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2 Bumps

URGENT ADVICE NEEDED! Baby and dog interaction

Yesterday, I went with my ex and our children to his parents' house for Easter brunch. Our 6 month old infant was also with us. His mother has a little Maltese dog. My ex has said before that he doesn't think children should be around that dog because it has bitten every child that's been in his mother's house. I have also expressed that I do not want the dog too close to my infant son.
Well, they let the dog not only get close to the baby, but my ex's mother was encouraging the dog to lick the baby's hands and toes. I said, "please not his hands or face." Baby's dad was holding him and seemed to have the dog under control, so I tried not to freak out. After all, I was the stranger in their house and didn't want to seem overbearing. Well, my ex's mother would not let up on egging on that dog. She was kissing the baby's toes to show the dog how to do it - it was really freaking me out.
When the licking session was over, I grabbed a baby wipe and wiped off my son's feet and hands because he was starting to put his own dog-saliva covered toes to his mouth. Well, my ex got upset over me doing that. He said something to the effect of his other kids being licked by dogs and nothing bad happening. I don't understand why he's got a change of heart now after saying before that the dog has a history of biting children. Not to mention the fact that dogs' saliva can carry bacteria that can make people (especially babies and the elderly and the already sick) very ill.
My baby boy had diarrhea last night and twice today. I called the Boys Town hotline for advice. I called my grandmother for advice. I've done research on dogs licking children. And it looks like I have every right to protect my child from germs and potential bites. Why are my ex and his mother so careless about my son being exposed to what this dog may have or do? It was like an attack on me (for previous requests to keep dog away from baby) at the expense of my baby's health.
Now that baby has diarrhea, I'm scared it's due to the germs the dog had. I will get him checked out if it continues tomorrow, for sure, but he has a six month check-up on Friday and will at least bring up the dog issue then. Please, fellow mom's, am I overreacting? My gut tells me I'm not. How do I approach them about this when they blatantly disregard my requests?


Asked by beshka76 at 6:05 PM on Apr. 25, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 11 (623 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • Honey, you being there, alone AND responsible for two other children as well is THE VERY reason for you to stop allowing ANYONE to intimidate you. God looked down on you and he deemed you solely able to have, teach, protect & raise those children - those girls are looking to you as their example of what kind of self-confidence they will and should have in life. Let no one fool you into thinking that you aren't capable of making decisions for your own children and let NO ONE devalue the merits you have and the morals, ethics and values you want instilled in your children. If your reputation in that family becomes one of "she's opinionated and hotheaded" - what do you care - if your children are learning that standing up for themselves is the right thing to do. You have a backbone, use it. I've been where you are; alone, scared shittless, dependent - but still I held my ground like a pissed off raccoon when I felt I was right

    Answer by ShelbyShareAlot at 7:04 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • I can relate to how you feel about them not respecting your wishes about the dog staying away from your child. My moms fiance has a dog that I am very scared of and it can be agressive. I stopped going over to thier house because they did not respect my whishes of putting the dog up when my kids are over.Several things had happened that made me feel this way.
    I do think you may be overreactng a bit about the sickness and stuff...try not to should be fine.But as far as you not wanting a dog around your baby ,licking all on your have that right and you shouldnt have to justify yourself by giving reasons as to why you dont want the dog around the baby. You dont feel comfortable with it and thats that.period.
    Good Luck

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 6:18 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • Well I wouldn't care about the saliva but id be worried about the biting thing. Ur mil sounds kinda freaky.

    Answer by emmyandlisa at 6:13 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • P.S. Your MIL does sound like a freaky, stupid person who is obtrusive and pushy -- you really should have stood up to the whole situation and you wouldn't be feeling this regretful now and worried that your baby might be sick. I'm sorry you had to face that crap - it wasn't right - but I know that I am a wholly different kind of grizzly bear if someone is doing something to one of my children that I personally don't think is right or could cause them sickness. You need to kick yourself in the butt, point at your reflection and tell yourself that YOU are that baby's mother and YOU will not let anything like this happen again and YOU don't care who don't like it.

    Answer by ShelbyShareAlot at 6:47 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • If you aren't living in the right situation that's conducive to raising your children in a manner that you would be proud of then, by all means, you shouldn't just contact a women's shelter - you should take refuge in one and accept all the help they can get you in arranging to to get you on your own feet, dependent on no one but yourself.
    I don't talk hard to you because I'm a hard person ~ I'm quite the opposite actually ~ I speak candidly because I've been EXACTLY where you are and I know that sugar-coating what you need to hear will only delay you in hearing what's being said.

    Answer by ShelbyShareAlot at 7:17 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • oh and his diarhhea, there are many reasons why he would have that, even you stressing out for nothing, can make him stress out and have diarrhea.

    Answer by IraqiVetWife at 6:12 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • Excuse me, but I DID my research. The dog's mouth being cleaner than a human's mouth is a myth. Read this: And why do you have to be so snarky? I'm here asking for help, not criticism! I am disappointed that fellow moms would be so rude to another mom who is reaching out for advice.


    Comment by beshka76 (original poster) at 6:39 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • I'm just gonna be honest with you - there really isn't anything for you to be this up in arms about now, after the fact. The time for you to feel an urgency about anything was when the dog was licking your child. You had and have a natural and physical ability to pick your baby up, use your words to express your disapproval and walk away from the situation. You didn't do that.
    You have every right to want to wash your babies feet so he don't stick his dog-licked toes in his own mouth and you have every right to not want your child to be around a dog who has bitten before, no one here will argue with you about that.
    What you don't have, or didn't have, is the guts to do what you should have done when you were in the moment. I hardly think it's fair for you to ask us to back you up *now in feeling justified in holding a grudge against your MIL when you did nothing to stop it when it was going on.

    Answer by ShelbyShareAlot at 6:43 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • You're right. I didn't stand up when I should have. But they intimidate me and challenge me all the time. He moved us out here away from my family and they are the only people I know. We depend on them for things and me ruining their Easter over something I wasn't sure was just me being over-worried, not knowing how they would treat me and my children if I did, and so on. I'm in a very difficult position. Thank you for your candor, but please understand that I have no one to turn to here. I have two daughters that are mine as well. Everything I do, every word I speak could influence the outcome of more lives than just mine. It's a scary situation. Maybe I should just contact the local women's shelter for advice.

    Comment by beshka76 (original poster) at 6:52 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

  • Thank you, ShelbyShareAlot. I am going to print this page and share it with my counselor, pediatrician, and a women's advocate. I'm tired of battling this alone in my own head.

    Comment by beshka76 (original poster) at 9:09 PM on Apr. 25, 2011