- 4 years ago
- Wedding: July 2012
We have a four month old St. Bernard puppy, and if you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’d know he is a biter (and a seizure dog).
Neighbors are the bane of my existence. The neighbor behind us just got done putting up a new fence. And thank God because he is one of those neighbors that says, “I don’t want to be a nosey neighbor, but…” and then proceeds to explain what he saw me doing in the backyard.
Our other neighbors share a chain link fence with us. They are nice neighbors (the nosey kind as well), but have the most annoying granddaughter on the planet who doesn’t listen. She has come over many times to play with our dog. We always have to tell her to play nice because she’s rough with him: yanking the toy out of his mouth really hard, grabbing his collar to the point where he coughs, so she (6 years old), unlike one of the other neighbor boy (8 years old) who plays nice, has to have her every move monitored.
Now, our neighbor and her family have been gone for about a month. Keep in mind the rapid growth of a St. Bernard. In just one month he has put on probably a good 20-25 pounds and some serious height, so where he used to come up to her calves, he now comes up to her shoulders.
Yesterday I was tired and just wanted to relax in the evening. DH was gone. My dog had been outside for about 5 minutes and, because of the heat, I decided to go get him when I heard a knock at the door. It was “Callie.” I comtemplated pretending like I wasn’t there, but I knew I’d have to get my dog anyway, and she’d see me. She says, “Can I play with Napoleon? I have to go through the fence and grandma doesn’t want him running out.” I said, “I was just bringing him inside because it’s hot.” The whining began, and the LAST thing I wanted to do was haul my ass outside in the 90 degree heat to supervise that girl and my dog. Finally I am just like, “Only for 5 minutes.”
We got outside, and I said, “Ok, Callie, now it is important that you do NOT run because he likes to chase.”
What is the FIRST thing she does but takes off running. I grabbed Napoleon and reiterated. “Callie, you can’t run away from him. If you want to play you need to grab a toy or stick and play tug.” Her grandma told her the same thing as well since she was out there watching too.
She runs. A-freaking-gain! Taunting Napoleon with the skirt of her nightie. This time Napoleon caught up to her and nipped at her leg. I got a hold of him and asked her if she was ok. She had no mark, but claimed she was dying. I said, “Maybe you better go back over to your grandma’s.”
Me: “You said you are hurt. You don’t want to be bit, but you keep running from him when I tell you not to. You are going to continue to get nipped when you don’t listen and run from him. And I don’t want you to get hurt, so it would be best if you and Napoleon don’t play anymore tonight.”
Callie: “Well maybe if you put his collar on I could grab his collar.”
Me: “I do not want you grabbing his collar anymore. That’s not how we deal with our dog. We do not choke him with his collar when we don’t want him after us. This is his yard, sweetie. We can’t make this a bad place for him.”
Grandma: “Callie, your mama made you supper. We should go back over.”
Callie takes off running again, taunting Napoleon. I clutched onto him and he bit me in the arm to try to get away (I am currently black and blue from where the puppy teeth met my skin). My pissed off level just reached the breaking point.
Me: “Callie you need to go. Napoleon is done playing for the night.”
Callie: “I said NO.”
Grandma: Callie, come back over.
Callie: NO. I said I want to play with Napoleon!!
Me: I’m sorry, Callie, but you and Napoleon aren’t playing well together, so I need to take him in. It’s getting too hot out here for him anyway.
Instead of the grandma chastising her granddaughter for not listening she proceeds to say, “Their dog just doesn’t know how to play with kids I guess.”
Feeling a little defensive, I said, “No, Napoleon doesn’t know how to play with kids that don’t know how to play with him properly after being told.”
I managed to get a pursed lip glare.
Callie ended up crying the whole way walking across the yard because she remembered Napoleon nipped her leg. She went back and forth between her earth-shattering wound and me not letting her play with Napoleon.
I told DH when he got home that we are no longer allowing her or any of their other grandkids to come over and play with the dog, and a part of me feels that is for the best. I don’t want anyone getting hurt, and I don’t want to deal with kids who don’t listen. I just told him to tell the kids that until Napoleon is out of his puppy biting stage, we aren’t allowing any playmates, and that is it.
Hopefully DH will be on-board because I know what a people pleaser he is, and hopefully he understands it is for the safety of the kids as well as our dog.