Thursday May 09 2013
The Fairly Good Mother: Puppy pals, or, sibling rivalry knows no boundaries
So we got a dog — a yellow lab named Tule, pronounced (too-lee).
The kids were every bit as excited as I expected them to be, but what I did not expect was jealousy.
Bringing home a new addition to the family, although exciting, also takes some getting used to. (And trust me dogs aren’t the only ones who mark their territory.)
Tattling is not off the table. The most recent complaints are “Mom! Tule is not sharing!” Or “Why does the dog get a treat?!!” It is hard enough to explain the rules to a child, but having to explain the difference in rules from the child to the dog takes patience.
Teaching them to interact with a dog is helping them to understand different ways of communication and also setting personal boundaries. Playing with the dog is fun, but it’s important to maintain an environment that is safe for both the children and the dog. Scheduled daily tasks such as feeding, walking and caring for are good ways to teach responsibility and the importance of consistency.
In turn, that will help develop a relationship. Trust is a very important part of the relationship between the dog and child, both need to feel safe and understood.
Anyway, that’s how I hope it all goes. We are learning as we go, and some of us are learning the hard way. (Milk bones do not taste like milk, and puppy chow as much as it looks like cereal, is not a part of your balanced breakfast.)
I am still very new at this, but I am sure that with time it will get easier. One of the best ways to learn is from the experiences of others, that being said I would like to hear from the experiences of my readers.
Together we can get through it, always remember that it takes a village……
Anne Wise is an Auburn mother to three small children and shares her experience and tips in the Journal every other Tuesday. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.