The wife and I are big animal lovers. No doubt about that. We send money to two charity causes annually…diabetes awareness and animals. We each grew up with pets (we’re sorta ‘dog people’ but we really love all animals), and, we currently have a two-almost-three year-old puggle. We’re not radical about our beliefs. We still eat meat, we don’t throw red dye on people wearing fur, but our hearts hurt deeply for animals in shelters, and for those that are lost, abused, and neglected. We volunteer our time at a local animal shelter, just to show the dogs there that people really do care about them, and that finding them a happy home is priority number one.
It just seems a no-brainer that we want Parker to love animals as much as we do. But more importantly, we want him to understand and respect animals and their rights. We want Parker to understand that Cookie is just as much a part of our family as he is, and for Cookie to know that Parker is a new member.
From what we’ve discussed, incorporating Parker into our care of Cookie will help him better understand Cookie, and also help Cookie know that Parker is another person that will provide for her. Early on, most of their interaction will be natural, such as smelling, licking, and touching. But as Parker grows, tasks such as feeding, playing, and even walking can be incorporated, until they each develop a firm understanding of their roles in the family.
In all, the goal is not just to develop a friendship between our son and our dog, but truly to foster a sense of responsibility for animals in Parker. To realize that animals don’t have the capability to fight for themselves, that we are their protectors and their voice. To be outraged at those who neglect and abuse animals. And hopefully, he will one day want to donate his own time and energy to sticking up for animals.
And as always, if you are considering getting a pet, visit your local animal shelter.