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Old 07.09.2019, 12:59
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Dog-friend wanted for little boy

Reposting this after somewhat traumatic experience. This childless couple got in touch in response to the original post. Said they wanted a dog to be exposed to children. They live outside Zurich, however said they were in Zurich at least once a week with their dog. Brought the dog to our place. The little boy fell in love with it, instantly. Went for a couple of walks. Exchanged emails and pictures of a dog and a child. They commented how sweet and caring the boy was with a dog. We wined and dined the couple, last time to the tune of over 400.- at the exclusive eye-wateringly expensive establishment they suggested. Then we got ghosted. Would be excusable if there were some extraordinary circumstances but the (mostly idle/ out of work) chap keeps commenting prolifically on various matters on the forum. It would all be OK, we don't really want to be friends with these people, if not for the little boy being so heartbroken. Cries himself to sleep with a picture of the dog under his pillow. What moves people to treat other human beings like this, particularly small kids, is anyone's guess.. Boredom perhaps? Try to explain it to a 7 year old...

Dog-friend wanted for little boy
We are looking for a dog-friend for a bright, kind and lively 7-year old English-speaking boy in Zürich (Zürichberg/Fluntern/Hottingen/Oberstrass area). For a number of reasons, we cannot have a dog living with us permanently - but the boy loves animals and would cherish the opportunity to spend time and take care of a dog. We could start with helping walk the dog and, provided the dog and the boy like each other, offer the option to take the dog in when the owner is away (free of charge of course). Please PM me if interested.

Last edited by NatAlexander; 07.09.2019 at 13:53.
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Old 07.09.2019, 13:30
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

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Reposting this after somewhat traumatic experience. This childless couple got in touch in response to the original post. Said they wanted a dog to be exposed to children. They live outside Zurich, however said they were in Zurich at least once a week with their dog. Brought the dog to our place. The little boy fell in love with it, instantly. Went for a couple of walks. Exchanged emails and pictures of a dog and a child. They commented how sweet and caring the boy was with a dog. We wined and dined the couple, last time to the tune of over 400.- at the exclusive eye-wateringly expensive establishment they suggested. Then we got ghosted. Would be excusable if there were some extraordinary circumstances but the (mostly idle/ out of work) chap keeps commenting prolifically on various matters on the forum. It would all be OK, we don't really want to be friends with these people, if not for a little boy being so heartbroken. Cries himself to sleep with a picture of the dog under his pillow. What moves people to treat other human beings like this, particularly small kids, is anyone's guess.. Boredom perhaps? Try to explain it to a 7 year old...

Dog-friend wanted for little boy
We are looking for a dog-friend for a bright, kind and lively 7-year old English-speaking boy in Zürich (Zürichberg/Fluntern/Hottingen/Oberstrass area). For a number of reasons, we cannot have a dog living with us permanently - but the boy loves animals and would cherish the opportunity to spend time and take care of a dog. We could start with helping walk the dog and, provided the dog and the boy like each other, offer the option to take the dog in when the owner is away (free of charge of course). Please PM me if interested.
I don't think this is at all realistic. The kid will always fall in love with the dog and be upset when they have to part. I really don't think it is fair on the kid, either he has a dog or not.
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Old 07.09.2019, 13:33
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

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I don't think this is at all realistic. The kid will always fall in love with the dog and be upset when they have to part. I really don't think it is fair on the kid, either he has a dog or not.


We have an example of this arrangement working perfectly with friends of ours. The kid gets to walk the dog while the owners are at work, the dog gets holiday place to stay at, instead of some dog-hotel. It's about people, not dogs really.

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Old 07.09.2019, 13:56
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

Sounds to me like you were expecting quite a lot of contact with this couple and their dog, and maybe they decided it was just too much for them.

Maybe you could organise to do something else with your son, where you are the ones giving up your time and commitment, and not relying on others to come to you. Maybe you could help out at a dog shelter on a weekend? Find someone near by that needs a dog walker. Or if you can't have a dog, get him a pet that requires less time (rabbit/hamster/cat)?
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Old 07.09.2019, 14:07
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

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Sounds to me like you were expecting quite a lot of contact with this couple and their dog, and maybe they decided it was just too much for them.

Maybe you could organise to do something else with your son, where you are the ones giving up your time and commitment, and not relying on others to come to you. Maybe you could help out at a dog shelter on a weekend? Find someone near by that needs a dog walker. Or if you can't have a dog, get him a pet that requires less time (rabbit/hamster/cat)?

Thank you for your reply. No, we were not expecting more than they were willing to commit to. It was all discussed. Whatever the circumstances are - it's only fair and civilised to explain them if one is not willing to continue with a connection. Ghosting is dishonest.


Your judgement regarding our time and commitment to our son is presumptuous and frankly insulting. We do not rely on others to shape his existence, we are fully devoted to him. However, we do want him to have experiences in a wider societas. What we do not need is an advice from someone who has nothing to offer on the matter but an empty unwanted advice and arrogant judmentalism because his/her Saturday afternoon is slow. Perhaps you should get a dog from a shelter on a weekend?...

Last edited by NatAlexander; 07.09.2019 at 15:23.
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Old 07.09.2019, 14:20
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

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Your judgement regarding our time and commitment to our son is presumptuous and frankly insulting. We do not rely on others to shape his existence, we are fully devoted to him.
I said nothing about your time and commitment to your son , merely that maybe a situation where you are the ones giving your time to animals, rather than needing to rely on others also giving their time, would be a situation that would be more reliable for you and your son. Ie If you both volunteered at an animal shelter on a Saturday morning, you only have to worry about your commitment to that, rather than on the commitment of another pet owner. It may lead to less upset for your son. Just a suggestion.

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Perhaps you should get a dog from a shelter on a weekend?...
What???? I already have a dog thanks, was merely suggesting ways for your son to be around animals.
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Old 07.09.2019, 14:21
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

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I said nothing about your time and commitment to your son , merely that maybe a situation where you are the ones giving your time to animals, rather than needing to rely on others also giving their time, would be a situation that would be more reliable for you and your son. Ie If you both volunteered at an animal shelter on a Saturday morning, you only have to worry about your commitment to that, rather than on the commitment of another pet owner. It may lead to less upset for your son. Just a suggestion.

Animal shelters do not allow child volunteers. Animals are not toys.


Our appeal meant not to burden others and didn't require any special commitment from dog owners - but to take care of their pet when they need help - e.g. walk the dog when they are busy, or take the dog in when they are away and would rather a dog stay with a family and not at an institution. This kind of arrangements are becoming increasingly popular in the UK/US and are meant to be mutually beneficial. I don't see why you seem fit to lecture us on various hypothetical and unrealistic options when you have no knowledge or experience with the issue??
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Old 07.09.2019, 14:35
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

Put a card up in your local Migros/Coop/Denner etc volunteering dog walking / dog sitting.

I’m guessing people might be reticent to commit to such things because a) there are regulations surrounding dog behaviour/walking and if the owner isn’t around it’s hard to make sure the rules are being adhered to. B) dogs are normally trained specifically to their owners; they know their quirks, triggers and limits. Finally c) dogs are part of people’s family - I know I would have been reluctant to ‘rent out’ any of my animals to others, here and in the UK.

I’m not saying this would apply to all dog owners but it might offer some explanation why the responses are a bit thin on the ground.

I, too, would love to have dogs once again, and I also believe they would be fantastic for my son but our current life just doesn’t permit one so we’ve compromised on the ‘pet experience’ with small apartment-friendly fluffies instead of dogs.
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Old 07.09.2019, 14:40
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

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Perhaps get a dog from a shelter on a weekend?
Just an FYI from a rescue viewpoint, as this idea comes up now and again:

While this sort of volunteering is offered in other countries, it is very rare here. In fact, none of the shelters I respect would allow a 'weekend' dog - it would simply be far too disruptive, too confusing, for the dog. And perhaps most importantly you would be hurting the dog's chances of a forever home, as weekends are when most people visit with the intention to adopt.

The dogs who are in shelters as 'Gnadenhof' or Patenhunde are generally dogs who cannot be homed, either for medical or behavioral reasons, and would likely not be appropriate for what you envision.

One can volunteer to walk shelter dogs, but the adult, must be the volunteer. A child is too young to be in charge of a shelter dog (or most dogs, more on that later) by himself. IME, some adults whose wish to volunteer to walk shelter dogs is for their child's sake, rather than their own committment to the ethos of rescue, end up disappointed. The adult volunteer must understand that the child might have only limited interaction with the dog. The child will not be allowed to hold the leash, the adult must be in control and in charge at all times.

Not every shelter dog can be in the presence of a child. Parents likely would go through the interview (and with some shelters, the course) with the child, and the staff would need to assess your child's behavior around dogs before deciding if it is appropriate for the child to take part in volunteer walking, and with which dogs.

This surprises some people, but one must understand that there are liability issues at play.

When one volunteers or otherwise interacts with shelter dogs, it is important to understand - truly understand - that it's not about you. Not at all. Everything is for the welfare of the dogs. That has to be your primary motivation.

---

As to a child walking a borrowed dog:

I just want to clarify how you envision your child interacting with the 'borrowed' dog. You said "The kid gets to walk the dog" - do you mean by the child would walk the dog by himself, or that you would walk the dog, holding the lead, while the child accompanies you?

If the former, please reconsider. A 7 year old child is too young to take on responsibility for a dog out in public. If the child is accompanying you, that's another story.


---

I couldn't speculate why the other family disappeared, but please let it go and move on. The fit clearly was not right, something made the family uncomfortable. That happens.

Given the regs around dog ownership - particularly liability the dog owner carries even when the dog is in the care of a third party - if any little thing does not seem right, for whatever reason, it's the owners perogative to discontinue the arrangement. Many people do not do well with confrontation, hence disappearing. Not that it makes it right, but conflict avoidance is very common here.

---

One of the drawbacks to your scheme is that there will always be the potential for heartbreak for your child - simply because the dog is not his. If you find another family willing to enter into a'borrowing' arrangement, please keep this in mind. The dog will eventually no longer be in your child's life, so think about how to prepare him for that.

---

Do any of your friends have dogs? The best thing is for you and your child to accompany friends, people you know well, on their walks with their dogs. Even better, so that your child understands what living with a dog really means, is to join friends on their 6AM walk, on a cold rainy day.

All the best.
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Old 07.09.2019, 14:43
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

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Put a card up in your local Migros/Coop/Denner etc volunteering dog walking / dog sitting.

I’m guessing people might be reticent to commit to such things because a) there are regulations surrounding dog behaviour/walking and if the owner isn’t around it’s hard to make sure the rules are being adhered to. B) dogs are normally trained specifically to their owners; they know their quirks, triggers and limits. Finally c) dogs are part of people’s family - I know I would have been reluctant to ‘rent out’ any of my animals to others, here and in the UK.

I’m not saying this would apply to all dog owners but it might offer some explanation why the responses are a bit thin on the ground.

I, too, would love to have dogs once again, and I also believe they would be fantastic for my son but our current life just doesn’t permit one so we’ve compromised on the ‘pet experience’ with small apartment-friendly fluffies instead of dogs.

Thank you for your kind response. We did have a fair number of replies to our original post, but only one that actually worked out (or not, in the end). These kind of arrangements do work - we have an example in our freinds' family, and these connections are increasingly popular in the UK/US and seem reasonable and mutually beneficial. As for regulations, as far as we know (my husband is a law prof) there is nothing in the law preventing a dog from playing or staying with friends' families.
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Old 07.09.2019, 14:46
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

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Thank you for your kind response. We did have a fair number of replies to our original post, but only one that actually worked out (or not, in the end). These kind of arrangements do work - we have an example in our freinds' family, and these connections are increasingly popular in the UK/US and seem reasonable and mutually beneficial. As for regulations, as far as we know (my husband is a law prof) there is nothing in the law preventing a dog from playing or staying with friends' families.
The regulation bit was actually to do with the liability situation which meloncollie more clearly explained, not whether there is a law allowing dogs to stay in other peoples houses - sorry it was unclear.
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Old 07.09.2019, 14:56
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

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While this sort of volunteering is offered in other countries, it is very rare here. In fact, none of the shelters I respect would allow a 'weekend' dog - it would simply be far too disruptive, too confusing, for the dog. And perhaps most importantly you would be hurting the dog's chances of a forever home, as weekends are when most people visit with the intention to adopt.

The dogs who are in shelters as 'Gnadenhof' or Patenhunde are generally dogs who cannot be homed, either for medical or behavioral reasons, and would likely not be appropriate for what you envision.

One can volunteer to walk shelter dogs, but you, the adult, must be the volunteer. Your child is too young to be in charge of a shelter dog (or most dogs, more on that later) by himself. IME, some adults whose wish to volunteer to walk shelter dogs is for their child's sake, rather than their own committment to the ethos of rescue, end up disappointed. The adult volunteer must understand that the child might have only limited interaction with the dog. The child will not be allowed to hold the leash, the adult must be in control and in charge at all times.

Not every shelter dog can be in the presence of a child. You likely would go through the interview (and with some shelters, the course) with the child, and the staff would need to assess your child's behavior around dogs before deciding if it is appropriate for your child to take part in volunteer walking, and with which dogs.

This surprises some people, but one must understand that there are liability issues at play.

When one volunteers or otherwise interacts with shelter dogs, it is important to understand - truly understand - that it's not about you. Not at all. Everything is for the welfare of the dogs. That has to be your primary motivation.

---

As to a child walking a borrowed dog:

I just want to clarify how you envision your child interacting with the 'borrowed' dog. You said "The kid gets to walk the dog" - do you mean by the child would walk the dog by himself, or that you would walk the dog, holding the lead, while the child accompanies you?

If the former, please reconsider. A 7 year old child is too young to take on responsibility for a dog out in public. If the child is accompanying you, that's another story.


---

I couldn't speculate why the other family disappeared, but please let it go and move on. The fit clearly was not right, something made the family uncomfortable. That happens.

Given the regs around dog ownership - particularly liability the dog owner carries even when the dog is in the care of a third party - if any little thing does not seem right, for whatever reason, it's the owners perogative to discontinue the arrangement. Many people do not do well with confrontation, hence disappearing. Not that it makes it right, but conflict avoidance is very common here.

---

One of the drawbacks to your scheme is that there will always be the potential for heartbreak for your child - simply because the dog is not his. If you find another family willing to enter into a'borrowing' arrangement, please keep this in mind. The dog will eventually no longer be in your child's life, so think about how to prepare him for that.

---

Do any of your friends have dogs? The best thing is for you and your child to accompany friends, people you know well, on their walks with their dogs. Even better, so that your child understands what living with a dog really means, is to join friends on their 6AM walk, on a cold rainy day.

All the best.

I am aware of the most things you mentioned.


The response to your question is: of course I would be with a dog and the child! This is obvious. What parent would let a 7-year old out on their own????


I answered the shelter suggestion above already. Animals are not toys.


Regarding the people who ghosted my son: whatever their feelings are, they should have detached themselves in a civilised manner - after sending photos of their dog in every email and eating out on our buck. Ghosting is dishonest.


As for my child's heart - it is capable of enjoying an occasional dog-friend, what it is breaking over is the cruel disappearance without explanation.



I also talked about this type of arrangements above. They do work, if people involved are reasonably civilised - we have an example in our friends' family, and these connections are increasingly popular in the UK/US and seem perfectly appropriate and mutually beneficial.



Finally - do you think if we had friends with dogs we would be wasting time asking for them on the English Forum???
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Old 07.09.2019, 15:04
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

You might look into whether your child would be welcome in a 'Kind und Hund' class.

Usually these classes are taken by children with their own family dog, so it's a bit of a long shot suggestion. But you might write the Jugend und Hund Verein of the SKG and ask if they know of any of the groups where it might be appropriate for a child without a dog to join in.

https://www.tkjh.ch/j-h-gruppen/

I throw this out there because, wearing my rescue hat, one message that IMO needs to be instilled from the very start of falling in love with dogdom is that a dog means committment, committment, commitment. Joining a class, where you have to attend regularly (even in rain or snow or sleepy mornings when you'd rather stay in bed) is a very good way to introduce this idea to a child. And classes are a lot of fun, of course.

This list is SKG affiliated groups, but there are other independent Hundeschule offering Kind und Hund classes. If you have a Hundeschule local to you, it wouldn't hurt to ask if your child could in some way be involved.
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Old 07.09.2019, 15:08
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

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You might look into whether your child would be welcome in a 'Kind und Hund' class.

Usually these classes are taken by children with their own family dog, so it's a bit of a long shot suggestion. But you might write the Jugend und Hund Verein of the SKG and ask if they know of any of the groups where it might be appropriate for a child without a dog to join in.

https://www.tkjh.ch/j-h-gruppen/

I throw this out there because, wearing my rescue hat, one message that IMO needs to be instilled from the very start is falling in love with dogdom is that a dog means committment, committment, commitment. Joining a class, where you have to attend regularly (even in rain or snow or sleepy mornings when you'd rather stay in bed) is a very good way to introduce this idea to a child. And classes are a lot of fun, of course.

This list is SKG affiliated groups, but there are other independent Hundeschule offering Kind und Hund classes. If you have a Hundeschule local to you, it wouldn't hurt to ask if your child could in some way be involved.

Thank you! Very interesting. This is the first adequate response to this thread and it sounds like a good practical advice. Much appreciated, we'll look into this.
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Old 07.09.2019, 15:24
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

The first adequate response..? You'll only accept what you want to hear.

Get the kid a goldfish, or move to a place where you can afford the time and energy to have your own dog. Your idea of dog-sharing might have sounded okay at first to the couple with the dog, but after they realized that they are now on the hook to provide you with a dog sometimes or be otherwise responsible for the emotional well-being of your son, they had to walk away. And considering your attitude, i can't blame them. Ghosting you, as unkind as it may be, may have been an easier and nicer way than insulting you by telling you that you are too overbearing and thats why the relationship will not work.
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Old 07.09.2019, 15:24
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

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This is the first adequate response to this thread.....
Wow.... it’s no wonder those guys did a runner
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Old 07.09.2019, 15:30
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

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The first adequate response..? You'll only accept what you want to hear.

Get the kid a goldfish, or move to a place where you can afford the time and energy to have your own dog. Your idea of dog-sharing might have sounded okay at first to the couple with the dog, but after they realized that they are now on the hook to provide you with a dog sometimes or be otherwise responsible for the emotional well-being of your son, they had to walk away. And considering your attitude, i can't blame them. Ghosting you, as unkind as it may be, may have been an easier and nicer way than insulting you by telling you that you are too overbearing and thats why the relationship will not work.

Only a person with a mind of a goldfish or a troll would write the way you do and make such crude and groundless conclusions. Hire a shrink and learn some proper psychoanalysis.
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Old 07.09.2019, 15:31
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

Moderators, please close the thread - I have already received several PMs with good options. Thanks
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Old 07.09.2019, 15:35
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

Kudos to the forum member who got a nice meal out of this deal. Can't blame them for the ghosting. References to "the boy" are kind of creepy and the parents sound like kooks to me.
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Old 07.09.2019, 15:38
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Re: Dog-friend wanted for little boy

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Kudos to the forum member who got a nice meal out of this deal. Can't blame them for the ghosting. References to "the boy" are kind of creepy and the parents sound like kooks to me.

Wow. You must have a truly perverted mind.
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