Thursday, March 02, 2006

Puppy Love

I have a very challenging dog. I also have a very beautiful 5-year-old little girl who adores the challenging dog. And the challenging dog adores her. The dog is on anxiety medication. My vet is also my good friend, and he has doubled the dose already. He is around the dog a lot. Yesterday, the dog got out of the yard and attacked the pants leg of a man (she is a small dog) walking by the house on the other side of the street. This, coupled with aggressive behavior toward the neighbor kid and the dog has to go. I'm going to take her back to the no-kill shelter I got her from, and tell them she shouldn't be around kids.

My kid loves that dog. She is not going to be happy. I am not going to hear the end of it, and it is going to be sad for a while. But, at least I get to take her in next week to get her 5-year-old shots at the doctor.


Time to stock up on ice cream and chocolate.


At 9:24 PM , Blogger bridgett said...

Boy, this sucks even though you are right; the dog sounds like a hazard and a nuisance, though beloved of the little Knucklehead. I know it's not cool to lie to kids, but could Evil Bastard Dog "run away" sometime when she's at her mom's? Or have you already screwed the pooch on that, so's to speak, by preparing her for what's about to happen like the good father that you are? You see, I am not such a good parent and I have been known to shield my kid from the full furry-tongued horror of reality once in a while. If Ginger or Ringo unfortunately went on walkabout and didn't return, after a modest interval of mourning one could then pick out a less psychotic puppy without the inevitable "Daddy got rid of my dog" drama. (C'mon. Surely the kid has seen Lady and the Tramp -- the life of runaway dogs is very exciting....)

At 9:30 PM , Blogger Aunt B said...

Bridgett, you are so wise, you've said everything I was going to say. Except that you should get her a puppy, one you can raise up right. Have you taken her over to that place on Murphy Road?

They always have darling puppies.

At 10:00 PM , Blogger Exador said...

I disagree with Bridgett. If you wanna instill abandonment issues in your daughter, don't cry to me when she winds up in an abusive relationship 20 years from now.

I'm no parent, but I would think it would be better to sit her down and explain the truth to her; that daddy is going to miss the dog too, but his behavior is intolerable. Kids are smart.

Maybe it'll scare some discipline into her too. "Spot was taken away because he didn't listen!"
(I'm just kidding on that last one.)

At 10:18 PM , Blogger Nashville Knucklehead said...

I'm not going to lie to her. I consider it a life lesson for both of us. She isn't going to be happy, but if I start going down the road of little fibs in uncomfortable situations, eventually it will lead to problems.

And "the truth" and "Daddy is going to miss the dog too" are completely incompatible.

At 8:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I applaud you! Truth to our children is as value to our children as our love is for them.

This is part of her growing experience as well as yours and from the experience, you both may find a puppy/dog that you both like.

Do your homework before you set out to find anther animal and you be her guide to locating the perfect pet.

Afterall, you are her dad.

At 3:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I suggest that you educate yourself about canine behavior? There is nothing wrong with this dog that you couldn't address if you understood the basic principles of being a pack leader. Look up a dog behaviorist named Cesar Milan for more information about how to control any dogs behavior by understanding how to communicate effectively with your dog. He also has a TV show on the National Geographic Channel. The problems you describe could just as easily develop in a dog from a breeder so please don't make assumptions about shelter dogs. The likely source of the problem is your qualities as an owner.

At 3:21 PM , Blogger saraclark said...

Don't do the "dog ran away thing" no intelligent kid ever buys it and you will slip up at some point. Tell her the truth as much as you can and maybe explaining that because she has bitten someone, she has to go away (doggie reform school?). Be prepared with a short term substitute(fish, hamster)to tide you over until you find a good puppy and a lot of kleenex, there's going to be crying no matter what.

At 3:40 PM , Blogger Nashville Knucklehead said...

The likely source of the problem is your qualities as an owner.

Thank you for your expert assessment of my qualities as a dog owner based on a pithy blog post.

At 2:10 AM , Blogger Kat Coble said...

Funny how they knew they were being enough of a jerk to remain anonymous, huh?!

At 2:32 PM , Blogger bridgett said...

Ok, since I kicked this one off...

I am all for truth-telling for kids, but we have all had a little too much truth laid on us at one time or another. The "truth" she's going to be dealing with mostly is that psycho dog is gone. It's not going to matter so much the reason. My daughter is one smart cookie, but she does not reason like an adult nor does she process information like an adult. With that in mind, I pare down painful truth in unavoidably bad situations (like, for example, you did when you shielded your kid from the full details of why Mommy no longer lives with Daddy...there's truth and then there's truth, if you see my meaning).

There are no absolutely right answers in parenthood. You know your kid best and you know what kind of a parent you need to be. Best of luck on a difficult problem.


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