Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sheba's Wrinkle

As you may know, when you bring a 'rescued dog' into your home, you are accepting some of  the proverbial wrinkles that they may have in their personality.  Our girl Sheba is a dog with a wrinkle all her own.  She came to us at almost a year old in October of 2007 when the family who had young children, couldn't afford her hip surgery. I can only think that the kids were allowed to torment her, because Sheba in no shape or form likes young children.  Knowing this, I keep her away from them.  If anyone comes to our home with kids, I put her in her crate.  When I take Sheba anywhere with me, I am always watching so that we can avoid contact with any children.  It was no different today when I took her to the vet.

When we were waiting for medications and our bill at the end of our appointment.  I sat in the far corner of the waiting room away from everyone.  Someone came in with their dog, a stroller and a little boy that looked about 3-4 years old.  The little boy smiled when he saw Sheba and took a step towards her.  I stopped him and politely asked the Mother to please keep him away from Sheba, explaining that children made her really nervous.  She replied telling me that she didn't believe this because all Golden Retrievers loved children.  I told her that 'this one didn't, and it was best if she just kept an eye on her son and made sure he kept his distance.'
The whole time I am talking, I'm holding Sheba very close and I have her leash cinched up very short, and my other hand on her collar.  I could feel her growling.  When the little boy started jumping up and down and hopping in our direction, I tried to be polite and tell him that he needed to go play somewhere else.  The mother looked but did nothing.  Sheba continued to growl.  The girl at the front desk said something to me and as I stood up the little boy threw a magazine in our direction.  At that, Sheba started barking and lunging at the little boy.  Thankfully I still held onto her leash and collar and so I was able to keep her under control.  The Mother unleashed a barrage of accusations and threats, telling me that I had no business having such a vicious dog in public that was out of control!  I really tried to not show how upset I had become but told her that the only thing that was out of control was her son!  The rest of the incident is a bit of a blur that ended with the office manager (who had seen the whole thing) escorting the Mother and her entourage into a treatment room, and apologizing to me for their client.

Sheba, I think, is really a lovely dog.  There is so much about her that is everything that a Golden Retriever is supposed to be. So even knowing this, why am I still upset about the reminder of 'Sheba's wrinkle' and why am I taking this all so personally?


  1. Because like a GOOD mother, you love your dog. You truly understand her wrinkle and why she has it! That mother was lazy and out of line! You did everything right, Kim. Especially in loving Sheba. She's a beauty. I am so sorry she was ever hurt and do not blame her one bit for acting the way she did today. She had to learn at an early age to protect herself from children. She's lucky to have you.

  2. Don't worry. It sounds like you did everything right and with your proactive attention you pretty much saved this little boy from being bitten. The mother was an unbelievably nieve person. (these are the nicest terms I can think of to say in public)

    Poor Sheba, is very lucky she ended up with a family who has compassion and brains.

    Us dogs have a lot of personal issues that we are not able to tell our humans about so we hope we end up with someone like you who understands.


  3. What a sweet dog Sheba.....enjoy a happy from

  4. Because this is such unusual behavior for a Golden and because someone did this to her, so sad. Our little girls first word was Trapper, our Goldens (at that time) name. She would crawl all over him, pulling his ears..he loved her and she him. Give Sheba a hug for me! ;D

  5. Some people just don't get it. She wanted you to be the responsible one so that she would not have to. Sounds to me as though you did your part... sorry you were subjected to this awful, lazy woman.

  6. As a former teacher I dealt with these kind of parents all the time. Nothing you could have said or done would have changed her behavior. Let this incident roll off your shoulders and don't look back.

  7. Wow I am so sorry that happened, damn stupid people, it would piss me off if that happened to me.

    Haylie is not a rescue but she doesnt care for alot of people - she wants to be left alone and doesnt like people to just come up and pet her. I tell people to please leave her alone she is in training but they feel labs should love everyone. Well Haylie doesnt when she is out in public she wants to be left alone at times.

    Im sorry this happened but dont let them ruin your day and these wrinkles are what make our little 4 legged friends touch our hearts.

  8. i'm sorry, but i'd have been tempted to throttle that mother. and i'd have wanted a stick to keep that child at bay! ugh!

  9. This post makes me so sad, that people are so dumb, and so happy, that Sheba has you for a Mom.

    I'm reminded of our first beloved SharPei Spoiler. He was wary of people and we were at a gas station where Spoiler was barking at everyone who came near. The pump guy said 'does he bite' which we replied 'probably' at which time this doofus stuck his hand in the window (opened about 3 inches) and proceeded to get bit! Then had the audacity to say 'MAN what a mean dog!!!' No dude not mean just wary. And you sir are stupid! Believe what one tells you!!!

  10. Hi dear Kim, My heart goes out to you because I so understand this situation(our Reggie is the same way and has nipped a granddaughter)but I also think it was unnerving because you repeatedly and politely ask the mom to watch her child. She is lucky that it was you my friend because I might not have been so polite. Can you imagine what their family life must be like? I also agree with Christine's comment. You Kim are so precious and your Sheba is a jewel-don't let this ruin your evening or weekend. I actually have to put Reggie away when the grands are here so there aren't any issues.
    Much love, Noreen & Reggie

  11. Poor Sheba and you !
    Pet's have personalities just like people, if something in their past has given them thought for mistrust or they have been physically abused, that hurt may lay dorment inside until provoked and then they tend to protect themselves.
    I wonder why people will not heed to warnings, especially when you took the time to tell them so.
    It's something I see daily in the clinic.
    On the other hand, Sheba looks like a grand girl.

  12. This is so sad. Sheba did not deserve to be put in that position.

    My guess is that you remain distressed for two reasons. 1, none of us, you least of all, wants to contemplate what was done to Sheba to form a memory that powerful. She is so lucky to have you, and you are lucky that your love has overcome everything except that one little wrinkle. And 2, it is frightening to know that if you aren't vigilant, something idiotic like an out-of-control child could have made way more trouble than he was worth.

    Sit on the porch in the evening with Sheba and let the dusk ease the unrest. The life you have with your dog far outweighs the nonsense of irresponsible parents.

  13. Sheba I am right there with you girl....I growl and lunge at children to..:)
    Seriously Kim I do believe that parents have been too permissive with their children for a long time and that they think everyone else should worship their little angels as well.
    That little boy sounds like he needed to be crated, not your lovely Sheba. Just my opinion but I never let my son disturb or be disrespectful to anyone, including animals, and he is a lovely, compassionate person today.
    Have a good evening Kim and my love to the crew!
    Tina xo

  14. Your story made me furious. That mother is an idiot, a complete and utter idiot. I'm glad that the office manager saw the whole thing so that she knows that you handled it responsibly.

    Every dog has a wrinkle, and we guardians learn how to avoid tickling that wrinkle in a bad way. In our case, it's R's much too exuberant greetings. So, in the situation that you were in, I would have asked the mother to keep her son away from R so that I could avoid having R go nutso with happiness (which is not an easy state of mind to handle in R). I would have been as mad as you if the mother had ignored me.

    Oh my... Why are some people so clueless about dogs?

  15. Sadly, we can't go back and undo something that might have been done. She isn't the only dog that doesn't like young children. They can be annoying to any of us if they are persistent like that. Sometimes we felt our parents were strict, but we sure did learn how to behave in public and be respectful of adults. That last photo is so sweet. I'm sorry you had a stressful time.

  16. Kim... You did everything right. Pretty obvious who the wrong doer was. Parents who choose not to control and/or discipline their offspring (I use that term loosely) is unfortunate and disturbing problem. It really bothers me. Sorry your day was subjected to such ignorance. Glad it turned out OK.

  17. You were in the right. She was warned AND besides, parents need to parent kids....and not expect everyone else to do it.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  18. It's a cryin' shame thing got outta hand like that, especially when you did all you could to prevent it. Why won't people listen???

    Sheba looks like an amazin' dog. We all have our 'wrinkles'!!!

    God bless ya sweetie and have an amazin' day!!! :o)

  19. If anything the kid should of been on a leash. Good for you I would of given the women a mouth full about her brat and that he should know how to behave around stange animals . You warned them they didnt comply so thats their fault and problem. Our Miggy had to have reconstructive knee surgery as well as her tendons and ligaments opperated on, to us we didnt care what it cost we just wanted her to be happy and healthy. Sheba is a cutie. Have a wonderful day !

  20. Kisses to Sheba!!! I agree with the comment above, the kid should have been on a leash. As dog lovers I am always stressing to my girls never to mess with strange dogs.. you just never know how they will react. I however, should practice what I preach.. I am a nose kisser!!!

  21. I guess that know it all mother needed a hearing aid.

  22. I'm furious!! How dare she???? Of course you're upset, how could you not be? She disregarded everything you said to her and then verbally attacked you when what you told her would happen happened.

    I hope someone at that vet's office gave her what for!

    Ignorant people like that is why there are so many dogs in shelters.

    You my friend are a good person, try not to let the actions of one ignoramous foul your day. :-) BIG HUG KIM to YOU AND SHEBA. xoxo

  23. Kim, do not feel bad about this at all. Neither you or Sheba were at fault for the incident, it was all the mother's doing and it is her own fault for not listening to your repeated requests that she keep her son away from Sheba. People respect each others' likes and dislikes, I just wish they would do the same for each others pets!

  24. If you didn't feel upset, you wouldn't be human! And we know that you are an exceptional human being!!
    - Anne & Charlie

  25. oh i feel so badly for both you and sheba. and can empathize having been in similar position. no it was not your fault but the mother's as her son was really too young to know better. why is always the dogs fault???? the child and mother were obviously the ones that were creating the problem. you were merely advocating for your dog as was all need to. and yes when it has happened to me i often think about/replay afterwards. but it really was not your fault - i so wish the women had listened to you. please continue to advocate for sheba and all your pups they need you. take care and rest easy tonight knowing that you were a wonderful and responsble caretaker today and that sheba does know and appreciate that.

  26. Hi Kim
    I am sorry this experience left a cloud over you today. Its not your fault and its not Sheba's fault.
    You are a good mom, and you were tring to protect all from any kind of a storm getting out of control, and that storm was the little boy, and his stupid mother.
    How can she be so clueles? You were trying your best to let her know to keep her little boy away.
    Yet she ignored you.
    Little "you know who" has a little wrinkle too. No she is not like the usual happy go lucky pug, and humans cannot understand that.
    Thank goodness, the manager saw the whole thing..
    Let the cloud move away from you,, and let the sun come out, because it was not your fault.
    We love you

  27. Geez...You and Sheba are the okay ones. You were not in the wrong at all. Dogs are not machines and neither are they furry live playthings for rowdy children. Respect is sadly lacking in today's society and it REALLY sounds like that little child needed some sit! stay! obedience training. Probably be a smart little critter if his Mom didn't have such low expectations for him. I would have been equally furious in your shoes--you did all the right things: kept your dog under control and repeatedly asked the child (and his mother) to give her space. It was a vet's office...not a pediatric center! I think you said just the right thing too. :-) Take a deep breath and give Sheba a hug. She didn't fail anybody--someone failed her a long time ago.

  28. No matter what, we are always going to protect our children, be it the two legged or the furry four legged kind. You did warn the woman so there really wasn't anything else you could do.

    In the end, everything turned out OK, and by the look of that smiling face in the last photo, that is one happy pup!!

    xo Catherine

  29. People like this woman so anger me! What is wrong with some people???? Have no worries, Kim.. this person is not worthy an ounce of your energy of thought!

  30. Baggage comes with every dog we rescue. Dumb ass people come with every box of corn flakes sold at the A&P (or so it seems). Just can't avoid them sometimes. Sheba has nothing to be ashamed of. And of course, neither do you.

  31. Wow. I'm glad you were on top of that situation - that little boy was in the wrong, but his mom was WAY in the wrong.

    No matter the situation, people should teach their kiddos about not invading the space of animals without permission.

  32. Sure, Sheba has a wrinkle - but it is that stupid woman who has the problem. You did everything you could to avoid that situation and beautiful Sheba was only doing what she has had to learn to keep herself safe.

    A big hug to you and Sheba from me.


  33. Amazing how some people can claim to know your dog better than you !

  34. Because people like that woman shouldn't be allowed to have children.
    That is a large part of the problem with this country. Kids are not taught respect and are allowed to do anything they want.

    *hugs* ♥

  35. You are a wonderful Mom to all of your dogs. Sheba trusts you so much to take care of her in those situations. We all have those "wrinkles" of personality, 4-legged or 2. I've had similar situations happen at the vet. We were talking about ignorance on another blog this morning. It makes me crazy too.

  36. Kim, if it helps, I'm furious too. Parents need to parent and they need to listen when they get warnings about animals. If you had not have been able to control Sheeba, her little boy and her baby could have been seriously injured - people don't realize what a dog bite can do - just ask me, I'm recovering from an accidental one right now!! When I caution someone about one of my dogs, the statement I hate hearing "it'll be OK - all dogs love me". They presume to know your dog better than you know it. I'm getting off the soap box now!!


  37. My McIver is like this. Little people are very strange to him. I've known him since he was 12 wks old and he's never been treated poorly by kids. I tell people all the time that we are not friendly. HIs brother is the same way. When a policeman was evaluating him for work, our program director told the man to ignore the dog until the dog was ready. He didn't listen and 7 stitches later, he wished he had.

    People are just dumb. They ignore my personal space too. Unfortunately it would be weird if I bit them... ;-)

    Mamma Heartbeat

  38. I suspect you are taking this so personally because you are a compassionate, considerate dog caretaker and human being. I think this situation was "too close for comfort" and reminded you that as sweet and lovable as Sheba is, a moment's lapse in attentiveness could lead to a tragedy that could end her life. Unfortunately, I doubt that any court will accept 'self defense' or 'PTSD' as a plea in a dog-bite case. I think you feel the horrific responsibility that comes with loving an animal that, under the right (or should I say WRONG?) conditions could cause harm. As much as the child ~ more accurately his mother! ~ would have been to blame, you would have felt terrible if Sheba had hurt him! This whole unfortunate incident is a reminder to you (and should be to us all!) that no matter how hard we try, we just can't always control the situations we find ourselves and our animals in. And that no matter how vigilant and attentive WE are, there's always the possibility of some idiot creating a crisis for which our beloved dog will be blamed.

    I think you just got slapped in the face with how unfair life can be.

    (not that you needed a reminder!)


  39. The mother is an idiot Kim! When my kids were little the first thing I taught them was to never approach a dog before asking the owner first if it would be okay. All dogs are different in how they may respond because.....we (the stranger) do not know there past. I tell my grandkids to leave my older little dog alone, she does not like kids. If they don't, no one (including their parents) feels bad for them if she nips! I am sorry this happened to you but, like others have said, don't give it another thought. YOU did all the right things!!

  40. Puppies are born wrinkle free it is the human factor that put wrinkles on these wonderful creatures. If the stupid cow couldn’t control her child just think what a failure she would be with a dog.

  41. We teach bite prevention and our rule #1 is to always ask permission BEFORE approaching a dog and to RESPECT the owners answer since they KNOW the dog and will have a reason for whatever answer they give. URG... irresponsible peoples irk us!

    Boondocks and The Love Shack Pack

  42. We're ALL on your side! You and Sheba clearly acted correctly and responsibly. We also feel sorry for that little boy, to be stuck with such an appalling mother. He's going to pay all his life for being the victim of such piss poor parenting. Hope you and Sheba got to calm down with a relaxing walk or a sit down on the porch to watch the sunset.

    Jed & Abby

  43. WOW...Sheba and I have something in common.. I don't like kids either.. especially other people's kids.. some are morons.. like that womans.. I would have sicked Sheba on the little brat..

  44. you're upset because of the sheer IDIOCY of some people who are supposed to know better. sorry... but too bad sheba couldn't have taken a good bite out of the mother.
    i had a little cocker once who was terrified of children. she had been rescued from a home where they were divorcing and there were 5 kids. she had been kicked hard.
    i love children but they can torture animals and we all know it.
    darling sheba,
    you're a good girl and your own mom has more sense and compassion in her little finger than the vet office mom could ever hope to have.
    peace and love dear girl.
    special angels watch over you... and one is named kim.
    tammy j

  45. Sheba is so beautiful and so lucky to have a good person like you to take care of her.
    People can be so mean, and they still think animals are irrational...

  46. People are very strange. A (now ex) friend of ours came to stay with her hyper-active two year old son. We told the boy calmly and gently that when our dogs were in their beds to leave them alone and the mother took great offence at someone telling her child what to do!!


Speak--I really enjoy your comments! Thanks for stopping by today!!