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People bringing infants to Dog-specific meetups/activities
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I have joined many groups lately on meetup.com. Some are dog-focused, others are not, such as James River Hikers.
    JRH group hosts a bi-weekly meet called "Walk With Dogs". I've gone before and it's a nice variety of walking trails and paved areas. Kira hates walking on paved area and will walk along the edge in the grass and leaves. But she really enjoys the trails, that's the best part!

    I checked the meetup information last night and there are some conversations in the comments that really got me steamed. A new member asked if she could take her infant, not child, an infant. The organizer said it would be fine, recommended that she have a stroller as well, and told her the walk group could be appropriately accommodated by staying on paved areas.

    Please don't think of me as a child-basher, I'm not. But finding dog-focused activities takes a lot of work and are hard to find! There are more than enough mom/baby activities, why allow your presence to hinder the dog walk because you want to go?

    Sorry, it just really gets to me. I wondered if anyone else had an experience that is similar and what did you do? Did you bring it up at the event?
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
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  • jennjenn
    Posts: 856
    That would make me nervous since some dogs are afraid of children/babies, or are undersocialized around them. At least the child will be contained to a stroller, that's probably safer for everyone involved.
    Jenn, Shiba Slave to Rigby / http://hellorigby.com
  • Hmm, I'm actually totally cool with infants when they're at that larval, strapped-to-mom/dad's chest stage. They're basically attached to the parents, and parents do need to get out too. I'm just glad that they're still making an effort to do activities as a whole family, including the pets, in light of how so many dogs are given up after babies because they "don't have time."

    That said, strollers can be unnerving for a lot of dogs though, and I agree, they do hinder group movement and pace. How large is the walking group? I'd be tempted to gather a breakaway faction that hits the trails -- you can be the off-roaders, claiming the need for a more intense hike to wear out your energetic younger Shiba, while those who need an easier pace can stay on the paved path. ;)

    Anyway, it's toddlers and young children that I find inappropriate, especially when they're at the stage where they're walking funny, don't yet know how to control their bodies (or their voices), and getting too big to carry for the whole route.
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2014-02-02 15:21:14
  • I agree Kira, There are time you have to be asensible parent. Sometimes watching a shiba is harder than a baby, let alone both. Also the mom may slow the walk way down if the baby has issues. The mom should go to at least one of the meet ups alone with the dog to get a feel to the group and pace, and terrain of the hike/walk
    Fred and Jodie...Madison WI

    **Mika....The Shiba Inu**

    **Zoey....The Schipperke**
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    The walk was today and, get this, the lady with the infant strapped to her didn't even have a dog! We walked on the road the entire time. Pissed.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
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    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1244
    I think its a great thing that this mum is making an effort to do things with both her dog and family, as its hard work to handle both. Its not fair on either dog or mum/baby to have to choose between one or the other all the time. Not everyone has the luxury of someone to look after their baby so they can do things alone with the dog, and the mum and dog shouldnt have to miss out on socialization because theres now a baby. I agree with Curlytails though, if the child was past stroller stage that would be especially hellish for everyone at the meetup. But baby that will most likely be asleep the whole time would be fine with me.
    Koyuki - red female
    Takeo- cream male
    Kenji- black and tan male
    Suma- sesame female
    Haruki-brindle Japanese Akita Inu
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1244
    Ahhh just read your last post LOL what the heck? Why did she not just walk by herself...
    Koyuki - red female
    Takeo- cream male
    Kenji- black and tan male
    Suma- sesame female
    Haruki-brindle Japanese Akita Inu
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I would have been totally understanding if she had brought her dog, they didn't even own one. I wrote a review on the walk and hey, maybe I might come off as an ass. But there are plenty of parent meetups that they could participate in. There aren't nearly as many for people that want to exercise and socialize their dogs. I took what you said to heart, @curlytails and used it in my review of the meet:

    meetup review
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
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    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • I don't understand how someone wouldn't feel really selfish having to make the whole group bend to their preference. There must be other options for her. And not even having a dog...err...lol.
  • @Kira_Kira Wait, what?? They didn't even have a dog?! o_O
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • Okay so this person who 1) doesn't even own a dog, and 2) had her infant strapped to her (i.e. not in a stroller) made everyone else walk on the paved roads for the entire walk!? WOW. I'm with @Nahatalie, how do you not feel ridiculously selfish after all of that.

    If this woman could hunt down a local dog walking group to take a stroll with, I'm sure she could find a group of parents with children to walk with... If not, she could certainly start one!
  • Make a few good friends within the group and then have your own little meetups that might be more your style. That way you dont have random people joining you. I never liked meet up things because you never know what to expect.. kinda like going to the dog park.
    image
  • Wow, that's really crazy selfish. Who is this person and why does she think she should even get to dictate where the walk goes if she doesn't even have a dog? I mean fine to come along with the baby strapped to the chest if you're just going along to enjoy other people's company and the dog's company too, but this doesn't sound like the case here. How rude, and how entitled.
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Thank you for the feedback everyone. I have a tendency to read into things too much and wanted to get some insight on whether or not I was jumping the gun on this situation.

    Entitled is the perfect way to describe this person, you are spot on shibamistress. I'm hoping that my review will be read by either that person or the organizer.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
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    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Wow. :( One thing to have a baby and dog, but she didn't even have a dog?

    Saya loves babies and is fine with strollers she had a lot of exposure to them as a pup, but not every dog do fine with the noise they make.. Coarse she had the baby on her chest not stroller so at least stroller wasn't involved.

    I commend parent's who do the extra work to walk their dog and keep them despite having a baby. I think one of the main reasons dogs are given up during baby time is due to lack of walking and the dog gets super hyper and causes issues. Other % is probably fear reaction to the baby, but still.

    I mean I know how nutty Bella can be if she doesn't get one run and a walk a day. She is much better when she gets exercise.

    This sounds like odd event. :\

    Lucky you have any dog walking stuff used to have one here, but now it's no more it was nice and I think it helped Saya get over some of her dog fears from being attacked by one. I was able to ask other owners to not let their dog greet her and she did well walking by, behind or next to the dogs as long as no long greetings happened.

    She even met one once and did well. I might have to start my own walk. Though half people don't seem to understand it. "they're like why not just go to the dog park.."

    I'm like because my dog was attacked at the dog park that is why. Plus the people on walk actually focus on their dogs and are not distracted by coffee or other people to let the dog cause issues..

    I hope your next walk goes better.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    While, it is incredibly annoying to have to cater to one specific person (who does not have a legitimate disability), it seems to me that the organizers want to allow the activity to be open and accessible to everyone. And when an event is open to the public, there are going to be times when the route is going to be altered in a way to not appeal to every single person there. This is the nature of having a diverse group.

    My advice to @Kira_Kira and anyone else that encounters a situation like this is to bring up your concerns to the people in question. If you knew before hand that the walk was going to be rearranged to accommodate someone, why not talk to the organizer and the individual in question and see if some sort of compromise could be made. Or, like @curlytails suggested, why not see if there is a group that could split off from the main to do a hike instead of just a greenway walk?

    There are a lot of solutions, but just making a comment on a meetup page is not likely to get anything accomplished except create drama and negativity, which I am sure is not the OP's intent. But we all know how the internet works...

    As for the solution about finding good dog exercise activities, I know for a fact that there are several hiking groups that are active in the Richmond area. Why not check some of those out. While not specific dog activities, most organized hikes usually have a few dogs that tag along as well (and as a bonus, they are usually very well behaved and polite!). :) Plus, you will probably also get to explore some areas that you might never think about without someone to guide you along!
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • Hello fellow Virginian...we are on the wide end of the James River
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Hi @misterelwood

    Sounds like you are only a couple hours away! We live in Richmond, love it here.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
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    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • We are in Isle of Wight County just outside the Smithfield town limits...what part of Richmond ?
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    We live in the West End of Richmond, right at the border of Henrico and Richmond city limits.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
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    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
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    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”

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