On teaching our children well …..

When I was a little girl, I had absolutely no idea how lucky I was!     All the other children were allowed to run up to every dog that came their way!   At the time, my mother seemed odder than two left shoes for not letting us pet strange dogs!

Even worse … from a child’s perspective  … were the public reminders not to look that strange dog in the eye or to smile at them!

Now why did my mother do this?   Was she afraid of dogs?   Not even close!    As a matter of fact, my mother loved animals of all species!   More importantly, she understood that animals often communicate in completely different ways than ourselves.

So the short version of this story is that while I may have occasionally died of embarrassment,  I was well into my forties before I had my first dog bite!    That’s when I learned that the expression let sleeping dogs lie was likely coined by someone living with a Scottie 🙂

As of this writing, there are still no formal dog bite prevention and humane education programs in our provincial school system.    What does that mean in realspeak?   Why of course that whether children learn good life skills with pets is still more a matter of good luck than good management!

Happily, those who have been in the rescue game for any amount of time have taken a more proactive stance to pick up the slack!

Long before I started blogging about cats and dogs, Trish Pittman was rescuing Labrador Retrievers in this province.    So I was not at all surprised to learn that she had taken Gus ( pictured above) as a training aid into her local school!   What a great idea, eh?

Before the keyboards catch on fire,  yes I know this is not an isolated incident.     It just happens to be the first one I am talking about this week, eh?

Why is this so important?      The answer to that is so simple a stump could understand!     One of the reasons pets wind up in rescue is that noone bothers to teach children how to properly interact with them!

Lets face it!    We teach kids to wash their hands and not to put their mouths on the water fountain!   We teach them traffic safety and send them for swimming lessons!      Yet half a century after my mother was ‘nagging’ me,  some folks are still not teaching their children well about pets!

Here in the real world,  most rescuers I know are busy, busy folk.   Truth be told, between families and work, it is a wonder that they even have time to rescue …. let alone teach the lessons to keep children in their communities safer!

As we speak, NS Lab Rescue is readying for its next fundraising auction!    What a better way to recycle those presents that have never even made it out of the gift box!     ( Click here for more information about that!)

What time is it!      Apparently April is Volunteer appreciation month … but at any time of the year it is always worth supporting the animal rescue volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to create safer and healthier communities!


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