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Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media
A mum has unintentionally doubled her problems after her attempt to wean her toddler off dummies led to the family dog getting hooked on them too.
Gemma Hill has been trying to consciously uncouple her 18-month-old daughter Bonnie Howards from her comforters for two months with zero success.
The youngster has even resorted to hiding some of her dummies around the house to ensure she always has a stash.
Much to Gemma’s surprise, her daughter has been sharing her dummies with her aunt’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rafa, who is also 18 months.
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.
The pooch’s ‘addiction’ has lead to Emily being forced to chase him around the garden in a desperate bid to retrieve them from his mouth.
Gemma has admitted that her daughter is the ‘root’ of the dog’s new obsession and she’s completely at a loss on how to get the pair to kick their shared habit.
Gemma, from Birmingham, West Midlands, said: "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.
Gemma recounted one hilarious moment when Rafa’s addiction became obvious.
"He was crying outside her cot the other day,” she explained. “At first we thought 'oh he misses her', but no, he wanted to get a dummy that was left in there."
Bonnie and Rafa, who just so happen to be the same age and were born ‘weeks apart’, have a tight knit friendship since their lives began.
"The two of them have been growing up together, it's been quite cute,” Gemma said.
"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."
Gemma admitted that Rafa’s use of the dummies is actually ‘quite impressive’ because he appears to understand their function.
She said: "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 'heartwarming'.
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."
This friendship is so precious.