Your puppy’s growth should be rapid by now, not just in size but in different ways too. He is much more confident on his feet than he was a short time ago: his leg muscles have become stronger, his coordination much better. Most outstanding, probably, is the development of his intelligence. He appears more mindful of his environment, more zealous to reach out and be friends with the people around him. He wishes to play, play, play, and he anticipates everybody to join in with him. He particularly enjoys children. They, too, are constantly on the go, and that delights him. Kids are small, and since the pup’s line of sight is near to the ground, they appeal to him over grown-ups for his ever-ready frolicking.
Message to Parents
Since so several puppies are bought as kids’ pets, here are some advice to parents. A few will hesitate to bring a dog to the house for fear it would wound the child.
You have no grounds for fear. Most pups are friendly animals. Born with absolute confidence in people, they will not be anything but friendly unless their trust is ruined by ignorance or neglect. When a good-natured puppy goes to a home where it gets plenty attention and affection, and finds out what is and what isn’t accepted type of behavior, it won’t be a problem with kids. Naturally, in playing with a toddler, particular pups may tumble the child over—that isn’t so much the dog’s fault as the fault of the parents who, without thinking about it, gave a bit large or too rambunctious a dog to a young child. In fact, the dog runs a greater risk of harm in most circumstances. Quietly, he takes an incredible amount of pummeling, and he would give his very life for the child when he could.
In addition to the physical security a dog gives a child, he offers constant companionship. Rainy days deliver fewer troubles for the only kid in the house when a dog is around. Allowing the youngster to think the dog is his and his alone builds up his humane instincts and sense of responsibility. When caring for a dog, a child learns how to handle another living creature using justice and humanity. Such wholesome friendship can give him the right attitude toward any member of society who sustains physical or other misfortune. Inability to grasp this lesson makes for some of the greatest evils of society. A child should know that the world isn’t his, to do with as he wishes; only when he treats other people with kindness and understanding can he genuinely grow as a human being. Without a doubt dog ownership plays a huge part in the social education of the young.
A dog won’t teach the child kindness single-handedly—you’ll have to assist. With his patience, a dog might even give the child an exaggerated concept of his own powers and privileges, for the dog is incredibly long-suffering. The slightest growl is a true exception. Generally the dog just gets up and walks away.
At times kids, and even grown-ups, taunt a puppy since he is so “cute” when he becomes angry and tries to bite using his baby teeth. This is a grave mistake. Besides the harshness of tormenting a pup, it is quite likely to make him mean-tempered and snappish while he grows older.
And what of a dog’s service to grownups? It is as fine as that given the child. Let us ignore for the moment the war dogs, farm and factory guard dogs, the herding dogs, and leaders of the blind. Thousands of these have served well, and keep on serving man. But let us likewise salute the millions of dogs in private households where, as companions and pets, using their love and devotion they make life happier and less lonely.
© 2011 Athena Goodlight