Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Yesterday was my Grand-daughter's third birthday and we gathered with family and friends to celebrate. It was a beautiful day and we spent most of it in their backyard. One of the guests had his son's dog (he was dog-sitting for the weekend) on a leash and since he lives close by, just brought the dog over for a few minutes. He is an older dog (10 years old) and seemed very well trained and behaved well. I was helping my son set up a lawn game when I heard my grand-daughter scream. I turned around to see her sitting on the ground and crying hysterically. I quickly checked her over for any scratches or a bite and then her parents took over. She had a mark on her chest, but the skin wasn't broken. I, personally, did NOT see what had happened, but another guest did and filled me in. My grand-daughter came running at the dog and was excited and loud and scared the dog. He lunged at her and knocked her over. My daughter-in-law was very quick to blame the dog, but I really have mixed emotions on this topic. I firmly believe that children should be taught early-on how to treat and to behave around animals. You NEVER rush up to any animal and speak loudly. It scares them and their first response is to protect themselves. We have 2 dogs and when Elizabeth is here, we lock the older dog up because he is very protective of us and I don't trust him around anyone. The younger dog is very friendly, but I have had to pull Elizabeth away from him to warn her that you don't get in a dog's face and you don't yell in their ears. As much as I hated to see what happened yesterday, I am hoping that it taught her a lesson. I think that as parents and grand-parents, we need to teach our children how to respect animals and treat them in a way that they don't feel threatened.