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Diatribe: Pit Bulls Are Usually Not Good Baby Sitters.


PitBullBabySitterI know a twelve-year-old girl who has recently started babysitting her baby brother.  Some might think that she’s too young to be left alone with a toddler but, personally, I find her to be far more mature than many folks twice her age.  She follows instructions, takes pride in her work, and appreciates the opportunity to be given so much responsibility.  She also takes the job very seriously.

She’s certainly more responsible than John R. Irvine, 41, of Palm Coast, Florida, who has been charged with child neglect after he allegedly left his 10-month-old son home alone with a pit bull.

Apparently, the baby’s mother was at work last Friday night and left her boyfriend, Irvine, to care for their child when he decided to go out for a drink.  She told police that she called him several times throughout the evening and he told her he was “watching the game”.  When she returned home, she found him urinating on himself while trying to get into their house through the garage.

He admitted to her that he had been out drinking, claimed he hadn’t really left their son alone because the “pit bull was watching the baby.”  The mother reportedly found the child crying alone in a room behind a closed door with the dog sitting outside.  She then called police.

Irvine claimed to have been home all Friday evening but a bartender at a local bar told officers that he had seen the man at about 9:30 p.m. that night.  It was also noted that Irvine had not paid his bar tab.

Irvine was taken into custody and later released on $1,500 bail.

I have found that most Pit Bull owners will argue that the dogs do not deserve their negative reputation.  In this case, the dog may have been better qualified than the baby’s father.  Having learned of Mr. Irvine and his babysitting ways, I have all the more confidence in a twelve-year old’s ability to care for her younger brother.

How old do you think a child should be before they’re old enough to accept babysitting responsibilities?


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From → Diatribes

  1. It depends on the child, the age of the child being babysat, and how long they’ll be responsible for the child. dogs, whatever the breed, don’t count. They can’t call 911.


    • I agree. There are lots of variables to consider before leaving your child with a baby sitter.

      I saw a dog park a car on the news this morning. Perhaps they’re catching up!


  2. shamansmith permalink

    Diatribe: this isn’t a post about put bulls at all. It’s about idiot humans. The dog doesn’t figure into the story at all other than to have been named as sitting faithfully outside the child’s door. Misleading, red-herring headline.


    • You could be right. The breed of the dog isn’t necessarily this rant’s focus but the absurdity of a man who would leave his toddler alone with a dog of any breed. The fact that Pit Bulls have a reputation for, and history of, exhibiting aggressive behavior should be more of an aside.


  3. My daughter is ten, but far more responsible than I am. I will occasionally leave her with her six year old brother while I run to a neighbor’s, to the post office (5 minutes away) or other SHORT activities. She has a cell phone, knows all emergency procedures and has taken a “staying home alone” class. I still wouldn’t leave her home alone with a toddler for hours. Or a pitbull. 🙂 (Not that I don’t trust a pitbull, just wouldn’t want her home alone for hours.)


    • I think the difference between “getting older” and “maturing” becomes quite evident when making this decision. I love that your daughter has taken that class! I’ve never heard of one but I think it’s a wonderful idea. Imagine the boost of confidence it must give her knowing that she has training!


  4. Depends on the child sitting and the one needing the sitter. I agree some are far more mature than some adults, but some are less. The twelve year old actually may be better than many fourteen years olds whose hormones and texting are full throttle. Thanks, BTG


  5. My mother went back to work when I was 12 & I was left responsible for my 9 yr old sister after school every day for almost 2 hours. It was a big pain in the — because my sister never listened to me. This is also when I learned to cook – I prepared the evening meal by calling my mother at work to find out how to prepare whatever she had taken out of the freezer.


  6. Irvine is an idiot to leave his ten-month-old baby alone with a pit bull…or any dog, any young child or anyone incapable of caring for a baby’s needs and calling for help if necessary.

    I babysat for 3-hr. afternoon shifts for several weeks the summer I was 12. The kids were 4-7years old, the family lived next door to us, and my mother was home…usually doing more things than normal out in our back yard where she could listen. It went very well.


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