The unique bond between children and dogs is unexplainable – well, for the most part that is. Dogs who love children don’t have the same type of relationship with kids as they do with adults. Their bond with adults is formed out of respect, trust and love. Their bond with children on the other hand is formed solely out of love; an unconditional love that comes with loyalty and protection.
If you’ve never experienced a bond like this, you will not be able to understand it. Recently, a 2-year-old in Toledo, Ohio put this bond to the test. The boy walked out of his home while his mother was sleeping and wandered the neighborhood. His pit bull, Hazard, was by his side the entire time.
Timothy Eff was surprised when he saw a large male pit bull and a small boy walking up to his doorstep back in November. The child was only wearing a dirty diaper, but he was perfectly healthy and unharmed. Eff said the dog never left the boy’s side.
Eff, father of four, said the boy seemed happy and was just walking around with a crescent wrench in his hand. He said that he did not seem abused or neglected, and the child warmed up to Eff almost immediately. Of course, he called the police, and by the time they got there Eff had given the boy a bath, changed his diaper, fed the boy and given Hazard some dog food.
Officers at the Toledo Police Department determined that the boy belonged to Amy Dunbar, 23, who lived just around the corner from Eff. Dunbar said that she had been napping with her son after staying awake with him all night, as he was sick and crying. She called the boy in missing right away, which is how police found out so quickly who he belonged to.
Dunbar said that her son is very big for his age, often mistaken for a 4-year-old. He was able to unlock the front door, walk out with Hazard, a 121-pound pit bull, and shut the door behind him. She said that he had been wearing pajamas, but she found those in the middle of the dining room floor. Thankfully, he ended up on Eff’s doorstep and was well cared for until authorities arrived.
That dog knew that kid was by himself and protected him to the fullest. He kind of got between me and the kid, but he didn’t growl. He just let me know that’s his kid. He’s definitely a good dog.
Dunbar says that her son and the dog have grown up together, and the two are inseparable. She believes that Hazard followed her son out of the house for a reason. I believe that too. Hazard knew that the boy was by himself, and he didn’t want to leave his boy unprotected. I firmly believe that dogs can sense when things aren’t right. I think Hazard knew that boy would be in danger if he left the house alone, so he followed him to make sure he was alright.
We have two dogs and a child. Our 5-year-old boxer has grown up with our 4-year-old son, and she mothers him all the time. When they are out in the yard together our boxer, Chloe, makes large circles around our son. She’s done it for as long as I can remember. I know she’s making a perimeter around him to keep him safe, much like she would do with her own puppies in the wild.
I don’t know how, but dogs understand that children need extra attention. The bond between a child and a dog is truly special. I’m thankful that I was able to grow up with dogs, and I am proud to raise my son with dogs as well. I think it benefits both the dog and the child in unexplainable ways.