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  • helenggoldberg

Be Kind to Animals

Teach children, by word and example, to be kind to animals, not just for the animals’ sake, but for the sake of all who are weaker than they are.” ~ Unknown

Last week I came upon a social media post; a mother was expressing her frustration with her young child’s behaviour toward their family dog. She advised that her child, on a daily basis, was poking and provoking the dog. She mentioned that she had attempted to explain to her child that hurting the dog was not a nice thing to do and if the dog gets angry, he will bite and it will hurt. The explanation was ignored and the child continued with the bullying behaviour. Understandably, the mother was concerned for both the child and the dog. Her post was a cry for help, she was at a loss as to how to rectify the situation.

She received the following response to her post; I too have a child who pokes and provokes our family dog and I tell him it is okay until he growls, because then he may bite. Her response was somewhat more detailed, however that is the essence of her reply and advice. I had to re-read it several times, I was so taken aback by it. I was horrified.

My response to mother #1 would be: if you are having difficulty finding a healthy solution, reach out to a professional dog trainer. The trainer will be able to give you guidance and tools to help get the situation under control. My response to mother #2: by allowing the child to poke and provoke the dog you are setting up a very disastrous outcome. A dog is an animal and if an animal is backed into a “corner”, he/she will respond instinctively. Do not set your dog up to fail. The failure is on you, not the dog. It is never okay to poke, provoke or bully any animal. To allow your child to do so, you are giving your child permission to be a bully, not only to animals but to people as well.

Every being deserves to be treated with the same respect and dignity that you expect to be treated with. Teaching your child to be kind and loving to an animal will lay the foundation for your child to become a kind and loving person.

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