Diggers here, and wagging my bushy tail as I am about to be topical!
There has been lots on social media and in the press about whether it is safe to leave children alone with pets following another child being mauled by a family pet. She Who Should be Obeyed has been shouting a bit at the TV and I thought I would share my thoughts. Actually, I don’t think much unless food is involved but for the sake of my species I am prepared to forsake the treats.
I know all about vicious pets. Sid the Kitten beats me up on a regular basis. Without warning I am scratched and bitten. I have lost my place on The Bed and spend a considerable part of my day, the bit where he is awake and I want to sleep, hiding. Cats, and dogs, have sharp teeth and claws and we need them to defend ourselves (or on Sid’s case, to launch attacks on anything and everything).
SWSBO says that she trusts Jess, our spaniel, but always adds ‘As much as you can trust any dog’. To be fair I have never seen her (jess that is) raise a floppy lip at anyone even when they are hanging off her ears and poking their fingers in her eyes. She is too soft for her own good. I will try and get away and lay in my bed if all the attention from visitors gets too much, but I will get a bit grumpy if I am followed there so here are some ideas for you to think about:
You don’t like it if someone strange puts their face right into yours. Nor do I.
You don’t like people hitting you, pulling at you or grabbing at you as you pass. Nor do I.
You don’t like being dragged out of bed to play when you really want your sleep. Nor do I.
You don’t like people playing with your food while you are trying to eat. Nor do I (especially this as it is THE best moment of my day).
If you are not very nice to someone you don’t expect them to be nice back. Why should I?
Big Ears and I have a warning system. It starts with my ears going down and flatter to my head. This means I am worried. Then I up the anti with a little lip curl. I grant you, this can be easy to miss if you are a small person and determined to stick lego up my nose. After the lip curls comes the low growl. This is the point at which you really should leave me alone because the next phase is the snap. By snap I mean bite. I’ve never done it yet but I will if I am scared or just throughly fed up with being pulled around. I have tried it with Sid, but he just jumped on my head and bit my ear, however I suspect he is a psychopath.
All this might be a hard to swallow (unlike the ear plug that Sid ate at the weekend and caused much concern from SWSBO) as I look like a very hairy Paddington Bear. I am damn cute, have a waggy tail, love attention and kids (and their low level sweets). In fact I love everyone so much that I love to lick them till they beg me to stop… but that is what I do. I stop.
Cats appear to be different. No-one kills them when they bite or scratch, mind you, from what I can see, that is ALL they do, but with us woofers we can be killed for hurting you, and it may not be our fault. Please ask your kids not to rush up to me and stick their face in mine, a nice hand, gently presented to sniff is a great introduction. Tell them that if I take my little tubby self off to bed that this is my space and to leave me be (even if I snore and make funny squeaking noises). Make sure they don’t out their hands in my food bowl or offer a treat then snatch it away. If they hit me I may just want to get them back….
Woofs and Wags
Diggers xxx Grrrr