Surfing the Internet (as I am wont to do at times), I ran across an article entitled “Dogs and Babies”. It was written by an author in reaction to a story that she read in the Wall Street Journal. This author stated that dog owners have a fear of introducing their babies to their dogs and record numbers are seeking help in this area. Her article talked very negatively of dogs, saying that the owners are only partly at fault in this realm.

As a dog owner and mom, I was irate at this article. First off, the author admits she is not a dog owner. As an author myself, I write about what I know and about my experiences. So what is she doing writing an article about something she knows nothing about or at least only what she has gathered from second-hand sources such as newspaper articles or friends?

As an owner of two HUGE dogs, I object to the fact people judge them by their size. If owners would properly train their dogs, there would never be an issue with kids and/or babies. Dogs reflect their owners. It is the owner's fault if a dog bites, never the dog's! Those who get rid of their dogs when they have kids are improper owners. Maybe they should have trained their dogs better or thought before having kids what kind of dog to get. Dogs are for life and I dislike those who get rid of dogs because they don't fit their lifestyle any more. Dogs are companion animals and give us everything they have: their heart, soul, body, mind, and unconditional love. Why don't we do the same for them? Most dogs would give their lives for their masters and yet, in return, we treat them as disposable and at our whim.

My husband and I knew we would have kids before we even got married. Hence, we investigated breeds of dogs before we bought one that would do well with children. Other criteria included loyalty, guard dog, short hair, and a fairly large dog. We found our breed of choice was the English Mastiff.

My toddlers play on them, dress them up, and hug them to death. The dogs just lay there, ambivalent participants. They are still very much a part of our family and are treated as such. They know who their masters are (including my kids) and act accordingly. That’s not to say it was an easy transition. They let out a little growl if the kids are bothering them or they get up and move. Sure, they’d like to sleep on the bed with us more, but they are happy as can be (they’re dogs—what else do they know?).

I didn’t spend big bucks on hiring someone to tell me what to do. I credit part of the transition to the fact my kids were born at home (so the dogs smelled them a few hours after birth). The other part is simply know your dogs. For example, my big male likes to put his head on you. Well, his head weighs more than the baby. Consequently, I wouldn’t let him do that when I was holding the baby. Simple. Effective. Worth it.

My dogs are “babied”. They are part of my life and are loved just like my children, just in a different way. I will be saddened when they pass like most pet owners are and will feel something is missing from my life.

I believe dogs enter our lives just like babies do: they have a purpose and they are meant to be with us. Both are precious gifts from God. Each dog gives me something different and something separate that nothing else in this world gives me. My female is loving, kind, gentle, and always by my side. My male is lumbering, sweet, and wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s also the one who knows when I need some puppy love to make some other worry vanish. My dogs lead happy, healthy lives and both I and my dogs are the better for our mutual presence. I cannot imagine life without either my dogs or my children.

I believe most dog owners feel the same way as I do. This is why they are such an integral part of our families and deserve to be treated as such. Yes, this does involve the owner training the dog how to be a member of the family and fit that role. Yet, isn’t this what we do with our children? We train them to fit their roles and these roles are constantly evolving. It is our responsibility to raise our children and our dogs to fit into society. To do otherwise is tragic.

Author's Bio: 

By: Jennifer Dionne. Her website is, a comprehensive view of pregnancy and parenting. She is a stay-at-home mom who is passionate about helping other moms through the challenges of motherhood. She is the author of “How to Have a Baby Your Way”, which is available through her website and discusses pet ownership and babies in more detail.