My daughter Claire has a really cool relationship with our dog. I guess most kids do but since this is my first experience with the whole canine, Homo Sapien relationship it is neat to experience.
Rocky is a mutt that has ¼ Pit bull, ¼ Boxer and ½ of what we think is Rhodesian Ridgeback. A pretty unique mix if you ask me. When we first got Rocky he was all about cuddling with you and being playful. He is almost 5 and is still the same but 70lbs bigger.
We were not sure about whether or not the dog-baby relationship would work out. Growing up I never had a dog and I had heard that dogs could get jealous and sometimes attack children because they felt threatened. When we brought Claire home the first day we did the whole “introducing” thing where Rocky got to smell her and see there was a new favorite in town. Rocky was curious about her but never got territorial or jealous.
Fast forward a year later and you will find Claire rolling on top of Rocky trying to take his dog toys. Rocky will let her take it out of his mouth and then gently, get it back from her. Rocky will sit patiently by Claire’s high chair as she eats, because he knows she will toss him a scrap or two. There are benefits to this relationship on both sides. It is amazing to see that Rocky recognizes that she is fragile and that he cannot play with her the way he does with other dogs, my wife or I. Somehow this beast knows that our little beauty is to be treated with the upmost care. For example, a few months back I heard Rocky give a loud yelp. When I went into the room he was in I found him still as stone with my daughters hand in his mouth. Claire had discovered his tongue and wanted to keep it for herself. Rocky didn’t bite or do anything aggressive he just waited for her to release it and then went to the other side of the room. I guess he needed a time out after that.
There are the occasional moments when Rocky will run past her and knock her to the ground by accident, or have his iron rod tail hit her upside the head. His tail really hurts when it gets you. For the most part he is a really good dog and knows how to act with Claire. However, I’m not just going to leave her alone with him. Rocky might be a great family dog, but he is still an irrational animal and you never know what could happen.
Still Rocky surprises me.
There have also been moments when people come over and Rocky gets between them and Claire until we give him the okay. Rocky’s instincts seem to tell him that this little one needs to be protected and I appreciate that.