There are a few different things floating around inside my head this morning. My in-laws are visiting for a few days and they showed up with a talking Elmo potty for our 14 month old daughter. Also, my dog bit my kid.

Like how I snuck that in there?


It’s been a long couple of days.

Catch and I have always been so proud of the care our dogs have received over the years. They are 10 and 11 now and we have pretty much financed our vet’s retirement over the years. They have always received whatever care they needed.

Then, Charlotte was born and we had to start paying for child care, which amounts to basically a shit ton of money. The dogs have been loved and well fed, but they’re not receiving their standard level of medical care.

Rolo has had a problem with his nose for several years. When we last discussed it with our vet, she suggested that her gut tells her it’s cancer and gave us orders to take him to a specialist to have him put under so that they can scope his nose and run tests on whatever is in there. Also, they were going to have to run tests before they could knock him out because he has a heart murmur—so add $$$ for that. It was going to cost a small fortune, and even back then, we just couldn’t do it. We felt like there was no point. It’s not like we’re going to put him through cancer treatment. So we didn’t take him, and we just accepted that this is how it’s going to be. Rolo wasn’t really too bothered by the nose thing. He still ate and played and begged for walks and loved life. We felt okay about our decision.

Since that visit two-ish years ago, Rolo’s been fine. The nose issue comes and goes. Sometimes it flares up and sometimes he’s absolutely fine. We just sort of rolled with it.

He’s in the midst of a pretty bad flare up right now, and it’s been bothering him a lot. He yelps if anything comes in contact with it. We knew he was hurting, but we also knew that if we gave it some time, it would go away.

One morning last week, Rolo was sitting in the window on an ottoman (just like in the photo above) and Charlotte walked over to him and accidentally hit his nose. Rolo went BALLISTIC. He got right in her face and snarled and snapped and barked. He didn’t bite her, thank dog, but he scared the crap out of me and Charlotte. Charlotte SOBBED for the longest time—she LOVES Rolo. She had no idea what to make of that.

I called Catch in a panic and we agreed that we needed to get him to the vet ASAP. Catch made him an appointment for late that afternoon with a new vet because we’ve moved about an hour (in traffic) away from our old vet. In the meantime, we planned to just keep Rolo and Charlotte separated.

The vet appointment never happened. Catch arrived on time with Rolo and waited for over two hours before she walked out. We were SO angry. We ended up calling our old vet and scheduling an appointment for Saturday.

$913 later on Saturday afternoon, we learned that Rolo needs another $1500 worth of work. The vet doesn’t believe this is cancer at this point, and thinks it could be either a fungal infection or rhinitis, BUT on top of the nose, he has an abscess on a tooth that is now missing, severe gingivitis, and needs at least one other tooth pulled. So basically, his mouth hurts and his nose hurts, and it’s no wonder he reacted so severely to being hit in the snout.

We made him an appointment to get his mouth taken care of on Wednesday and when they put him under for the mouth, they will further investigate the nose.

We’ve been watching Charlotte and Rolo like a hawk to make sure she doesn’t get close to him, which is hard because they really love each other.

Then, yesterday after my in-laws arrived, we were ALL in the den, which is just a tiny converted bedroom. It’s a seriously tight space for 4 adults, and toddler and two dogs. It was a BAD idea for us to be in there with Charlotte and Rolo.

Sure enough, Charlotte tripped over Rolo and landed on his face and he went berserk. There was much yelling. I kicked Rolo away from Charlotte, but not before I watched his teeth drag across her face. Charlotte freaked out. I freaked out. My in-laws sat there insisting that he hadn’t bitten her, but they didn’t see it from my angle.

It wasn’t a bad bite. It looked and sounded much worse than it actually was. She had a scratch on her cheek near her ear and a few small circular marks on her forehead, but there was no blood and the circle tooth marks didn’t even bruise overnight. I am counting my blessings on that—this could have been SO MUCH worse.

But of course that doesn’t change the fact that my dog bit my baby, and that’s just not acceptable in any way shape or form.

It’s hard to fault Rolo for this. He’s in extreme pain (we do have him on pain meds, but clearly they’re not enough). He reacted like an animal—which he is. I cannot expect human reasoning from my dog. He is a part of our family, yes, but he is still a canine.

We knew we needed to keep her away from him and we failed. This is entirely on us, and I feel like absolute shit about it.

We don’t yet know what the long term is going to look like for Rolo. We’ll see what happens on Wednesday. If they can get his mouth cleaned up and get his nose figured out, we may be in the clear. (Not totally—I will obviously never be able to trust him again.) On the other hand, if this pain is going to be chronic, we’re going to have to seriously examine some other options. None of which I am okay with.

Anyway, this was a really long post, so I’m just going to call it quits and ask that you send some love our way. This all just really sucks.

(And before anyone asks, Rolo has been isolated in the house now. The kitchen has a baby gate, so now Rolo has to stay in the kitchen–which is really fine because the doggie door is in the kitchen, and he also has access to the guest room for a comfy bed. Still, it’s a huge change for him, and at his age, change is hard.)


15 thoughts on “Rolo

  1. Aww, that sucks, sorry friend.
    Probably won’t make you feel any better, but my a-hole shi tzu has bitten Ali a few times and he really doesn’t have an excuse like your dog. It’s possible to teach your kid to stay away from the dog and teach your dog to get up and move away from the kid if it comes to that, we were able to!

  2. Oh oh. You have my deepest and most sincere sympathies. We had a lab who bit (chronically, extreme resource guarding), who was one of the reasons we waited as long as we did to have children. I’m so glad the Charlotte is ok, and I’ll be thinking of you on Wednesday. Hopefully getting the pain taken care of will fix it ❤

  3. I’m so very, very sorry. After pepper growled at Charlie when she was much smaller I have had to keep them separate ever since. I don’t like doing it because it means that sometimes Pepper isn’t getting as much attention as she used to, but the way I look at it is that she is still getting the love and care that she needs, and it’s a hell of a lot better than a needle in the back or a cage at the pound. You’re doing the best you can-I would never fault you for that.

  4. I’m so sorry. Henry was bitten by our dog. It was incredibly stressful, and made me feel like the worst human and fur baby mom. Sending positive thoughts your way.

  5. Oh I am so very sorry about all of this. As for the in laws I’ll simply say I understand and empathize – drink wine it might at least numb the frustration and struggle. As for rolo, I’m so sorry that this happened and you are now faced with the stress that comes with it. I hope the vet is able to fix her nose/mouth problems (without bankrupting you). And I desperately hope that Charlotte and rolo learn to coexist with a bit more separation. I cannot say this has happened to us yet, but I have read about it being more common once kids are more independently walking because the dogs find them unpredictable (I have no idea if there is science to back that up). Anyways, it is one of my biggest fears since having Baby MPB so thank you for the reminder to encourage avoidance and space.
    Sending love my friend.

  6. Something similar happened to me. My kids weren’t born yet but my loving and adorable dog randomly attacked a little boy who was running towards him. I think he just got scared and as I was standing behind him he thought he needed to protect me. There was blood and crying and I felt like the worst human being in the world. I hope it was an isolated incident but you’re doing the right thing taking precautions. Rolo will adjust to his new quarters. Hang in there!

  7. I’m so sorry. That sounds so stressful. I hope Rolo feels better after Wednesday and Charlotte and him are ok, poor things. This is a big fear of mine. We have a 15 year old cat in not so great health. He tends to just avoid Mabel but I’m sure once she’s walking around that will stress him out even more. And who knows what he’ll do then. Hang in there, you’re an excellent mama! To both human and fur babies!

  8. The first time our cat Gracie slashed her paws across one of the boys faces, it took everything in me not to fling her against the wall, but Callie quickly reminded me, “Their domesticated but they’re still animals! And when animals feel threatened they PROTECT THEMSELVES! She didn’t ATTACK him!” and it took a while to process that. Poor Charlotte must have been so scared and whether or not toddlers feel betrayed is up for debate, but there was probably some of that too. Glad everyone is ok, and things got sorted out with Rolo.

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