For a long while, the dog and the nephews did not get along so well. Since my cousin hit her in the head with a bone, she has had a distrust of small children, especially boys. Which is too bad because she also really loves small children. They just wig her out and when she’s around them, you need to keep everyone very closely supervised (though, really, you should keep all dogs and children closely supervised when they are together).
I know I had this conversation with Say Uncle a while ago. I thought it was in the comments here but I can’t find it, so it may have been in the comments there, about how there’s something about the size of five and six year old kids that seems to be kind of difficult for the dog to navigate, in terms of figuring out how to treat them. Mrs. W. is pretty good with kids at the “okay, everybody be very careful” stage, but has trouble with the “they will be loud and uncareful but we still have to be careful” stage.
So, my nephew is now almost thirteen, as I’ve said repeatedly because I just can’t believe it. And he says, “Mrs. Wigglebottom is a lot nicer now than she used to be. I’m not even afraid of her.”
Well, people, my dog has not become better around kids. She’d be a terrible dog for a family of small children. But my nephew is big enough now that the dog clearly feels at ease around him. I don’t even know how to explain it. But her whole body language when it comes to him is different. If you’re sitting on the couch with him, instead of her constantly trying to get on the couch to make sure she’s getting your attention and not him, she was getting up on the couch to sit next to him and put her head in his lap and basically just hang out with her buddy.
They played some great, rousing games of tug-of-war throughout the house. And, when he left, I’m told, she tried to get in the van to go with him.
Of course, she may also have been trying to get in the van because she thought that missing my flower garden with the van was so easy even a dog could do it, so she was angling to drive. Who knows?
Still, it’s been with great interest and pleasure that I’ve watched the dog take to the boy and the boy take to the dog in return.