Dogs and Children/Part Two
I was sending some lobbying emails from the ASPCA site (and some people say I don't know how to have a good time!) so, of course I wandered over to the pit bull section. There, I found this description: "[Pit bulls] actually earned the nickname 'nursemaid's dog,' because they were so reliable with young children." I have read this description of pits before--they have a long history of being good family dogs--but it started me thinking about the dog-as-nursemaid concept. Did people do that at one point?
I know there was Nana in Peter Pan--a St. Bernard nanny for the children. Seemed very reasonable to me as a child. Maybe it was the hat.
There was also Good Dog Carl, a children's story that starts off with the mother saying to their Rottweiler, "Look after the baby, Carl. I'll be back shortly." And that also struck me as a good solution. If you have to run some errands and don't want to bring your small infant along, the family dog is a very handy option.
Now, I do know you are never supposed to leave a child alone with a dog. Small dogs can be especially dangerous - perhaps, because people don't expect any problems. But, these are really big dogs. Is there a different understanding between babies and big dogs?
Several people have sent me this photo sequence that's floating around the internet, which does show some of their interaction.
This dog is obviously very happy with his new playmate and the baby seems to be taking it all in stride even in the midst of being smooshed. I think it does show the potential success of the combo.
On the other hand, I kind of already knew that from my friends Brian and Lisa. Here are the other two members of their family - Zane and Gracie Great Dane. Zane seems to be planning their next caper with Gracie picturing the layout "Would that be to the right or the left of the cookie jar?"
pit bulls, dogs and children