Dogs and Children
Honey has a new friend.
Cathy AKA Catbird has two beautiful daughters: Jane and Elizabeth. Here is a picture of the two of them (Elizabeth on the left, Jane on the right) that is so cute it should be sold with picture frames. (Ridiculously enough, that is the highest compliment I can think of.)
Her eldest, Jane, has precociously learned there are photos on the computer: ones of her, her sister "Listabef," her mom and dad and now - Honey. Catbird introduced her to Honey showing her pictures of Honey's dogster friends, Honey's giant kite nemesis and, of course, pics of Honey, herself. And Jane responded in such a sweet, excited way you can't help but laugh.
It also reminded me of the natural bond animals and children seem to have. Even so, I am always surprised at how many children that don't know Honey come running right up to her - sometimes they are barely as tall as she is - sticking out their arms to pet her. When I see children headed for her I try to teach them saying "Always ask if a dog is friendly before you come close," and then tell them, yes, Honey is friendly but not all dogs are. I'm not sure how well that works. After one little boy very carefully asked me if he could pet her and I said yes he threw his arms around her neck and hugged her tightly, while out of nowhere five of his friends showed up and also engulfed her. But, Honey was unphased and basked in the attention--licking all who came close. She has always been this way. When she had puppies, she was completely trusting, letting anyone pick them up (which also probably means she was never up for the mother dog of the year award.) Honey has no problem with people.
That said - a lot of great dogs do get nervous around children (and adults.) The statistics are pretty astounding - around 50% of children are bitten by a dog before they are 12 years old. I have found a really nice on-line resource - Get Dog Smart - for teaching your child how to behave around dogs. I like how it tries to explain to the child that dogs can be unsure of what is going on so they might bite to protect themselves. It is nice to see a dog's point-of-view being presented in a very understanding way.
Meanwhile, there are all kinds of friendships being built online (including mine with Catbird) but I do think Honey and Jane's is the best story so far....
pit bulls, dog bites