He Thought His Wife’s Pit Bull Would Harm Their Newborn and She Didn’t Listen… Then THIS Happened!

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A new father was filled with the disorienting flood of emotions which accompany this particular stage of life… the elation of falling in love with your new baby… and the terror of failing your child in any small way which could negatively impact his or her life. When our children are born into this world, the volume on everything that we think we know, all of our fears and misconceptions, is cranked up. If this wife had given in to her husband’s misguided fear, she would have deprived her child of a unique and loving friendship.

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Greg Heynen had his suspicions about his wife’s pit bill/Labrador mix, Zack. He had witnessed behaviors from the dog that worried him when he considered the safety of their newborn baby girl. He had probably heard some of the same stories you have heard about dog attacks and wanted to eliminate the risk altogether. He gave his wife an ultimatum…

Greg was noted as having said to his wife that is Zack, “so much as nips at her, he’s gone.” Have you been in a similar situation with a partner? Did you have a loving pet who you just couldn’t believe would ever hurt your kids because your pet is so loving with you? Both Greg and his wife must have been on high alert when they finally introduced Zack to their daughter… which is when something happened…

Zack was so drawn to the baby girl, he refused to leave her side. He would lick her all and rest next to her protectively. Can you imagine how stunned Greg must have been – how relieved and vindicated his wife must have felt – to witness this “love at first sight” between Zack and their new baby?

Zack liked to sleep in the same bed with the new baby and he would keep one paw on the baby’s blanket while she slept. As she grew older, he developed the habit of waiting for her at the foot of the stairs to walk up with her to her room at bedtime. Is that not just the sweetest thing to see? A relationship between a child and an animal that, really, only they understand?

Most dogs who exhibit aggressive behavior have either been taught to be aggressive, were abused by a previous owner, or never experienced healthy socializing with many people. It’s a common misconception that all pit bulls are threatening and vicious but, according the the Humane Society, pit bulls are not specifically at a predisposition to attack other living things.

Research has shown that children often experience accelerated development when they grow up with a pet. Dogs are naturally loving creatures and their capability to show unconditional love is a gift to children, to humanity. We have to take responsibility for how we teach them to interact with others as well as how we teach our kids to approach dogs. Blaming the dog, the way we blame pit bulls, rather than our lack of time to train, is just as harmful to dogs as it is children…

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While pit bulls have a high prey drive towards smaller animals, pit bulls are, traditionally, known better in knowledgable circles for their kindness towards children. Either way, dogs, like children, must be taught to know how to behave. Though you find a child who is still learning not to hit as much less threatening, a dog requires the same time, effort, and patience to learn how to interact with others. The misconceptions about pit bulls led to Zack’s tragic end…

Neighborhood children poisoned Zack which led to the family’s inevitable decision to put him to sleep. So, as it turns out, the real threat in this story is improperly informed children who stole the life of a little girl’s best friend. The parents were devastated to see the effect this had on their daughter…

 

The little girl would sit at the bottom of the stairs, hopeless and bewildered, waiting for Zack to tuck her into bed. It took some time and difficult mourning before a path could be created for Greg’s other dog, Sam, to help ease her pain…

One night, when the child sadly sat at the bottom of the stairs waiting for Zack, Sam noticed the hole in her routine. He got up from where he was resting and nudged the little girl up the stairs. Though a new friendship was formed, Greg must have regretted his initial misgivings about his daughter’s lost best friend. Take care of the pets in your life for their sake and your children’s sakes.