My dog bit my 2yr old in the face - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 04:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It happened while I was at work this evening. I came home immediately. Meredith is "fine" with a deep gash underneath one eye. We decided not to go to the hospital tonight, as it could be fixed up just as well in the morning.
I guess I'm feeling like an unfit mother, since there have been indications that she (the dog) might lash out. She is territorial about her food and bit my mother's dog twice at mealtime when we were living with her. I thought is was circumstantial and didn't want to blame our dog. Now I have a sweet baby sleeping in the other room with an open wound, and I may sound like I'm overreacting, but it's scary.
And what do I do with the dog? She is a part of our family and we love her, but she bit our baby. How can we be sure that it won't happen again.
Would you get rid of your family pet if this happened????

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#2 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 07:54 AM
 
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We had a dog that bit my dd in the face twice. Luckily, the dog had no front bottom teeth so little damage was done. Part of the blame was on dd because she continually harassed the dog, but I could not watch her every second to prevent that completely. The second time she was bit, I was in the shower! So, we were able to send the dog to live with my Mom...although she now resides with my Aunt (my Aunt had to have her...loved her so much). I know that you love the dog, but your first priority has to be dd's safety. Is there a relative the dog can go live with...maybe for just a couple of years until dd is older? Good luck Mama!

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#3 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 09:13 AM
 
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Maybe talk to a professional trainer before you send the dog away? They might have suggestions. If that doesn't work, I agree with the pp you need to look after dd 1st.
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#4 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 11:19 AM
 
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My kids come first. Any dog that bites once might do it again. If I were you the dog would go. (We have a dog ourselves so I know how hard that will be if you do it.) *hugs* to you and your baby.

Jessica, wife of Marc and Momma to Nikolai (7) and Nathaniel (6).  Expecting Olivia in August! 

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#5 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 11:35 AM
 
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My cat bit dd a couple of years ago. She was an aggressive cat with a few behavioural problems. I had her put down. It may sound harsh to some people, I know, but my dd is my first priority and that's that. We still have our other cat who is awesome with dd. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this time wasn't too bad. What if the next time, your dog does some serious damage? Would you forgive yourself?
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#6 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 12:12 PM
 
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I would give the dog to a loving home witout young children.
My biggest concern is that the dog would do it again, or tha tmy child would start a lifelong fear of dogs, which is very hard to get over sometimes!
Maybe you can find a family to give the dog to where you could visit?
I know it's hard to even think about giving it away, but I worry that the dog would do it again. I know a child who was bit twice by their family dog, it was really sad!
HOpe your little one heals quickly!!
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#7 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 12:25 PM
 
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i hate to say this, but once an animal bites a babe, that animal can no longer be trusted. its different if there is an accidental scratch, etc. but a bite?
my ds2 got bitten by a pet German Shepard we had once (in the BUTT if you can believe that). but thats just my opinion.
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#8 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 02:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aisraeltax
i hate to say this, but once an animal bites a babe, that animal can no longer be trusted.
:

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#9 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 03:11 PM
 
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I'm sorry mama!
My friends just went through a similar thing....It's AWFUL

Their DD is 18 months, she was playing in the living room and the dog came out of another room and went over to DD and Attacked her...It was so bad, the dog had to be kicked/pulled off her...It gives me the chills as I write this..They had to rush DD to the ER, she ended up w/15 Stitches to her face & head...That done, they had no choice but put the dog down.....They were very sad that this happened they had the dog for 10 years, but the baby is 1st priority....Hope it all works out for you...But if it were me, I'd have to let the dog go.....
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#10 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 03:11 PM
 
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First of all let me say, I'm sorry to hear that!!! Poor dc!

I agree w/ all the pp's about getting rid of the dog. DC definitely come first. If my dog bit my dd, no matter how little the bite may be, I would have to get rid of her because you never know when it may happen again..and next time could be even worse. My dh's lil sister (she is only 10) was bit in the face by her dog that her family had since it was a pup and the dog was like 10 yrs old. They had to put her down. It was a tough decision, one nobody wanted to make but they couldn't trust the dog anymore. Having grandchildren in the house and stuff, they just couldn't take the chance. It was sad but it was in the best interest for everyone.

I would seriously consider calling an animal shelter and talking to a counseler there or something. You (and I'm just speaking in general) can't even adopt an animal that is food obsessive because of that reason. A DC walking over to it while eating and the dog lashing out. In most cases where a dog has those kinds of issues they (h.s) usually have to humanely ethunaize the animal because they can't take those kinds of chances.
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#11 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 04:03 PM
 
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...double post
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#12 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 04:51 PM
 
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Sorry this happened to you and dd. I agree with the pp.

Just an aside, did you go to the ER yet? If your dd does need stitches it gets harder to do as time passes and the scar might be worse, because it becomes harder to approximate the two sides.

mama to my August boys ('03 & '06) trying to figure out what to do after 5 losses
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#13 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 05:12 PM
 
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Oh hugs! My dd had a similar incident when she was 2yo with my aunt's cocker spaniel but because of all the immediate swelling we thought the dog got her eye. Arnica really helped with the swelling and once we got to the ER we realized she was fine, just scared. The scar didn't last long thankfully. I hope your dd is okay!

We adopted a dog last fall that started showing aggression and she went back to the humane society (they didn't inform me until after the adoption that she'd been growling at employees and such ). We gave it seven weeks but she got worse instead of better and once she jumped onto ds growling that was it for me. I think she just need more therapy and love to get past her abuse and neglect than we could give her. It broke my heart to do it and it will be a long time before we another dog.

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#14 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 05:54 PM
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Personally I wouldn't "get rid" of my dog for a bite. I know that's not a popular opinion, but my dog really is a member of my family and there's nothing he could do that would change that.

I'm sorry your baby got hurt.
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#15 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the advice mammas. I do think that it would be in the best interest to find our dog a new home, without other babies or other dogs. She has shown aggression to my nephew, my mothers dogs, and now this with the baby. She really is a sweet girl, she's just "special needs." We have been her only home but she really acts like an animal in recovery from abuse. She's wary of all men but dp and puts her hair up at them, along with everything else that I mentioned.

So this morning I did get dd stitched up with steri-strips, and I got her a round of penicillin. She is a no vax babe, and the doctor was asking about maybe just a tetnus shot??? I'll post over in the Vax forum about that.

Thanks again.

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#16 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 06:12 PM
 
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It would have to be tetanus immunoglobulin. The shot (vaccine) would be unlikely to offer any protection in someone never immunized.
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#17 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 06:14 PM
 
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I am so sorry that happened!!
I would get rid of the dog. do you have friends or relatives who could take her so you could still see her?
don't chance it. my friend from elementary school was bit by her family dog when she was an infant and he took a huge chunk off her face(not completely, it dangled) and had to have surgery and has a huge scar to show for it.
sorry to be graphic and I don't mean to scare you but they are animals afterall...the dog has forewarned you...
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#18 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 06:17 PM
 
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first of all, i should say that i'm not an animal expert nor do i play one on TV...

but i do think there is a big difference between an animal attack and a warning snap... and it sounds like your dd was given the second. if dd was bothering the dog, or messing with the dog's food, then i would try to make sure the dog had a safe place to eat and to escape from dd if needed.

we have an 8yo aussie/husky mix (he looks like a wolf) who has so far been very good with our 19mo ds. my next youngest kid was 3 when we got him, and it was pretty easy to teach the kids to give him his space at that age. but i know this next year is going to be hard on our poor mutt, with this toddler who loves to lay his head on Wiley's soft fur, and deliberately try to step on his tail... we are being vigilant. our dog snapped once at a toddler about 4 years ago, who had twisted her hands into his fur and really yanked. the mom, who was a dog owner herself, was much less upset than i was. she explained that this was how dogs dealt with each other: giving a warning snap, but not trying to cause serious damage. our dog was treating her toddler as if she was part of the pack, not something to be injured or killed but rather to be taught.

so... we expect there will be a snap in the future. we are gambling, by having a dog in the family at the same time as a toddler, that it won't be serious. but i recognize that i could very well be in the same boat as you are right now (hugs, mama!), and i'm making the choice to keep the dog for now.

i don't know... once the snap happens, i might feel differently. sometimes i wonder how crazy we are, having these animals so close to our babies, but honestly i think Wiley is very protective of the baby... he "herds" him, and growls at other dogs that come too close, and so far is really tolerant of the noise and sudden jolts that a toddler makes. i don't know if you get that same feeling from your dog... but i will say, trust your instincts. you know your baby and your dog better than anyone else. if there's a warning bell in your head, listen to it.

good luck, mama!

katje
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#19 of 102 Old 03-26-2006, 06:33 PM
 
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I am sorry that your dd got bit. I know that a dog that is food aggressive is very hard to deal with most can not be retrained but a few can. If u can afford to get a trainer and try to fix the problem then I would do that first before getting rid of a member of the family (that is how I see my pets) yes your dd comes first but when u get a pet that is a commitment just like having a baby IMO.

My cat has always had a bad attitude and has bitten both my dd and my ds but only because they were bugging her and it was my fault because I should have been watching more closely. My dd is old enough to know to leave her alone now and ds has learned not to touch the cat because she may bite.

Giving my cat away would not have been possible because of not only her attitude but because she has horrific litter box issues. Having her put down is also out of the question. When I got her almost 12yrs ago now I made a comitment to care for her for the rest of her life. If she was attacking the kids for no reason I would prolly keep her in a room seperate unless i could be there to give constant supervision.

I dont fault anyone for doing what they thought was right at the time for them. But for me having her put to sleep for bad behaviour or giving her away would be like doing that to a family member. It is just not something I could ever do.

 
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#20 of 102 Old 03-27-2006, 12:00 AM
 
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I know you must be feeling pretty awful right now...

I think you will make the best choice as only you know your dog and know the situation and know your child.

Having said that -- I think that in general animals have the right to defend themselves and babies/ toddlers need to learn to respect animals.

My dog has never bitten DS, but he has snapped at him several times. Like the time DS stuck a green crayon up the dog's nose while the dog was asleep. Or when DS pulls the dogs hair very hard, etc.
The dog was warning DS, he has the right to say, that hurt me, don't do that kid. And DS has learned. We also spent MANY MANY MANY hours with very supervised and controlled interaction down on the floor with the two of them to establish a decorum early on.
Dogs are pack animals and they naturally estblish roles of dominance and interact via a pecking order. We worked very hard to teach our dog that there was a new pecking order when DS arrived and that he was below DS in the pack just like he always was with us.

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#21 of 102 Old 03-27-2006, 12:05 AM
 
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Dog would go -- immediately in a kennel and then to the pound the next business day. Part of the famliy or not, human child comes before animals in my life.
I would not want to give a dog who bit my child away to anyone b/c they will do it again.
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#22 of 102 Old 03-27-2006, 12:47 AM
 
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One of our dogs did this to DD when she was about 13 months old. The dog was sleeping and DD got too close and startled him and he nipped at her face. It was classic "dog correcting puppy" behavior, but DD isn't a puppy. DD was OK - she still has a small scar under her eye. But after that we knew that the dog needed a new home where he wouldn't be pestered. We worked with the breed rescue we'd adopted him through and they helped us find him a home with no children. It was the right thing to do for him and for DD. It broke our hearts, because he'd been our first baby, adopted shortly after we were married, but he was obviously getting very unhappy about a more-and-more mobile kid in the house.

I hate to tell anyone to get rid of their dog, but you might be doing the dog a favor by finding it a situation that is more positive for its needs and personality.

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#23 of 102 Old 03-27-2006, 01:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by gratefulmum
It happened while I was at work this evening. I came home immediately. Meredith is "fine" with a deep gash underneath one eye. We decided not to go to the hospital tonight, as it could be fixed up just as well in the morning.
I guess I'm feeling like an unfit mother, since there have been indications that she (the dog) might lash out. She is territorial about her food and bit my mother's dog twice at mealtime when we were living with her. I thought is was circumstantial and didn't want to blame our dog. Now I have a sweet baby sleeping in the other room with an open wound, and I may sound like I'm overreacting, but it's scary.
And what do I do with the dog? She is a part of our family and we love her, but she bit our baby. How can we be sure that it won't happen again.
Would you get rid of your family pet if this happened????
I know others would disagree with me, but my priorities are very clear.

The dog would be GONE. I would do it the respect of either having it humanely euthanized or have it adopted through the humane society if at all possible (with many, many warnings to them about the biting), but it would be gone THAT DAY.

Bottom line, at least speaking for myself, there is no question: animal or human, you harm my child and you are gone. Period.
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#24 of 102 Old 03-27-2006, 03:53 AM
 
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I would really try and find a home without children if possible, its just too risky. I would try and find a no-kill animal shelter that can rehome your dog in a home without kids though as the pound is likely to put them to sleep.

My SIL's dog bit my DD today and am a little upset myself, but more at DH than anything. Luckily it was not serious.

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#25 of 102 Old 03-27-2006, 06:13 AM
 
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I think you are right to consider getting rid of the dog - the child has to come first and hopefully you can find a loving home for the dog (without children).....
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#26 of 102 Old 03-27-2006, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuraiEarthMama
if there's a warning bell in your head, listen to it.
There is, and this is what mamma instinct I'm bringing to the table when dp and I get to talk about this tommorrow.
I agree that animals have the right to defend themselves against children, and that children should learn to respect animals, but it seems to me right now that I'm not willing to teach either one of them manners towards eachother if it means sacrificing another part of my child's body.
I would love the time and space to 'see if they could work it out' but I'm not a gambling woman, I never have been.
This sounds cold, but I also feel differently towards our dog Haley, since this happened. I am not as fond of her. I am not as kind. I'm holding a grudge, and that is not fair to her either. She seems to have only been progressing more towards this behavior. Like I said, dp and I will talk this out tomorrow. But maybe she does deserve a home where she feels less threatened.

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#27 of 102 Old 03-27-2006, 07:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by boatbaby
Dogs are pack animals and they naturally estblish roles of dominance and interact via a pecking order. We worked very hard to teach our dog that there was a new pecking order when DS arrived and that he was below DS in the pack just like he always was with us.

Follow you heart and best to you!
In my opinion this is so important when getting a dog or bringing a new baby into the household, I have 3 dogs, 14 1/2 year old bitch a 5 y.o bitch and a 4 yo dog, for me one of the most crucial things is making sure my dogs know they are below the humans in the pecking order. It is possible to retrain your dog so that this wont happen again, but you really need to speak to a trainer or the like. In my household if anyone walks up to my dogs while they are eating my dogs walk away, they are lower in the pack so they wait until those higher up the chain eat their fill.
best of luck with whatever you decide to do, what a horrible situation for you and your dd
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#28 of 102 Old 03-27-2006, 07:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by boatbaby
Dogs are pack animals and they naturally estblish roles of dominance and interact via a pecking order. We worked very hard to teach our dog that there was a new pecking order when DS arrived and that he was below DS in the pack just like he always was with us.

Follow you heart and best to you!
In my opinion this is so important when getting a dog or bringing a new baby into the household, I have 3 dogs, 14 1/2 year old bitch a 5 y.o bitch and a 4 yo dog, for me one of the most crucial things is making sure my dogs know they are below the humans in the pecking order. It is possible to retrain your dog so that this wont happen again, but you really need to speak to a trainer or the like. In my household if anyone walks up to my dogs while they are eating my dogs walk away, they are lower in the pack so they wait until those higher up the chain eat their fill.
best of luck with whatever you decide to do, what a horrible situation for you and your dd
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#29 of 102 Old 03-27-2006, 11:48 AM
 
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I think you need to question WHY it happened and who is really to blame. If your DD was pestering the dog or encroaching on your dog's territory (food dishes, kennel, dog bed, etc, then your DD needs to be kept from those areas and taught to respect your dog.

If the dog attacked your DD unprovoked, then I'd have to protect my child over everything. The dog would go. Children are not mean to animals on purpose, but animals are animals, and the loving of a small child can seem like abuse to the animal. If your dog can't be trusted with your child, then your dog needs a new, child free, home.

Only you know your dog.

I am not in any way saying that the dog is more important than your child. I am simply saying that, knowing the dog is protective of her food/territory, then your daughter needs to be kept away from that area. Can you feed the dog behind a gate?

If you feel that your dog is actually a danger to your child, GET RID OF HER!

DS has been bitten by our dog twice. Neither time did she break the skin, and BOTH time within 5 minutes. DS was right next to me and truly being disrespectful of the dog - head butting her, chasing her with toys and crowding her into a corner. I told him to stop and removed him from the situation only to have it start again. Once he bit her, he learned. He's never done anything of the sort to her again, and she's never even growled.

DD can literally go in while the dog is eating, push her out of hte way and sit in her food dish, and Isis just looks all pitiful and walks away. We are working on DD's respect, but she's not quite 14 months, so her understanding is lacking.

Good luck

I am sorry your DD is hurt, and I hope that everything works out.
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#30 of 102 Old 03-27-2006, 12:07 PM
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I think you need to question WHY it happened and who is really to blame. If your DD was pestering the dog or encroaching on your dog's territory (food dishes, kennel, dog bed, etc, then your DD needs to be kept from those areas and taught to respect your dog.

If the dog attacked your DD unprovoked, then I'd have to protect my child over everything. The dog would go. Children are not mean to animals on purpose, but animals are animals, and the loving of a small child can seem like abuse to the animal. If your dog can't be trusted with your child, then your dog needs a new, child free, home.

Only you know your dog.
This is the issue. Why did it happen. You absolutely cannot force the dog to suffer consequences that the child caused (if that is what happened). In turn, you absolutely cannot keep that dog around if the dog is at fault.

My dog bit a child a few years ago. I'm here to tell you that the 'grudge' will go away if the dog wasn't to blame. I understand the need to protect the child at all costs, and I agree with that. I also understand that dogs are animals who have a very complicated pack structure. One 'doggie' glance speaks about a paragraph in human termss. Kids don't get that.

I actually had the appointment set to have my dog put down and couldn't go through with it. Since then, in our 'pack' we completely dominate our dog in every instance.

Sorry you have to deal with this. I wish it were easier.

OH! You can't re-home a dog who bites. First, you probably won't ever get anyone to take the dog if you are honest (and you would have to be) and second, you are still legally liable for any injury the dog may cause in the future. You can't guarantee that a childless home would remain childless (new babies, grandchildren, neices and nephews). You would have to have the dog put down.

ETA: I had to edit! I read my post and realized that I was implying that the child that my dog bit was to blame. Not so!

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
ds20, dd18, ds16

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