The little boys I watch got a puppy. A little 6-week old darling, spunky, chocolate lab named Lilly. She is so fun. 

But there is a bit of an issue. 

The boys are scared of dogs. Specifically the older boy. He has always been scared of dogs. Then it kinda developed into a fear of basically all animals. He gets hysterical and is constantly on the lookout for an animal. This fear is now becoming his younger brothers fear as well. His parents know he needs to move on and so they figured they should get a nice puppy that the boys can grow with and it just might help this "phobia"

I feel so bad for him. He told me two weeks ago "I have no word for it. I can't explain why I am scared. I just am. I have no word." 

So they went and saw the puppy often as she was growing with her 11 brothers and sisters. He did very well, just wasn't so sure about the mother. But now the puppy is home, and suddenly he wants nothing to do with her. He wont play with her and he doesn't want to see her. When I take the baby out alone he does well. His uncertainty is normal for his age and he overcomes it, unless his older brother is with him, which makes sense. "If HE is scared then shouldn't I be?"

I know this puppy needs love and lots of play time, and the only way she is going to be ok for the boys is if they play with her. We are home all day and we cannot pretend she doesn't exist! She's way too cute for that. So after putting the baby down for a nap I asked if we should go play with the puppy. "No." was the answer.  A look of terror came over him. After some reasoning and explanation that seemed to get me nowhere I decided to...bribe. Yikes. 
"How about a quarter? Will you play with her for a quarter?" 
"You will give me a quarter?" (said in disbelief.)
"Yes. Lets go." (said in slight annoyance.)
When we got out there I could see that the fear was real, but maybe not as serious as I thought. I had to hold the puppy, have control of her, and he had to warm up to her to even stand by her. Ugh, we have a long way to go. 

"Can I have my quarter now?"
"No. We just got out here." 

These two organisms have so much energy, they belong together!

By the end of the play time he would try to play tug-o-war and he did pet her. Twice.

Yes, I did in fact pay a small child to play with his puppy. I didn't  even know that could happen. 


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