Life with Coco and Gigi... and Jack-Jack too!

Life as a Mom, A Homesteader, A Blogger and A Wife.

And then, we didn't

We got Fulton home and the whole house was abuzz. People were coming and going in the excitement of meeting him. We were surprise how energetic he was. We were told he would be a little more laid back than he turned out to be. But the kids were loving it and we reminded ourselves how big an adjustment this was for him.

We tried to settle into a routine but it was a little rocky. The first day he was up at 4am to go out. He barely had to go but obviously he was an earlier riser than we were. Unfortunately once the girls were up they had a hard time settling back to sleep amidst the excitement. (Companion dogs must sleep in the room of their companion so he was in with the girls.)

The first full day the girls headed off to school. They were sad to leave their new friend but off they went. I had to help with a party at school so my Mom came to sit with doggie and baby. My Mom had no problems with either but did mention that when Jack fell on the dog he snapped at him. No teeth or anything but just something to be aware of.

The next day or so was a bit of a whirwind. With the holiday, a new dog and the kids being off things were nuts. We had expected a super well trained dog and got a much more normal dog than we expected. On day two or three he just about pulled my arm out of socket running after a cat. We expressed our concerns to the organization but they reminded us that it was an adjustment.

We went about our holiday and tried to get the dog as acclimated as possible. I decided to do some early Christmas shopping with my Mom and headed out by myself (I usually have a kid or two with me).  After about ten minutes in a very crowded Target I got a text that read "the dog bit Jack". My mind went into a blur. I couldn't get service to call and I couldn't figure out whether it was a joke or not.  I finally got ahold of Brian and he told me that Jack was sitting beside the dog and leaned over him. The dog snapped at his face and bit right beside his eye. We had to determine if he needed stitches right away. I hurried home and thankfully no stitches.

 Unfortunately that is when I had to give the girls the bad news that the dog could not stay in our house. The next 12 hours were a blur of sobs. After such a long wait the dog had to go back. There is no way a dog that bit my child could live in my house. The people at the organization were very apologetic but how could this happen.

So, here we are. Back on the waiting list with the fear of God about next time. We now have our eyes wide open but don't quite know what to think. We are mostly thankful our boy is okay and the tears have started to dry up. 

It's been a long couple of days...


Anonymous 7:14 AM  

When a dog bites a person, it is always because the person has done something wrong and the dog is trying to defend itself. Always. A dog that has gone through an extreme transition should be given quiet time to adjust. Instead, you let the kids have free reign with the animal and let loads of visitors in. Why did you allow your baby to sit on the dog like a horse while taking a picture instead of trying to remove him immediately because that is dominant posturing? Did you know that leaning over a dog is also, in dog-speak, aggressive posturing? I agree that a dog that bites absolutely cannot be in a home with small children. But why he bit is completely understandable. Jack is fortunate that it was a small bite, and the dog is fortunate that it has a chance in another home.

Plant Girl 9:53 AM  

"Anonymous" -- while I agree that dog bites are a method of defense, this animal was a trained service animal. Part of their training means exposing him/her and preparing them for new situations, increased stimuli, a constant barrage of new, unfamiliar people. To do their job effectively they need to handle these situations without a defense response. They need to NOT react in the manner it did. Especially as a service dog for a small child.

If this was a dog they picked up from a shelter, or even a breeder, than perhaps your comment would seem a little less brash. But in this situation, it's out of line. This family is already heartbroken and I know, as a parent, she carries a great deal of guilt over what happened. If you can't be supportive then you apparently don't need to be here.


And to you, my friend, I'm sorry for the whole situation. We've had this conversation already and you know how much my heart hurts for all of you. I'm even more hurt that people can be so blatantly rude.

Kristen 10:06 AM  

Well Anon - You should clearly educate yourself on the process of adopting a service animal before so loudly (and incorrectly) voicing your opinion. Our service dog placement coordinator explained that our children SHOULD have reign of the house. Her words were "you will go home and live your life as nothing has changed. This dog is trained to adapt and that is his job". She explained that they wanted the girls and Jack to lay on him, sit on him, roll around with him. THEY TOLD US THIS!

So now that you look like a fool because you did not educate yourself before opening your mouth maybe you should keep your thoughts to yourself.

And how brave to voice your comments anonymously. I like keeping the option of anonymous but honestly. How cowardly. If you are such an expert perhaps you should have enlightened me sooner.

And lastly what kind of bullshit is this "When a dog bites a person, it is always because the person has done something wrong and the dog is trying to defend itself. Always." That is the absolute positive dumbest thing I have EVER heard. Absolute. So the dog that bit my nephew after a year in the house when he was sitting beside him half asleep? I guess that was his fault, huh?

And do me a favor, if you have nothing to do but talk out of your rear end with no information backing you keep your thoughts to yourself.

Enough said on this. Move on. I have real shit to deal with not some useless opinion with no basis of fact.

Anonymous 2:54 PM  

i have trained therapy dogs for almost 20 years, thanks. and i would never, ever let any kid, even with the best of intentions, harass my dogs like you did. how would you like to be touched and grabbed and hugged and loved by strangers? all day? without repose? you need to protect your dog, even from your kids, or it will protect itself. every animal, even the most well-behaved ones, have a breaking point. at the end of the day, everyone, even service animals, have their limits and you need to respect them. they are only animals, after all. if you can't do that, get your kids a stuffed dog that they can treat however they please. i wish your family all the best, even though my comments have upset you.

Kristen 3:27 PM  

Anon - I really had no intentions of furthering this conversation but I am surprised here. I sincerely hope that the place you train dogs for is not where we are getting ours from. Your attitude is what is appalling.

If you saw the way that dog was treated in our home for those few days you would not be able to say that he was treated in any negative way. My children pet, loved, coddled, cooed and loved. You talk like I allowed my children to kick him around. We didn't even let them handle him on his halter because we didn't want to overdo it.

The fact that you train THERAPY dogs and actual wrote "how would you like to be touched and grabbed and hugged and loved by strangers? all day? " you are missing something in a big way. You do not have any concept what the point of a therapy dog is. I am the mother of a child in need of a dog like this and my daughter should be able to love and hug him all day or what the hell is the point.

I'm done with this conversation and yes you did upset me. You took a shitty situation and made it ten times worse. A dog that was presented to us as something my kids should love and hug and play on BIT MY SON when he was sitting beside him. Not on him. Not hitting him. Not yelling or screaming or hurting. SITTING NEXT TO HIM. That should never happen.

You insulted me as a human being by insinuating that I harassed a dog. Because my kids loved and hugged him. You should be ashamed of yourself. And you have no place training these dogs because you clearly have no clue what the other end looks like.



About this blog

Over 8 years we have struggled through 3 IUI's, 6 rounds of IVF, several RE's, hundreds of appointments and the loss of three little angels. Now we find ourselves the proud parents of two perfect little girls and a wonderful little boy!!

Both of our girls struggle with some disabilities but that won't keep us down. Each day has it's own brand of insanity but we love it. Most days I am more monkey wrangler than mother but I do the best I can. Todays goal - getting to tomorrow.

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