Category Archives: Babies and Pets

Babies and Pets

I know this sounds trite, but I honestly believe that you can tell a society is truly civilised by the way it treats the elderly, the disabled and its animals.  These three groups of people are the most vulnerable in any society and require the most care and concern.  The way a person treats those who cannot repay their kindness speaks volumes of that person.  Honestly, I think Singapore has a LONG way to go.  But that’s another story for another time.

So growing up, I used to hate it when classmates or friends came to my house and then get scared of my dog.  My then dog, Otto, was a medium sized mongrel.  He was fat and extremely docile.  I remember the day we picked him up from SPCA.  We chose him because he was the only dog that didn’t jump up at us.  He just sat quietly in the cage nonchalantly looking at us.  We sometimes think he was a cross between a Dalmation and a Sausage Dog or something because he was fat, kind of short but had spots like a Dalmation.  Anyway, I used to hate it when kids used to go, “Eeee, get your dog away from me.” or, “Carry me I’m scared…” or, “Dogs are so dirty!”

That is why, I have made it a point to get Baby E comfortable with animals.  My family now has an eight year old Boxer we got about seven years ago .  While he has both brains and brawn, he sometimes has too much brawn and can’t measure his own strength.  So when Baby E was a newborn we had to keep George outside because we were not sure what he would do. But we allowed George to sniff E and look at him. He was so curious!

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Slowly, we started to introduce George to Baby E through the grille.  George would stick his head through the grille and Baby E would touch his face, pull his ears and pat his nose.  George loved it.  Dogs are so sensitive to their surroundings and George knew that Baby E was just a baby.

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So tonight for the first time, Baby E and George played properly without any separation and it seemed like both of them thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  George, who is normally very excitable stayed very calm and lay down on the ground and stayed still while Baby E grabbed his face, his ears, his tongue and even pulled his skin.  At one point Baby E even made a lunge for George and tried to bite him.  George still remained calm.




I think it is important to note that before introducing babies and children to animals / pets, that you know the temperament of the animal.  I mean for us, we know that George is really docile (even though he can get excited).  And obviously always make sure there is adult supervision.  When a child is young, never leave him with the animal by himself.  Even for us, it took us a few months to introduce George to Baby E because we just weren’t sure how George would react.  Especially since George is a big dog.

I read somewhere that every little boy should own a dog.  I totally agree.  I do hope to be able to bring Baby E to one of Singapore’s many shelters one day to look for his very own dog.