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Let's start with a photo of the happy ending.


But this story begins with Shelby snoozing away in a black beanbag, when Vin walked over, kicked her, in that clumsy toddler way, and yelled "MINE!" Shelby jumped out, and Vin planted his butt in her place....beaming. He was pretty pleased with himself.

Uh oh. My mama-spidey-senses are tingling. Time to spring into action.

I grabbed him and sat him on my knee, and then launched into a 2 minute explanation (an eternity for a toddler) as to why kicking and taking things is not nice, and how his actions made Shelby sad.

As he looked at Shelby, I'm sure he was thinking "but she always looks like that." No matter. Mama says she's sad, so she's sad. In truth, I think she was giving us her indignant face. First she gets kicked, then the kicker gets to sit on my coveted lap. She's probably thinking, "No fair!"

The conversation ended with me convincing Vin he should share the seat with Shelby. And so you have our photo above, one very happy boy, driving his Lightening McQueen car on her back, and one rather tentative looking dog. You can't blame her. This boy just kicked her after all, and lord knows where he's going to try to put that car next.

April 25, 2010 | Permalink


Oh dear...I hope it was a lesson well learned. I also hope poor Shelby understood that he's just a boy who hasn't learned to feel yet. Hugs to Shelby.

Posted by: Bo | Apr 26, 2010 6:53:32 AM

....Dogs are a boys best friend..and Shelby has a heart of gold....But excellent MAMA of boy to help him know that's just not right !! Way to go Winnie..Eyes ( and spidey-senses) always have to be on duty every minute !!!
Good Going !!!!! Hugs to Vin and Shelby

Posted by: Ann Crago | Apr 26, 2010 7:14:00 AM

You are lucky that Shelby is so gentle with your son..who is very adorable!!!

Posted by: Helene | Apr 26, 2010 4:07:55 PM

This is wonderful parenting! Lots of people don't get it that it all starts when they are little (kids and dogs both)to learn how to be kind and sociable. Props to Winnie and to Vin and Shelby! Love the blog!

Posted by: Deane | Apr 26, 2010 7:01:51 PM

I've enjoyed your site for years now and Vin has only made it more enjoyable, if possible. We have a lot of "mine" problems at our house. My husband got me a pug for our anniversary...now we have four. Plus a boxer and a husky. I'm not totally insane, the new pug, the husky and the boxer were throw away dogs, so if I can be called anything, it's soft hearted, not nuts. Anyway, your site is the first thing I read when I get to work daily. It starts my day with good thoughts. Thanks a lot for that.

Posted by: CHINAPUG1 | Apr 27, 2010 3:03:26 AM

i have always loved watching your beautiful family, but kicking a helpless animal is not to be taken lightly. i hesitated before writing this comment, because how raise your child is you business, but i'm not sure trying to "reason" with a 2 year old is effective. realize this is just my opinion, not telling you how to raise your child.

Posted by: nadine and pugs | May 3, 2010 2:54:58 PM

Yes, it's quite difficult. Vin is our first child, and we're trying to do right by him. It's a little early for time outs, and I don't want to spank him. He does seem to understand enough english to roughly get the lesson, and to know that mama is not happy.

He didn't hurt Shelby, and I think he meant no malice, but as a 2 year old, he doesn't understand right from wrong.

My other concern is that he does this to a dog that isn't as friendly with kids and tries to bite him, so it's really important that he learns this lesson.
I think it's sinking in because he hasn't tried it again.

Posted by: Winnie | May 3, 2010 8:56:40 PM

thanks for understanding, winnie, i would never criticize you or try to hurt your feelings. parenting IS difficult, with hard decisions to make every day. i know that you would never willingly or knowingly allow shelby to be hurt, and i share your fears about other dogs not being as friendly.

Posted by: nadine and pugs | May 4, 2010 4:13:33 AM

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