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Babysitters and dogs and other feelings of remorse

 
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Teacup9




 
 
 


Post  Thu, May 10 2012, 10:48 am
Does anyone else with pets have problems getting a babysitter? Does your child of babysitting age in Brooklyn not mind an un-intimidating 6lb designer purse dog who barks at dog things like doorbells and children who sing with high pitched voices?

I am another one of those BTs who got a dog in a more modern and single phase after getting a little over excited about my mother's dog and then being offered one. Since my husband and I grew up with pets I never thought it would be an issue, but my dog became skittish around my kids and just wants to be in an adult lap - and my lap is more than unavailable. I feel like something chemically changed in me and I am grossed out by the idea of cuddling a dog, even though I slept with my dog as a child every night. She acts a bit tortured when the kids pet her nicely as if she is tolerating a vet visit. She barks when they make certain sounds that are hard to teach children not to make like whatever off key singing, and musical instrument playing usually accompanies the parades they put on. Whenever something new happens like guests or a new baby the dog stops eating, loses weight, and I have to gently coax her onto prescription food and then back onto regular food. I get angry when her normal dog behavior like barking at the door bell or upstairs tenants coming in the door wakes the baby. I have to put her in a bedroom when guests with young children come because the way excited children bounce around or try to pet her makes her feel threatened so she barks aggressively and can scare those not familiar with dogs and she still barks a lot when I lock her in a room. I know it sounds like duh, of course trendy little dogs bark a lot, but she really only does when provoked and kids just seem to provoke that. I don't think she barks at all compared to a chihuahua or pekinese or yorkie.

She is so eager to sit under the high chair and catch what's dropped, yet she is so skittish she doesn't even act like she enjoys it.

Then there are the community issues. I feel like everyone crosses the street to be away from the little dog, I worry parents won't let their kids come over. Because I don't know anyone comfortable having a dog in their house, especially one who doesn't enjoy children it is very expensive to board her and we can't go away just for shabbos. And no babysitters! That is the absolute worst. Once I was walking home on a yomtov and a dog in a yard barked at me and a frum man who looked older than me said something about how the dog was friendly and I was like "DO YOU HAVE CHILDREN WHO BABYSIT?" and he thought I was kidding! He just laughed.

Often I think about finding her a home with older children or just retired people. As far as older dogs go she is low maintenance but she is still a dog who needs attention. She needs to be taken out twice a day or three times if the person doesn't want to make sure to go exactly after she eats. She doesn't need to be walked for more than a block and often I just let her go on the porch. She needs to be petted and encouraged to eat after any big change. She has to be taken to a groomer or given haircuts every 8 weeks. She just wants to be petted in someones lap or sit at their feet and things to stay pretty calm.

And then I feel so stuck with her too, because I can't imagine telling my mother I want to give her up since we weren't raised to do that and my mother got her for me. I don't know if my mom would take the dog, but I don't really want her too because I think she has more dogs than she can handle (my mom lives across the country from me). I think in the contract from the breeder I agreed to give the dog back to her if I ever didn't want it or maybe just not to give it to a shelter (which I wouldn't do anyway), but I am embarrassed to tell my mom and the breeder that I didn't spay the dog. I agreed to and said I would do it, but then I learned the halacha and now I can't unless I find a [gentile] to somehow do it for me without my telling the [gentile] to do it (according to my rav, ymmv, aylr). And at some level I feel like my children enjoy having a pet and I remember how much I loved my pet as a kid, but I was an only child and my pet would happily get dressed in a dress and be pushed in my baby stroller. I gave away some cats after my first baby was born and I couldn't handle all the animals in a small apartment so that adds to the guilt and fears of how it looks to my family when I give up pets (I think my aunt cried), but my husband was suffering from allergies so that was easier....still in terms of babysitters, going away for the weekend, and attention I prefer a cat.

Oh well. THanks for listening imamother. I'll end the vent now. I don't think I am really looking for advice (though I know an internet post is an open invitation). I was really surprised to see the pet forum here.
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gp2.0




 
 
 


Post  Thu, May 10 2012, 9:09 pm
Well, I can tell you this, I like dogs. I love dogs. I have stopped in the street to pet stranger's dogs. But if I encounter a barking, obviously nervous, skittish dog, I don't care how small it is, I won't want to be near it. Small dogs have teeth too.

Some little dogs have reputations for being nippy, skittish and nervous. Basically they feel threatened because everyone is bigger and stronger than they are so they compensate by trying to act as threatening as possible. You haven't mentioned any biting, which is good. But her behavior up till now would make me very apprehensive for that first nip.

I totally get the being more into pets when you're single thing. Children take a lot out of you, emotionally. Sometimes there is just no energy left for a needy dog. And it is normal (and good!) behavior that you get upset when the dog's barking wakes up the baby. Kids always take priority over pets.

On that note, I am just shock over your aunt crying because you gave away some cats. Your husband was suffering from allergies. Humans come before animals, ALWAYS. Where is her compassion for your husband who was suffering? She should have cried if you KEPT the cats and your DH continued suffering.

The way I see it, your best option at this point is to either give the dog back to your mom or find it a good home. Getting her adopted by an older couple with no young kids in the house sounds like an ideal situation.

What would happen if you took her into the vet and casually mentioned that you haven't had her spayed? Wouldn't the vet try to talk you into it, thereby making it 'their' idea? No idea of the halachos involved, just a thought.

As for your kids enjoying pets, get some low-maintenance pets. Either some breed of cat that your DH isn't sensitive to, or a turtle, fish, lizard, that sort of thing.
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manyhats




 
 
 


Post  Fri, May 11 2012, 12:00 am
What a humane and amusing thread.

My vote? Give it back to mommy. Surely she could understand that we can't be having a dog that disrupts dear grandchild's sleep.
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bamamama




 
 
 


Post  Fri, May 11 2012, 1:53 am
I came to our marriage with a dog. I adored her. I once got mad at a friend for tailgating the car in front of her because my dog was in the back seat and would fly forward and maybe get hurt if the friend had to brake quickly.

Then I had kids and I was like "huh? dog? we have one?" and I became the opposite of a devoted puppy-mommy. She was not happy about the baby and one day she nipped him. We re-homed her.

If the dog will have a better life somewhere else, you owe it to her to re-home her. And you owe it to yourself and your family to have a peaceful home.
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Raisin




 
 
 


Post  Fri, May 11 2012, 3:43 am
I've heard small dogs are NOT good with kids. If that is true it was wrong of the breeder to sell one to someone who had children or was planning to have children.

Sorry, wish I could help!
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sequoia




 
 
 


Post  Fri, May 11 2012, 3:49 am
Raisin wrote:
I've heard small dogs are NOT good with kids. If that is true it was wrong of the breeder to sell one to someone who had children or was planning to have children.

Sorry, wish I could help!


That is not universally true. My grandparents had a Pekingese who was very protective of children. She always got upset if we sat two meters away from a sleeping baby rather than holding her all the time.

She'd bite strange kids sometimes if she felt they were misbehaving, but she'd never dream of biting anyone who was part of the family, regardless of how much they were tormenting her.

She was a good dog...
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Raisin




 
 
 


Post  Fri, May 11 2012, 5:38 am
sequoia wrote:
Raisin wrote:
I've heard small dogs are NOT good with kids. If that is true it was wrong of the breeder to sell one to someone who had children or was planning to have children.

Sorry, wish I could help!


That is not universally true. My grandparents had a Pekingese who was very protective of children. She always got upset if we sat two meters away from a sleeping baby rather than holding her all the time.

She'd bite strange kids sometimes if she felt they were misbehaving, but she'd never dream of biting anyone who was part of the family, regardless of how much they were tormenting her.

She was a good dog...


Still not a very child friendly dog if your kids want to have friends over.
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sequoia




 
 
 


Post  Fri, May 11 2012, 5:56 am
Raisin wrote:
sequoia wrote:
Raisin wrote:
I've heard small dogs are NOT good with kids. If that is true it was wrong of the breeder to sell one to someone who had children or was planning to have children.

Sorry, wish I could help!


That is not universally true. My grandparents had a Pekingese who was very protective of children. She always got upset if we sat two meters away from a sleeping baby rather than holding her all the time.

She'd bite strange kids sometimes if she felt they were misbehaving, but she'd never dream of biting anyone who was part of the family, regardless of how much they were tormenting her.

She was a good dog...


Still not a very child friendly dog if your kids want to have friends over.


My cousins had friends over all the time when they were at my grandparents' house. Everybody adored her.
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eytse




 
 
 


Post  Fri, May 11 2012, 8:49 am
My husband didn't say anything about my dog when we were engaged or when we first got married. then, two years and a baby later, he kind of freaked out and told me that the dog had been making him miserable for the entire time we'd been married, but he didn't say anything because his best friend told him that he was not "allowed" to ask me to give up my dog. well, now the dog lives happily with my parents and enjoys their huge house and yard, instead of our medium-sized apartment with no yard. and my mother pays much more attention to the dog that I could right now. It was truly the most awful feeling of my life, to "give up" a pet that I had committed to taking responsibility for, that I loved dearly, that had been my companion for 6 years and done so much to make me happy... but, honestly, now everybody is happier - the dog, me, my mom, and, of course, dh. So, just another vote for giving the dog back to mom.
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chanahlady




 
 
 


Post  Fri, May 11 2012, 11:16 am
To be honest, the dog doesn't sound all that happy right now. She became skittish when the kids were born? She's always nervous? She barks aggressively? I think you'd be doing her a kindness by removing her from the situation. I'm sure the dog does not want to feel skittish and nervous all the time, but feels insecure with unpredictable little people running around her all day.
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Teacup9




 
 
 


Post  Sun, May 13 2012, 1:13 am
It isn't like my mom gave me her dog. She contacted a breeder on the East coast, made a deposit, and then drove me to purchase the dog (and paid). My mother has like 5 little dogs which in my opinion is more than she can handle - I certainly am more than overwhelmed with them when I visit AND my mother lives across the country so I would have to ship the dog there (which would really give her a nervous break down). My best option is probably to contact the groomers we use and our vet to find her a good home. The three things holding me back is the absolute dread of telling my mother and family, guilt about giving away a pet especially one my children do appreciate, and I'm worried about giving her back to the breeder which I may be contractually obligated to do because I know I signed something saying I would spay her.

I guess for some people it is a no brainer and they would just give up the dog, but it isn't so easy for me, and at the same time I'm not committed to keeping her like the god devotees in this forum would. As for small dogs I grew up with a lhasa, a pug, a japanese chin, shih tzu, and a toy poodle so I never worried about a small dog and children just like I never thought I'd not want a dog after having children. My husband and I were both snapped at by our own dogs when we were younger and I have no idea why our parents were comfortable with that, especially with guests. My dog is way to scared to snap at anyone. Once or twice the children have accidentally stepped on her while she was sleeping and she woke up, scratched (with clipped nails), and barked while running away.
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Raisin




 
 
 


Post  Sun, May 13 2012, 6:20 am
can you find someone nearby who would adopt her and you can arrange to take the dog out for walks when you can?
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kalsee




 
 
 


Post  Sun, May 13 2012, 6:45 am
Teacup9 wrote:
It isn't like my mom gave me her dog. She contacted a breeder on the East coast, made a deposit, and then drove me to purchase the dog (and paid). My mother has like 5 little dogs which in my opinion is more than she can handle - I certainly am more than overwhelmed with them when I visit AND my mother lives across the country so I would have to ship the dog there (which would really give her a nervous break down). My best option is probably to contact the groomers we use and our vet to find her a good home. The three things holding me back is the absolute dread of telling my mother and family, guilt about giving away a pet especially one my children do appreciate, and I'm worried about giving her back to the breeder which I may be contractually obligated to do because I know I signed something saying I would spay her.

I guess for some people it is a no brainer and they would just give up the dog, but it isn't so easy for me, and at the same time I'm not committed to keeping her like the god devotees in this forum would. As for small dogs I grew up with a lhasa, a pug, a japanese chin, shih tzu, and a toy poodle so I never worried about a small dog and children just like I never thought I'd not want a dog after having children. My husband and I were both snapped at by our own dogs when we were younger and I have no idea why our parents were comfortable with that, especially with guests. My dog is way to scared to snap at anyone. Once or twice the children have accidentally stepped on her while she was sleeping and she woke up, scratched (with clipped nails), and barked while running away.


I think there is a legal limit of owning 5 dogs, she may not be able to take her in anyways.
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kalsee




 
 
 


Post  Sun, May 13 2012, 6:48 am
Teacup9 wrote:
It isn't like my mom gave me her dog. She contacted a breeder on the East coast, made a deposit, and then drove me to purchase the dog (and paid). My mother has like 5 little dogs which in my opinion is more than she can handle - I certainly am more than overwhelmed with them when I visit AND my mother lives across the country so I would have to ship the dog there (which would really give her a nervous break down). My best option is probably to contact the groomers we use and our vet to find her a good home. The three things holding me back is the absolute dread of telling my mother and family, guilt about giving away a pet especially one my children do appreciate, and I'm worried about giving her back to the breeder which I may be contractually obligated to do because I know I signed something saying I would spay her.

I guess for some people it is a no brainer and they would just give up the dog, but it isn't so easy for me, and at the same time I'm not committed to keeping her like the god devotees in this forum would. As for small dogs I grew up with a lhasa, a pug, a japanese chin, shih tzu, and a toy poodle so I never worried about a small dog and children just like I never thought I'd not want a dog after having children. My husband and I were both snapped at by our own dogs when we were younger and I have no idea why our parents were comfortable with that, especially with guests. My dog is way to scared to snap at anyone. Once or twice the children have accidentally stepped on her while she was sleeping and she woke up, scratched (with clipped nails), and barked while running away.


I think there is a legal limit of owning 5 dogs, she may not be able to take her in anyways.
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