Hey, wanna hear my Awesome Mama moment of the day? Prepare yourself, because it’s really pretty awesome.
We went to an outdoor latin music concert at the art museum, where there were lots of kids and dogs. Robin saw a smallish dog he liked and zoomed straight over. “We don’t know that dog, honey,” I said as I began dragging him away by the heels. “Oh, she’s a sweetheart,” the owner assured me. The dog let go of the bone she was chewing on and wagged her tail. I let Robin pet her. The dog snuffled his face and wagged some more. Robin reached for the bone. “NO, baby,” I grabbed his wrist. “Doggies don’t like that.” “It’s fine,” the owner said, “we actually trained her to be okay with that by taking her food dish away.” I was mollified, but still thought it was a bad idea for a kid to grab a dog’s bone. Robin pet the dog again. The dog snuffled him again. Robin reached for the bone again. I was about to go for his wrist – more slowly, because it was just a matter of teaching Robin that this was generally a bad plan, not a safety concern – when the dog growled, lunged, and fucking bit him. In the face. So fast I couldn’t prevent it.
At first I thought maybe the dog hadn’t actually bitten him, maybe it had just snapped very close to him. There was no visible blood, and his face was so red from screaming that I couldn’t see whether there were any marks. Then he opened his mouth to latch on (I offered him a boob for comfort) and I saw that his gum was bleeding a little. Not a whole lot, but clearly contact had been made. Later, after he had calmed down – which actually happened surprisingly quickly – I could see red marks where the teeth had closed on him, on his cheek and above and below his mouth. He’s really fine, and the dog owner was shocked and very apologetic, and followed after me to make sure Robin was okay.
The way I see it, this incident was really my fault. I fucking knew better than to let him go for the dog’s bone, and I stupidly listened to what the owner said instead of trusting my instincts. Of COURSE the dog bit him. When the owners take the dish away, well, they’re the alpha dogs, and what they say goes. But my kid? Not an alpha dog. Not even a beta dog. Probably not even a pack member. And I have owned four dogs in my lifetime and I KNOW these things.
Like I said, Awesome Mama. Robin’s okay, and learning experience blah blah blah, but I still feel pretty shitty about it.