Emily and her kids arrived at my house Monday afternoon to celebrate Lemon Meringue Pie Day. Emily brought the pie, I made coffee, and the kids jumped on the trampoline and played with Bailey, one of my campers. To my surprise, Bailey seemed to really enjoy the attention from the kids.
Rascal, however, placed herself in the nearest crate to wait out their visit.
Most dogs do not like children. Why should they? Kids poke, pick them up, drop them, inspect them,jump, hop, squeal, tease, and pull. They are loud, make odd noises, bare their teeth, whine, and are usually sticky. Actually, dogs make a lot of sense….
Take Cole for example. Rascal will be stretched in a spot of sun on my bed for a snooze. Cole will see her, race into my room, leap onto my bed, grab her, roll with her a couple of times, toss her up in the air, and then give her a big hug. Rascal weighs thirteen pounds; Cole weights about 170. Rascal will growl fiercely but cannot bring herself to bite Cole. I have encouraged her to bite him hard, but she just can’t. This is completely uncharacteristic of a Jack Russell. It says right in the AKC breed book—Jack Russell’s only tolerate well-behaved children.
Yes, I just contradicted myself. I said most dogs do not like children, and then I gave you an example of Rascal, who is a saint when it comes to Cole. Most dogs will tolerate their family’s children. They know that the chances are slim of you sending Junior off to “that farm” where he will be much happier and can run and play all day. So the dog sucks it up and plays nice. But trust me: every time Rovers owner goes on about how about much he loves Junior, Rover is thinking, “Yeah, right; if he falls in a well, don’t count on me to come running for help.” Always keep in mind that Lassie was a very good actor.
Many dogs draw the line at accepting kids outside the family pack. My guess is that they figure those kids can go home and torture sorry, play—with their own dogs. So, usually I put my campers up no matter how much the visiting children want to poke pat them.
When Cole has friends over or when kids come for an extended stay, I do let my campers out, but I have a very firm rule: if one of my campers bites, it is that kid’s fault. Always. Nobody has ever been bitten, or, if they have, they haven’t told me.
So while Bailey was basking in the attention of Emily’s very kind and gentle children, Rascal and my other campers were content in their crates, thinking, “Careful, Bailey. Before you know it, one of them will get the great idea to duct tape hotdog buns to either side of you and then douse you with mustard and catsup. Sure, Katybeth will rescue you, but not before she takes a dozen or so pictures.”
We all enjoyed celebrating Lemon Meringue Pie Day together, including Bailey: I slipped her a piece of hotdog with a little meringue for being the ‘Doxie with the Mostest.’