Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Don’t throw the dog out with the bath water!

Deana Selby, Publications Manager, writes her view on last nights Coronation Street.

Is anyone following Coronation Street at the moment?

My spies (Hi Mum!) tell me that Fiz has finally brought her new, very premature, baby, Hope, back from hospital where she’d been in an incubator for weeks. She’s also told her brother and housemate, Chesney, that Schmeichel has got to go, because she’s worried Hope will catch an infection from him and his “great big slobby gob.” Schmeichel, for non Corrie viewers, is a Great Dane.

Before anyone shouts ‘It’s just a TV programme, not real life’ the answer is yes, I know, but it’s a great programme which millions of people enjoy. Of course Fiz is not a real person, but her concerns are doubtless shared by many new parents. Staff from most of our rehoming centres have told me that they regularly receive calls from people wishing to hand their dog over either because they have just had a baby, or have learnt that they are pregnant.

Babies do need to be protected from germs, especially those with a not fully developed immune system. However, a quick word with our Veterinary Director, Chris Laurence, reveals that commonsense hygiene precautions are all Fiz needs to make things work, ie:

· Always wash your hands after touching your dog

· Make sure the dog doesn’t lick your baby

· If he does lick the baby, wash that area with soap and water

We’ve recently commissioned research into the potential health benefits of dog ownership, and one of the early findings is that exposure to dogs in infancy is associated with positive immune system development.

With so many otherwise perfectly sensible dog owners believing that 'Dog plus Baby equals Huge Disaster Waiting To Happen', I thought it worth flagging that it ain't necessarily so.

So, thank you Corrie, for giving me the opportunity to clear up an all too common misconception. And yes, I certainly will be glued to the next episode – will you?


Anonymous said...

i agree same with anything like going to the toilet you should wash your hands coz its germs there so it isnt any different with your dog.
will u get rid of your toilet coz it got germs? NO lol

Anonymous said...

I think some people who have babies also get rid of the dog over safety concerns ie will the dog be jealous n attack. Or they don't think Theyl have enough time for a baby and a dog. I think any one who gets rid of their dog is completely insensitive to it and never cared about it in the first place. There are other solutions rather than just giving the dog away. And fizz deserves a slap for even suggesting giving up a family member to make room for another. Its like giving away one child so h can have another. Appaling

Anonymous said...

I really hope this storyline has a 'happy' ending, I am fed up of the dogs and children don't mix attitude, of course care needs to be taken and strict supervision where babies and dogs are concerned, but its the dogs that never have experience of children and vice versa that causes the problems. If children are taught to respect pets, and not allowed to treat them as toys, dogs would not learn to become fearful of kids, and so on. Dog lover and childminder Tringd

Anonymous said...

It's this kind of irresponsible behviour that causes thousands of dogs to be left in rescue homes and dog pounds. I don't watch this anyway, but some people don't seem able to separate fact and fiction and will follow suit. I hope Granada will issue some sort of statement about this! It's disgusting.

Lee said...

I work with stray dogs all day and have 2 dogs at home I have a 15mth old baby who plays with my gsd and sbt all day they lick he's face ears all the time I just wipe him down with a baby wipe and he's fine nothing to worry about I think it's great your bringing the issue in the program to peoples attention just in case they have misplaced there common sence !

Anonymous said...

sorry but its wrong:(

Anonymous said...

I got a dog 7 years back + we were told she didn like children! She ended up with my nan cause we lost our house + ended up in a flat with no pets policy! 5 years later I had my daughter + was worried the dog not liking kids but we had no need to be she adored my daughter + my daughter adored her... Sadly just before xmas this year she passed away + we now have a choc labrador puppy who we love but people shouldn get rid of there dogs because of babies give them a chance because kids can learn off dogs like showing emotions + learning responsibilties infact dogs + kids mix very well

Anonymous said...

I'm pleased this topic in Corrie has been addressed, I have always liked the Fizz Character....but this story line has really annoyed me! When I finished work at 4mths pregnant with the 1st of 4 babies (in 6 yrs!)...we got 2 puppies...I spent the last 5 months of the pregnancy training them! As each baby was born...one of the dogs was always under the pram...indoors or outdoors...all my, now grown up, children love dogs and none were ever harmed or suffered from allergies. Of course normal hygiene care should be taken....but THAT IS ALL THAT'S NECESSARY! Come on Corrie ....get a grip!

Stevie said...

Drea, I agree. I know quite a few people who have got rid of their dog and it seems to me to be just a kneejerk reaction based on something they have heard or read somewhere.
Many women seem to just get irrational when they have babies and stop seeing the logic in things - 'baby' then becomes the only thing that matters at the expense of everything else. Natures way I guess, but people definitely need to be educated and maybe the place to start could be in pre-natal classes?

Anonymous said...

my children are grown up now with their own families , we,ve allways had a dog admitedly small eg cocker spaniels never had any problems and now grandchildren you just have to make sure you wash your hands . dont push tje animal away it mighgt make things worse more than worring about germs , you have to be sensible

Anonymous said...

the situation with new baby , dog out baffles me.
Pregnancy provides a good opportunity to review a dog's behaviour and seek advice about introducing dog and baby. There is no magic involved- Sensible approach to good dog ownership ensures the dog has respect for humans - The problem I fear is that dogs are too often treated as human beings and end up being throroughly confused and frustrated when the attention level towards them changes

Anonymous said...

This is all a bit sensationalist, if a dog has the potential to make a child ill then any responsible parent would find a new home for that dog.
A child with a deficient immune system should be kept away from any form of potential contamination! I am not, however, saying that any prospective parent should give away their pets.
My sister is badly allergic to dogs, so we had to rehome the Labrador we had when she started to become severely asthmatic from the dog hair. Are you suggesting my parents were irresponsible for valuing her health over the dog?

Anonymous said...

Some people have dogs as baby substitutes and then lose interest when they actually have a baby. It is wonderful for kids to grow up with dogs , I did and so have my two daughters. My cairn terrier thinks he is a girl teenager. Anyway you are right to highlight this .

Col said...

I was annoyed when I watched Fizz say that Schmeichel had to go. It is ridiculous to react that way removing a member of the family in case they pass on germs to a baby. Everyone should know (those with an ounce of common sense!) that as long as you keep a clean home, wash your hands after you have played with the dog and don't leave the dog alone with the baby there is no risk of germs getting on to the baby. I hope people are not that STUPID to give up their dogs because of what they saw on Coronation Street.