Almost four years ago, my husband and I adopted a 5-month-old mixed breed dog from the Animal Humane Society in Saint Paul. At the time of adoption, the dog (named Chip) came with a warning: "This dog should not go to a home with children. This dog pulls very hard on the leash. This dog is strong and very rough!" We didn't have any children so we didn't think anything of it at the time. We had our hearts set on Chip.
We took him home, immediately renamed him Ralph, and showered him with constructive attention. He fit into our home perfectly. Ralph flourished in the loving environment that we provided him with. We met a few obstacles with him at first, including but not limited to: chewing the window frames, tearing up and consuming carpet, digging holes - the usual. These minor behavioral issues were trained out of him and by the time his puppyhood was over, he was a well-adjusted, content, obedient, loyal, protective dog. Ralph experienced no issues with small children. If anything, he was always very gentle with them.
A couple of years later, I became pregnant with our first child. When we brought our baby girl home from the hospital, we had considered the possibility that a baby in our home might present some issues since we now have four rescued pets (two dogs and two cats). We are happy to report that our home has always been issue free and Ralph is very tolerant and gentle with not only our baby girl, but with all children. We've caught our daughter tugging at his ears, yanking his tongue, poking him in various places - and he just sits there and silently acknowledges that SHE is his boss.
We have enjoyed having Ralph in our home. He is a member of our family. We love teaching our daughter about how to be gentle and respectful of her pets and how to care for them. Ralph is truly our success story. He proves every single day that any rescued pet, regardless of their previous experiences, can become happy and well-adjusted with some loving care, the proper training, and a healthy and constructive environment. Three cheers for our success story - Ralph!