Three Dogs and Two Babies: Management Basics
Oh the challenges of raising two toddlers and keeping them safe around
three middle aged dogs. The key word here is management. Long ago I had
to give up my fantasy of what it would be like to have a house full of boys
and three large dogs. I pictured us all lying on the floor watching
television together, playing ball in the backyard and going for long walks
on the weekends. The reality is I am so tired at the end of each day that
the dogs barely get a nod, the living room is too small for three large
dogs and two rambunctious boys, and playing ball with toddlers and dogs
means that someone inevitably gets knocked down for the ball they refuse to
throw. Nothing like a real dose of reality to knock my little fantasy out
the window and knock some sense into myself. Here's the reality:
- The dogs have designated beds in the living room and are expected to
stay there when the kids are running full tilt.
- The back yard is hardly ever occupied by loose toddlers and loose dogs
at the same time.
- There are designated kid balls and designated dog balls and never the
two shall meet.
- The dogs' toys are in the dog toy box and the kids' toys are well,
- We don't go for long walks anywhere.
- When the dogs get something special like a bone, the kids are in bed.
- The kids are not allowed in the dogs' bed, and the dogs are not allowed
in the kids beds.
- The dogs are not allowed to enter the kitchen when the kids are eating.
This prevents fat dog syndrome- toddlers think it's fun to feed dogs
- The kids are not allowed in the kitchen when the dogs are eating. This
prevents indigestion on the dogs part.
- The interaction between all little people and dogs is closely
supervised, kids do things you'd never dream they'd do. Kindness is
So there it is, all my secrets. Nothing spectacular I know but everyone
gets what they need, everyone is safe and I can sleep at night knowing that
things are under control. It's hard to give up fantasies but reality can
be fun too!
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