I'm going a bit stir crazy here, I won't lie. Maybe NOT working isn't so stellar either! I have nothing to post about as far as veterinary stories. It's just a waiting game now. The baby could come at any time. While I sit here on the couch, I've been thinking about dogs and babies. Dogs of any breed can pose a risk to children, but it's certainly the case when you own a big dog.
At our shower a couple of weekends ago, after everyone had mostly left - a few of us were sitting around watching UT football. Everyone was halfway paying attention to our 8 month old cousin and halfway paying attention to the game. Suddenly, there was a yelp from my BF's dog, and the baby started to cry. I saw the whole thing happen - but it was so fast that I was unable to intervene. The baby is learning to walk and is very grabby. He grabbed onto the dog, and the dog, startled, snapped at his face. He did not break the skin (called an "inhibited bite") - but he did leave a perfect red ring of teeth marks and some bruising. The baby was more scared than anything, but we were all very, very upset.
It was an excellent reminder of how important it is to train dogs to be around babies, as well as to always, always, always monitor dogs and babies together. All of these tragic children/baby accidents that you read about are usually the result of unsupervised children and unsupervised dogs. Any dog will bite, given the right provocation. It doesn't mean the dog is inherently mean or aggressive. It is rare that a dog will bite without some sort of warning sign.
In reference to the bite to my cousin, we were all being too lax. Watching football, assuming someone else was watching the baby. While it was awful, we were all lucky it wasn't worse. And it was an important wake-up call/reminder of our responsibilities as caretakers (of both dogs and children). We have to create a safe environment for our pets and children.
We're currently discussing in our family what to do as far as training with Heidi goes. She is a very timid, docile and easily trained dog, but she is also very, very anxious. She also weighs 70+ pounds and could hurt a baby without even trying. We are going to work very hard to make sure that she feels safe/protected and that our child is safe and well-monitored. This may include crating her at some times. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
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