My Grandpa Hurt My Dog, And I Don’t Know If He’ll Do It Again
Earlier, my mom was taking my dog out. My dog is a golden retriever who recently turned one and is very friendly. Suddenly, right as my mom was at the door, my dog’s leash somehow slipped off. Coincidentally, my grandpa arrived in front of our house during his walk. My grandpa lives with us, so he knows my dog very well. Of course my dog saw him, so he went over to greet my grandpa. I went inside to get a treat so that my dog would easily come inside, but right when I went out, my mom told me that my grandpa had hit him with his walking stick. I’m pretty sure my neighbors were out too so they must’ve seen too. I felt disgusted.
As of now, my mom and I both have confronted my grandpa about what happened. We were confused because my grandpa said “he was scared” but is very familiar with my dog, and my mom confirmed that my dog wasn’t doing anything wrong.
I’m really ashamed because my neighbors have known my dog since we was a puppy and know that he’s very friendly. I’m wondering what they must’ve thought when they saw the incident. They also have dogs, so I hope they don’t have thoughts about dog abuse going on.
Ever since he was a puppy, my grandpa never seemed to like him. Even though this is the first time this has happened, I’m worried that this might happen again. We have had some family issues in the past so my grandparents moving out is an option. I don’t know what to do right now because if he moves out, so does my grandma, and I love her a lot. Also, I won’t be able to handle the gossip from my relatives because they always twist up the story. Although my parents ignore all gossip, this isn’t the first time my grandparents have had to move out from their children’s homes, and it was terrible the first time.
Overall, I’m just really stressed out from this situation. I have no clue what do to, but I don’t want to make a huge deal out of it. I love my dog so much but also my family so I don’t want anyone getting hurt, and I hope my neighbors don’t think about it too much.
I’m not sure if this seems dumb to others or not because I tend to get super stressed and anxious over any incident, so I have a hard time figuring out if it actually matters. I also have a migraine problem, so stress makes everything worse. I really wish I had some more reassurance other than my dog because I’m reminded of this every time I see him now.
Help Yourself Now
- It certainly seems like there is a lot going on in your life. And all of these events are causing an array of emotions within you. It is normal to have many emotions when we are stressed out or anxious. You are brave to share your story and to reach out for help. Thank you for sharing your story with us at TeenCentral.
- While this was the first time your grandpa hit your dog, if this continues or get worse, know that there are people you can contact that work to protect animals. You can search for the local humane society or SPCA or other animal protection agency in your area by typing in “report pet abuse (your county/city and your state)”. Many animal protection agencies have a way for you to report abuse online (sometimes anonymously) or a number you can call. Also, it is ok to call the police and ask for help, too. Another option is to text HELLO to 741 741 and ask for help.
- We’re glad that you and your mom started talking about this with your grandfather. It’s important to have boundaries and “rules” in households so everyone knows the limits and can make choices that keep everyone feeling safe and cared about. Your grandfather said he was “scared”. Is it possible the dog startled him, or jumped at him and he was scared that he would get knocked down? Hitting your dog was not a good choice, but if you understand his perspective, it may help you understand why this confusing incident happened.
- Who else can you trust to talk to? This incident set off a lot of anxiety for you about not only your dog’s safety, but also about your family’s living situation, how the community is responding to your family, etc. Letting these thoughts out and sharing with someone, like a family member, or a friend can help you manage these feelings. Talk about how you feel or what you’re thinking even if you just need the other person to listen – not every problem needs an immediate solution. Keeping your thoughts and feelings inside may cause them to become overwhelming and can add to your stress and anxiety. By talking to someone, you may feel better. This person can give you advice and support you as well.
Help Yourself Later
- Keep the conversation going now that you and your mom have opened the topic about how everyone (human or animal) is treated in your home. Consider asking your mom to have regular “family meetings” with everyone to talk about anything that’s troubling. It’s ok to review expectations and rules or just revisit things that happened to make sure everyone is feeling ok.
- On the TeenCentral site there is a LEARN tab. Under this tab there is more information on anxiety. You can read all about it. There is information about coping skills on this page. What coping skills do you have? This could be aerobic exercise, deep breathing, yoga, drawing, etc. Find something that helps you feel better when you are stressed or anxious. You can feel the benefits of just 10 minutes a day!
- Have you ever tried journaling? This is a great way to release your pent up thoughts, feelings, or worries. What are your worries? What are your hopes for your family moving forward? How would your grandparents leaving affect you? By writing these things down you not only can express yourself, but you can begin to cope with them. It may be easier for you to share these thoughts and feeling with your family on paper than verbally.