What you don’t see – the bumblebee

There’s a noise, I can hear it. It’s a low humming sound. It’s sometimes constant and determined, or it’s sporadic and patchy. It can be heard over other noise, and will often compete with louder noises and it’s also in the background, making itself known but not as obvious.

To me, it sounds like a giant bumblebee, humming away. Sometimes rather frantically, sometimes rather softly. It’s not always there, it comes and goes. A bit like the weather, it varies depending on the day. 

It’s often annoying and distracting, and I will get irritated with the sound. I will ask it to stop, sometimes it makes me feel annoyed and frustrated because it’s just there and it won’t go away, or I think it has gone and then it comes back again. It’s sometimes tuneful, almost a song you might recognise, and sometimes it’s like the noise of an plane taking off, a low pitched whine getting louder as it gets closer. 

It does actually drive me crazy, sometimes. 

But then I remember what is making the noise, and why. 

That noise, you see, is the humming sound that my child, with sensory issues, uses when he is tired and struggling to cope, and when life is proving harder for him to manage. When he is somewhere noisy that he doesn’t like, he will hum. When he is feeling really challenged, but he hasn’t got the words or isn’t ready to say he’s struggling, he will hum. Sometimes he just hums because in his own words…

“it makes me feel better”. 

When I hear that noise, even if it is annoying me because it is constant and grating, I have to stop and remind myself that this is my son’s way of saying “I am trying to cope” or “I am really tired but I can’t switch off yet” or “this is all too much, but I don’t want it to stop, but I wish it would” or “this is all so exciting but I can’t quite process it yet”.

That giant bumblebee is the way I understand where my son is at, and now he is getting older and more able to verbally express what is going on in his head, we can talk about it and help him to communicate his needs and frustrations. 

So, I try not to get angry at the bumblebee, I try not to swat it away. I try instead to see it as a tool to help me see where the day is going for my small son, or how his day might have been and if the bumblebee is loud, or getting louder, or is almost constant, it’s a sign that we need to slow down, check our pace, stop what might be happening or at least try to minimize it, or help him to cope. 

I kind hate that bumblebee because it’s a sign of my son’s difference to his peers, but it also is his way of coping so we tolerate it and we let it in our space, because it’s there to show us when words cannot…

Posted in Family Life and Parenting, Sensory Processing Disorder Tagged with: , , , , ,

My Sunday Photo

It’s incredibly rare for me to share a photo of myself, I don’t like pictures of me being taken, behind the camera is safer for me, but I couldn’t resist the unicorn balloon, so here I am…

That’s Eunice the Unicorn by the way, the children named her 😉

OneDad3Girls

Silent Sunday with MummyConstant

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,

The Comfy Trinity

Regardless of individual tastes in decor and design, everyone wants a comfortable home.  After all, this is where you spend the bulk of your free time, and having drafts, leaky windows and other little irritations can really bring down our mood. Whether you’ve just moved into a fixer-upper or you’ve had your home for years and want to make it that much comfier, here are the 3 main things to think about when you’re trying to create a more comfortable home.

Furniture

The furniture in your home, particularly in any communal areas, is extremely important for keeping your home as comfortable and welcoming as possible. The next time you’re in the market for a new sofa or an armchair, take your time selecting it. A lot of people tend to rush through the process, finding a piece that fits the surrounding decor and colour scheme of their house, and then putting their money down. Spend a long time looking at all your options, and finding that one chair or sofa that’s comfortable enough to sit in, but not so soft that you sink right into it. Spend enough time shopping around, and you’ll find a piece that’s so comfortable your whole family will be fighting over it!

Heat

Regardless of individual tastes in decor and design, everyone wants a comfortable home.  After all, this is where you spend the bulk of your free time, and having drafts, leaky windows and other little irritations can really bring down our mood. Whether you’ve just moved into a fixer-upper or you’ve had your home for years and want to make it that much comfier, here are the 3 main things to think about when you’re trying to create a more comfortable home.

Furniture

The furniture in your home, particularly in any communal areas, is extremely important for keeping your home as comfortable and welcoming as possible. The next time you’re in the market for a new sofa or an armchair, take your time selecting it. A lot of people tend to rush through the process, finding a piece that fits the surrounding decor and colour scheme of their house, and then putting their money down. Spend a long time looking at all your options, and finding that one chair or sofa that’s comfortable enough to sit in, but not so soft that you sink right into it. Spend enough time shopping around, and you’ll find a piece that’s so comfortable your whole family will be fighting over it!

Heat

From Wikimedia

 

There are few things more irritating than having a home where you can’t get the temperature just right. Obviously, you’ll want to take every possible step to make sure your home stays toasty in the winter and cool in the summer. This can be tough, especially if you live in a particularly old house. If you think you were on the verge of hypothermia at a few points last winter, you can usually avoid this issue next year with one or two home improvements. You might have knackered loft insulation that needs replacing, piping that needs to be wrapped in heat tape, or the kind of home that could do with a roof heating cable. Do a little research on the most common causes of cold homes, try to pin down the route cause in your home, and then make a tweak that’s been known to help the issue. Making a big home improvement like this can be expensive, but you’ll ultimately save a lot of money on your heating bills.

Lighting

Although this isn’t what a lot of people think of first when they’re trying to make their home more comfortable, the lighting you have in your home can have a major impact on how comfortable and relaxed you feel every time you come through the door. If you’re getting too much or too little light in your eyes, it can lead to you feeling restless, which will obviously make you feel less relaxed. One improvement that can fix this issue is installing dimmer switches. This will give you more control over the lighting in your home, allowing you to set the right mood, and avoid any sleepless nights.

There you have three of the most important things to look at when you’re working towards a more comfortable home.

From Wikimedia

There are few things more irritating than having a home where you can’t get the temperature just right. Obviously, you’ll want to take every possible step to make sure your home stays toasty in the winter and cool in the summer. This can be tough, especially if you live in a particularly old house. If you think you were on the verge of hypothermia at a few points last winter, you can usually avoid this issue next year with one or two home improvements. You might have knackered loft insulation that needs replacing, piping that needs to be wrapped in heat tape, or the kind of home that could do with a roof heating cable. Do a little research on the most common causes of cold homes, try to pin down the route cause in your home, and then make a tweak that’s been known to help the issue. Making a big home improvement like this can be expensive, but you’ll ultimately save a lot of money on your heating bills.

Lighting

Although this isn’t what a lot of people think of first when they’re trying to make their home more comfortable, the lighting you have in your home can have a major impact on how comfortable and relaxed you feel every time you come through the door. If you’re getting too much or too little light in your eyes, it can lead to you feeling restless, which will obviously make you feel less relaxed. One improvement that can fix this issue is installing dimmer switches. This will give you more control over the lighting in your home, allowing you to set the right mood, and avoid any sleepless nights.

There you have three of the most important things to look at when you’re working towards a more comfortable home.

*this is a collaborative post*
Posted in Home & Garden Tagged with: , ,

Work hard, sleep well…

We all know that exercise is good for us and we are supposed to do a certain amount each week to help keep our bodies healthy and strong. The current recommendations from the UK NHS are that adults aged 19-64 should try to be active daily and should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Sleep, and getting enough, is also essential. It’s a fine balance. You need to get enough good sleep, to feel up to doing exercise, and exercise can help you to actually sleep better. 

That’s all well and good, knowing this, but I am a busy working mum, and if you are familiar with our life, sleep in reasonable amounts has been somewhat lacking for me, with a little boy who has struggled with sleep issues. 

Life has settled down for us, and he sleeps better, so I can now start to focus on looking after me a bit and catch up on sleep as well as making sure I am looking after my body by getting some exercise, and slotting that in as part of my routine. 

I run. It’s what I do for exercise both for physical health and aerobic activity but also it helps to clear my mind and release stress. It’s a relatively cheap exercise for me, I don’t wear fancy running gear, just good running shoes and my water bottle. I get home from work, throw on my running gear, make sure I stretch and warm up, then off I go. Even when I am at my most tired, grumpy or really don’t feel like it mood, I always feel better for it, when I make the effort, and when I get home and am doing my warm down and stretching, I tell myself that I knew I needed that run. I can slot it in around my busy work and family life and on a good week, I can get two to three 5km runs in, plus because I don’t drive, and I do a job where I am on my feet all day, and running around a lot, that generally gets me enough exercise in the week. When I can’t run, or fail to fit it in, I struggle both emotionally and physically. I am not a professional runner, by any stretch, but it’s what works for me, and gets me the exercise I need.

I have also recently started attending a beginners pilates class, to help with stretching and strength. I was quite nervous, because I am NOT a fan of exercise classes and groups, and always worry that I will be the most clumsy and inept looking one present, but so far, I am enjoying it, and I don’t feel that everyone is laughing at my antics as I try and learn the exercises. 

So now I am getting more exercise, it’s vital I get better sleep too. Exercise releases lots of good endorphins that can contribute to a better nights sleep, and I do generally feel a “good” kind of tired, when I have had a run but getting a good nights sleep helps me feel better too, on top of that. Making sure I get to bed at a sensible time, in a room that’s conducive to sleep,  having a good mattress to fall comfortably onto, are essential. If you take your exercise seriously and want to support your body whilst it sleeps at night, recovering from activity, then a mattress designed with that in mind, is worth investing in. Working hard and making sure your body is fit and in good shape is a bit pointless if you are going to undo that work by climbing into bed on a mattress that isn’t supporting your body or making you feel worse when you wake up in the morning. 

Bed Guru is an online bed retailer who are sleep specialists, they understand that no two people share the same sleeping requirements and see it not just as a belief but an obligation to ensure that everybody gets a great night’s sleep! Bed Guru have recently launched their new sport mattress range that are specially designed to aid recovery for those who enjoy an active lifestyle. Alleviate pressure on your joints and muscles and feel the benefits of a deep and therapeutic sleep. Their mattresses are designed to help you get the good nights sleep you need to recover and strengthen your body. You can choose the mattress that works for you, because as we know, no two people have the same sleep needs, so finding what works for you personally, is vital. 

So not only is working hard on your body, important, but sleeping well is too. You can’t really have one without the other, can you? 

We are delighted to be hosting a fabulous giveaway with Bed Guru as part of their #WorkHardSleepWell campaign. 

One lucky winner will win a Misfit Flash Fitness & Sleep Monitor RRP £15

To enter? Simply tell us how you help yourself work hard and sleep well? What helpful tips do you have? Then click on the Rafflcopter link to complete your entry. 

Terms & Conditions:

No cash prize alternative
Winner will be contacted to organise delivery of prize
Giveaway ends on 05/05/2017
UK Entrants only
One winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter. Spam entries will be deleted. All entry requirements must be fulfilled.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This post was written in collaboration with BedGuru, all words are my own*

 

Posted in Health Tagged with: , , , , ,

When Your Home’s A Zoo, Your Garden Must Be Pet-Friendly

 

We would all like to think that our garden is perfectly safe for the cats, dogs, rabbits, and fish that live with us. That it’s even beneficial to them. In most cases, that’s hardly far from the truth. But that doesn’t mean that aren’t risks in even the average garden that couldn’t risk the health of our fuzzy and not-so-fuzzy friends.

Link to Picture

Pests

Gardens invite pests. That’s not news to anyone who has them. If you’ve ever found a slug in your kitchen during the summer, then you know full well where it has come from. However, some of those pests can be a lot more dangerous than slugs. Mites and ticks are a growing problem here and your dog doesn’t have to pick them up from another. Besides checking your pets and treating them with preventative medicine, you should also look at making the garden less habitable for the pests in the first place. For instance, certain plants like chrysanthemums can keep them well away from your door.

Watch out for those weeds

Some animals will eat just about anything that catches their attention. Dogs especially seem to have a fondness for dandelions that, when eaten too much, can cause them serious stomach trouble. But there are other flowers and weeds that can be extraordinarily dangerous to them. Not just by being ingested, either. Foxtail is one weed you should entirely clear your garden of as it can release seeds that stick to and then burrow inside your pet’s’ flesh.

Link to Picture

Keep the pond in the pond

If you mainly have terrestrial pets, then soggy ground is enough of a problem as it invites more weeds, moulds, and fungi that can then prove a danger to your animals. However, if you have fish, then you have a whole other reason to ensure that any ponds in your garden have at least one of the wide range of pond liners available. Without proper insulation, pond water will simply seep from the pond itself into the surrounding ground. Less water for the fish brings obvious danger to them and stagnates the water from the surrounding land. Meanwhile, it creates those unhygienic soil conditions that are bad for your pets as well.

Chemical poisoning

So far, we haven’t looked at any of the solutions that some of you might consider the most obvious ways to deal with the problems above. We haven’t looked at pesticides or herbicides yet and that’s for good reason. They are just as dangerous to your pets as they are to unwelcome intruders in the garden. Your garden is a safe place to revisit usually after 2-3 days of using chemical products which is easier to guarantee for cats and rabbits. For dogs, however, it can be difficult to justify keeping them inside for so long so you should look for natural alternatives instead. Companion plants instead of pesticides and mulch instead of herbicides, for instance.

Yet again, being a pet-owner means having to take out extra precautions to keep everybody safe. But if you’re like most of us, then that isn’t news nor is it something you would change for the world. There’s a chance your garden might be relatively safe, just make sure you stay on top of it.

*This is a helpful collaborative post*

 

Posted in All things pet related, Family Life and Parenting Tagged with: , ,

6 ways to improve your credit

Sometimes we wish we could go back in time and tell our past-selves off, especially when we realise we have a poor credit rating and need a loan, credit card or mortgage. Building this score up again can be a case of playing the slow game, and here are some tips on how!

Photo

Eliminate Credit Card Balances

One good way to boost your credit rating is to get rid of all the small bits of money you owe on different credit cards. The off £50 here, £25 there can bring your score down as lenders will often look at how many of your credit cards have a balance, rather than how much you owe on each one. The solution here is to gather up all the odds and ends, pay them off, and just keep one or two cards as your go-to’s when needed.

Watch Your Balances

We’ve all been in a financial hole at least once in our lives and racked up a load of debt we knew would be difficult to pay off. It’s okay; there’s no judgement here. One major factor involved with a credit rating is how much revolving credit you have versus how much you are actually using. The smaller this percentage is, the better. To boost your credit rating, pay down your balances and keep them low.

Pay your bills on time

I know, I know, things come up that you can’t predict or save for, and family life is expensive at best and sometimes, just sometimes, paying your credit card bill just isn’t possible. But not paying is what drops your rating hard and will leave you wondering and stressing about how to get instant approval when applying for credit cards. It’s not just forgetting about credit card bills that can turn around and bite you in the backside, but anything from libraries to store cards. Pay your bills on time, every time, and your credit score will begin to rise.

Don’t hint at risk

If you use your card at places that could identify future risks, such as a divorce attorney or pawn brokers, you are letting on that there could be turmoil ahead. Simply by doing this can send up some red flags for credit lenders and lower your credit score. Be wise about where you leave a trail!

Keep Calm and Carry On

Obsessing and panicking will get you nowhere fast. In order to get a good credit rating you need to pay your bills on time and use credit responsibly, and your score will reflect these good decisions. You can keep an eye on your credit rating through companies such as Experian so, in the run up to when you need to make a big purchase, you know exactly what you’re working with.

Rejection isn’t always bad

It’s worth remembering that, sometimes, credit card companies and banks can reject a person simply because they do not currently meet their criteria – for example, they may be looking to boost their numbers of customers who will eventually need a mortgage, and you may not fall under that category.

*this is a collaborative post*
Posted in Money & Finances

Are You Aware Of Your Family’s Health?

Image Source

When you live in a full house with children underfoot, life gets busy! There is always noise, laughter and life, but in big families there are always health issues. If your children are in different school years, then you’ll know what it’s like during cold season. Everyone plays pass the snotty parcel with bugs and the requirement for tissues and nasal sprays is more than what you may find in smaller families. Children are a hotbed of germs and managing the spread of that is your priority as a parent.

Keeping your family as germ-free as you can is always a fight, especially when school is a factor in your lives. You also have to be very aware of your own habits at home so you don’t cause any issues yourself. As a parent, you give up a lot of yourself in raising your children and this includes things like smoking or drinking on a regular basis. When you’re living with children, their health has to come first in the home before your own so swapping normal cigarettes for NicoCig electronic cigarettes is a first step. Your habits will directly affect your children and not just because they copy you, but because they will assume it’s normal.

Image Source

While you can’t possible eradicate every single germ from the home, you can do your best to clean thoroughly with antibacterial sprays to ensure less germs than are necessary. There needs to be a level of germs in the home as children need to build an effective immune system, but there are some things that you need to teach them to ensure that they are healthy.

  1. Having good hygiene is key in a household busy with children. Washing hands after going to the toilet and before meals is a given, but teaching the kids the importance of this is one of the first big lessons they need to learn.
  2. Always keep boxes of tissues handy through every room in the house. Children pick up colds and flus very easily from school, where they are in close contact. Teaching them to grab a tissue just before or just after a sneeze will mean they automatically reach for them. You need to also make sure there’s a bin handy in each room, as kids have a habit of chucking rubbish directly on the floor. Nice!
  3. Sharing is a lovely thing for children to learn, but when it comes to sharing hairbrushes and drinks, teach them not to. Hairbrushes being shared is common among little girls, but so is head lice! Help your children to understand when sharing is a good thing and when not to.

Your health and your outlook on cleanliness is going to directly impact your family so you need to be fully aware of what you’re doing. Changing your habits to suit your family is the best reason for making those changes. Education all round on good personal hygiene will mean your home is one that is free of extra germs that you really don’t need to deal with.

*this is a collaborative post*
Posted in Family Life and Parenting, Health

What keeps your house warm?

Nobody likes bad weather. But have you considered how difficult it is for your house? Weather can affect your house and create significant damages to its structure – and to your well-being.

From rain creating disruptive flooding conditions, to extreme cold conditions freezing your plumbing system, the weather is not always your house’s best friend. Admittedly, these are very extreme weather damages, and it’s likely that most homeowners won’t have to go through any of these weather-related situations. For instance, very few areas in the UK can experience cold enough temperatures to be able to freeze the water in your pipes. But we all experience cold weather, and we all know what it feels to be cold. And who really likes to be cold? The answer is obviously no one. But while all you need is to add an extra layer of clothes before going outside, it can be a bit tricky to add a layer of warmth to your house. How do you keep your house warm throughout the year – while everyone prepares for the winter temperatures, it’s not easy to keep the home pleasantly warm during the rainy and windy days of spring and autumn before the house gets ready for the winter – without breaking the bank? With the increasing costs of energy, it’s good to look at alternative options to enjoy sitting inside when it’s raining outside, without shivering in the cold. Here are a few ideas to help you to defend your warmth and create a quality environment for the right temperature inside your home.   

Keeping the house warm throughout the year 

Defend Your Warmth

Energy costs are rising; there is no doubt about that – you have probably noticed last time you checked your energy bills. More and more homeowners are looking at ways to actively reduce the cost of their energy bills. One simple solution is to switch providers this is the preferred solutions for new homeowners and young families as it’s an effortless and effective method to save on your household budget. However, there is only so much you can get from another provider. You may sign for an interesting energy package, but in the end, while it may become a little cheaper, energy bills are still a significant part of a household budget. This is exactly why it matter so much to look at ways to actively save energy. Becoming more aware of your consumption is a way of reducing costs, by identifying the activities that create large costs, such as turning on the light when you could open the curtains instead, for example. As you start to review your energy costs, you will rapidly notice that keeping the house warm is an important element of your bill. The reason behind this is that most houses lose heat, as demonstrated by http://www.thegreenage.co.uk. Indeed, unprotected warmth can escape from your house through the roof, the windows and doors, and the walls. This phenomenon relates to an insulation problem. Indeed, installing loft insulation in your roof space can reduce heat loss by up to 25%, and upgrading your windows can save 10% of heat. Last, but not least, as it is very costly to re-insulate your walls – it often means either breaking down or adding the insulation  layer inside the room and therefore reducing the size of your interior –, it’s important to check the wall structure before your buy and to proceed to insulating other parts of the house to measure the difference in temperature.

Invest In Quality Warmth

There is only so much that you can do to defend your warmth. Insulation helps you to keep the temperature constant inside your home. However, it only works as well as your heating system does. Your heating system consists of a variety of devices. This starts with a boiler that you need to service every year to make sure that you don’t find yourself in a situation where it dies without warning. Additionally, it’s important to keep an eye on your boiler warranty. Most boiler brands require you to change your boiler every 8 to 10 years. While your boiler might still work for a few extra years, it won’t be under warranty any longer and will cost a lot more when it breaks. But there’s more than just a boiler involved to keep your house warm: Your heating units are key to create the feeling of warmth in the house. Old radiators will do no good either with an effective boiler. Your heating system is the happy marriage of functioning radiators – such as the modern models from the range of http://www.onlyradiators.co.uk – with a sturdy boiler. New heating units are a necessary investment if your radiators are older than 15-year-old, as they become slow to heat and can’t provide a unified warming sensation. If you are considering changing your heating system, you should also consider a digital thermostat that you can switch on and off directly from your phone: No energy waste when you’re not at home.  


Modernise your radiators

Create The Feeling Of Warmth

There is a further factor to the feeling of warmth that some people forget too easily: Your senses play a  significant role in how you perceive your surroundings and how you feel in them. For instance, the smell of freshly homemade hot chocolate can already create a warm sensation, because the brain automatically builds the décor that matches the perceptions it records. A favourite to feel warm inside is the traditional old chocolate with whipped cream on top, but there are plenty of yummy boozy alternative for grownups! The sight of thick and elegant wool blankets, carefully folded in a basket or on the side of the sofa in the living room, is another strong element that creates an impression of warmth directly in the brain. You don’t even need to wrap yourself in the blanket to feel warm: Your sense of sight is enough to recreate the sensation. Also, there’s the reassuring idea that, if you were actually cold, you could indeed use the blanket.


Would you take a cuppa?

*this is a collaborative post*

 

Posted in Home & Garden Tagged with: ,

Using Technology To Keep Track Of Your Family’s Health

photo source

Technology can be very daunting for the older generation, and sometimes it feels like we’re being left behind. There’s an app for everything these days but most of them are aimed at the younger generation. But there are plenty of useful technologies out there that can be incredibly helpful for parents. One of the biggest worries as a parent is making sure that your little ones are healthy and happy. Well, there’s an app for that. These are some of the best technologies that you can use to keep track of your family’s health.

Online Health Records

In the past, we have relied on our doctors to keep track of all of our medical information. Now you can keep track yourself. Online health record apps like ibluebutton, allow you to see information on the whole family, including past appointments, test results, conditions and prescriptions. That way, you can have peace of mind, knowing that you are on top of your family’s health records yourself, rather than relying on somebody else.

Online Doctors

photo source

Trying to fit doctor’s appointments into a busy schedule is hard, and if it turns out that everything is ok, then you will have wasted valuable time getting to see your GP. But now you can do it from home. Online doctor services like Babylon Health can offer doctor’s appointments at much shorter notice than a traditional GP’s office. You will consult with them online, so you don’t need to take much time out of your day to travel anywhere. That way you can find out whether there is anything to be worried about, before taking a trip to the hospital. A lot of people have expressed concern about these services in the past but there is absolutely nothing to be worried about. Their selection processes are often stricter than the ones in normal hospitals so you can be sure that the advice you are getting can be trusted.

There are also apps like talkspace that can offer you quick consultations with a therapist. If you have concerns about your own, or somebody else’s mental health, it is worth looking into before committing to an expensive therapy routine.

Healthy Eating

We all want our family to eat well, but shopping for healthy food can be a bit of a minefield. There are so many different health products out there, all boasting different benefits. It’s a struggle to see through all of the marketing terms and work out what is actually going to be good for your family. Apps like Change4Life allow you to see the nutritional content of food by simply scanning it. From here, it can advise whether the product is suitable for your children to eat, and it will also keep a record of previous items, so you can compare alternatives and find the healthiest possible food.

Fitness

photo source

A good exercise regime is vital for maintaining your family’s health. Finding the time and motivation to stick to it can be a problem, though. Using an app like MyFitnessPal can really help. It will track your workouts, and suggest different ones for you, helping you to squeeze a bit of exercise into a busy day. Tracking our progress can also introduce a bit of competition between the kids, making them more likely to keep up with their routine.

*This is a collaborative post*
Posted in Family Life and Parenting, Health Tagged with: , ,

If I see your children harassing a dog…

I will step in and tell them off….


So a thing happened. 

I took my kids to the local playpark today after school. We were at a loose end and an after school class had been cancelled, so the park was voted a good option, with the sun shining. 

We were in the park, which has a sandpit and play area, but is fenced and gated, with public toilets,  when I noticed some children crowded round a dog. The dog was tied on one side of the fence, and I didn’t know who it’s owner was. The children were on the other side of the fence but were climbing over and back, and were using the dog as a stepping stool, and were also trying to feed it grass and weeds they had picked and they were pulling it’s ears. 

I looked around and couldn’t see anyone adult, looking like they owned the dog, so I went across and asked the kids “is this your dog?”  (there were four of them, aged from about 5-10, I would say) 

“No, it’s not” came the reply. 

“Ok, then you need to move away, stop climbing on it, and trying to make it eat grass, and leave it alone”. None of them looked like they were going to move, so I stood there, and repeated myself. After about two minutes of standoff, I think they got the message I wasn’t budging, and they grumpily moved off.

 I then went to look for the dog owner. I found her, in the toilet, she was trying to help her child go to the toilet, and had left the dog for a few minutes, to do this. I explained what I had seen and done. and she was very thankful. Initially, I had been angry that a dog had been left to fend for itself, but she hadn’t realized that children would go near him and had literally left him for a few moments.  She assured me the dog was very gentle and tolerant, but thanked me for stepping in. 

I went back into the park, to be approached by an irate mother. “who do you think you are telling my kids off?”

“Is that your dog?” I asked, pointing at the dog? Do you know the dog or the owner? 

“No” came the reply.

“Your kids and those other kids, were climbing on him, and trying to make him eat weeds and grass and pulling his ears, if that dog had bitten your kids, it wouldn’t have been to blame, becasue they were not being kind and they shouldn’t be harassing a dog like that”

“Oh, they just said you had shouted at them, they didn’t say why”

She then went off and I hope told her kids why they shouldn’t be harassing a dog, and about approaching animals they don’t know, or at least I hope she did.

It’s rare for me to interfere, with kids playing, but when an animal is being hassled, I will. I am very strict with my children and how they approach animals and their attitude to them. They know not to approach a dog they don’t know, and I think I have instilled enough common sense into them, to know not to try and climb all over one, or try to make it eat things. 

Even the most gentle and tolerant dog has a snap point. If that dog had snapped at one of those children, I would have been the first to defend the dog. Dogs cannot tell us in words that they are not happy in a situation and I doubt these children would have been aware of the signs that a dog displays when it is unhappy or not comfortable, short of it growling or barking at them (it did neither) I strongly suspect many adults don’t know the signs either, and would think children climbing on a dog as “cute” and “just having a bit of fun”…

So, yes, if your kids are hassling a dog (or other animal) I will step in and tell them off and if it were my kids on the receiving end of a telling off for such an act, you can better believe how cross I would be with them…

Basically, as adults, it’s up to us to teach our kids how to approach animals and how to behave towards them and with them. Dogs are not infallible and if that dog has decided it had had enough and bitten a child, the consequences may have been potentially serious for both the children and the dog. 

Do you know the signs a dog may show if it isn’t happy or isn’t comfortable or is stressed in a situation? You can read more about that here

It’s not Friday. This was a Tuesday rant instead… 😉

 
 

 

ANIMALTALES

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