UCB Parents Advice about Pets

Dogs for occasional visits

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July 2002

does anyone know of a way to find dogs for one's kids to play with? we are rarely at home, and so having one ourselves would not work, but our son loves dogs. i don't know where one would look for people who might like to have our son play with their dog e.g. once a week or something on a regular basis--any suggestions? thanks! Jcohn


If you don't find any other options, and if you find time (and if this sounds like your kind of gig), try going to a nice big dog park like Fort Funston in San Francisco. Just make sure that you or your son ask the owner or dog walker if he can pet/play with the dog. Our dog (over 100 lbs.) was a kid magnet there, and he seemed to gloat and prance around the kids, especially *large* groups of kids. You might also want to bring a backpack carrier or something to secure your toddler (off the ground) in case the big dogs decide to play a fast chasing game (the dogs often forget to watch out for humans when they find a good running partner) or if your toddler gets too tired to walk any further. I spent a lot of time petting other people's dogs at Fort Funston before my husband finally broke down and agreed to get one of our own. Maybe one visit with 40 dogs will satisfy your toddler's doggy fix for a week. Oh yeah, dress for the wind, and don't be surprised if you (and especially your toddler) get really sandy and slobbered. If you go on a weekend, be extra vigilant about stepping in dog poop (unfortunately, the weekend visitors aren't very disciplined about cleaning up after their dogs). dog lover and toddler mom
You might consider fostering a dog overnight for the Milo Foundation when they have their Bay Area Mobile Adoption weekends. That would give your toddler a good dose of doggy love. I'm sure they would be very good about giving you a dog that was well suited for young children. You can read more about it here: http://www.milofoundation.org/foster.cfm Just my 2 cents... dog lover :)
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