While sipping my routine morning coffee, the blueprint of I Can Be A Dog Detective! was created, and suddenly I had in front of me a children's book - much different to the vocational adult books I had written prior!
As a parent myself, dog safety is something I seldom gave much thought about when I brought my first born, Jack into my home...
At that time, my husband and I already had two dogs and didn't think anything about introducing them to our baby - we assumed by default that all would be well, and that's where things often go really, very wrong!
Even good dogs can break.
A couple of years went by and we were lucky that no incidents had ever occurred with our dogs and Jack - they seemed to all co-exist in the family home happily.
That's until one day, when I left the room for but a moment and I heard Jack screaming like I'd never heard him before...
I ran into the room and there was Jack lying on his back upon the floor and Jessica, our little Miniature Dachshund, was just stepping off of him.
Luckily it wasn't bad, but it was bad enough. Jess had pinned Jack to the floor and must have gave him a warning scratch because other than a mark on his arm, there were no bite marks whatsoever despite her being close enough to him to have easily done much greater damage.
We had been lucky, there's no denying.
As it transpired, Jack had been tormenting Jess with a pencil moments before the "attack" and as we know, there are no actions without consequences and even good dogs can break.
Management is crucial in keeping dogs and children safe.
Understanding that safety in a home with children and dogs can only be achieved through careful management is a fundamental lesson to learn.
I've heard many dog carer's say that their dog is "the most placid creature in the whole wide world" or has "never so much as growled at a child", and my reply is always the same -
There's no such thing as a "bad" dog, just a bad situation or a bad day.
My experience with Jack and Jess gave me such a fright that I instantly knew I had to take the necessary steps in ensuring our home was carefully managed so that
Jack was unable to torment Jessica
Jessica was unable to attack Jack
The harrowing thing is, not all families are as lucky as I was, and this event could have been fatal had Jess decided to bite Jack. My ignorance and, dare I say, negligence put both my child and my little dog's very lives at risk!
It was that moment I knew I wanted to provide help and support to families with dogs, and so the inspiration of 'I Can Be A Dog Detective!' was born.
If you would like to learn more about safe dog interaction within the family home, please subscribe to my blog. I will be publishing some posts all about dogs and dog safety over the coming months.