Last week, Sissy bit the baby. Out of nowhere. It didn't break the skin, but there were the remnants of two teeth marks on her nose and one on her chin. And there was a lot of crying. And a sad little beagle sitting in time-out in the gated kitchen. ugh. why did this have to happen? Out of nowhere, too.
Of course, my first thought is the safety of my (human) child. I don't want her to be injured or scared of dogs (this last fear was unfounded as Isla June frequently visited Sissy while she was in kitchen time-out.) Jer and I brainstormed what to do- have someone else (a family member) take sissy until we can get into a house and she can be happier, get a muzzle for Sissy, keep the dog and baby separated at all times, etc. It turns out no one was in the position to take the dog (totally understandable) so we decided to just keep them apart. (I want to point out that giving the dog away was our absolute last, worst case scenario. We knew that she would be deemed an unadoptable dog and probably put to sleep.) So, Sissy sat in the kitchen for the next two days. She didn't get any treats/snacks from the baby and she didn't get to lay on her nice, plush dog couch either. And she was miserable. I was hoping that she would understand her punishment. After two days, and a shown improvement in mood, I gingerly allowed Sissy to sit in the living room with us under close supervision. And she did much better. There was one growling incident, which caused her to be relegated to time-out again; after which, I think she got the point.
Now, things have improved so much. There's lots of positive reinforcement for Isla June and Sissy when they interact and constant supervision when they are together. So far, so good.
For us, the time and effort into attempting to fix this situation was very important to us. The last thing we wanted to do was to break-up our little family. With diligence, consistency and love I hope that we can put this all behind us.