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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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Can I get something off my chest? by Spursfan on 8 August 2010 4:05pm
I just wish some people would give Tosun a chance, in particular I am talking about our son and daughter in law.

As you probably know, they have recently (31st March) had a little boy, and we are feeling very sidelined. The other grandparents have had Alfie to stay overnight twice and I daresay babysit often. We haven't had that pleasure - and it is all down to Kathryn's fear of dogs, and especially Tosun which now means they are both ulta (over)protective to Alfie re dogs.

Now in some ways I can understand them being wary of dogs around their precious bundle, but we are responsible owners who would be careful.

Their visits to our house have dwindled enormously since Tosun came into our lives nearly 6 years ago, and of the few visits we get, it is mostly Si on his own.

They did pop round yesterday, and I temporarily put Tosun in the bedroom, but Zak and I were both shocked when Si refused to let us bring Tosun in to see Alfie - on his lead - in our own house!! We didn't say anything but we were both upset at this.

Trouble is they only see Tosun when they are briefly visiting, or on special occasions such as Xmas when he is naturally all bouncy and excited - more people to love/lots of presents!!! Normally, once he has said hello to everyone and made a fuss of them and vice versa, he settles down. Of course Kat never DOES make a fuss of him so he is always wanting to get to her as he doesn't understand why he can't love her.

After the initial excitement he will lie happily chewing his treat.

This is a dog who:

1. Never chews furniture
2. Never steals food. Last night he was within a couple of inches of some cheese (his favourite) but did not steal it and waited until he was given it.
3. Lets you take his bone/chew/food/etc away from him without snarling or anything.
4. Loves to be fussed 24/7 and never complains about it no matter how long you are fussing him
5. Has never bitten anyone.
6. Is a very loving and loyal dog.

We don't intend, of course, to fall out with Si and Kat over this, but he IS a big part of our lives and we love him to bits (and vice versa). I am very upset over this, not only because I want to see more of Alfie but because I ma hurt on Tosun's behalf. He has such a big heart and they are just shunning him.

Someone ought to remind them that the Staffie's nickname is THE NANNY DOG !!

Thank you for listening.


Re: Can I get something off my chest? by BethGoth17 on 8 August 2010 8:21pm
I'm sure they'll start to like him once they get used to him. If it's any consolation, Tosun sounds like an angel and I haven't even met him.
Re: Can I get something off my chest? by johnnythemonkey on 8 August 2010 8:51pm
I'm sure if you explain to your daughter-in-law that Staffies only eat a handful of children each year, she'll feel more at ease.

Seriously Anne, you're never going to change her views, so the only way to see more of Alfie is to visit them ( without Tosun ! )
Re: Can I get something off my chest? by kazzzz on 8 August 2010 11:55pm
Anne, I guess Kat is not a dog person. Maybe she's scared of Tosun? I am pretty much this way with all dogs myself. We have friends who ,much like yourselves, have dogs who are an integral part of the family, One being my best friend Greg, I rarely go since he got his dog which leaps and licks and wants to adorn attention on everyone who visits. She's really a nice dog but I am scared witless of dogs who do this. Greg doesn't know coz I don't want to hurt his feelings. Maybe you're dealing with a similar situation here, just someone who's afraid of dogs? I'm sure that Tosun is a sweetie, but not everyone is at ease with our canine comrades.
Re: Can I get something off my chest? by Spursfan on 9 August 2010 9:09am
Beth - Simon DOES like Tosun (or he used to at least). But of course he has to go along with his wife, I would expect nothing less. Kat was ok with him (Tosun, not Simon!!) when he was tiny (5 wks) but she had a bad experience with a dog when a child and so is scared of ANY dog. I am not blaming her for this - I am scared of cows - but no-one is asking her to be there with him. (And yes - he IS an angel, btw).

Johnny - we usually visit them once a week and poor Tosun sits in the car (he has an electric fan and special things that go in the window to keep him cool if it is warm - needless to say if it is REALLY hot we don't leave him in the car but make other arrangements). What I am, if you like, 'complaining' about is that we are sidelined for things like babysitting, having him over for the occasional sleep-over, etc.

Kazzzz - as I have said above I do sympathise with Kat. BUT she shouldn't let her fear ruin what could be a wonderful relationship between Tosun and Alfie. And of course we would not leave the two of them alone - after all Si and Kat seem to forget that we have had little Bethany to stay here!!

Of course we are pleased that Kat's parents are so involved (our daughter's first in-laws just didn't want to know) and she is a doted-on only child so it is impossible to imagine anything else, really. (I know what that's like - I was also doted-on; not exactly an only child but as my sister was nearly 15 when I came along I might just as well have been!). BUT there is such a thing as fairness and we should be getting our fair share of 'Alfie time' on our own, in our own house.

I put this link on my FB site - watch it and enjoy the NANNY DOG !!

Re: Can I get something off my chest? by kazzzz on 9 August 2010 11:47am
Anne it's like this with my brother's kids. I have 3 nieces,7,4 and 1...they live about 15 mins drive from me and we're lucky to see them a couple of times a year. They're always with my brother's inlaws and their three sons, they sleep there all the time. We are totally excluded from everything, Ava isn't even invited to their birthdays and I'm their only aunt, and Ava has no other cousins in this country. Mum and Dad feel very left out, as do I but they're just all for the other side of the family. The last time I saw them, the littlest one screamed her head off coz she had no idea who we were. Very unfair to deprive them and us of a relationship. The main reason is that my sister in law's family drink non stop, they're all drunkevery time we see them at any function. My side really don't drink. My sister in law can only function socially if she's been drinking and finds our side of the family boring. You'd have to ask who's care the kids would be better in, a pack of drunkards or people who don't get blind drunk at every opportunity. We were 'allowed' to takw the eldest two out a few months ago on a picnic with Ava and we went a bird sanctuary and had a picnic, they had a ball, but I think it was a bit of a one off. It just made Mum, dad and I sad coz we watched the kids together and knew it'd rarely happen. Which has been the case.
Re: Can I get something off my chest? by mrsteabag on 9 August 2010 9:35pm
Sending you hugs. This saddens me, too. I would vastly prefer the company of Tosun to a lot of people I can think of.
@kazz, I'm sorry for what your going through with your family. My brother married into a crazy insane family, too. Hugs to both of you.
Re: Can I get something off my chest? by Lounge Trekker on 12 August 2010 12:22am
That is a sorrowful situation, Anne. I found it easy to ignore people that didn't like my boy Bruno, but close friends and family need and deserve more than that. I have no suggestions you haven't heard before, I'm sure. If you were to be as honest with them as you are with us...maybe it will help? Ask them what can be done to help them see what a good guy he is?

We met a female Staffordshire Terrier a while ago and she was just lovely. I squatted to be closer to her height and she jumped right on my lap with kisses! I don't get to see many of these guys, but Tosun and *cranial cramp*, forgot her name, have put this breed on my list of potential new dogs!

Scruffy Trekker
Re: Can I get something off my chest? by Spursfan on 12 August 2010 8:15am
Thank you Peter, bless you for your words.

Your experience was sooo Staffie-like!! These dogs just LOVE people - that's why it's particularly poignant when they ger abused as they so often are (see my other post on Louie the pitbull).

I know this is off the point of the post, but we often get people coming up to us when we're with Tosun and saying they know that Staffies have a bad press and how lovely they are really. It is usually someone who has had, or knows someone who has had, a Staffie. And they say what a gorgeous dog he is - and needless to say Tosun does his PR bit for Staffie-dom by giving the person a fuss!!

And we occasionally (thankfully rare) encounter people who believe the press. One horrible man (he was ignorant and rude) told us one day that we shouldn't bring him out!! And this is when we were walking Tosun along the riverbank, on his lead, and this chap's dog (OFF the lead) had attacked Tosun!!! But of course it was OUR fault for taking such a 'vicious' dog like Tosun out!!

Actually we felt sorry for his dog afterwards - he didn't seem the sort who would have cared for it that much.

Thanks again.

Re: Can I get something off my chest? by sighthound on 13 August 2010 2:24am
I understand your frustration, Anne. But there are people like your daughter-in-law who just never bonded with animals for whatever reason and cannot look into their eyes and understand them. I pity them for losing so much richness in their lives.

I've been fighting BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) for years now. It's so unfortunate that "bully breeds" like yours have gotten such an unfair reputation. In Denver anything that looks like "pit bull" is legally confiscated and killed. They've already offed a couple of thousand dogs there who had never hurt or threatened anyone. Even lab mixes have been labeled as pit bulls and been confiscated. I just don't understand that kind of hysteria (which is why I spend all my free time fighting bad animal legislation.)

There are always breeds labeled as "dangerous" and it changes every generation or so. In Victorian times, it was absolutely common knowledge that the most irredeemably vicious breed was ... THE COLLIE! At the time, people who wanted "bad dogs" got collies and turned a lot of them into bad dogs as gangs are now doing with "pit bulls". It took all those Lad and Lassie stories and films to redeem collies in the public's eye. You should get to work writing some good Staffie stories to endear them to the public. Of course, if that happens, some other breed will be chosen by the bad guys and other poor dogs will be unfairly stigmatized.

Have you ever thought of taking Tosun for Therapy Dog training and certification? (Don't know how that works in the UK but I could find out if you're interested.) Getting him out and working in convalescent hospitals and children's wards would do a lot to educate people about what wonderful dogs they are. (Kami and I have done that work for years and I highly recommend it. It's extremely rewarding.)
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