Monday, September 08, 2008

Who Let the Dogs Out? (Drama at the Bus Stop)

. Monday, September 08, 2008

UPDATE: Here's some additional information and added developments.

  • The dog is leashed and well behaved. It isn't running around, barking, or otherwise bothering the kid.
  • Yesterday, the dog mother's visiting mother came to the bus stop as well and brought her dog. The little kid freaked out so much that he tried to run into the street. He tripped, fell, and skinned his knee.
  • My wife has called the transportation office and the school. Both of them listened to her concern but said that they could not do anything in this situation. It's a public place and the dog is on a leash.
  • The kid's father thanked my wife for "sticking up for them".
  • Dog mother used to walk to the other bus stop (last year) as it is equidistant from their house.

Some drama has developed at my son's bus stop during this first week of school. There are a few new kids at the bus stop this year. One little boy is just starting Kindergarten this year. My wife has spoken a little bit with the kid's mother during this time. My wife learned that the kid is really excited about school and especially about riding the bus. She also got the impression that the mother is a real nervous nelly about her kid attending school.

So the problem is with one of the other mothers. She frequently brings their dog to the bus stop. The dog is very well behaved and friendly. However, the little Kindergartener is deathly afraid of dogs. That fact was obvious to my wife even without the mother saying so. The kid is visably afraid of the dog.

After a couple days (when I wife picked up on this), she recommeded to the mother that she tell the dog mother not to bring their dog to the bus stop. It seems that the new mother is too timid and doesn't want to cause any trouble. Meanwhile, the kid is hiding behind his mother and trying to hold back his tears. Later in the week, the dog mother tried to introduce her dog to the kid, and the kid was really afraid. The dog mother joked that "the kid needs to get used to dogs".

Whether you think that's true or not, I believe it's not dog mother's place to force her dog on someone's kid. What's going to end up happening is the mother will end up driving the kid to school and take away that fun experience of riding the bus from her kid.

Question to the panel: Do you think my wife should say something to the dog mother?


Unknown said...

It's too bad the child's mom and dad are such wimps especially when you said that today the the child ran out into the street and fell! Holy crap! What if he had run into traffic? The parents need to grow a spine! I think the dog owner is obtuse as well and hopefully was able to see from today's incident that you can't force a dog on anyone...especially if you aren't a professional. What an idiot.

The school probably can do little as this is not occurring on school property. I think your wife should say something to the dog owner, as tactfully as possible, hard as that may be. I know I would have had a hard time keeping my mouth shut this long!

Good luck.

Mohawk Chieftain said...

Send the kid to a different school. Dogs have rights too. It should be on a leash, however. I don't think you mentioned whether it was, or not.

What happens if the kid becomes afraid of one of the other kids at the bus stop?

Anonymous said...

Well. Hmmm. Is the dog jumping on the kid? Licking him? Smelling him? If the dog is just kept away from the child, I'm not sure why there should be a problem. Kid stands here, kid next to him, Mommy there, other Mommy here, dog here...way away from the kid.

Of course, if the dog is right next to the kid, and jumping on him, etc, that's different..that should not happen at all. But if the dog is just there and not doing anything to the kid, and being kept apart from him, then I'm not sure if anything should be done. Assuming the dog is on a leash. If the dog is NOT on a leash, then all bets are off...the dog needs to be on a leash. I'd certainly have a problem if the dog were not on a leash or if the dog were jumping on the kid, licking him, etc.

Anonymous said...

The kid does need to be exposed to the things he's afraid of. Dogs are everywhere. Getting comfortable over time with a friendly leashed neighborhood dog at the school bus stop sounds like a perfect opportunity to face his fear in a safe environment.

Think of how good-proud-strong the shy-timid-wimpy kid will feel when he isn't afraid of dogs anymore.


Boo said...

Newt - I 100% agree that the kid needs to get used to dogs. The dog in question is a very laid back, well behaved, and friendly dog. Being that I'm hearing all of this second hand from my wife, it's hard to fully evaluate the situation. I'm assuming that since the parent thanked my wife for sticking up for them that they do not like having the dog at the bus stop. Also, as noted in the update, the kid is so scared that he nearly ran into traffic, fell, and skinned his knee.

Obviously the kid is overreacting and needs to get over this fear. But my position is that the bus stop is not the place to be doing it.

It's you know who! said...

I don't think animals belong at the bus stop period. You don't know someone else's dog, their temperament, what shots they have, etc. Unless it's a working dog, it has no reason for being there.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I mean, I'm assuming the bus stop there are just like the bus stops here, which would mean a dog on a leash has every right to be there. The bus stops here are just public street corners. No sign or anything. They're public and anyone can walk or stand there. Even a dog.

Anonymous said...

I disagree gwen, a dog has as much right to be on a public sidewalk as a person does. Probably that walk is the dog's morning exercise. It has not been aggressive from boo's description, and it has obviously been tested around kids (I'm assuming the dog-mom actually has a kid at the bus stop too?)

Just because someone is afraid doesn't mean there's something to be afraid of.

Boo's question was whether his wife should talk to the mother with the dog. My answer to that is no. There is a mother with a timid kid, and a mother with a nonaggressive dog, and I'm sure they're perfectly capable of talking to each other about an issue that doesn't involve boo's wife or boo's kid or whatever. I am confused about why boo's wife would be in the middle of this in the first place.