Tormenting The Dog

IMG_3531When Mai was first born one of my biggest concerns was how our dog would be with a new baby in the house. Our pup is such a good boy & I never thought that he would intentionally hurt her, but being an energetic cattle dog, I feared that he might jump up on her or knock her over. Our worries were for nothing, Duke was fabulous with her. He was always aware of where the baby was & was gentle and cautious around her. As she grew older, he became protective of her, laying outside of her door as she slept & waiting for her to wake in the morning.

I was so worried about all of the things that Duke could do to her that it never occurred to me what she might do to him. From the time Mai could crawl she was invading his personal space. She loved giving him hugs and kisses. Once she began to walk, she would chase him through the house still trying to give those hugs. Soon she was dressing him in dish towels and trying to run him over with her big wheel. Worried that Duke would start getting angry with her, we had Mai take over the responsibility of feeding him so that he would he would see her as a provider and not just his tormentor.

Lately, her behavior has become more mean spirited than playful. Mai always thinks that Duke is trying to take her food and her toys. “Mai, Dukey isn’t doing anything wrong.”, but still she scolds the dog frequently and will hit him for no reason. I have explained to her that we all need to be nice to Dukey. He is a member of our family.

When she is fresh to him now, I tell her, “You need to say sorry to Duke.”
She shrugs her shoulder & throws her arms up in the air and says, “Mama. he no talk.”
“I know he doesn’t talk, but he understands you. Tell him sorry.”
“I sorry Dukey. I sorry I so mean.”

I realized that much of this behavior was learned. I catch myself yelling at the dog for various reasons now and think “Crap”, no wonder why she is always yelling at our poor pup. If it sounds bad coming from our sweet daughter’s lip than it must sound 3 times worse coming out of our mouths. You don’t realize sometimes how you act until someone puts a mirror in front of you in the form of your mini-me. We have been trying to watch our tone when addressing our furry baby now. We are sorry too Duke. We are sorry for being so mean.

About The Pinterested Parent

I am loving wife to my best friend & mommy to our smarty pants little girl, who loves to learn, craft & play. I am an artist, a crafter & I am Pinterest addict. When I first started my blog it was meant to be an outlet for my Pinterest addiction. I was looking to inspire & be inspired. What it became was a wonderful journey for me & my daughter in which we chronicle our activities, crafts, lessons & a hefty slice of our life. Please join us as we navigate through this wonderful thing called motherhood.
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15 Responses to Tormenting The Dog

  1. Beth says:

    I can definitely relate! Our 21 month old son has a tendency to yell at our pup (“No!” or “Move!”), who is an eternally patient 14 year old lab mix. We realized he was getting it from us, too, and have had to scold ourselves for the bad example! Like you, we are working on our behavior and our son’s at the same time!

  2. I totally get this and with our dog, I see my girls sometimes hitting or kicking her if they think she is trying to take one of their toys or invading their so-called space. I think they think of her as a third sister and they act this way with each other (siblings and sharing not a great combo many times) and have found myself telling them often enough to say sorry to the dog and making sure they don’t do anything to hurt the dog either. Not easy and just other thing I deal with here too on a daily basis I suppose.

  3. Mari says:

    Love the share mirror mirror indeed lol

  4. We adopted our dog (Anna) and we were worried how the Kid would be around her. She has quickly become just part of the family and lets the Kid just walk and crawl all over her and she will play with him as well. She has become so protective of him that sometimes we have to keep her from running up and barking at anyone that is playing with the Kid.

    Awesome post!

    • Thank you. It is amazing how protective they do become of their little people. He is like an older furry brother. Our daughter likes to fight him like he is a sibling as well. Lol! But they are besties as well.

  5. Ugh, we are struggling with the same things. D1 picked up daddy’s tendencies to treat the dog like a baby and is so sweet with her, and D2 has picked up my frustrations with her and has gone on to even be mean! It’s not all imitation though- I think some of it is just the age. Thanks for sharing, it helps to know my kiddo isn’t the only one 🙂

  6. Having a baby has definitely made me reexamine how kindly (or unkindly) we treat our dog. I’m trying to speak more gently to him these days, too!

  7. Julia says:

    I so know this issue. We have a very small dog so it’s easy for my son so get crazy with him. I feel bad because she just wants to play but our dog is so old, he just wants to lay and sleep. I know Myles is just thinking he is playing, but sometimes it’s too rough. He’s been able to play with young puppies before and has so much fun. It almost makes me want a new puppy..almost! I probably don’t set the best example either. I’ve told the dog to shut-up and go away many times before. Now that he is catching on to things, I know I need to stop!

    • It is amazing how they pick up those things so quickly. Our daughter is rough too, but I know she loves our pup. It’s like you said, she doesn’t know. She just thinks they are playing. I have become much calmer with our dog lately. I have been hugging and petting him as much as possible and telling Mai he is part of our family.

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