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Children & Family Pets

We love our dog, Toby.

We love our son, Coen (of course).

We've, at one point or another, loved all of our pets (yes, William included). 

However, ever sinceCoen was born, Toby has become second fiddle and he knows it. I think this is pretty typical when a baby is born into a family withpets, but it became pretty apparent (especially) after we gave William a newhome. (We aren’t proud of how that went down, by the way, but we were focusedon what was best for our family and having William in our lives wasn’t the bestfor any of us.)

Toby goes throughphases of where he’s okay with Coen.  Hegoes through other phases when he just doesn’t want Coen to touch him and helets out a warning to let him know that he didn’t like his “pat” or “touch”.  I think that this behavior is based on the waythat I’ve treated him over the last few months and it’s my fault.

Toby is completely STARVINGfor attention.  I used to be the one thatdid everything for him and cared for his every need, including cleaning up hisyard, which I still do… 8 months pregnant. When I get home, I want to see and kiss and hug on Coen.  I don’t give Toby the attention that he needsand it’s my fault.  I just have adifferent focus and I cannot help it.  I’vetried to be more kind to Toby and tried to be more positive with him, but Ihaven’t put a lot of effort into it and it shows.

Last night we almost had an incident.  It's becoming more and more real that I need to help fix this....

So, my goal this monthand the following months are to focus on positive reinforcement with Toby andto show more affection toward him.  Heneeds it and while I’m not wild about Toby being my personal bubble all thetime, I’m just going to have to get used to it. He wants it and needs it and will only continue to act out if he’s notincluded in my personal bubble.

He’s been fairly goodabout not getting into Coen’s things, but if I don’t step up… I’ll soon have toworry about him getting into both Coen’s things and the new baby’s things and Idon’t want to have to go down that road, just yet.

For those of you withpets and children, how do you deal?

Oh and yes, I’vealready said that once Toby passes (which won’t probably be for another 7years), we will not have another animal in the house for a while.  It’s just too much for us all to handle and I’mgoing to need a break.  Maybe after a fewyears of a break we will bring this topic back to the table… but for now, wewill be pet-less after Toby.  It’s justtoo much to handle and too much to care for with one child.  I will soon know what it’s like with twochildren, but I’m sure it won’t be getting extremely better… just somethingmore to manage.

It’s hard to believethat this relationship, between my dog and me have become such a problem… butthis is where we are.  It will get better, I just have to devote some time to it all.


Maria said…
We had an incident with our dog, and he was removed from our home that night. I never thought I would be able to do it, but when he bit our son (in the face no less), it was obvious that it wasn't a choice any longer. Looking back I wish we had removed him sooner. There were several warning signs that this was where we we headed. I hate to be a downer, but I wanted to share this with you so that hopefully you won't have this situation with sweet Coen or his baby sister!

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