[Hi. This is Ollie. I’m on holiday this week, and DMG Byrnes has graciously agreed to step up with some reading pleasure for your enjoyment. Without further ado….]
Dogs are awesome! The day I was brought home as a baby, I was introduced to what would become two of my best friends: Baron, a rather large and solid German Shepherd,
and Haley, a loyal and much smaller Golden Retriever.
I feel sorry for the souls that are allergic to dogs because truly, they can be one of the dearest friends you will ever have (which is true of any pet or animal to which you’ve grown attached), but growing up with dogs (and pets in general) can teach you a lot. Here are 6 wonderful things about dogs that show why children can benefit from being raised with one.
How many of your parents told you that you couldn’t have a pet until you proved you were responsible enough to have one? While I completely agree with and understand this reasoning, one thing to point out is if your child is raised with a dog (or almost any pet), where they not only watch you caring for the puppyface, the fact is that they can be taught this responsibility as they grow, especially when they’re old enough to help with the duties (chores) that are involved with having a dog, including fresh food and water, love and attention, training, etc.
Part of teaching a child responsibility involves explaining why something does or doesn’t need to be done to take care of a puppyface; for instance making sure a dog has fresh water, especially since they aren’t able to use words to let us know when this becomes an immediate need. Teaching a child that understands their own thirst that everyone else, including your family friend on four legs, gets thirsty too can go a long way in exposing a child to understanding and experiencing empathy (reading is also fabulous for this, but we’ll focus on the furry helpers).
There is much that a human relationship can give you, yet there are some things reserved for the companionship that come from having a dog. One lesson I vividly remember learning was that a dog would never revoke their friendship, while people could and did, often on whims. Dogs do not judge and are examples of the level of acceptance we should have for others. Having grown up with dogs, I can say that my dearest human friends have the capacity of companionship I’ve seen mostly in dogs, with love and acceptance and the absence of judgement.
I don’t know many creatures (including humans) that could exemplify loyalty the way a dog does, the two words are practically synonymous. A dog that loves you will do anything for you. Even the meekest seeming dogs have been known to show extraordinary courage and loyalty for the sake of their family on two legs, or more. You can Google for hours and find video after video of dogs saving humans and other animals, from people, cars, fires, poisons, seizures, and more. I, personally, learned much from having a dog, as well as watching many dog story inspired true movies, one that comes to mind that I grew up with was Chips the War Dog, excellent movie….excuse me. Need to go watch it now.
A dog that is loyal to you is a dog that will do anything to protect you, no matter the cost to themselves. Again, you can easily Google this and find countless stories of dogs risking their lives, or ultimately dying in the attempt or actual rescue of humans or other animals. The second German Shepard I had in my life was named Emma, but we also called her Emma Jean. We used to think she was all bark and no bite, till one night the wind blew open an improperly shut garage door and Emma was at the door, hair on her back raised, snarling with her teeth bared, ready to attack anything at the door that may hurt us as we were eating at the kitchen table. We used to joke that this was the last thing a burglar would ever see.
I felt safer growing up knowing that we had dogs, and ones that loved us enough to be there if my family or I were in danger.
Dogs are amazing in their capacity and ability to love. They remember humans they haven’t seen in years and greet them with special exuberance (look at any soldier that’s been greeted by a beloved puppyface upon their return, it’ll make your heart melt). They practically explode with their joy and the strength of their love, which is shown over and over again by the other reasons on this list. If only people could have the same capacity to love so blindly as dogs, yet could also be such discerning judges of character, the world would be a very different place. This is Evee.
She is a beautiful example of this. Evee was such an intelligent and loving puppyface, and she had a special love for kids, which is also why she was called Nana Evee (think Nana from Peter Pan).
My childhood and my life would have been very different without each of the dogs I have known, loved, and been loved by so far. I miss having one and look forward to a time when I can once again have a four-legged companion to snuggle and spoil.
If you had a dog growing up, what was (were) it’s (their) names? Let us know in the comments section of this blog.
And a special Thank You to Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm, who we call Ollie, for allowing me to be his guest while he is on holiday.
DMG Byrnes is an author with a reading addiction. She blogs every Wednesday at dmgbyrnes.com and also reviews books. Currently she’s working on short stories, poems, articles, and publishing her novel entitled The Foretelling Spark.