A dummy-mad toddler who stashes dummies around her home so she always has one to hand has now got the family dog hooked on them too. Gemma Hill has been trying to wean 18-month-old Bonnie Howards off dummies for two months but without success, as the wily youngster manages to hide them around the house.
Not only is she refusing to give up her beloved dummies, the sneaky tot has been sharing them with Cavalier King Charles Spaniel pal Rafa. The 18-month-old pooch now proudly parades around the house and garden sucking on dummies, even standing by Bonnie’s cot whimpering for his fix when he hasn’t got one.
Gemma, who looks after Rafa several times a week for her 30-year-old sister-in-law Emily Howard, has been left tearing her hair out at the ‘ridiculous’ situation.
Instead of trying to get just her daughter to ditch the dummies, she’s now trying to convince little Rafa too.
The pooch’s ‘addiction’ has resulted in Emily being forced to chase him around the garden in a desperate bid to retrieve the dummies from his mouth.
Radio host Gemma admits that her daughter is the ‘root’ of the pair getting ‘hooked’ and she’s at a loss how to get the pair to kick the habit.
Gemma, from Birmingham, West Midlands, said: “Bonnie’s now 18-month-old and we’ve been trying to wean her off the dummies.
“We’ve been trying to wean her off – completely unsuccessfully.
“I’ve read that once a baby turns two it gets a lot harder to get rid of the dummies, so we’re basically trying to get her off them before then.
“I’ll take the dummies away but they’ll turn up. Bonnie will just hide them in little corners of the house so we don’t know where they are.
“She’ll just appear with one and we’ll be thinking ‘how the heck did you get that?’
“It turns out that she’s been secretly giving dummies to Rafa. The dog sucks dummies now like he’s a baby, it’s ridiculous.
“I didn’t see the first exchange. It’s only been recently where I’ve walked into a room and found her stuffing one into his mouth.
“Or we’ll come across him and he has his own dummy from somewhere.
“He was crying outside her cot the other day. At first we thought ‘oh he misses her’, but no, he wanted to get a dummy that was left in there. He’s hooked on the dummies as well.”
Bemused mum Gemma said Bonnie and Rafa have been tight-knit from the beginning of their lives, with the youngster keen to share everything with her canine companion.
Gemma said: “The two of them have been growing up together, it’s been quite cute.
“They’re friends, she shares everything with him. She’ll give him food off the table and she’ll share some of her toys with him.
“The dummy was a natural next step.
“Rafa doesn’t have his own dummy when he comes over to the house, he only gets one if Bonnie gives him one.
“She’s very keen to share – but only with him. She doesn’t share with other kids or with me or her dad. Nobody but Rafa, he can have what he wants.
“We’re trying to get the dummy off Rafa. Rafa’s being trained at the moment and he’s quite a good dog on the whole.
“It’s not like he’s eating them or chewing them, which is what we were worrying about, he literally uses it like a dummy.
“When he’s had enough he’ll spit it out, it’s quite impressive.
“I don’t know what the long-term solution is in terms of weaning them both off the dummies.
“I think Bonnie is going to have to be the one to be weaned off them, so she can’t enable Rafa. She’s the root of all this.”
Gemma’s sister-in-law, Emily described the relationship between the mischievous duo as ‘heart-warming’.
Emily said: “He’s really a friendly and loving dog and he’s very patient and gentle with Bonnie.
“They were born just a couple of weeks apart so we were really hoping they’d get on and grow up together as friends.
“It was heart-warming to see how much they’d bonded – but less so when we realised it was over her dummy.
“Now she’s starting to walk, it means she can give it to him the moment our backs are turned.
“This then means we have to frantically chase him round the garden to get it back.”
Adorable footage of Bonnie placing a dummy in Rafa’s mouth has racked up more than 300,000 views on TikTok.
Gemma said: “Since sharing it on TikTok, I have had a lot of people telling me how to wean Bonnie off the dummies.
“One evil genius said I should cut the tips off them so that Bonnie will find them and think they’re broken.
“I’ve had a lot of direct messages from people saying how adorable it is. People love dogs and people love babies, so there’s something for everyone.”
TikTok users were delighted by the clip and flooded it with comments.
One wrote: “I just chopped the ends off my son’s and said they were broken. He chucked them in the bin and never looked back. Good luck.”
Another commented: “When I was little I also enabled the puppy with my dummies and thought it was hilarious when he ran around with them.
“Another joked: “Next, it’s the diapers on the dog.”