"....the dog bit the mailman so badly, he needed stiches.

 

Shiro was tied at our camp about ten years ago and the friend's kid came over and poked her with a stick and when she growled, she kept poking her so she got bit. Mom was upset but saw her kid was in the wrong and explained to her why it was wrong. We still would take Shiro camping but she would be by ourside or in the trailer after that. That kid would come over to the farm and play toss with her for hours after that. But Shiro had a lineage of aggressive, ill-bred backyards breeders so we just managed her after that. She never bit a kid again and when one would fall to the ground, she would rush over and lick their face.

Needless to say, the most well-bahaved dog will bite, if you put the dog in a situation up for failure.

 

OUR JOB IS TO NEVER LET THAT SITUATION HAPPEN!!

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When I was a child (and that's quite some time ago) and someone was nipped by a dog, the first question my parents (or other neighborhood parents) would have was, "What did _____ do to cause that?" I never recall the dog being blamed first but rather the reaction was to ask what had *caused* the incident to happen. This sounds just like the same thing, not a "bite" of any sort of aggression but an "accident" due to mismanagement. And I think that's what this is all about.

 

I hope your husband realizes that there is absolutely *nothing* in life that will be risk-free, for anyone. Common sense and good management reduce the chances of risk. Your childhood bite with its possible long-term, disfiguring consequences, predisposed (I think) you all to an over-reaction in this incident.

 

I hope your husband and you are able to resolve this issue between yourselves. It is certainly an emotional and upsetting problem.

 

Very best wishes in finding a mutually-acceptable solution, for you and for the dogs.

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I just want to say that I am so grateful to my parents for accepting the risk that animals can pose to children, for raising us to be respectful of animals, and for letting us have animals--numerous animals--in our lives. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is better for a child than a well-loved companion animal. My life, and the lives of my siblings, would have been so, so much poorer if my parents had chosen to make our home animal free. There are many life lessons that can be learned from animals, of which loyalty is not the least.

 

Greyson, Riley, and Sarah are all the innocent victims here.

 

J.

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Its funny (not the right word at all) the shift in attitude, even pretty recently with dog bites and children. I'm only 23 (my age to show it wasnt that long ago i was a kid myself) and growing up if you got hurt around an animal it was always "well what did you do to deserve it?" It was aways the kids fault. You were taught that dogs bite if you do bad things to them, that's the consequence you get when you act innapropriately. Never blamed the dog for biting, that's just their response to our negative behaviour. If a dog (lets say the neighbours hunting dog) was "nasty" and prone to bite you were told to leave that dog alone, you got bit if you didn't and that was that, my families response would be "told you to leave the dog alone".

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Wait a minute, isn't the gender listed below the picture and on the info page for the poster not the dog? If so, then Riley-dog is male.

 

Not sure if it's still true, bur for a long time Male was the default category in the software. You'd be shown as Male if you didn't set up your profile to show otherwise. I feel sure that's why Riley-dog is shown as Male, though I'm pretty sure she's female.

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Its funny (not the right word at all) the shift in attitude, even pretty recently with dog bites and children. I'm only 23 (my age to show it wasnt that long ago i was a kid myself) and growing up if you got hurt around an animal it was always "well what did you do to deserve it?" It was aways the kids fault. You were taught that dogs bite if you do bad things to them, that's the consequence you get when you act innapropriately. Never blamed the dog for biting, that's just their response to our negative behaviour. If a dog (lets say the neighbours hunting dog) was "nasty" and prone to bite you were told to leave that dog alone, you got bit if you didn't and that was that, my families response would be "told you to leave the dog alone".

I think this is so true.

 

Contrast that with the father who was letting his young son jump, bounce, and make scary noises at a crated dog in the back of its own car (with the hatch open for fresh air). When someone went over and politely (much nicer than I would ever have done) asked the child to stop, the father did nothing. So, in the interest of being positive about it and not attacking the child's behavior per se, the person said that if the dog (who was terrified and barking, snarling, and jumping in response to the child's frightening actions) was to bump his crate latch open and get out and possibly hurt the child, the father's reply was, "Well, we'll see the owner in court."

 

That is one of only several absolutely irresponsible and stupid things I have seen parents do or allow their children to do around dogs at that public park (during a major sheepdog trial). Other instances include letting children play with a soccer ball in front of chained/crated dogs that were going bonkers with a combination of over-stimulation and fear of the yelling, active, unpredictable children. And then, of course, blaming the results on the dogs and not on their own foolish behavior.

 

I grew up in a day of laying the blame where it belonged, using common sense, and not treating children (and other people) with a sense of entitlement that allows them to do whatever they so choose, no matter how foolish or harmful it might be to others.

 

Thanks for saying what you said as it is refreshing to hear.

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Its funny (not the right word at all) the shift in attitude, even pretty recently with dog bites and children. I'm only 23 (my age to show it wasnt that long ago i was a kid myself) and growing up if you got hurt around an animal it was always "well what did you do to deserve it?" It was aways the kids fault. You were taught that dogs bite if you do bad things to them, that's the consequence you get when you act innapropriately. Never blamed the dog for biting, that's just their response to our negative behaviour. If a dog (lets say the neighbours hunting dog) was "nasty" and prone to bite you were told to leave that dog alone, you got bit if you didn't and that was that, my families response would be "told you to leave the dog alone".

 

Oh, yeah. :lol: My brother got bitten by my little pekingese just about every single day. It never occurred to anyone to get rid of the dog. Occasionally my brother was punished for teasing the dog, but most of the time my parents reaction was "well, what did you expect?"

 

 

Not sure if it's still true, bur for a long time Male was the default category in the software. You'd be shown as Male if you didn't set up your profile to show otherwise. I feel sure that's why Riley-dog is shown as Male, though I'm pretty sure she's female.

 

I've been wondering the same thing as Kelleybean. Not that Rileydog's gender matters in this situation. But I was puzzled because his/her posts read as though Rileydog is female although the profile identifies Rileydog as male. Anyway, I guess it depends on the family court judges where a person lives. In mine, SOP is for one person to adopt the child as a single parent, which is less than ideal for the other partner but better than the couple not getting a child at all. Times they are a'changing though - and none too soon! :)

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Dear Doggers,

 

In January I am flying out to Seattle to visit my sister, neices and their families including three toddlers 2,3 and 5. All three families have unmannerly, beloved, toddler tolerant dogs.

 

As a heads up I sent an email to my sister today, here excerpted:"Fly's fine with other dogs and she hasn't nipped an adult in 18 months but I don't entirely trust her around toddlers and will crate

her if they come to your house or leave her crated (6 hour limit) if

we go out to visit.

 

There's a small trial in Arlington on Saturday and one in Roy Sunday.

Both seem to be about an hour from Seattle. Probably I'll be able to

get a running order and if so, I'll drive down for my run and return

- 4? hours ea day. You and/or kinfolk/friends are welcome to come

too but t'ain't obligatory. Toddlers welcome. They'd not be nipped."

 

 

The fact that I can't guarantee Fly won't nip a child is sufficient to insist on precautions.

 

No toddler's life will be enhanced by otchy-cooing Fly. They've got dogs of their own. There is no advantage for Fly to be with toddlers

 

Fly is not responsible. The toddlers are not responsible. Their parents and my sister aren't responsible. I am.

 

I will not have a child bitten. The toddlers don't deserve it and Fly doesn't deserve it.

 

.

 

Donald McCaig

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