Monday, November 17, 2014

LESSONS FROM OUR PETS

by Kate Collins
 
I’ve always believed that having a pet teaches children so much about life, lessons they carry forth into their adult world that help make them better people. Here’s my list. Tell me if you agree.

1.     Compassion:  Is there any better way to teach compassion for all animals than to rescue a cat or dog or other pet from certain death or suffering? Seeing an animal who is ill or in pain stirs a deep sympathy inside us and a desire to make it all better.


What great training for parenthood, too.

2.     Grief:  I learned the pain of watching beloved cats die several times during my childhood. They taught me that grief does fade and life moves on but that loved ones are never forgotten. 

3.     Friendship: Pets are the best kind of friend. They don’t judge or criticize or belittle, qualities we always seek in others, and they’re always nearby to lend an ear when we need to blow off steam or just have a good cry.

4.     Responsibility: Being in charge of walking the dog or changing the litter box or putting food in the pet dish should be a part of every child’s day. It teache
s the child to think of others.

5.     Respect: How do  you learn that your actions hurt others? Pull a dog’s tail or rub a cat’s belly too hard.  You find out quickly that you have to respect their boundaries. Great training for marriage!

6.     Natural instincts: Is there a better way to learn what basic instincts are all about? Watch a mother dog or cat take care of their young or protect their food. Observing animals at play is also a great lesson.

That’s my list. I’m sure there are more benefits. Maybe you can think of some to add. Please feel free.
What kind of pet or breed of dog do you think is perfect for a child?


            

13 comments:

mary kennedy said...

A wonderful blog, Kate! I always had pets growing up and I can't imagine life without animals.

Connie P. said...

Molly is the only dog I've had long-term. What I've learned from her is that not every little thing is that big of deal. The things that were "important" really aren't. Is mopping the floor *that* important? Dusting? It is to the OCD people (me), but she taught me that they'll still be there, tomorrow. Those things, and things like them, aren't what's important. She's important. Family and love and helping others, two and four-legged, in whatever way, big or small, is what's important. Thank you my sweet Molly!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful...thank you, Kate.

Kate Collins said...

That's very touching, Connie. They do teach us what's important. Good point.

Kate Collins said...

You're welcome, Patricia.

Kate Collins said...

Thanks, Mary. With 8 cats in your house, I'm sure you could add to this list!

Annette said...

One week ago today, my darling Welsh Pembroke Corgi, Shelby crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. From Shelby I learned true unconditional love.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

What a lovely and moving post, Kate! Our pets make us better people, for sure. Even if they "frow up" in our beds every now and then.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I am so sorry to hear this, Annette. My old Corgi mix, Smudge, lives on in my heart eight years on and he always will.

Hugs.

Kate Collins said...

In our beds, on our expensive Oriental carpets . . . Hey, why not? Thanks, MJ.

Tonette said...

I agree completely.There is so much a child can learn about compassion and love for animals and people through having pets, and for the Earth.It is a crime that any child is taught otherwise not only for animals' sakes,but for the children and the adults they SHOULD become. Temple Grandin said, "Animals make us human."

Anonymous said...

My Mother raised us with dogs and cats from the time we were in our cribs. She gave us the greatest gift of unconditional love from our pets. I have never lived without a cat and never will. My most recent cat was 19 when she just passed in June. She was with me through some of the most challenging times of my life. She taught me all of the above but also, courage, great love and that I was valued when I have been all alone in the world. She taught me also to have humor every day, to value each simple moment and rejoice in the complete unconditional love of a pet who gives great value and meaning to life .. My life was joyful because of her. She gave me great comfort every day and made my life have meaning. I miss her every moment. You cannot measure that kind of love, as a child it is remarkable how pets teach us, give us love and support us throughout our growth. No child should ever be raised without pets.

Joseph Russo said...

Our pets are always happy and grateful because they enjoy the little things in life, like the simple pleasure of being able to enjoy a nice book or running through the fall leaves.
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