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Wife Says Husband Is Prioritizing The Dog Over Her Pregnancy After He Refuses To Get Rid Of It And Break His Son’s Heart
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Wife Says Husband Is Prioritizing The Dog Over Her Pregnancy After He Refuses To Get Rid Of It And Break His Son’s Heart

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Pets often hold a special place in our hearts. They become a part of the household and a best friend for us and our children. However, a recent post on the famous subreddit ‘Am I The [Jerk]?‘ has caused a debate about the line between love for an animal companion and the well-being of a family member.

The post, made by a man who goes by the username TheGreatestGreatDane, details a situation where his pregnant wife is asking him to rehome his son’s dog due to her fearing it will hurt her and the baby, while he wants to keep the dog because of the bond his boy has developed with it.

Continue scrolling to delve deeper into this delicate issue and tell us what you think is the correct call to make in the comments below. Also, don’t miss the talk we had with New York City-based dog trainer and pet expert Andrea Arden!

RELATED:

    This boy has developed a special bond with his dog after his mom passed away

    Image credits: Oleksandr Pidvalnyi (not the actual photo)

    But his pregnant stepmother now wants to get rid of the animal

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    Image credits: Ömürden Cengiz (not the actual photo)

    Image credits: TheGreatestGreatDane

    We managed to get in touch with TheGreatestGreatDane and he agreed to tell us more about the conflict. “My wife and the dog always got along prior to her pregnancy,” the Redditor told Bored Panda. “He is very much my son’s dog, not hers, but they were always amicable roommates.”

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    “I would say [now that she is pregnant], she is feeling more emotional than usual. She’s very excited about the baby, but she is also very anxious about something going wrong.”

    The man said that even though his story went viral, most of the comments it has received aren’t that thoughtful. “[However], a sizable minority provided very helpful insight into how pregnancy can impact a woman’s relationship with pets and good resources on training dogs to be around babies,” he added.

    Andrea Arden, the author of Dog-Friendly Dog Training and The Little Book of Dog Tricks, pointed out that people can develop a fear of a dog they previously had no issues with for a number of reasons. “It could be due in part to the dog’s size [but] it might also be that the dog’s behavior is changing (even if ever so subtly) towards the woman,” Arden told Bored Panda. “For example, a dog may be disinclined to engage with someone for a time, but then show more interest in them and as a result may approach more frequently and with more enthusiasm.”

    Arden, who serves on the Board of Directors of The Animal Legal Defense Fund, which has been fighting to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system for three decades, said that dogs have many ways of expressing their disinterest and dislike of someone.

    “The primary indicator is if the dog attempts to create space between themselves and the person. This is the best-case scenario in that the dog is choosing to increase the space between them and the person and decrease interactions.”

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    “If a dog is uncomfortable with a person, their movements might also become stiff. Picture a dog who is happily greeting their person and how soft and wiggly their bodies tend to be during an interaction like this. The opposite of that would be a dog who moves more slowly and whose overall body language is more rigid,” the dog trainer added.

    “In addition to expressing themselves through body language, dogs also use vocalizations. In the case of a dog who is uncomfortable with someone, they might growl or bark in order to create social distance by encouraging the person to back away.”

    However, the worst part about having cynophobia (the overwhelming fear of dogs) is that people suffering from this disorder don’t necessarily need to come into contact with a dog to have severe anxiety too. Triggers of this condition include:

    • Seeing a dog, even if it is on a leash or in an enclosure;
    • hearing a dog bark or growl;
    • seeing a picture or watching a movie containing a dog;
    • Thinking about a dog or thinking about going someplace where a dog might be.

    Now the woman described in the post may not have had a negative encounter with a dog, but pregnant people often experience profound emotional change. The ups and downs are caused by a variety of factors, including fatigue, stress, the physical discomforts of pregnancy, the very normal worries of upcoming life changes, and rapidly shifting hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone. So her new source of distress could very well be exaggerated by that too.

    “Overcoming a fear of any sort can be a process that requires a thoughtful and gradual approach,” Andrea Arden said. “In this case, the first thing I would ask this woman is if there are any types of interactions with this dog where she does not feel uneasy. For example, perhaps if the dog is tethered to a secure spot and therefore can’t move towards her.”

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    “Once you find a baseline of comfort you can then plan for baby steps towards easing her fears by having her interact with the dog in some way that doesn’t cause her much stress,” the dog trainer continued. “For example, if the dog is tethered she might feel comfortable sitting a distance away and tossing a tiny treat on the floor next to the dog.”

    “From there maybe gradually getting a bit closer and if the dog is already trained for sit, down, and stand based on lure/reward training, she can say sit and lift her hand palm up to get the dog to respond and then reward for that with another tiny treat on the floor. For down, she can say down and then move her palm down faced down towards the floor and then reward for that, and for stand, she can say stand and hold her hand palm facing the dog and reward when the dog stands. These simple successful requests for the dog to change body positions can help her feel more confident around the dog by encouraging the dog to be responsive and cooperative with her,” Arden explained.

    She also highlighted that when a person is fearful of a particular dog, all involved need to be respectful of that person’s concerns and do their absolute best to manage the dog by keeping them secured on a leash, tethered to a stable object, in a crate, or in another room of the house. “Dismissing someone’s concerns because you don’t feel the same way about the dog, and/or because no incident of aggression has occurred is unwise and likely to result in an escalation of fear and overall tension amongst family members.”

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    While we can only guess what has caused the woman in the post to start feeling like this, one thing is for certain. She and her husband need to sit down and have a heartfelt discussion on how to move forward because it sounds like their household can not continue in its current condition.

    The vast majority of people said the man was being reasonable, and he provided more information on the whole ordeal to them

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    Rokas Laurinavičius

    Rokas Laurinavičius

    Writer, BoredPanda staff

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    Rokas is a writer at Bored Panda with a BA in Communication. After working for a sculptor, he fell in love with visual storytelling and enjoys covering everything from TV shows (any Sopranos fans out there?) to photography. Throughout his years in Bored Panda, over 300 million people have read the posts he's written, which is probably more than he could count to.

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    Rokas Laurinavičius

    Rokas Laurinavičius

    Writer, BoredPanda staff

    Rokas is a writer at Bored Panda with a BA in Communication. After working for a sculptor, he fell in love with visual storytelling and enjoys covering everything from TV shows (any Sopranos fans out there?) to photography. Throughout his years in Bored Panda, over 300 million people have read the posts he's written, which is probably more than he could count to.

    Mindaugas Balčiauskas

    Mindaugas Balčiauskas

    Author, BoredPanda staff

    Read more »

    I'm a visual editor at Bored Panda. I kickstart my day with a mug of coffee bigger than my head, ready to tackle Photoshop. I navigate through the digital jungle with finesse, fueled by bamboo breaks and caffeine kicks. When the workday winds down, you might catch me devouring bamboo snacks while binging on the latest TV show, gaming or I could be out in nature, soaking up the tranquility and communing with my inner panda.

    Read less »

    Mindaugas Balčiauskas

    Mindaugas Balčiauskas

    Author, BoredPanda staff

    I'm a visual editor at Bored Panda. I kickstart my day with a mug of coffee bigger than my head, ready to tackle Photoshop. I navigate through the digital jungle with finesse, fueled by bamboo breaks and caffeine kicks. When the workday winds down, you might catch me devouring bamboo snacks while binging on the latest TV show, gaming or I could be out in nature, soaking up the tranquility and communing with my inner panda.

    What do you think?
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    amyzhang2010 avatar
    HelluvaHedgehogAlien
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    NAH. Wife is pregnant, she might have anxiety and stuff and act irrational. She needs to have a really good civilized talk (that doesn’t involve getting rid of family members like the dog) and be cared with understanding and compassion. However, DO NOT GET RID OF DOG. Wife is being unreasonable, but son should not suffer the consequences. You are not prioritizing the dog, you are prioritizing your son’s mental health over a irrational fear. And this person needs to microchip the dog in case the wife decided to take the matters into her own hands and get rid of the dog.

    phil-lucas avatar
    Lucas
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Completely agree. Suggest the wife gets therapy - if the dog is well trained why would they suddenly start jumping up. She is being irrational and, as such, needs help with that. If she makes it a 'me or the dog' scenario that speaks volumes about who she really is as that's just a power play that really says 'choose me or the stepson' - his son doesn't deserve to be impacted by that.

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    leslieharris_1 avatar
    Leslie Harris
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    the dog is a reminder that he was married before, as it was given to stepson to help get over loss of mom. New wife sounds like she is trying to prove her new baby is more important than stepson.

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    amyzhang2010 avatar
    HelluvaHedgehogAlien
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    NAH. Wife is pregnant, she might have anxiety and stuff and act irrational. She needs to have a really good civilized talk (that doesn’t involve getting rid of family members like the dog) and be cared with understanding and compassion. However, DO NOT GET RID OF DOG. Wife is being unreasonable, but son should not suffer the consequences. You are not prioritizing the dog, you are prioritizing your son’s mental health over a irrational fear. And this person needs to microchip the dog in case the wife decided to take the matters into her own hands and get rid of the dog.

    phil-lucas avatar
    Lucas
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    Completely agree. Suggest the wife gets therapy - if the dog is well trained why would they suddenly start jumping up. She is being irrational and, as such, needs help with that. If she makes it a 'me or the dog' scenario that speaks volumes about who she really is as that's just a power play that really says 'choose me or the stepson' - his son doesn't deserve to be impacted by that.

    Load More Replies...
    leslieharris_1 avatar
    Leslie Harris
    Community Member
    1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    the dog is a reminder that he was married before, as it was given to stepson to help get over loss of mom. New wife sounds like she is trying to prove her new baby is more important than stepson.

    Load More Comments
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