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          Parenting

          Ultimatum: The Dog or Our Marriage

          October 14, 2002

          “The dog goes, or I go,” Kelly tells her husband, Dean. The dog, Scotter, has bitten two kids in the neighborhood and is aggressive toward their 2-year-old daughter. But Dean says the dog merely “nips,” and can still be trained.

          Dr. Phil, a dog lover himself, says this isn’t even a close call.

          • A child’s safety always comes first. The dog needs to be nowhere near the 2-year-old.
          • Project ahead. What if the dog were to cause injury to their little girl? What would he be thinking in the ambulance on the way to emergency room if he bit her?
          • Animal behaviorists agree that the dog is “a clear and present danger.”
          • The dog, suggests Dr. Phil and the animal experts, need not be put to sleep. He simply needs to be relocated, possibly to a farm.
          • Get a pet that is socialized to be around children.
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