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Old 05-15-2009, 11:18 PM
 
Location: St. Paul's East Side
550 posts, read 1,396,710 times
Reputation: 270

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Last year my daughter brought home a Pitbull/Lab mix from the bus stop. He was without a collar, was not chipped, and no one responded to our Humane Society and Craigslist found listings. He's a great dog, so we kept him.

Honestly, I would have never picked out a pitbull mix, but he came to us and won over our hearts. What can I say? I even tried to deny he was a pitbull mix, until Cesar Millan had a dog who looked like his spitting image on an episode, that dog was also a rescued stray, and Cesar called him a Pitbull/Lab mix... so I gave up trying to say he might not be a pitbull/lab mix!

I am in a Bible Study Small group of 6 women. Every other Saturday we have a morning bible study and my older girls [13 & 16] do the child care for everyone's kids, which includes:

1 - 3 yr old [girl]
3 - 4 yr olds [twin boys and another girl]
1 - 6 yr old [boy, always plays w/my 10 yr old son]
1- 9 yr old [my daughter]
1 - 10 yr old [my son]
1- 11 yr old [a girl we will call Lizzy]

Usually all the kids go to one woman's house, and we all go to another woman's house for the actually study. It works better if the ladies and the kids are not in the same house, that way we don't have kids running to mommy through out our study.]

Last week, at the last minute, the woman who usually offers her house for the child care announced she was under "voluntary house arrest" as a charity fundraiser for Christians in Burma or something weird like that.

I offered my house for child care, and let everyone know "George", our dog, would be in the master bedroom, thus out of the way of the children, during the time the kids were at my house.

I don't have a kennel for him, he's been perfectly house trained since he came to us, so I never saw the point of getting a kennel and kennel training him. Although who knows, he could already be kennel trained? When we found him he was house trained, knew commands and tricks, and someone spent money on him getting him neutered.

We have had my kid's friends over to the house, and he is good with kids, but we always take the time to introduce him to anyone new who meets him. He goes to the dog park several times a week, and meets new people and plays with other dogs - never a problem.

But I knew letting him loose amongst a herd of small children was asking for problems. Hence, the bedroom confinement.

What I didn't think through was the 11 year old girl I am calling Lizzy. That child is something else. Two weeks ago I was doing child care for her and her younger siblings, and she would not listen to a thing I told her to do or not to do. She purposely defied me, time and time again. But this was par for the course with Lizzy. She talks back and defies her own parents. There are issues there within the family structure, she is daddy's little girl and he will not allow the girl's mother to discipline her, nor does he feel the need to discipline the child himself.

Lizzy's mom, btw, is the same woman who was responsible for our usually arrangement to be upset due to her "volunatary house arrest" drama.

So, Lizzy asked my 16 yr old if she could let George out of the bedroom. My 16 year old said "Absolutely NOT!" Lizzy stomped off in a huff.

My 16 year old was outside on the deck where she was with the 3 of the young children, all three of the four year olds.

My 13 year old was downstairs with the 3 yr old and the 6 year old, plus my 9 yr old and 10 yr old, who were each playing separately with the two younger kids.

From the deck, my 16 year old saw George in the living room with Lizzy, and George was growling at the girl and nipped at her.

He broke skin on her hand. Grrr. It was superficial, and I don't think her parents took her to the doctor. At least I asked them if they did and they said no.

The thing is, George had NEVER been introduced to Lizzy. She has never before been inside our house.

Also, Lizzy HAD to of been the one who let George out of the bedroom. No one saw who let George out, but everyone else was accounted for, and she had just asked to play with George, and had been told "NO".

Lizzy told me, and her parents that my 13-year old let George out, but Lizzy couldn't look me in the eye when she said my 13 year old had let George out... I believe Lizzy was lying.

My husband was at work, but I called him to head home as soon as we heard what happened. He and I got home at the same time and proceeded to question our kids separately... their stories all matched up, only Lizzy's story had our 13-year old letting George out of the bedroom.

Lizzy, on the other hand, has a track record of lying for the two years we've known the family. Lizzy's dad, however, said none of the adults were there so no one can say for sure what happened. Puh-leeeeeze!
Hence, no consequences for Lizzy.

My friend, the girls mother, asked me two days later, when we were working on our community garden plot, if we were going to put George down!

I said "No, this problem was not caused by George, the problem was the adults not taking the proper precautions to make sure he wouldn't be around the kids." I wanted to say, "And the problem was your daughter not being trained to follow orders," but I held my tongue.

By proper precautions, I meant that I had failed to anticipate that Lizzy would defy the instructions to not let George out of the bedroom. I did not say this explicitly, already too much tension in the air, but that's how I feel I failed in this situation. It was a last minute change of venue, so I really didn't think it through when I offered up my house - if I had it to do over again, I would not allow my girls to watch Lizzy because I know she does not listen and that puts my girls, who are doing the babysitting, in a liable position. And when they are doing the babysitting at my house, that puts me in a liable situation.

Now my husband and I have decided my older girls can no longer do child care for the group if Lizzy is in the group. We should have made this declaration prior to the George incident, but now it's very clear to use that we need to make this rule.

To make another example of how this girl doesn't listen, the neighborhood where we all live is pretty rough. Lizzy's yard is fenced in with a 6-foot fence. When I was watching her a couple of weeks ago, she left the yard, went out in the alley, and would not come back in when I realized she'd left the yard and I called her back in. She took her sweet time coming back to the yard, in fact waited until I went inside with the younger kids - I was watching from the window as best I could, but still, it was a frustrating situation.

I didn't tell her mom about when they got home, because serious, with this girl there is always something, and she never listens. It's par for the course.

But after the George incident, the seriousness of the situation crystallized in my mind and I realized, if she'd gotten picked up by a pedophile [and our low-income neighborhood has a lot of registered sex offenders] when she was ignoring me and refusing to come back inside the gate.... if, something had happened - I would have been held responsible.

It's sad I didn't see the big picture before the George incident, but I just didn't...

So now my friend, the girl's mother, thinks I am over reacting and I really ought to be thinking about putting George down rather than banning Lizzy from being babysat by myself of my girls.

I don't feel I am doing anything wrong, other than the mistake I made in the first place by offering up my home for child care. The rule my husband and I put in place regarding our girls watching Lizzy should have been in place prior to the whole George incident. But the George incident is what made us realize this, it's not really about George at all.

What do you, my fellow canine lovers, feel about this situation?

No doubt, the fact George is suspected to be part APBT, and he in fact looks like an oversized APBT - since he is the size of a lab, but with a pitbull face... my friends, not just Lizzy's mom, but other women in the group also, think George is dangerous.

I make sure he is socialized, hence taking him to the dog park 3-4x a week, and we always carefully introduce him to new visitors... we try to be responsible pet owners, but in this case, we made a mistake.

Our bible study group is hanging on the hing of this... if we persist in not allowing our older girls to do childcare for Lizzy, and our group normally has child care at Lizzy's house, then the group may cease to function.

I know group members will never allow my house to be the hostsite for the child care again, because of George. But if I did put George down, then they could have the child care at my home.

No one else's home works because they have small apartments or live too far away.

We are also planning to move cross country next year, from St. Paul to Atlanta, so putting George down would result in one more year of bible study versus all the years of George's life lost. That's just wrong. He's probably not even two years old now. And he's a great dog, we love him!

Last edited by StPaulEastSider; 05-16-2009 at 12:00 AM..
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,645 posts, read 53,581,730 times
Reputation: 18596
Forget Bible study! You have a responsibility ot George. That Lizzy will always do something and you or your kids will be blamed whatever it is. Also, I think you have too many kids under the care of a teenager. Maybe no problems yet but you've been lucky. Google babysitting guidelines and I think you will see the point I am trying to make.

You say you have a great dog - why put him down due to the willfulness of a child? All the parents are over-reacting and I would cut them from my circle before I would harm a good dog!
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:12 AM
 
Location: St. Paul's East Side
550 posts, read 1,396,710 times
Reputation: 270
To the question of too many children. I actually usually leave my two younger children at home, it's only for 2 hours, max, and my husband is home for all but the last few minutes, so they are only babysitting themselves for 20 minutes of so. That's legal in my state, as long as the parents feel the kids are responsible, and we trust these two. Besides, I am only a few blocks away from them.

[This past weekend my husband cleared out and went to work early, since his house was over run with kids... then he ended up taking off from work for 90 minutes to come home an assess the George incident.]

So my 13 year old and 16 year old are watching 4 preschoolers and a kindergartner, with the 11 year old [Lizzy] in the mix because it's usually at her house.... and Lizzy's dad is usually in and out. He usually runs to do some Saturday errands in the neighborhood, hardware store and that sort of thing. One week my girls ended up calling 911 because he sliced open his hand with a box knife while working on some kind of home improvement project - I was so proud of the girls, they handled the situation like pros, did everything perfectly.

If Lizzy's dad would just agree to take her with him when he runs errands, then there would be no problem. But he doesn't see the problem we see with Lizzy not listening and therefore being a liability.

++++++

I guess I just feel like I've "upset the apple cart" so to speak... being in close relationship with others is sometimes a mess and a half. A beautiful mess, but a mess nonetheless.
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Old 05-16-2009, 01:23 AM
 
Location: Ohio
2,178 posts, read 7,808,986 times
Reputation: 3890
It isn't the dogs fault, or the fault of anyone in your family imo. The dog saw a stranger and may have taken the actions of the kid as being threatening even if the kid just tried to pet the dog. You took actions to separate the dog from the kids. I would think your kids know the reason for the dog being in the bedroom and it probably wasn't one of them that let the dog out. Sounds like Lizzie is pretty much uncontrollable and has never had much discipline or been taught respect for authority and has her way with no consequences for not doing what she is told.
For those reasons I would not let myself be put in a liable position of watching her which means I would not babysit her.
Can't really blame the kid. Her behavior is just the result of how she is being raised.
You might lose a friend or two. But that might be better than facing a lawsuit when a kid under the care of you or a member
of your family gets hurt because the kid won't listen to instruction. I mean, it ain't like you can tie her up and make sure she stays in one place. An 11 yr old kid is, or should be anyhow, old enough to know that rules are in place to protect them from harm.
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Old 05-16-2009, 02:52 AM
 
Location: St. Paul's East Side
550 posts, read 1,396,710 times
Reputation: 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robhu View Post
It isn't the dogs fault, or the fault of anyone in your family imo. The dog saw a stranger and may have taken the actions of the kid as being threatening even if the kid just tried to pet the dog. You took actions to separate the dog from the kids. I would think your kids know the reason for the dog being in the bedroom and it probably wasn't one of them that let the dog out. Sounds like Lizzie is pretty much uncontrollable and has never had much discipline or been taught respect for authority and has her way with no consequences for not doing what she is told.
For those reasons I would not let myself be put in a liable position of watching her which means I would not babysit her.
Can't really blame the kid. Her behavior is just the result of how she is being raised.
You might lose a friend or two. But that might be better than facing a lawsuit when a kid under the care of you or a member
of your family gets hurt because the kid won't listen to instruction. I mean, it ain't like you can tie her up and make sure she stays in one place. An 11 yr old kid is, or should be anyhow, old enough to know that rules are in place to protect them from harm.

Okay... you confirmed my thoughts. Thank you.

And you are right, I really don't think my kids let the dog out. We have been very careful in introducing him to people, and he's been placed in the bedroom previously when we've had visitors, and then he's been slowly introduced to our visitors, but always by us parents... my kids knew the drill

Lizzy always thinks she knows best, never follows authority. Her mother even said, "She thought she could handle him because we have a dog." But then Lizzy's father jumped all over Lizzy's mother, saying she was "throwing Lizzy under the bus" by simply implying Lizzy might be at fault.

But you are right when you say this isn't even Lizzy's fault, but rather her parent's fault, because they haven't taught her to respect authority or to recognize that rules are there for the sake of her safety.

Excellent point, I have been angry at Lizzy this past week, but really it's her parents I ought to be upset at... and of course they think I ought to put my dog down!

I think in this situation there is a little bit of breed-specific prejudice coming through ... George was never a fighting dog. He's sweet.

My now deceased cocker spaniel was more snarky than George has ever been. I know now cocker spaniels are responsible for more bites than just about any other breed, but for some reason they don't carry the same stigma. ::shrug::
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:33 AM
 
Location: indiana
145 posts, read 264,212 times
Reputation: 113
It is not the dogs fault.If any thing the kid should have been in trouble.I would let the dog and your own family have some peace and quite from the drama and stop the child care all together.I may be Reading your post to carefully but to me i since you feel bad and are blaming your self to much for this because you are hearing what the group is telling you.
Do not blame your self or feel bad to stop the day care or group meeting in your home. My advice is to stop the child care and if you can not bring your self to do that then get a lock and key for the room you keep the dog in. As much as i hate to say it locking your dog up would be good if you had to but keep in mind it is your home and your rules and I would not let anyone tell me what to do with my dog or change the look of my door to watch some ones brat. Good luck to you.
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Old 05-16-2009, 04:02 AM
 
Location: Gary, WV & Springfield, ME
5,826 posts, read 8,466,959 times
Reputation: 17250
Wow, so many issues.

For starters, George was a stray. Stop telling people he is a pit bull mix. All you have to say is that he was originally a stray and you don't know what his mix is. Way too many people have negative feelings about pit bulls. Doesn't matter if it is or is not justified - you started it by putting a breed mix on George which may or may not be accurate. What's wrong with just saying he is a mix and leave it at that? The damage is done, but please keep that in mind when you move.

Put a dog down because of someone else's spoiled brat?! Are you insane? It is time to banish the little brat from your house. She doesn't need to traumatize your teenagers. She needs to have adult supervision and nothing less.

Bible study? You and these other ladies are studying the Bible? What parts? Better yet, what Bible? If you were all really studying the Bible, I should think the answer would be clear. What would Jesus do? He didn't go around killing dogs nor even sinners. He forgave all. I know it is going to be real hard to forgive Lizzy, but you and I both know that Lizzy is not to blame. She is the product of a dysfunctional parents.

But since this has come up, I would suggest that you quietly withdraw from this bible study group and look forward to joining a new study group when you get to Atlanta.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,054 posts, read 19,668,189 times
Reputation: 31734
When I first started reading your thread, I felt sorry for you to be put in such a situation. However, the idea that you would consider putting George down because of your Bible group makes me very glad that I don't belong to one. Why do you want to associate with people like this and why do you think it would be okay to put him down just so the group can last another year? Get a backbone, stand up to the group, and drop out of this "Christian" group. Teach your children well and run as fast as you can away from those people. Lizzy may be in a dysfunctional family, but she has learned to play the blame game. For now, she is trouble. Her family is a poison to yours. Make new friends, go to a new church, and take care of your entire family, including George.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
1,280 posts, read 5,928,760 times
Reputation: 1796
I would hardly euthanize a dog for a nip on the hand. It's not exactly a vicious attack, and who knows how many warning signs Lizzy ignored prior the the actual bite.
In my opinion you did everything right. If your bible study has to disband, it's on Lizzy's parents not you.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:26 AM
 
30 posts, read 109,709 times
Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by kansas sky View Post
I would hardly euthanize a dog for a nip on the hand. It's not exactly a vicious attack, and who knows how many warning signs Lizzy ignored prior the the actual bite.
In my opinion you did everything right. If your bible study has to disband, it's on Lizzy's parents not you.
I absolutely agree, my small dog (cockerpoo) did bite a kid 12 yr old) that had been standing outside my front door teasing her and then proceeded to open the door and try to walk in. While I offered to take the kid to the Dr and have him checked out, all of these kids were told repeatedly to not walk into the house without me or my son being at the door first. My dog never bit anyone in the house. My point being is that it is not the dog's fault, it is Lizzy's fault for not listening, Lizzy is 11, not 3. My son was also bitten on a path by a german shepherd that was with it's owner but not on a leash, and while I blamed the owner for not having the dog on a leash in a public place and wanted to make sure the dog didn't have rabies, I would never have wanted that dog put down, again not the dog's fault. Keep your baby, your moving anyway!
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