Anna Liberty

A girl who's one-in-a-million

Anna loves Buzz a little TOO much…

on June 21, 2012

You’ve met Buzz, Anna’s best friend.  Buzz is a cute little dog that Anna’s grandpa gave to us as an Easter present. I wrote about welcoming Buzz to the family in this blog post.  From day one Anna has been in love with this dog. She follows him, sits by him, and hugs him several times a day.  We thought an indoor companion would help Anna deal with her XP.

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Buzz has always been a mellow dog and taken it in stride (He’s about 6 years old).  We’ve always tried to keep Anna from strangling Buzz with her tight hugs. We’ve  tried to keep her from trying to force Buzz to kiss her face. But we’re not always successful. Anna just loves Buzz a little too much. We’ve grown fond of him, too.

Most people have a tipping point of how much they can take, and I guess dogs do, too.  A few days ago, we took Buzz to a family party where he wasn’t treated very well by the little kids in our family. Out in the backyard, they poured some soda on him and called him “stupid mutt.”  I don’t think he enjoyed the party as much as we did.

The next night, Anna was snuggling with Buzz, and playing a little too rough with him.  Anna would hold his face and kiss it and try to get him to lick her cheek.  She’s done it before, and we’ve always told Anna to “be soft” and “don’t play with his face.” Nevertheless, Anna continued to do so, and before we could stop her . . . Buzz yelped and bit Anna’s cheek.

I quickly scolded Buzz, took him away from the situation while Libby took care of Anna.  As you can see, Buzz’s teeth got Anna pretty good on her cheek.  She cried for about a minute – but I guess the bit didn’t hurt as bad as it looked.  Anna was ready to play with Buzz and go back to his face even – not a good sign for the future.

A quick visit to the InstaCare told us she didn’t need stitches, but they did use that dermabond glue to hold two of the bigger cuts together.  We were relieved Buzz didn’t bit her half an inch higher – or we could have been in the ER hoping Anna’s eye was okay.

Anna is feeling just fine, but has some healing to do.  We have been keeping her away since the bite happened because it didn’t phase her.

We were faced with a tough decision . On one hand, Buzz is Anna’s favorite friend. She loves to play with him and cuddle with him.  I’m confident that if we could help Anna understand to be gentle, then the risk of a Buzz bite happening again is very low.  And we’ve grown to love the dog.
On the other hand, we don’t like to take risks with our daughter’s safety. Plus, we had hoped that Buzz would help keep Anna happy inside – but Buzz asks to go out more often than Anna!  And a few incidents of dog pee on the carpet isn’t working in his favor.

We love Buzz but he came from a family that had lots of fields for him to run and play in. He also didn’t have to deal with a little kid  in his face.  Anna is still too little for a pet right now. She doesn’t know how to be safe around animals. We have decided to return him to his original owners out of the best interest for Anna’s safety and Buzz’s happiness.

If you were in this situation what might you do?

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4 responses to “Anna loves Buzz a little TOO much…

  1. Rachel says:

    I have two pretty large Dogs at my house. One is more Jumpy and stays away from little kids on her own, but would never ever hurt one, while the other is happy just to lay and be rolled all over. My baby is only 6 months old, but we’ve had a 1 very active one year old at our house several times a week since she was a baby. I really loved getting my dogs as puppies rather than older dogs and it helps get them trained for how you want them to be. I was concerned with their size and how they would be around little kids, so early on we were tugging ears and tails, pulling faces to us, other actions that we knew kids to do, never mean, always gentle and loving. The 1 year old doesn’t quite get the “be soft” concept yet, but our dogs have been so used to it that they don’t mind at all, even if she’s been there all day “loving” on them. Puppies are a lot of work at the beginning, but if you get an even tempered puppy (Our bullmastiff never had an accident in the house from the day we brought him home at 9 weeks old) and help Anna love on them gently and get the puppy used to the way Anna plays then it will be better for everyone. That’s my opinion.

  2. Betty says:

    Sorry to heard what happen to Anna, that was for sure really painful. I have seen lots of dog’s training programs, and read a lot about it, and in everything that I read it says…. Please, don’t let the kids hug a dog….

    Some good basic ground rules are as follows:
    1) NEVER leave your child and dog unattended. Not even for a second. I don’t even leave my daughter unattended with our cats. Too much can go wrong in a short time.
    2) Make sure your dog has a safe haven, like a crate or bed, that is in a quiet and out of the way area. Dogs need their own space away from people sometimes so they can unwind.
    3) ALWAYS watch your dog closely for signs of nervousness. Many owners mistakenly think that their dog is happy to have their baby crawling all over it and later wonder why their dog wants nothing to do with children.
    4) Do NOT allow your child or any other child to hug a dog (or any other animal for that matter.) Such a gesture is affectionate to us, but to a dog is is a threatening gesture. Until you know if your dog is cool with it, NO HUGGING.

    you can read this blog. Pongo had bite Andrew a couples of times cuz he bother Pongo when is slpeeping, but oh well, it’s not Pongo’s fault, I know it’s hard to teach a little kid how to treat a small dog, so we just keep Andrew away of him when we know that Pongo doesnt like what is Andrew doing, and just make Andrew play with his toys. We try to keep Pongo and Andrew comfortable.

  3. Erin N. Hunt says:

    Hey Josh, you don’t know me, but I went to school with your wife Libby. After reading your blog about adorable little Anna and her mishap with her buddy, Buzz, I felt like I should comment.
    First off, I think you did the right thing for both Anna and Buzz concerning your decision to return him to Anna’s grandfather. As an animal lover myself, I know that decision must have been hard to make, but I wanted to maybe suggest other options for giving Anna a companion.
    As a flight attendant, I see all sorts of service animals on my flights. Service dogs are the most common, but I’ve also had service cats, and a ferret, if you can believe that. I’m not sure if a smaller animal would work after reading how much love Anna likes to give, but I’m sure a dog (maybe even an indoor cat) could handle it.
    Emotional therapy dogs and cats tend to be quite mellow, well behaved, and are less likely to become overly excited around large groups of people. (These animals fly on planes, so they’re clearly trained to handle strange situations.) Cats might be a little harder to come by and deal with, but I’ve owned two in my own lifetime that would have made perfect companions for people needing a cuddle buddy. Neither ever hissed, and both were declawed and loved being stroked. Of course, every animal is different, (as I’m sure you know), and perhaps I just got lucky.
    I’m not sure if your XP Family Support Group could help you out with obtaining an emotional service animal, but it couldn’t hurt to try. I’m just hoping Anna can find an animal friend who loves her, as much as she loves them.

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