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Staying with friend with dogs and nervous - tips please?

(4 Posts)
Sherida Thu 23-Oct-08 15:40:47

I had a few negative experiences with dogs when I was younger that has left me feeling unhappy being around them. It's not a phobia, just that I'd rather dogs weren't around me. Or my universe thanks wink. My friend has invited my DD (8 months), DH and myself up to her for the weekend. I'd love to see her but she has got 2 staffies. DH LOVES dogs, and I'm sure they're well behaved. What I don't want is for my feelings to affect DD. Why should she inherit my fears? My fears are mine and mine alone. Obviously DD won't be left alone with the dogs for any length of time. Friend would shut the dogs out of the room for the weekend, but I won't have that as it's their house, I'm the visitor and it would be wrong to visit and expect the dogs to be shut away.

You hear about dogs going mad and savaging children all the time on the news, and call me PFB but I'm frightened of this happening. Logically I know it's not likely, DD isn't even walking so isn't going to trouble them but as I said, the problem is me. Can anyone give me any reassurance that dogs aren't the flesh-crazed wolves my subconsious thinks they are, and how can I calm myself around them? I specifically avoid dogs but I really want to see my friend and am not willing to let dogs restrict my life!

I hope this all makes sense, it's not that I've got a screaming phobia but the thought of dogs...and the smell (ew) makes me cringe!

bella29 Thu 23-Oct-08 18:09:40

You're not being irrational - I am a lifelong dog lover but I would never leave a small child unattended with any dog, even my own. In fact, I'm a bit worried you say they won't be left alone together 'for any length of time' - implying they may be left alone for short periods. Without trying to scare you, a non-walking baby may not necessarily be seen as a threat by dogs, but could be seen as prey, particularly where more than one dog is present.

Also, as dogs do clearly worry you so much I don't think it's unreasonable of you to ask your friends to keep them away during your stay. My SIL is scared of dogs and I would far rather put the dogs in another room than see her obviously uncomfortable.

Further, I do think it is right that children are taught to be respectful and slightly wary of dogs - my dc think all dogs are as lovely as our own ones, and I try very hard to teach them that other dogs must be approached with caution.

HTH & most importantly, have a good weekend!

Marne Thu 23-Oct-08 18:13:20

Hi, i have a staffie, she is realy loving but lively. If i had friends over who did'nt like dogs i would keep her out of the way for as long as i could.

Im sure your friend will be understanding.

Sherida Thu 23-Oct-08 21:23:29

Hi and thanks. Just to set your mind at rest Bella, by "any length of time" I meant just that, not even a couple of seconds so sorry if I made you think otherwise! I'm just going to be brave and have a go at getting along with the dogs as to be fair I've never even tried. I'm sure my friend won't mind if I can't manage it but I'll give it a go. Marne and Bell, ty for being so considerate to your friends!

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