Introducing my unlikely grandchild ‘Baby’, what started as a distraction toy to settle Teddy when we came through the front door, has fast become as precious to him as if it were his own child! The first sign that this was a special toy was that he didn’t destroy it in five seconds flat.

Teddy is a Staffy X and he makes it his mission to take every toy and rip it into a million pieces within minutes of being introduced, we have a house full of unstuffed toy ‘skins’ and deflated footballs (much to my son’s annoyance!). I never mind this, I just don’t buy expensive toys and have no expectation of seeing any one toy for more than a day or so. But when I handed this squeaky green woodpecker to Teddy he took it in his mouth gently and went and lay in his bed with it still in his softly closed mouth.

 

In the beginning we thought we had the magic cure, because now we could walk through the door, hand him ‘Baby’ and he wouldn’t jump or bark, just carry Baby round in his mouth trying to find a place to put her.

It has gotten to a point where he likes to have her for more of the day, not just when people arrive at the door. He will cry by the cabinet where she stays until she is handed to him, whereby he will skulk off with her gently grumbling at anyone who dares to approach his precious bird. The humans of the house have taught him to trade her for treats and he is very good at this.

I spoke to a behaviourist who told me it was rare but there are male dogs who have the mothering instinct and this is absolutely what Teddy has for Baby. He will put her in one dog bed and then lie next to her in another and make sure neither man nor animal hurts her.

My only concern? I have searched the internet high and low and this after thought purchase I made seems to be no more. God help me if anything happens to Baby, we will all be devastated!

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