Intro to dogs

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by Aeliza, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Aeliza

    Aeliza Well-Known Member

    I have had dogs for 14 years now. I won't really let our oldest [dog] get close to the babies cause she's afraid of them and she now has been having panic attacks, going deaf, her eyesight is getting worse, and she may be getting dementia. She actually seems friendly when she sees the boys now, but mostly she is so afraid of what's happening to her, she'll get affection from anywhere and from anyone. When she's got her marbles in place, she doesn't have the patience with children and is likely to snap. That's Sparky.

    Skye is our husky and adores these kids. Because Sparky is so afraid to be alone, we have been keeping the two girls together, but unfortunately, this means Skye does not get to be with the boys and they don't get used to having her around.

    Today, I let Skye out with the boys. She was great with them. Cameron loved her and giggled every time she even looked at him. Kiefer, on the other hand was not as sure of this. Sure he laughed a bit, but more of a nervous giggle. He did try to hug her one time, and Skye just rolled over for a belly rub. He was unsure about that. Whenever she'd try to sniff his finger, he was ok with that but would pull away often. Kiefer wanted to get to know Skye at least. She at one point, tried to sniff and maybe lick his toy plane cause he had left some chocolate on there from the snack he had earlier. He pulled the plane away. Skye didn't care, but when I told Kiefer she wasn't going to eat the plane, he gave it back to her. How smart for an 18 month old!!! She didn't continue to lick it at least.

    Cameron was good at petting Skye gently. Kiefer was ok, but when he got excited, he started to hit. Skye got a bit nervous about this and got up. She never went to bite or snip or anything like that, but because Kiefer disturbed her, I put her back in the room with Sparky. I'll do this again tomorrow and the next until Kiefer is more used to having Skye around and Skye is more comfortable with their occasional smacks and other possible antics. I'm so proud of her patience with them this time. I just hope Kiefer is able to trust her, because I will want to get another dog in the future. I loved having a dog when I was growing up. I can't imagine my life without one!

    Skye will be 12 years old this June. Sparky will be 14 this April and may not last much longer than that unfortunately. It'll be hard cause Sparky and I have a huge bond and now Jason is also very attached to her. She's just been our baby for so long! Skye is going to be difficult to let go of too, but we have some time left with her. She so far is a healthy dog and still has a while to go before we have to worry about loosing her to the effects of old age.
  2. sharerc

    sharerc Well-Known Member

    How did you get away this long without introducing the dogs? Where do you keep them when the boys are awake? We have 3 dogs, a Jack Russell mix, full lab, and lab mix. They've been around the babies since day one. They are all so good with the girls. The full lab is the most patient of all of them. She will let the girls sit on her back and just tackle her. The lab mix is a bit more skittish but is still very good with them. She has a torn ACL though and doesn't like them to get on her. They know that at this point. She has never been aggressive about it though, just gets up and leaves when the babies are bugging her. The JR mix is too fast for the girls to catch, although she will let them pet her. While my house is a freaking zoo at all times (add 2 cats to this mix), I can't imagine the girls growing up without animals. I would love to imagine my house with fewer animals though. We will get there sooner than I hope I'm sure.

    I hope Skye continues to be so great with the boys! They will love having her around and it will teach them not to be afraid of animals. Nothing bothers me more than one of DD's friends coming over that is deathly afraid of my lazy dogs. Of course they have never been around dogs to have a reason to be afraid.
  3. Aeliza

    Aeliza Well-Known Member

    Skye is a Siberian Husky, and Sparky is a German Shepherd mix who is very high strung...a large high string dog with fears of children is not a good mix! She was abused around a baby before I adopted her [6 months old], so her fears of small children were understandable. I tried very hard before having these boys to get her more secure around children, but I don't know anyone with kids around here that would give up their kids as guinea pigs so Sparky learns not to fear them.

    When I was in my former home, there was a lot more room for the dogs to roam and avoid the babies if they needed to. Over there, they were with the babies a lot more. The babies weren't as active and Sparky was not losing her senses like she is now. Now that we moved, Sparky is insecure. She's also losing her mind and very unsure of her surroundings cause she literally is losing her senses. She's going deaf, losing her sight, and it also appears her sense of smell and her mind. All of which is scary for a dog. Some days she's good, on other days, she's frantic. She's already snapped at the babies...not bite, but still. She doesn't want to bite them, but she has little patience these days. So with that, I have no choice but to keep her in our bedroom which is pretty big. We (DH and I) often go in there for whatever reasons and will play with them for a bit. They are getting old so they don't seem to mind the peace and quiet...well, Skye doesn't seem to mind it, Sparky just freaks out. Often, she's still panicky when we are in the room. She'll try to dig her way under the bed which is only high enough for a toy sized dog to get under. She'll get under there and we have to dig her out. She's about 45lbs and tall (we think she's mixed with not only a shepherd and terrier, but possibly a greyhound type dog because of her figure with a long narrow rib cage, tall skinny legs and a small waist, but the high up tail, busy body attitude and the fur imply terrier, and she no doubt looks like a German shepherd), so it's not an easy fit for her to get under the bed.

    I hate leaving her in our room all day, but it's for everyone's safety. We love her too much to put her down and don't believe this is any reason to put her down. Her panic attacks are what drove us to believe we had no choice but to put her in a separate room from the boys completely. At one point, she was out with the babies in the new, smaller home, but behind the babies' pen. We'd have let Skye in with the boys during this time too, but Sparky is very protective of Skye and would most likely have become frantic and desperate if she saw Skye playing with these scary little babies. Meanwhile, Sparky was acting like a caged bird, scared to death behind that pen, and that became a dangerous issue to us for the babies. We had to weigh in which was let Skye out with the babies, or keep her with Sparky with who seemed to need Skye's company in order to remain somewhat calm. Now it makes no difference she's that bad, but for a while, it was helping a little. So with Sparky losing her mind despite Skye's company, we decided to let Skye out. Maybe it was mean to Skye, we just didn't know what to do. It's not been for too long. It's only been for about 4 months that we've had to keep them in the room away from the babies, but we really didn't know what was the best choice. Four months is a big change for these babies. They didn't pay as much attention to the dogs at the time they were out with them. Now, that they are older and much more aware of their surroundings, having Skye out is, although I'm sure not entirely unfamiliar, but a big change to them. Now they can touch Skye and really get to know her as an interactive creature that is not like them. Before this, she was just another being in the home, now she's someone to play with and reacts back to them.

    Here's a picture of Cameron with Skye in the past. ...about a couple of weeks before July 4, 2009
    Here's a rare photo of Sparky sniffing Cameron's foot at about 7 months. Even around this time, Sparky was losing some of her patience with the boys and some of her senses were starting to go as well.
    Sparky with Kiefer at 6 months

    I miss those days when Sparky would at least try to coexist with the boys, but they are just too active for her now. As far as Sparky's freedom with the boys now, it's just impossible. I hate it. I just can't allow it. She's too old to change and too far gone to understand human babies. If it weren't for her fear issues, I'd have her out with the boys all the time and Skye can enjoy them all she likes, and Kiefer would probably not have been so apprehensive about playing with her.

    It's kind of funny that when I first took these boys home. Sparky tried to adopt them as her own. I'd actually have to possess them as mine. She's even raised 3 kittens when she was almost 2 years old even though she hated cats and was afraid of other dogs (Skye was a miracle to Sparky and they became very close). She's good with babies. She never acted jealous around these boys cause she got so much attention from us when they were younger. She just got....old. :(

    Sorry for the history of my dogs. We are also having a hard time facing that she just won't be with us for much longer.
  4. vharrison1969

    vharrison1969 Well-Known Member

    I love the pictures! So sweet. I'm sorry things are rough with Sparky; it's really hard because these canine beings become our babies and part of the family. Sounds like keeping her segregated is best. Dogs do have a "denning" instinct and being in an enclosed area is often very comforting for them.

    We let our dog around the boys from the moment we brought them home. She is a very high-strung lab/terrier mix and I was (am) a little nervous of her around them, but so far she is very patient and I'm teaching the boys to always touch her "nice". I'm so looking forward to the day when they can run around outside with her and throw balls for her. She used to be my running partner before I got pregnant, and she's a fat, lonely dog right now! :laughing: But it's only temporary. :)

    Enjoy the time you have left with Sparky, and I hope Skye and the boys become best friends. :hug:
  5. MNTwinSquared

    MNTwinSquared Well-Known Member

    Kayanne (golden retriever) was our baby before the babies were here. She was 5 years old when the twins were born. I trained her well and her love of kids was there before we had ours. I'd walk her and if she heard kids playing she was all excited. We watched her closely when we had the twins. She didn't pay them much attention as babies and just stayed out of their way when they got mobile! Adding Evan to the mixture was no big deal for her. My kids have never been afraid of dogs or cats (we have no cats). It is hard to bring them into a store like Petco because I try not to let them pet every dog in there! Kayanne is 10 years old now and I think she is starting to lose her hearing slightly. It is sad to think that we may only have a few more years left with her... if that.
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