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Doing the right thing...

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by metaldog, May 9, 2010.


  1. metaldog

    metaldog PetForums VIP

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    My nephew and his partner have recently had a very disabled baby who is unlikely to reach his third birthday because he is so sick.

    They have a lovely soft 4 yr old Rottie x Doberman who they both used to dote on. She is really well socialised, great with kids, my grandkids can climb all over her and she just licks them. Now they have their son they are finding it hard to cope with everything. They are keeping the dog outside most of the time as they are terrified she will attack or hurt him because someone told them a dog will kill a disabled child out of instinct.

    My nephew really loves the dog and I have stepped in and said I will walk the dog with mine twice a day so at least she will still have some good times and be much calmer at home for them. If she socialises well with my two I am considering taking her in as really they have enough on their plate with their son and they won't send her to a rescue because they're afraid she will be put to sleep. I am hurting for all of them and want to do the right thing and support is needed.

    Does anyone know if there is any truth behind what they have been told about the dog attacking the child out of instinct.
     
  2. Fleur

    Fleur Vassal to Lilly and Ludo

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    So sorry to hear your nephew and his family are going through such a difficult time.
    I've never heard of a dog attacking a disabled child on instinct - in fact I've only heard of dogs being extra gentle around such children.
    Like any dog and baby/child they should never be left unsupervised.
     
  3. momentofmadness

    momentofmadness PetForums VIP

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    So sorry about the situ your family are in.. They sound like they have a lot on their plate.. Im sure they will be apreciating everything you are doing to help. xxx


    I wonder if whats been said comes from the thought that animals kill the young if there is something wrong with them???
     
  4. Jackie99

    Jackie99 PetForums VIP

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    No I do not think there is any truth in what is being said and I think this is a very sad situation. One thing stood out about your post. Please do not take the dogs soft and friendly nature for granted, be thankful of this and reward it. Don't allow your grandchildren to 'climb all over him'.
     
  5. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    Oh dear that is dreadful news. Cant begin to imagine how they must feel. Al credit to you for helping out with the dog. Such a shame they have relegated him, understandable but poor dear must wonder what on earth he has done.

    Sorry have never heard anything re dogs and disabled. Pretty far fetched I would imagine as there are lots of guide/hearing dogs etc. and they dont seem to attack. That said, if they have been told that with all thats going on at the mo, its understandable for them to be cautious.
     
  6. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    Oh no ime so sorry for all of you, it would be nice for you to take the dog, they would have more space and your nephew will still be in touch with it, well i hope whatever happens it all works out, good luck to you all.
     
  7. MissShelley

    MissShelley PetForums VIP

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    I'm so sorry to hear of your familys troubles :( can't be easy looking after a disabled child as well as doggys! I've never heard of a dog attacking a disabled person out of instinct either. However surely that's more likely to happen if the dog is unstimulated and resentful? Maybe loving something is letting them go for their own welfare :)
     
  8. dobermum

    dobermum PetForums Senior

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    OMG - I am so sorry to hear about the young child being sick, but about 'dog attacking disabled/sick child' well god sake, that sure does sound like an ole fishwifes tale or even worse, someone who doesn't know or understand 'man's best friend' very well at all or just ignorant/unbelievable people in general. I only speak from experience when I say that if my child has been off/sick/unwell, my dogs on instinct will not leave her side. They have did this since she was a small baby and my two Dobegirls continue to act the same way. Isn't it the case that all dogs act the same towards not only children, but adults alike? I would think that the dog would not harm the child, tho I personally do not know it, but I am sure that the dog will 'know' that 'something' is going on and will pick up on things. I hope that things go well for the family/child and dog.

    Best wishes

    Dobermum
     
  9. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    When I used to fetch my youngest from school the bus from the special needs school used to drop off the physically and mentally handicapped kids before the main school came out, my dobe would always wait for them to get off the bus and fuss him. Some would pat his head so hard it would bounce up and down but you couldn't move him away from them and untill the last one had gone he wouldn't have anything to do with the kids from the main school. His favourite was a boy who amongst other problems was deaf and so shouted everthing. Every day he got off the bus swung round his neck while he had his face washed and we would have the same conversation
    boy "WHAT'S HIS NAME"
    me "Arni"
    boy "WHAT DOES HE EAT"
    me "little boys"
    boy "HAS HE GOT TEETH"
    me "have a look"
    boy HE'S GOT BIG BIG BIG TEETH. WHAT'S HIS NAME"
    me "Arni"
    At this point his mum used to take him away else we could of been there all night
     
  10. dobermum

    dobermum PetForums Senior

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    Hawksport what a lovely story AND I've no doubt that your dog Arni would have licked the wee boy to death as well as protected him and the other kids to the hilt. I wonder if the story of 'harming the child' is scare tactics. I've never heard anything so ridiculous in my life. No offence intended.

    D
     
  11. Nicky10

    Nicky10 PetForums VIP

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    No otherwise they wouldn't be using dogs to help disabled children now. Dogs know when someone's sick and generally get a lot calmer, obviously not all dogs. Well done for looking after him and helping your family.
     
  12. dodigna

    dodigna PetForums VIP

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    So sorry to hear about the little boy.
    I have a disabled child in my family, he suffered at birth and is severely brain damaged as a result. I have been saying for years a dog in the home would help him get some motivation.

    In regards to what they said about the dog I think it is nonesense, many dogs are used as therapy dogs, clearly the right temperament would be shaped with the appropriate training and a careful introduction and monitoring should be used, but dogs tend to have such empathy with humans that I doubt very much the scenario they have told them is anything more then scaremongery, on the other hand it would be perfectly understandable that their time, effort, etc would be better placed with the child, but keeping dog out of the family circle would not help the dog form that special bond with the child. Them being nervous about it also would not help the dog's reactions. You taking her on is probably the best thing to do for all concerned.

    I take my dog to work and my boss brings in her daughter during school holidays who is in a wheel chair with cerebral palsy, she has speech impediment. Her twin sister is ok, but has a malformation in one leg, so to a dog she might be seen as "faulty" (sorry about the term). Ray, from day one, and as he was still a puppy recognized the different approach to take with the disabled little girl and he is extra gentle and amazing therapy to her. She gives him treats and commands in her distorted voice and amazingly he gets them all, gives her a lot of motivation when she is there trying to copy everything her sister does with the dog. It is really quite sweet to see. Should also mention my dog is a bit phobic of humans with object, but kids are a whole different breed to him and have unlimited license.
    I believe children learn so much from growing up with dogs, but obviously kids and dogs together take so much adult supervision at all times it would make sense that maybe your nephew and his partner simply cannot invest the time at the moment.
     
  13. Clare7435

    Clare7435 PetForums VIP

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    I'm so sorry to hear about your friends family difficulties....It must be very difficult for them.
    The things they have been told about their dog are so untrue though....they must be terrified after being told that...some friends they have :(.....Pets are used in therapy for people with both mental and physical dissabilities all the time....and it's usually dogs who are more suceptable and in tune with children in this position too. I have a child with dissabilities and when he last had an operation and was imobile for months Fizz was a huge blessing, honestly, it was like having a different dog....she was so gentle and careful round him, became such a friend to him.....Pet therapy is used all the time in out local hospice too...I think someone is giving your friends an old wifes tale....I still say never leave a dog alone with a child but I'm guessing that your friends will be pleasently surprised if they allow their dog to be a part of their family again.
    Poor pooch stuck outside all because of someone's superstitions worrying the parents.
    Clare xx
     
  14. Freyja

    Freyja PetForums VIP

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    My friend has an extremely diasbled son. He can't walk but can get around on his knees so doesn't use his wheel chair in the house. He has other major problems he can't use his left hand it is twisted around. He also has servere epilepsy I know he can have as many as 10 fits and more in one day. He had major brain surgery at 16 which they didn't expect him to survive. She was told when he was born not to expect him to live much further than 1 year old.

    18 months ago we were invited to her house for his 18th birthday. Yes he will be 20 this year. She has lurchers, whippets and italian greyhounds. All her dogs love him to bits and are very gentle and carefull around him. He had an iggie who was rescued and very old she slept with him at night and went every were with him. He used to do child handler at fun shows with her.

    We have even taken my dogs down to her house. Even William who was the biggest clumsyiest dog in the world who would walk through a wall if it got in the way but he was always carefull around him and made sure he went round him. He would have fusses of him but around him he changed from the clumsy lump he was to being carefull and actually thinking were he sat and what he did.

    I don't now how your friends breed of dog would react with a disabled child but having seen my friends son and how her dogs interacted with him and even my own dogs who had previously not met a disabled child I would say a dog could even help the child if they are child friendly dogs.
     
  15. Zaros

    Zaros Pet Forums, P/resident Evil

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    How tragic for both the parents and the child. However, segregating the dog (a family member) because of an unfounded rumour is just as equally sad because the dog will no doubt wonder what it's done wrong?
     
  16. Kinski

    Kinski PetForums VIP

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    My son's partner has a downs syndrome niece, Arran who likes to rough and tumble with the other children in the family is very very careful when around Shannon, even when she is trying to get him to play a wee bit rough. Obviously every dog is different but I honestly thought Arran would be terrible around Shannon when he first met her but he's been great.

    Terri
     
  17. Polimba

    Polimba PetForums VIP

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    What a terrible situation for your family, I'm sorry.

    My nephew was brain damaged at birth and has Cerebal Palsy, he's 18 now but there was never any difficulties with dogs when he was younger. His Grandad had Dobermans when my nephew was young and they were lovely with him. My brother's family also have a dog and she happily jumps up onto his lap in the wheelchair when she's tired on a walk.

    I think it would be lovely if you could take the dog if they feel they can't cope. At least then they can still see their dog and know it's well cared for.
     
  18. sailor

    sailor PetForums VIP

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    Im very sorry to hear about their situation and I hope the little baby does well and lives a very happy life.

    As for dogs killing disabled babies out of instinct, I think someone got their wires crossed on wild animals killing their offspring that are diseased/weak/ill/disabled etc but wild animals are all about survival of the fittest....

    this is a domesticated family dog were talking about, and if you read most stories about dogs/disabledd children... dogs can become the disabled childs bestest friend and become a different dog totally around the disabled child... and yet go back to being a complete hooligan with every one else :lol:

    Ask them who gave them this not so helpful advice ?? was it even some one who has the knowledge and experience to make such a bold statement and scare the hell out of them at a very vulnerable time in their lifes ??

    altho its very hard for them, what they realy need to do (if they want to keep the dog) is allow it to interact with the baby under strict and completely controled supervision, have the dog on the lead and prehaps muzzeled, while the baby is out of harms way in the cot etc and just build it up from their, intil they feel safe enough to have the dog and the baby supervised in the same room, but free from restraints.

    Given how you have described the dogs nature, sounds like the dog will most likely be curious and have a good sniff around the newest little famil member and then just carry on being the normal dog she is and not bother with the baby. Prehaps give it a good old sniff and slobbering from time to time tho :D

    I think what you are doing is great, you are giving them a break from the dog duties and being as supportive as you can, and maybe that is allowing them to concentrate more on the baby, with out overly stressing about rehoming the dog, and you never know it might mean the dog gets to stay at home in the long run and when they feel more able to cope with the dog, they will be grateful that they never rehomed her , thanx to your help

    Anyhow, Im sure with your help and less of the scare stories, the dog will do well and if she doesnt stay at hoome, she will find a permanant loving home
     
  19. myshkin

    myshkin PetForums VIP

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  20. new westie owner

    new westie owner PetForums VIP

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    Hi sorry to hear that i have disabled son my last dog which was staffy was very gentle with my son treated him differant to my other to boys who he could play rough with, but my autistic son dog would be calm and gentle and he was 1yr old before i got him from rescue, im now trying to get my son used to my 14 week westie puppy,:thumbup: son just bit weary of puppy behaviour ..
     

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